New York Mets pitcher Dillon Gee throws in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Wednesday. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
PHOENIX — Catcher Anthony Recker hit his second home run of the season and Dillion Gee pitched seven shutout innings to help the New York Mets complete a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 5-2 victory at Chase Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Recker belted a solo homer off Brandon McCarthy (0-3) in the second inning and also doubled in the sixth, when Gee drove in the Mets’ third run with a bases-loaded groundout.
Gee (1-0) retired the first 14 batters he faced and gave up three hits. He struck out three and did not walk a batter while throwing 72 pitches.
Third baseman David Wright had two singles, an RBI and a stolen base and extended his hitting streak to eight games for the Mets (8-7), who are above .500 for the first time this season.
Second baseman Aaron Hill and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt opened the bottom of the ninth inning with homers off Jose Valverde to prevent Arizona’s fourth shutout of the season.
Third baseman Martin Prado had three hits for Arizona (4-14), which is off to the worst start in franchise history.
Yankees 3, Cubs 0, Game 1
NEW YORK — Masahiro Tanaka allowed a pair of bunt singles and struck out 10 in eight dominant innings, leading the New York Yankees to a 3-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon.
Game time temperatures were 43 degrees with 15-mph winds but that barely fazed Tanaka (2-0) in his third start. Tanaka allowed a bunt single to left fielder Junior Lake with one out in the second and a leadoff bunt hit to first baseman Anthony Rizzo in the seventh.
In previous seasons, Tanaka might have actually had a no-hitter.
Lake was initially called out by first base umpire Manny Gonzalez but Chicago manager Rick Renteria won a challenge on the play. Rizzo reached by hitting a bunt into the shift at third base where shortstop Dean Anna was playing too deep to record the out.
In between hits, Tanaka retired 14 in a row, getting six strikeouts in that span while also getting help from his defense.
Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury made a nice running catch when his glove grabbed a sinking line drive just before hitting the ground against catcher John Baker in the sixth. After Rizzo’s hit, Anna made a throw on the run to get left fielder Nate Schierholtz by a step.
That play also was reviewed but this time it did not go in favor of the Cubs and Tanaka retired shortstop Starlin Castro and Lake to end the seventh. Tanaka finished off his 107-pitch outing by getting strikeouts on third baseman Luis Valbuena and designated hitter Mike Olt before Baker grounded out.
Shawn Kelley allowed a two-out single to Rizzo in the ninth but struck out Schierholtz for his fourth save.
Brewers 5, Cardinals 1
MILWAUKEE — Right-hander Wily Peralta worked into the seventh inning and catcher Jonathan Lucroy had a two-run single as the Milwaukee Brewers avoided a sweep by beating the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park.
Milwaukee’s offense, held to a run on six hits in the first two games against St. Louis, finally showed signs of life, taking advantage of two Cardinals’ errors to snap a two-game losing streak.
First baseman Matt Adams bobbled a bouncer by Brewers right fielder Logan Schafer to lead off the third and after Peralta laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Schafer into scoring position, center fielder Carlos Gomez drove him home with a double to center.
That is all that Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly would muster. He scattered three hits and struck out two, but was limited to just four innings after injuring his left leg running to first on a fifth-inning ground out.
With Kelly (1-1) out, Milwaukee cashed in against right-hander Seth Maness in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with two outs.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy drove in two more with a single to right. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez followed with an RBI single to left to make it 3-0 before left fielder Khris Davis flied out to right, ending the inning.
Peralta (2-0) got the rally started with a line drive that bounced off the glove of St. Louis shortstop Jhonny Peralta. The play was originally ruled a hit but after further review by the official scorer, Jhonny Perlata was charged with the error and all three runs became unearned.
The Cardinals got on the board in the sixth with a one-out home run by right fielder Allen Craig, but Peralta recovered and stranded a pair to work out of the jam.
Peralta gave up a leadoff single to center fielder Jon Jay in the seventh and after throwing out third baseman Daniel Descalso, gave way to left-hander Will Smith.
Smith gave up a base hit to pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter but pinch-hitter Shane Robinson ended the inning by grounding into a double play at second.
Reds 4, Pirates 0
CINCINNATI — Right-hander Johnny Cueto pitched his third career shutout, and first baseman Joey Votto hit a two-run home run, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday afternoon in the finale of a three-game series between National League Central rivals.
Cueto (1-2) allowed just three hits had a career-high 12 strikeouts en route to his seventh career complete game.
Left-hander Francisco Liriano (0-3) allowed three earned runs and six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings for Pittsburgh (7-8).
Cincinnati (6-9) scored in the first inning without recording a base hit.
Liriano began the game by walking center fielder Billy Hamilton, who stole second, then reached third and scored on wild pitches to put the Reds ahead 1-0.
The only hit allowed by Cueto through three innings was catcher Tony Sanchez’s dribbler that went for an infield single to extend his hitting streak to six.
After a rocky first three frames in which he threw two wild pitches and issued two walks, Liriano recorded a perfect third inning with two strikeouts.
But Pittsburgh’s offense failed to provide any run support.
Center fielder Andrew McCutchen doubled with one out in the fourth, but Cueto struck out third baseman Pedro Alvarez and first baseman Gaby Sanchez to end the inning.
Left fielder Jose Tabata made a sensational running catch of catcher Brayan Pena’s long drive before crashing into the wall with his left shoulder. Tabata walked off the field with assistance from manager Clint Hurdle and trainer Todd Tomczyk. Starling Marte replaced him in left field.
Orioles 3, Rays 0
BALTIMORE — Adam Jones, catcher Matt Wieters and shortstop J.J. Hardy each drove in a run, and three Baltimore pitchers combined for a shutout as the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 on Wednesday afternoon.
Jones went 2-for-4 with an RBI infield single while playing designated hitter. He had been sent home Tuesday — that game was postponed by rain — due to a flu bug that is sweeping through the Orioles clubhouse but returned, and manager Buck Showalter put him at DH.
Wieters and Hardy both drove in runs without getting a hit. For Wieters, it was a sacrifice fly while Hardy grounded out to bring in a run.
All of that was enough for the Orioles (7-7) — thanks to good pitching from starter Miguel Gonzalez (1-1) and the bullpen. Gonzalez needed 98 pitches to get through five innings as Tampa Bay (7-8) repeatedly worked the count.
But the right-hander allowed just three hits while striking out six and walking three. His only real problem came in the fourth when the Rays had runners on first and second with one out before right fielder Nick Markakis made a diving catch of a David DeJesus liner and threw to second to double up first baseman James Loney.
Zach Britton came on in the sixth and threw three shutout innings. He escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth by getting second baseman Ben Zobrist to ground into a force play at the plate and striking out Wil Myers.
Tommy Hunter came on in the ninth and recorded his fourth save.
The Orioles manufactured a pair of runs in the fourth inning to take an early 2-0 lead. Left fielder Nelson Cruz led off with a walk and moved to second when first baseman Chris Davis singled to right.
Jones then loaded the bases with a perfect bunt down the third base line for an infield single. Wieters then drove in Cruz with a sacrifice fly to the base of the center field fence.
Hardy then topped a grounder just to the right of pitcher Jake Odorizzi (1-2). The right-hander had some trouble fielding it and had to make a back-hand flip to first baseman James Loney to get Hardy, but Davis scored for a 2-0 lead.
The Orioles made it 3-0 in the fifth when Jones drove in a run by topping a slow grounder down the third-base line which died just in fair territory. That scored Ryan Flaherty with the third run.