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CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Pedro Alvarez hasnt changed anything in June, except those RBI numbers. Dallas Stars Shirts . Theyre way up there, just like the Pirates. Alvarez drove in all of Pittsburghs runs with a solo homer, bases-loaded double and a single on Thursday for a 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds and a split of their high-profile NL Central series. The Pirates remain a half-game behind second-place Cincinnati after the four-game set, keeping them virtually shoulder-to-shoulder as they chase the torrid St. Louis Cardinals. After blowing a one-run lead in the ninth and losing 2-1 in 13 innings on Wednesday night, Pittsburgh salvaged a game behind Alvarez and a bullpen running on fumes. "We needed a big day from a number of people today and Pedro was one of them," manager Clint Hurdle said. "There was no bigger swing than with the bases loaded, left-on-left. Beautiful." Alvarez had an RBI single and his 16th homer off Homer Bailey, who couldnt follow his no-hitter against Pittsburgh with a win. After Alfredo Simon (5-3) loaded the bases in the seventh, Alvarez doubled off left-hander Tony Cingrani to snap a 2-all tie. The five RBIs were a season high for a Pirate and one shy of Alvarezs career high. The third baseman has been Pittsburghs top run producer in June, leading the team with 48 RBIs overall. Its quite a change. Alvarez .180 in April and .225 in May before finding his form. He has six homers in June, second-most in the NL. "I just think its repetition and getting the opportunity to go out and try to gain as much experience as I can from every day out there," Alvarez said. Bryan Morris (4-2) contributed to the go-ahead rally with his first career single. He also pitched two innings, allowing one run. Left-hander Tony Watson pitched the last two innings for his second save in three chances. The Pirates lead the season series 6-4, holding their own early in the season despite a rotation thats sapped by injuries and a lineup that strikes out a lot and wastes chances. Under the circumstances, the way the series ended was satisfying. "We dont expect anything less," Morris said. "Its good to not lose any ground. Definitely would have loved to have three out of four in the series, but were not complaining about the split, especially after the hard game last night." Jay Bruce hit another solo homer, his third of the series and his fifth in seven games. His ninth-inning shot off Jason Grilli led the way to the draining 13-inning win on Wednesday night. The teams combined for seven homers in the series, all solo shots. Cincinnati hit four in a 4-1 win that opened it. Brandon Cumpton made his second major league start for Pittsburgh, giving up two runs -- one earned -- in five innings. Bailey faced the Pirates for the first time since his no-hitter at PNC Park last September and left after six innings with the score tied at 2. He gave up six hits, throwing 113 pitches. Bailey is 8-2 career against Pittsburgh. "Theyve definitely made strides over the past couple of years, but its early," Bailey said. "They have a good club but the past couple of years, theyve fallen into the pattern of fading, so well see. Its a long season." Alvarezs throwing error helped the Reds get an unearned run in the first. Shin-Shoo Choo reached on Alvarezs team-high 13th error, stole second and came around on Joey Vottos single. Another batter got hit, extending a prominent theme to the Ohio River rivals series this season. At least one batter has been plunked in each of the 10 games, with 19 hit overall. Pirate pitchers have hit 10, Reds pitchers 9, leaving some simmering unhappiness on both sides. Choo has been hit six times, Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen three times each, Brandon Phillips twice, and five others one time apiece. Cheap Stars Jerseys . PETERSBURG, Fla. Stars Jerseys 2021 . Jeff Green scored 13 points and Kris Humphries 12 for the Celtics, who nearly blew an 18-point, second-half lead. Sullingers 20-20 was the first by a Celtics player since Kevin Garnetts first game in Boston in 2007. Garnett was dealt -- along with Paul Pierce -- to Brooklyn during the off-season. https://www.cheapstarsonline.com/ . P.A. Parenteau scored early in the third period to help the Avs edge Toronto 2-1 on Tuesday night. Cory Sarich also scored for Colorado (3-0-0), which is off to its best ever start. TAMPA, Fla. -- Houston one game, Memphis the next, and now South Florida.No. 22 Navy is facing a steady stream of high-scoring teams in the American Athletic Conference and finding one of the best ways to defend them is to keep the ball away from opposing offenses.Were very cognizant of time, coach Ken Niumatalolo said, noting how important it will be to limit the number of possessions for USF, when the West Division-leading Midshipmen (5-1, 4-0) face the Bulls (6-2,3-1) on Friday night. One way to stop them is to keep them on the sideline.USF is averaging 487.1 yards and 42.4 points per game in getting off to one of the best starts in school history. The Bulls scored at least 35 points in their first seven games before being held to a season-low 30 in a 16-point loss at Temple.Navy rushed for 442 yards -- most ever by a USF opponent -- during a 29-17 victory in Annapolis last season. And, it could take another dominating ground performance to remain unbeaten in conference play.I know they had a tough one the last time (against Temple), but theyve been playing really well, Niumatalolo said, adding that the Bulls high-scoring attack begins -- but doesnt end -- with dual-threat star Quinton Flowers.Flowers is the second-leading rusher among quarterbacks in the nation behind Louisvilles Lamar Jackson. He also leads the AAC with 15 touchdown passes and is on pace to become the first USF player to top 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in the same season.Throw in two-time conference rushing leader Marlon Mack, who run for a conference-best 10 TDs, and leading receiver Rodney Adams, and the Midshipmen figure to have their hands full.Niumatalolo is counting on his own quarterback, Will Worth, to take some of the pressure off the Navy defense. Fake Stars Jerseys. Some things to watch when Navy seeks to extend its record in conference play to 12-1 since joining the American last year:WORTH LEADS THE WAY: The senior from Valrico, Florida -- a short drive from the USF campus in Tampa -- accounted for five TDs in last weeks 42-28 win over Memphis. In addition to rushing for a career-best 201 yards and three touchdowns, he completed 3 of 4 passes for 85 yards and to score to keep the Midshipmen atop the West Division standings.A lot of quarterbacks are not as tough as him. He can run people over, then drop back and throw a couple of touchdowns, USF linebacker Auggie Sanchez said. That offense is dynamic, and hes the leader of it. Hes crucial to their success.HOMECOMING OF SORTS: Navy has 13 players on the roster from Florida, the fifth-most of any state.ONE-TWO PUNCH: Flowers and Mack form the best one-two rushing punch in the league, with Mack averaging 6.8 yards per carry and 94.1yards per game on the ground. Flowers averages 6.9 yards per attempt, 93.1 yards per game and has run for eight TDs.PLENTY TO PLAY FOR: Thats USFs mantra in the aftermath of last week loss to Temple. The Bulls share first place in the East Division, although the Owls own the tie-breaker.Our football team is still learning how to be champions. ... Hopefully we learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward, USF coach Willie Taggart said.APPROACHING MILESTONE: Navy is three wins shy of becoming the 24th FBS program -- and first service academy -- with 700 victories. The Midshipmen are 697-548-57 in 136 seasons.---More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org ' ' '
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