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Josh Bell keys Pirates’ rout of Cubs with three homers

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Pirates All-Star first baseman Josh Bell swatted a trio of homers and knocked in seven runs, helping his team rout the Cubs 18-5 on Monday night. The Buccos amassed 23 hits of which 12 went for extra bases. Four of those extra-base hits came in the form of Adam Frazier doubles.

Bell now has a .308/.381/.654 batting line with 25 home runs, 77 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 362 plate appearances just past the halfway point of the season. I just can’t help but think about that anonymous scout who, for some reason, decided to trash Bell when he was interviewed by Sports Illustrated in a season preview. Wonder what he’s up to these days.

Bell is the 10th player this season to enjoy a three-homer game. He joins Paul Goldschmidt, Gary Sánchez, Christian Yelich, Justin Turner, Kris Bryant, Derek Dietrich, Pedro Severino, Max Kepler, and Hunter Renfroe. Bell is the first Pirate to have a three-homer game since Andrew McCutchen on July 30, 2017 against the Padres. McCutchen actually had the Pirates’ most recent three three-homer games prior to Bell.

In case you were curious, there have been only four other four-double games dating back to 2010: Víctor Martínez (Red Sox) on June 1, 2010; Brock Holt (Red Sox) on June 1, 2014; David Peralta (Diamondbacks) on April 22, 2017; and Matt Carpenter (Cardinals) on August 26, 2018.

The Pirates racked up 45 total bases, the most they’ve had in a game since their 47 total bases on August 1, 1970 against the Braves. The Cubs surrendered 45 or more total bases in a game just one other time dating back to 1995 — May 28, 2006 against the Braves.

Apparent roster snafu changes Blue Jays pitching plans

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ATLANTA — An apparent roster snafu forced the Toronto Blue Jays to change their pitching plans for Thursday night’s game at the Atlanta Braves.

After Nate Pearson gave up three runs in five innings, manager Charlie Montoyo brought in right-hander Jacob Waguespack to open the sixth.

As Waguespack walked to the mound, he was greeted by home plate umpire Alan Porter, who apparently delivered some bad news: The right-hander wasn’t on the 28-man active roster for the game.

The Blue Jays optioned Waguespack and infielder Santiago Espinal to the team’s alternate training site on Thursday to reach the 28-man roster limit.

Montoyo told reporters before the game Waguespack had been recalled when right-hander Trent Thornton was placed on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation. That move apparently was not processed, leaving Waguespack off the active roster.

Waguespack walked to the dugout and Montoyo brought in Rafael Dolis as the official replacement for Pearson.