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September 23, 2017

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Plucky Pittsburgh Pirates plunder San Francisco Giants 13-2

PITTSBURGH -- Andrew McCutchen hit two home runs and Neil Walker had five hits as the Pittsburgh Pirates routed the San Francisco Giants 13-2 on Sunday.

The National League Central-leading Pirates have won six of seven and 10 of 12 games. They are 34-19 since May 12 for the best record in the majors over that stretch.

Casey McGehee went 3 for 4 with two RBIs for Pittsburgh (48-37), which is 11 games over .500 for the first time since 1992 and in first place at the break for the first time since 1997. A.J. Burnett (10-2) pitched effectively into the seventh to win his ninth consecutive decision.

Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum (3-10) failed to get out of the fourth inning for the second consecutive start and was charged with six runs and seven hits.

Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer for San Francisco, which has lost five of six and seven of nine.

Braves 4, Phillies 3 At Philadelphia, Brian McCann homered for the fourth consecutive game and Dan Uggla hit a two-run shot to lead Atlanta to a three-game series sweep.

McCann hit a grand slam on Friday and a solo shot on Saturday. He then hit the go-ahead homer in the seventh inning against Raul Valdes (2-2) in the series finale.

The five-time NL East champion Phillies stumbled into the All-Star break. They have lost 10 of 11 and are 13 games under .500 (37-50).

Jason Pridie homered, doubled and had three RBIs as a last-minute replacement for Shane Victorino. The Phillies did not say why Victorino was scratched after the badly slumping outfielder was scheduled to hit seventh.

Cubs 7, Mets 0 At New York, Ryan Dempster extended his scoreless streak to 27 innings in his first start in three weeks, and Starlin Castro hit a three-run homer as Chicago blanked New York.

Dempster (4-3) was activated from the disabled list, then pitched five innings of four-hit ball. It was his first outing since June 15, when he experienced tightness in a back muscle. His lengthy string of zeros is the Cubs' best for a starter since Ken Holtzman went 27 innings in 1971.

Geovany Soto hit a two-run single in Chicago's four-run first.

Cardinals 5, Marlins 4 At St. Louis, Rafael Furcal hit a two-run single off Heath Bell with two out in the ninth inning, capping a three-run rally and lifting St. Louis over Florida.

Pinch-hitter Austin Kearns put the Marlins up 4-2 with a three-run homer in the seventh.

It was the sixth blown save in 25 chances for Bell (2-5), who signed with Miami over the winter.

Giancarlo Stanton has undergone surgery on his right knee and could miss up to six weeks of play after the Major League Baseball season resumes following the All Star break.

Rockies 4, Nationals 3 At Washington, Jordan Pacheco doubled and scored the tiebreaking run off a ninth-inning wild pitch by Tyler Clippard, giving Colorado a comeback victory over Washington.

The NL East-leading Nationals took a 3-1 lead into the eighth, but a meltdown by their usually reliable bullpen cost them a chance to hit the All-Star break with their best record since the team moved to Washington in 2005.

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