Pirates hit break on a tear
McCutchen powersfirst-place Pittsburgh
A day before he takes part in the Home Run Derby as part of the All-Star festivities in Kansas City, Mo., the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen put on a show for the home fans.
McCutchen hit two home runs, Neil Walker homered among his five hits, and Pittsburgh entered the All-Star break in sole possession of first place in the NL Central following a 13-2 rout of the Giants Sunday.
McCutchen hit a pair of two-run homers that immediately followed hits by Walker — one to open the scoring in the first and another to make it 12-2 in the seventh.
‘‘I am not going up to bat to hit home runs,’’ McCutchen said. ‘‘I am just trying to put good swings on balls and when I do that . . . some balls go out.’’
If they don’t go out, they at least drop in for a hit lately for the red-hot McCutchen, who enters the break on a 21-for-38 tear. He has 23 RBIs in his past 19 games.
All of his team-high 18 home runs have come in the past two months — an NL-high 12 have come with runners on base.
The long-woeful Pirates have won six of seven and 10 of 12, and no team in the majors has a better record since May 12 than Pittsburgh’s 34-19.
A.J. Burnett (10-2) pitched effectively into the seventh to win his ninth consecutive decision.
Rays 7, Indians 6 — Ben Zobrist’s RBI single capped Tampa Bay’s three-run, ninth-inning rally in Cleveland. Indians All-Star closer Chris Perez blew his first save since Opening Day after converting 24 straight.
With one out in the ninth, Will Rhymes hit his first homer in two years to pull the Rays within 6-5. Carlos Pena had a tying RBI triple and scored on Zobrist’s hit.
Cardinals 5, Marlins 4 — Rafael Furcal capped a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth with a two-run, bases-loaded single off Miami closer Heath Bell after St. Louis lost a late lead.
Furcal’s RBI single in the fifth had put the Cardinals ahead, 2-1. Pinch hitter Austin Kearns put the Marlins up, 4-2, with a three-run homer in the seventh.
Braves 4, Phillies 3 — Brian McCann homered for the fourth straight game, a tiebreaking solo shot in the seventh, as Atlanta finished a three-game sweep in Philadelphia. The Phillies have lost 10 of 11.
McCann’s 13th homer made a winner out of Jair Jurrjens (3-2), who allowed six hits and three runs and struck out four over seven innings. Craig Kimbrel earned his 25th save.
Cubs 7, Mets 0 — Making his first start in three weeks, Ryan Dempster (4-3) tossed five shutout frames to extend his scoreless streak to 27 innings and Starlin Castro swatted a three-run homer for Chicago in New York.
Dempster, recovered from a tight back, was activated from the disabled list before the game and was ahead by four runs before throwing a pitch. His scoreless run is the longest by a Cubs starter since Ken Holtzman (27 innings) in 1971.
Blue Jays 11, White Sox 9 — Colby Rasmus kicked off a slugfest in Chicago with a two-run homer in the first and Toronto clubbed four homers in all to snap the White Sox’ five-game winning streak.
Tigers 7, Royals 1 — Delmon Young went deep for the fourth consecutive game, Prince Fielder hit a three-run shot, and Jhonny Peralta homered and drove in three runs as Detroit made it a three-game sweep of visiting Kansas City.
Angels 6, Orioles 0 — Brad Mills pitched five innings of three-hit ball in a spot start for the injured Dan Haren and host Los Angeles got solo home runs from Albert Pujols, Erick Aybar, Mike Trout, and Mark Trumbo to beat Baltimore.
Diamondbacks 7, Dodgers 1 — Trevor Bauer scattered two hits over six scoreless innings to pick up his first major league victory and Paul Goldschmidt had a career-best four RBIs for host Arizona.
Rockies 4, Nationals 3 — Jordan Pacheco doubled and scored the tiebreaking run on a ninth-inning wild pitch by Nationals closer Tyler Clippard, giving Colorado a comeback victory in Washington.
Rangers 4, Twins 3— Ian Kinsler won it for host Texas with a bases-loaded single in the 13th. The Rangers had tied the game with three unearned runs in the ninth.
Athletics 2, Mariners 1 — Josh Reddick’s RBI double in the bottom of the 13th sent Oakland into the All-Star break with a .500 record. It was the A’s eighth walkoff win of the year, most in the majors.
Reds 4, Padres 2 — Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick hit back-to-back homers in the fourth for visiting Cincinnati and Johnny Cueto went 5⅔ innings for his 10th win.
Brewers 5, Astros 3 — Corey Hart drove in the go-ahead run for visiting Milwaukee with a single in the 10th.