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Mondesi homers, swipes two bases in Royals win; Cardinals drop series opener to Reds

Kansas City Royals' Adalberto Mondesi (27) celebrates with Maikel Franco (7) as he comes into the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas City Royals' Adalberto Mondesi (27) celebrates with Maikel Franco (7) as he comes into the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)(Charlie Riedel | AP)
Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 10:27 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kris Bubic worked hard through five innings to earn his first major league win as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Friday night for their fourth straight victory.

Bubic (1-5), the second of four pitchers from the first round of the 2018 draft to debut for Kansas City in 2020, faced baserunners in every inning, but allowed just one run on six hits in five innings.

“It’s obviously pretty fun to know you’re in the win column,” Bubic said. “But without the team effort tonight, getting the early runs, this doesn’t happen. I’m definitely glad to celebrate this.”

The 23-year-old lefty won in his eighth big league start. He walked two and struck out six, five of those coming with runners in scoring position.

“He did a nice job limiting the damage,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said of Bubic. “That (second) inning, he did a great job of getting the swing and miss when he needed it.”

Greg Holland pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save.

Royals star catcher Salvador Perez came off the injured list and hit a double and single. He had missed the last 20 games with fluid on his left eye.

Adalberto Mondesi homered, scored three runs and stole two bases for the Royals. Maikel Franco hit a pair of RBI singles.

Steven Brault (0-3) allowed three runs on five hits in four innings.

“Too many three-ball counts, scattered the fastball,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said of Brault. “Just overall not being able to command the zone. I think that’s the biggest thing. Obviously 97 pitches in four innings, we’ve got to make sure that we’re more efficient than that.”

Adam Frazier saw his 12-game hitting streak snapped. It was the longest hitting streak for the Pirates this season.

Mondesi’s third home run of the season, all in the last five games, put the Royals up 1-0 in the first. He also extended his hitting streak to eight games, tying his career high.

“I think it’s not trying to swing too hard,” Mondesi said of his recent success. “When the guy is throwing hard you obviously want to hit the ball hard. I think slowing down my swing and doing more contact has helped.”

The Royals got two more runs in the third. Franco hit an RBI single and Perez scored on a wild pitch.

The Pirates cut the lead to 3-1 in the fourth, but Bubic escaped trouble for the second time in three innings. After getting out of a first-and-third jam with no outs in the second by striking out the side, Bubic faced the same situation in the fourth.

He gave up an RBI double to Jacob Stallings, putting runners on second and third, still with no outs. But Bubic then retired the next three batters on an infield popup, a strikeout and a flyout.

“Innings two through four, it’s the worst fastball command I’ve had all year,” Bubic said. “But I’m glad to be resilient in those innings and not give in. I had some great defense behind me.”

Mondesi scored three runs, the last coming in the seventh when he led off with a walk, stole two bases and scored on Franco’s second RBI single.

Josh Bell’s two-run homer in the eighth drew the Pirates to within 4-3.

ROSTER MOVES

Pirates: Placed RHP Tyler Bashlor on the 10-day Injured List with lower back inflammation. LHP Austin Davis was recalled.

Royals: Optioned C Maibrys Viloria to the alternate site.

UP NEXT

RHP Trevor Williams (1-6, 5.80 ERA) pitches for the Pirates on Saturday. He’s allowed 10 homers in 40 1/3 innings this season.

RHP Carlos Hernandez (0-0, 1.42 ERA) will make his first career start for the Royals. He has pitched 6 1/3 innings out of the bullpen in two appearances since making his major league debut Sept. 1.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Luis Castillo pitched a two-hitter for his first complete game in the majors, Joey Votto homered and the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 Friday night.

Castillo (2-5) struck out six and walked three in winning his second straight start. An All-Star last year, the right-hander made his 87th career start in the big leagues.

“It’s marvelous,” Castillo said. “To throw nine innings of a baseball game, I’m super, super emotional.”

Castillo outpitched Adam Wainwright (4-1), who allowed three runs in six innings. The Cardinals lost for the fourth time in six games.

Only twice did St. Louis get a runner to third against Castillo, who has given up just three earned runs in his past 15 innings.

Castillo retired 13 straight before walking Paul Goldschmidt with two outs in the ninth, then got Brad Miller on a grounder to end it. With the help of a double play in the fifth, Castillo faced one over the minimum in the final six innings.

“It is pretty rare in today’s game,” Reds manager David Bell said of the complete game. “So it’s that much more special. I don’t know what was better, seeing him pitch or the smiles. It’s great for him. It’s great for the team.”

Votto hit his seventh home run of the season in the first off Wainwright to give the Reds a 2-0 lead. The two-run drive came on a 3-1 count with one out to drive in Nick Castellanos.

Votto has faced Wainwright 57 times over their long careers, batting .333 with four homers and 11 RBIs.

Friday marked the 15th anniversary of Wainwright’s big league debut. In the latter part of his career he’s adjusted to become more of a finesse pitcher rather than the hard thrower he’s been most of his career.

He said the touch wasn’t always there Friday, especially in the first when he gave up three hits. All three, including Votto’s homer, came off “sloppy” cutters.

“Luckily I had a decent sinker going and nice movement on my fastball,” he said. “But my curve ball was horrible. And my cutter, we found out right away, was flat and slow.”

Eugenio Suarez doubled in Shogo Akiyama in the Reds third.

Paul DeJong hit an RBI double in the second for St. Louis.

TAKE A WALK, CLIMB THE CHARTS

Cardinals 3B Matt Carpenter drew his 661st career walk in the sixth. That moved him past St. Louis great Rogers Hornsby to seventh on the team’s all-time list.

TRAINERS ROOM

Reds: OF/DH Jesse Winkler, who was pulled from the Cincinnati game Thursday against the Cubs, wasn’t in the starting lineup on Friday. He’s dealing with tightness in his lower back. ... INF Mike Moustakas was out of the lineup after being hit in the left foot in his last game.

Cardinals: RHP Giovanny Gallegos was put on the 10-day injured list with a groin strain. Gallegos (1-2, 3.97) was removed in the seventh inning Thursday after giving up three runs on two hits and a walk, all on 13 pitches, as he took the loss as St. Louis split a doubleheader against Detroit. RHP Nabil Crismatt replaced Gallegos on the active roster.

UP NEXT

Reds: TBD

Cardinals: RHP Dakota Hudson (2-2, 3.19) won his past two decisions, including a 7-5 win at Cincinnati on Aug. 31. He went seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) and struck out seven in the win against the Reds.

Copyright 2020 AP. All rights reserved.

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