Cards Creep Closer...Giants Sink Nats on 3-Run Pinch Homer in 9th 8/16/13
Matt Holliday's single up the middle drove in the winning run in the 12th inning to give St. Louis a 6-5 victory over Pittsburgh to tighten up the NL Central race. Holliday had four hits and drove in a pair to help move the Cardinals to within two games of the Pirates for the division lead. The slumping Pirates have lost five of six.
Clint Barmes' (BAR'-mehs) sparked a four-run fifth inning with a two-run homer for Pittsburgh. But the Cardinals struck back with five runs in the bottom half of the inning. Daniel Descalso had a two-run single.
In other NL action:
- Hector Sanchez cracked a three-run pinch-hit home run off Rafael Soriano in the top of the ninth to give the San Francisco Giants a 4-3 comeback victory over Washington. That ended the Nationals' five-game winning streak.
-- Cincinnati nipped Milwaukee 2-1. Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning, his 18th of the season. Tony Cingrani improved to 6-2 with the win. In their last seven games, Reds starters are 4-1 with a 1.35 ERA.
Marlon Byrd lined a two-out double in the eighth inning, Mets outfielders saved two runs with outstanding plays and New York snapped a three-game skid by beating the San Diego Padres 4-1 Thursday night. Zack Wheeler struck out a career-high 12. Eric Young Jr. leaped above the wall and knocked a ball back onto the field in the third inning. Center fielder Juan Lagares threw out a runner at home plate in the fifth.
Over in the AL:
-- Prince Fielder homered for the first time in three weeks, hitting a two-run shot in the first inning to help the Detroit Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals to win the opener of a five-game series at Comerica Park. Anibal Sanchez improved to 11-7. The Royals have lost three in a row after a 17-3 stretch that put them in contention for a postseason spot.
--The Tampa Bay Rays have moved within two game of AL East-leading Boston after their 7-1 rout over Seattle. Alex Cobb pitched five strong innings in his first big league game since being hit in the head by a batted ball two months ago and improved to 7-2. Wil Myers had four RBIs.
- Pinch hitter Mark DeRosa hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, Mark Buehrle (BUR'-lee) pitched seven innings to win his fourth straight decision and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 2-1. The AL East-leading Red Sox lost two of three in Toronto and open a three-game series at home against the New York Yankees on Friday night.
- Chris Nelson hit his first two home runs of the season, including a grand slam against his former team, helping the Angels beat the Yankees 8-4 to prevent a four-game sweep. C.J. Wilson improved to 13-6 with his fifth consecutive win. He kept Alfonso Soriano in the ballpark after the streaking slugger piled up four homers and 13 RBIs the previous two nights. Soriano extended his sensational tear, going 4 for 5 with an RBI single.
- The Oakland Athletics averted a three-game sweep to lowly Houston by blanking the Astros 5-0. Sonny Gray struck out nine in posting his first major league triumph. Nate Freeman had a two-run homer and drove in four.
- Chris Herrmann's pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth scored pinch-runner Doug Bernier and lifted the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox.