The Cardinals walk off winners against the Pirates for the third game in a row

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The Cardinals secured a series sweep at home against the Pirates when Kolten Wong slugged a solo home run to right field in the 14th inning off of reliever Radhames Liz. It marked their third consecutive walk-off win against the Pirates. They won on Friday with a tenth-inning walk-off RBI single from Matt Adams, and won again on Saturday on Matt Carpenter’s walk-off sacrifice fly in the 11th inning.

The Cardinals have four consecutive walk-off wins against the Pirates dating back to last season. On September 3, Peter Bourjos hit a walk-off single against Mark Melancon in the bottom of the ninth inning to send his team to a 1-0 win.

Now 18-6, the Cardinals have the best record in baseball. In the National League, the Mets have the second-best record at 16-10. The Cardinals are 4.5 games ahead of the second-place Cubs.

Cubs acquire Martín Maldonado from the Royals

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Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.

Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.

Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.