Rangers Hammer Astros...Dodgers Stumble again...Reds Stay hot...A Huge National Deficit 8/20/13
UNDATED - The Texas Rangers maintained their lead in the American League West by putting together the biggest inning in the majors this season.
Every Ranger in the starting lineup scored at least once during an 11-run explosion in the third inning of a 16-5 pounding of Houston. Texas collected just seven hits in the inning but took advantage of two Astros errors to score six unearned runs.
A.J. Pierzynski went 4-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored, Ian Kinsler drove in three runs and Leonys Martin delivered two three hits, two RBIs and three runs scored.
The outcome keeps the Rangers a half-game ahead of second-place Oakland.
Brandon Moss and Jarrod Parker allowed the Athletics to keep pace with Texas. Moss hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the A's a 2-1 triumph over Seattle. Parker allowed eight hits and struck out eight in his first career complete game.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have followed a 10-game winning streak with their first two-game skid since June 21.
Rookie Jose Fernandez allowed just one earned run and four hits while striking out eight over six innings of Miami's 6-2 win over the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig (YAH'-see-ul pweeg) went 0-for-3 against Fernandez in the first matchup between the Cubans.
Donovan Solano, Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton each had two hits and an RBI, with Stanton providing a solo homer after Morrison doubled home the tiebreaking run.
Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu dropped to 12-4, allowing three runs in 7.1 innings.
The Dodgers have scored just four times in their last two contests after averaging six runs during their 10-game winning streak.
Los Angeles still tops the National League West by 7.5 games after second-place Arizona fell to Cincinnati 5-3, which gives the Reds a six-game lead over Arizona for the final NL wild-card berth. Bronson Arroyo won his third straight start and helped the Reds claim their seventh victory in nine games. Arroyo allowed three runs in six innings. Aaron Hill hit a solo homer, Ryan Ludwick collected his first RBI of the season and J.J. Hoover worked a perfect eighth in his 23rd consecutive scoreless appearance.
The result keeps the Reds 2.5 games behind Pittsburgh for the NL Central lead.
The Pirates beat San Diego 3-1 to keep a one-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central. Francisco Liriano improved to 14-5 with a 2.53 ERA by allowing four hits and fanning 13 over seven innings. Pedro Alvarez hit a solo homer in the sixth, two innings after he singled and scored on Chris Denorfia's two-run error.
The Cardinals picked up their ninth victory in 11 games by scoring four times in the eighth to beat Milwaukee 8-5. Matt Carpenter singled home the tiebreaking run before David Freese (freez) added a two-run double. Carlos Beltran and Jon Jay homered for the Cardinals, while teammate Yadier Molina had four hits.
Boston is still atop the American League East following a strong pitching performance from Jon Lester in a 7-0 triumph at San Francisco. Lester came within two outs of a complete-game shutout, holding the Giants to six hits and two walks.
Daniel Nava (NAH'-vah) and Shane Victorino each had three hits and an RBI as the Red Sox stayed one game ahead of second-place Tampa Bay.
Matt Joyce hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer and Evan Longoria belted a solo shot in the Rays' 4-3 win at Baltimore. David Price labored through five innings to win his fourth consecutive decision, surrendering 10 hits but only two runs.
Also in the majors, Zach McAllister held the Angels to a run and five hits while working 6.33 innings of Cleveland's 5-2 triumph at Anaheim. Lonnie Chisenhall hit a two-run homer to cap a four-run fourth that allowed the Indians to get within 6.33 games of first-place Detroit in the AL East.
Jeff Samardzija (sah-MAHR'-juh) tossed a six-hitter as the Chicago Cubs pounded Washington 11-1, dropping the Nationals 16 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East. Nate Schierholtz (SHEER'-hohlts) led the Cubs' attack with a pair of homers and six RBIs. Donnie Murphy also homered twice for the Cubbies.
Philadelphia beat Colorado 5-4 behind home runs by John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz. Mayberry smacked a three-run shot to support Ethan Martin, who tossed two-hit ball and struck out six over 6.33 innings.
Dillon Gee (jee) allowed an unearned run and six hits while striking out nine over 7.67 innings of the Mets' 6-1 win over the Twins. Gee improved to 9-8 on the season and lowered his ERA since May 30 to 2.27, third-best in the National League behind Miami's Jose Fernandez and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers.