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What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

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On May 18, the Rangers suffered a series sweep at the hands of the Athletics, dropping to 22-19. Since then, the Rangers have won 80 percent — 80 percent! — of their games. They’re 24-6 in their last 30 games, and they’re currently riding a seven-game winning streak. As a result, the Rangers enter play Tuesday 9.5 games ahead of the Mariners in first place in the AL West. Only the Cubs with 47 wins have achieved victory more often than the Rangers (46).

The Rangers have done this with DH Prince Fielder putting up a .583 OPS, Yu Darvish only being healthy enough to make three starts, Mitch Moreland having a down year, and Derek Holland pitching poorly. There hasn’t been any one particular player who has been shouldering most of the workload; rather, it’s been players like Jurickson Profar coming up and performing well (.873 OPS), Ian Desmond overcoming a slow start (.867 OPS), Colby Lewis having a career year (2.81 ERA), and Cole Hamels doing what he was brought to Arlington to do (2.88 ERA).

Lewis will toe the slab at 8:05 PM EDT on Tuesday night as the Rangers host Anthony DeSclafani and the Reds. Lewis flirted with a perfect game his last time out.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Colorado Rockies (Chad Bettis) @ New York Yankees (Ivan Nova), 7:05 PM EDT

San Diego Padres (Luis Perdomo) @ Baltimore Orioles (Tyler Wilson), 7:05 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Johnny Cueto) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Wilfredo Boscan), 7:05 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks (Patrick Corbin) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Marco Estrada), 7:07 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves (Bud Norris) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez), 7:10 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox (Chris Sale) @ Boston Red Sox (Clay Buchholz), 7:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy) @ New York Mets (Bartolo Colon), 7:10 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (James Paxton) @ Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander), 7:10 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Blake Snell) @ Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber), 7:10 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright) @ Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel), 8:05 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Hector Santiago) @ Houston Astros (Collin McHugh), 8:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola) @ Minnesota Twins (Tyler Duffey), 8:10 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson) @ Oakland Athletics (Sonny Gray), 10:05 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Scott Kazmir), 10:10 PM EDT

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.