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Red Sox’ playoff push won’t include Moncada

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With 22 games left in the season, the Red Sox have shifted their focus from prospect development to playoff contention, and no one is feeling the brunt of that decision more than third baseman Yoan Moncada.

Moncada, who was called up in mid-August to supplant Travis Shaw at the hot corner, went 4-for-18 with 11 strikeouts in six games with Boston. During Friday night’s 13-3 showdown against the Blue Jays, Shaw replaced Moncada at third base, while the 21-year-old rookie slotted in as a pinch-runner for David Ortiz in the eighth inning and struck out in the ninth.

As the Blue Jays lurk two games behind the Red Sox in the division standings, keeping Moncada in a full-time role wasn’t an option for manager John Farrell, who hopes that the club’s top prospect will gain some valuable insights by observing the team down the home stretch.

Yoan’s arrival here was driven by looking to get production out of third base. As he got here, things turned around. Travis has swung the bat well, much like he did the first month or six weeks of the season. When he’s in this type of run offensively, he’s got a bat that can almost carry the team when he gets hot.

Shaw looks poised to regain his place in the infield after going 6-for-13 with two home runs and nine RBI during Moncada’s trial period, the only bright spot in a second-half slump that saw him batting .218/.295/.435 since the All-Star break.

It’s not the last we’ll see of Moncada in 2016, as the rookie infielder reportedly still has a place on the Sox’ bench through the end of the regular season. With Aaron Hill and Travis Shaw spearheading the platoon at third base, however, we’ll likely have to wait until spring to see Moncada reach his full potential in the AL East.

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.