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N. L. Central: Cubs Continue to Have Closer Trouble; Pirates Take Over First

Seattle Mariners rookie catcher Mike Zunino singled home the winning run in the 10th inning to give them a 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs took a 4-2 lead into the eighth inning of Friday night’s game when James Russell came in to pitch. Three batters later the Mariners had tied the game on three straight hits. The Cubs ran into some rotten luck in the top of the 10th when they had a runner on first and no outs. Brian Bogesevic ripped a line drive that looked like it was headed for the right field corner. But the Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak was standing in the way and he caught the rocket and stepped on fist, doubling the runner. In the bottom of the inning, pitcher Blake Parker walked the first two hitters, Michael Saunders and Raul Ibanez. After they were sacrificed over, Zunino singled up the middle off of Shawn camp.

The A.L. West had two more wins over the N. L. Central on Friday when the Texas Rangers shut out the Cincinnati Reds 4-0 and the Oakland A’s beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1. The Cards rookie start Shelby Miller was roughed up by the A’s, departing after allowing six hits in one and two thirds. He also walked two and allowed five earned runs while his record dropped to 8-6. Bartolo Colon ran his record to 11-2 for Oakland going eight innings.

The Rangers have now not allowed a run in their last two games as Martin Perez went six and two thirds, out-pitching the Reds Johnny Cueto. In fact, Cueto had to be removed one batter into the second inning after allowing a run in the first with a strained lat muscle. He has had problems with it all season.

The big winner in the N. L. Central on Friday was the Pittsburgh Pirates who beat the Milwaukee Brewers 10-3. With the win the Pirates gained a game on everyone in the division on Friday. The Pirates are now in first place, one game ahead of the Cardinals at 49-30. They led the Reds by 4.5 games. The Pirates have now won seven in a row and are 19 games over .500.

Bovada has odds on today’s N. L. Central games:

Cardinals at A’s- Cards are -1.5 +135 and A’s are +1.5 -155 ATS. Moneyline is Cardinals -121 and A’s +111. Over/Under is 7.7 with over -105 and under -115. Adam Wainwright is on the bump for the Cards today, so we’ll go with St. Louis -121 and the under -115.

Brewers at Pirates- Brewers are +1.5 -115 and Pirates are -1.5 -1-5 ATS. Moneyline is Brewers +190 and Pirates -220. Over/under is 8 with over +105 and under -125. The Pirates are red hot. Let’s go with them until they prove us wrong. Pirates -220 and the under -125.

Reds at Rangers- Reds are +1.5 -190 and Rangers are -1.5 +160 ATS. Moneyline is Reds EVEN and Rangers -110. Over/Under is 9.5 with over -125 and under +105. The Reds have to break out soon. We’ll go with the Reds +1.5 -190 and the over -125.

Cubs at Mariners- Cubs are -1.5 +150 and Mariners are +1.5 -170 ATS. Moneyline is Cubs -105 and Mariners -105. Over/Under is 7 with over -130 and under +110. Jeff Samardzija goes for the Cubs. We will take the Cubs -105 and the under +110.

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