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    November 8, 2018 11:05 PM PST
    PITTSBURGH (AP) — When veteran pitcher Chris Archer faltered and regular right fielder Gregory Polanco left a game Friday night against Miami with an injury , Pittsburgh turned to the kids to get the job done.Kevin Kramer recorded his first major league hit and RBI, fellow rookie Jordan Luplow hit a tiebreaking two-run home run and the Pirates rallied to beat the Marlins 5-3.Archer took a shutout into the sixth, but served up a three-run home run to Miami’s Lewis Brinson to concede the lead. Walking off the field, he pointed to Kramer, making his first big league start, as the player that would be the spark to get the Pirates back in it.“I said, ‘You’re going to get the knock that’s going to tie the game,'” Archer recalled. “And he did. It was huge. It’s not like the dude was throwing slow.”Facing reliever Tayron Guerrero (1-3), who regularly tops 100 mph, Kramer just wanted to be quick to the ball.“I knew he threw hard,” Kramer said. “I had never faced him before. I just wanted to be early Alex Rodriguez Jersey , because I knew it would be impossible to be early.”After Kramer’s single up the middle tied the game, Luplow squared up a 1-2 offering for his third homer to put the Pirates ahead for good.“It was a great team win,” Archer said. “Baseball can be trying at times, but tonight was a lot of fun.”Archer struck out six, walked three and gave up five hits. He was disappointed with the walks, particularly one to Brian Anderson just ahead of Brinson’s homer.Luplow was in the game because Polanco exited with left shoulder and left knee discomfort after sliding into second base awkwardly in the sixth inning. The Pirates didn’t have any further update on his condition.Richard Rodriguez (4-2) pitched a scoreless inning. Felipe Vazquez worked the ninth for his 31st save.Josh Bell also hit a two-run shot for Pittsburgh in the second, his first homer since Aug. 11 and ninth of the season.Miami starter Dan Straily allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings. After giving up a double to Archer in the fifth, Straily left the game with a left oblique strain. He had thrown just 78 pitches. The Marlins said Straily is day-to-day.“If he keeps trying to go out there and pitch and then he rips it up, then you’re really in trouble because everyone knows how serious that kind of injury can be,” manager Don Mattingly said.Brinson’s homer was his 11th of the season. He also doubled and finished 3 for 4. Since returning from the minors on Sept. 1, he is 11 for 22.“It’s all about keeping his backside from collapsing because he has lightning hands and his lower half is solid Mariano Rivera Jersey ,” Mattingly said. “If he keeps his lower half solid, then he’s going to hit like this.”TRAINER’S ROOMMarlins: SS JT Riddle (wrist) did not start for the fourth straight game and remains day-to-day. Mattingly said he was available to play defense or pinch run.Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl (right forearm strain) pitched off flat ground and off a mound, throwing 20 changeups in his first bullpen work since being placed on the disabled list in late June. He remains on track to return to the mound this season.UP NEXTMarlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (6-9, 4.64 ERA) is scheduled to start Saturday. He has a 1.77 ERA in 12 home starts and a 9.35 ERA in 10 road starts.Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (7-9, 4.35 ERA) has lost three straight. He has a 3.86 ERA in that span, but the Pirates have not scored a run while he’s been in the game. ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals will open with their surprise 2018 aces as they begin an important three-game series for both teams on Monday night.Miles Mikolas (15-4, 2.99 ERA) will start for the visiting Cardinals, with fellow right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (11-9, 2.66) getting the call for the National League East-leading Braves at SunTrust Park.Although the Braves (83-66) lost two of three weekend games to the Washington Nationals to open their final 10-game homestand of the season, they still lead the Philadelphia Phillies by 6 1/2 games and the Nationals by 7 1/2 with two weeks to play.Article continues below ...The Cardinals (82-68) trail the first-place Chicago Cubs by 5 1/2 games in the NL Central but are tied for the last wild-card spot after salvaging the finale of a four-game home series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night.Atlanta, which has a magic number of eight to win the NL East , swept a three-game series in St. Louis on June 29-July 1, outscoring the Cardinals 22-10.That was before Mike Shildt replaced Mike Matheny as St. Louis manager, though, and the Braves also have played much better on the road than at home all season.The Braves have a 45-30 road record — best in the NL — but are just 38-36 at home after 12 losses in their past 16 games in Atlanta.The Cardinals have the third-best road record at 42-33 and are 35-22 overall since Shildt took over July 15.Foltynewicz comes into the St. Louis series off a complete-game victory at San Francisco in his most recent start. The Braves need a quality outing after Julio Teheran lasted just four innings and Sean Newcomb three in losses to the Nationals that followed a six-game winning streak.“It was the best I’ve felt all season,” Foltynewicz said after allowing a run and six hits against the Giants while striking out seven and walking just one. “It was a big win for us. That whole trip was huge.”Now Foltynewicz needs a comparable follow-up back in Atlanta.“I’m learning how to pitch in September,” said Foltynewicz, who made the All-Star Game for the first time this year. “When you’re in the middle of a playoff race, every inning counts so much.”Pitching in September pressure with the Cardinals is new as well for Mikolas, who spent the last three seasons in Japan.Mikolas, though, allowed just one run in seven innings of his most recent start to beat Pittsburgh and become the first pitcher to win as many as 15 games in his first season with St. Louis since Mark Mulder in 2003.“This is crunch time Lou Gehrig Jersey ,” Mikolas said. “This is time to kind of dig deep… leave it all out there and use everything you’ve got.”Mikolas took the loss against the Braves in the opener of the series at St. Louis but deserved a better fate. He allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings.Foltynewicz won the final game of the series, allowing just one hit in five scoreless innings while striking out nine and walking three.Foltynewicz, who has 186 strikeouts in 166 innings this season, hadn’t fared well against the Cardinals before this season, though. He is 2-2 with a 7.13 ERA lifetime, working just 17 2/3 innings in four career starts.
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    January 28, 2019 9:59 PM PST

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