Starlin Castro clutch in extras; Max Scherzer no-hits Pirates


Shortstop Starlin Castro pulled through for his club yet again by driving in two runs during the top of the 10th inning, boosting the Chicago Cubs to a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Twins to even their weekend series.

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Castro is no stranger to knocking in runs for the Cubs in extras, recording in back-to-back games in their previous four-game set with the Cincinnati Reds. This is something this franchise hasn’t had done since Ron Santo did it back in 1966 with walk-off home runs in a series with the Atlanta Braves.

In that series, Santo connected for a three-run bomb in the 12th inning, recording his third walk-off home run to help Chicago defeat Atlanta by the final score of 8-5. He followed that up with a solo blast in the tenth to break the 2-2 tie in the 10th inning and recorded his 1,000th big league hit on a double in the seventh inning against Houston just a month later.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo helped even things up at one apiece with an RBI double in response to a Kurt Suzuki solo home run off southpaw Jon Lester. Rizzo clubbed a pair of home run’s in Friday’s 7-2 loss to the Twins, his third long ball in four days, eventually boosting his All-Star vote totals as we slowly approach the Midsummer Classic.

While the Cubs escaped Minnesota with a three-run victory, they needed the Pittsburgh Pirates to fall in Washington with starting pitcher Max Scherzer on the mound.

The second-place Bucs had their eight-game winning streak snapped on Friday after losing 4-1 to the Nats. This time around, the Bucs were on the wrong side of history.

Washington’s 30-year-old prized right-hander nearly had himself a perfect game until hitting pinch-hitter Jose Tabata in the elbow with an inside slider. He was just one strike away from inching closer to this rare accomplishment but would have to settle for picking up the no-hitter – which is just as special.

This man has been on a tear in his previous two starts, allowing a total of just one hit, one walk and one HBP with 26 strikeouts in 18-innings between the Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers. Scherzer came pretty close to doing the same thing to Milwaukee just a week ago.

So, after the final out was recorded, how did Washington celebrate? By spraying chocolate syrup all over their veteran starter and even splashing some on the reporter who pulled him aside for the post-game interview.

Here’s more from around the league:

Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber belongs in Triple-A‘ – Cubbies Crib

Detroit Tigers should trade David Price if struggles continue‘ – Motor City Bengals

Max Scherzer throws no-hitter in Washington Nationals’ win‘ – District On Deck

Braves acquire Touki Toussaint, Bronson Arroyo from D’backs‘ – Call To The Pen

Orioles saved by Brian O’Day and Caleb Joseph‘ – Birds Watcher

Next: Castro, Cubs Win In Extras