Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

David Price leads Blue Jays past Yankees in series opener

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Behind seven scoreless innings from David Price and a heck of late-inning escape from Brett Cecil, the Blue Jays beat the Yankees 4-2 on Monday night in the first game of a critical AL East showdown at Rogers Centre.

Price gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out seven batters. The Blue Jays got most of their offense early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Adam Warren didn’t make it out of the fourth inning for New York.

The Yankees finally got something going in the eighth, as Didi Gregorius walked and Dustin Ackley singled off Aaron Sanchez to begin the frame. Cecil took over from there and gave up an RBI single to Jacoby Ellsbury, but the southpaw escaped the jam by striking out Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez, and Brian McCann in succession. Young closer Roberto Osuna gave up a solo homer to Greg Bird with two outs in the ninth, but he was able to finish off the victory for his 17th save.

Price improved to 17-5 with the win and leads the American League with a 2.34 ERA. The southpaw has a 1.95 ERA over 10 starts with the Blue Jays. By the way, four of those starts have been against the Yankees. He has a 1.71 ERA in those outings. Talk about a difference-maker.

The Blue Jays lead the Yankees by 3 1/2 games in the American League East with 12 games to play. Their magic number sits at ten.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.