ATLANTA (AP) — C.J. Cron has been connecting for some big hits during Tampa Bay’s recent hot streak.After the Rays fell short the night before http://www.bluejaysfanproshop.com/authentic-randal-grichuk-jersey , Cron felt the collective mood shift when he gave his club a one-run lead early on.“It keeps the whole team morale up,” he said. “When the team’s having a good time, it’s easier for the individual to have a good time.”Cron hit a tiebreaking homer in the third inning, Tommy Pham added a two-run shot in the fourth and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Atlanta Braves 8-5 in a rain-delayed game early Thursday.Tampa Bay has won nine of 10 and outscored opponents 54-26 over that span.The Braves have dropped three of five but still lead the NL East by 3½ games.Atlanta starter Sean Newcomb (11-7) struggled from the outset, retiring the first two batters he faced before the Rays took a 3-0 lead on Joey Wendle’s two-run single and Carlos Gomez’s RBI single.Newcomb gave up eight hits, six runs and two walks in four innings. He struck out seven, but since falling one strike shy of a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 29, the left-hander has a 12.15 ERA with 29 hits allowed in his last three home starts, a span of 13 1/3 innings.“I think it honestly is just part of the baseball season,” Newcomb said. “I’m not going to be great every time out. I think it’s just something I’ve got to learn to deal with and try to minimize. It’s been a stretch against some good teams and me just not having my best stuff.”Tampa Bay starter Diego Castillo gave up Johan Camargo’s 14th homer, a three-run shot in the first. Castillo, making his third start in 33 appearances, allowed three hits and three runs and struck out two in two innings.Cron went 4 for 5 and is hitting .366 with three homers and five RBIs in his last 11 games. His 25th homer put the Rays up 4-3.Pham’s 16th homer, his second with Tampa Bay, made it 6-3.Luke Jackson Jose Bautista Jersey , the second Atlanta pitcher, trailed 8-3 in the fifth. He threw errantly to third base on a force-out attempt and allowed Wendle to score before letting Gomez score on a sacrifice bunt.Jalen Beeks (4-1), the second Rays pitcher, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third and stranded a runner at third in the fourth. He gave up four hits, three walks and struck out two in three innings.“It was a good job by our staff to hold that lead,” Cron said. “It’s not easy to have two rain delays and keep that focus. I’m proud of the guys tonight.”The Braves cut the lead to 8-5 in the eighth on Charlie Culberson’s pinch-hit RBI single and Ronald Acuna Jr.’s RBI single.Jose Alvarado got the last four outs to earn his sixth save in eight chances.The Rays changed their fortunes against Newcomb, who pitched six scoreless innings in an 8-1 win at Tampa three months ago. They had him scuffling early with 25 pitches in the first.“I don’t know if that’s something that we were specifically focusing on,” Wendle said “I think it’s just a product of having good at-bats, just seeing him deeper in the counts.”LONG DELAYSThe game began 41 minutes late because of rain and was stopped for 1 hour, 6 minutes in the middle of the sixth.STREAKINGWendle has multiple hits in four straight games. … Camargo leads the Braves with 48 RBIs since the start of June. … Pham is 11 for his last 23.TRAINER’S ROOMAtlanta RHP Mike Soroka, sidelined for 82 games with a strain and inflammation in his shoulder, will not return this season. The 21-year-old will continue to work at the team’s spring training complex in Florida over the next month. A first-round draft pick in 2015, Soroka has been on the disabled list twice and last pitched June 19 at Toronto. He went 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA in five starts.ON THE MOVEThe Braves expect that 1B Lucas Duda, acquired in a trade with Kansas City, will likely join the team on Thursday for a home makeup game against the Chicago Cubs. … Atlanta was assigned C Rene Rivera on waivers from the Los Angeles Angels Troy Tulowitzki Jersey , but he’s unlikely to arrive until rosters expand Saturday.INTERLEAGUEThe Rays went 7-13 against the NL this season. … The Braves are 8-9 against the AL and host Boston for three games next week.UP NEXTRays: RHP Tyler Glasnow (1-3, 4.18 ERA) will face Indians ace RHP Corey Kluber when Tampa Bay begins a three-game series Friday at Cleveland. The Rays are off Thursday. Glasnow, acquired with Austin Meadows in the trade that sent Chris Archer to Pittsburgh, is 0-1 with a 3.80 ERA in five starts with Tampa Bay.Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (10-8, 2.67 ERA) will make his 26th start when Atlanta hosts the Cubs and LHP Mike Montgomery in Thursday’s makeup game. Foltynewicz, a first-time All-Star, is 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA in five starts this month. CINCINNATI (AP) — The Pirates decided to give Jung Ho Kang a few at-bats this weekend as a reward for working back from wrist surgery. His first plate appearance in two years was a hit.Kang had a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning as Pittsburgh pulled away to its seventh straight win over Cincinnati, 8-2 on Friday night . Elias Diaz hit a tiebreaking homer, and Colin Moran also homered and drove in three runs.Kang’s single was the most long-awaited.The 31-year-old infielder hadn’t played in the majors since September 2016 because of visa issues related to DUI arrests in his native South Korea. Earlier this season, he played in the Pirates’ minor league system before a left wrist injury required surgery. The Pirates decided to add him to the roster for the final series.“He worked hard to put himself in position to be back before the season ended,” manager Clint Hurdle said.Asked whether he was nervous when he finally got to bat, Kang didn’t need the translator to reply.“A lot,” he said.Through a translator, he added, “A lot of mixed emotions stepping into the box Marcus Stroman Jersey , even until the last moment.”Otherwise, it was another typical win. The Pirates are 13-4 against their Ohio River rivals this season with their longest winning streak against Cincinnati since 1991, when they took nine in a row.“Pittsburgh’s been rough on us,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said.The Reds are ending another disappointing season in a rut, dropping six straight and 11 of 14. Their loss on Friday was their 94th of the season, matching their total for each of the last two years. They’ve dropped at least 90 games in four straight seasons, one shy of the club record from 1930-34.Corey Dickerson doubled in the first inning off Anthony DeSclafani (7-8), who completed another injury-shortened season. He missed the first two months with a strained oblique. DeSclafani lost each of his last four starts.Diaz snapped a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning with his 10th homer off DeSclafani, who lasted five innings. Moran added a sacrifice fly, a solo homer and a run-scoring single as the Pirates pulled away.Since moving a bit farther from the plate, Moran has gotten better results. He’s batting .300 with three homers and 10 RBIs in September.“I’m just trying to learn to be consistent,” Moran said. “I’m trying not to get too down on myself, use it as a learning experience.”Nick Kingham gave up Eugenio Suarez’s two-run homer , his first since Sept. 10, during his 3 2/3 innings. Steven Brault (6-3) allowed three hits in 2 1/3 innings.Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart had a career-high five hits http://www.bluejaysfanproshop.com/authentic-devon-travis-jersey , including a triple, a bunt single and a two-run homer.“It stinks that we lost, but that’s a night you won’t forget,” Barnhart said.HOT STUFFDickerson is batting .382 in 16 games against the Reds this season with eight doubles, a triple, five homers and 13 RBIs. At Great American Ball Park, he’s 15 for 33.INTERIM MARKSThe Reds are 63-79 since April 19, when Bryan Price was fired and Riggleman took over on an interim basis. He’s one of the candidates under consideration for the job moving ahead.MAINTAINED POSSESSIONReds center fielder Billy Hamilton caught Kevin Kramer’s fly at the wall in the fourth inning, then had right fielder Phillip Ervin slam into him, knocking him to the ground as he held onto the ball. Ervin also was trying to make the catch.UP NEXTPirates: Jameson Taillon (14-9) has allowed three earned runs or less in his last 21 starts. Since the All-Star break, he’s gone 8-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 12 starts.Reds: Michael Lorenzen (3-2) makes his third straight start after pitching in relief in 42 appearances this season, part of the Reds’ experiment to sort out their pitching for next season. In his two starts, Lorenzen has given up four earned runs in eight innings.