Cards Catch Bucs...A's Inch Closer to Rangers...Bosox Stretch Lead 9/2/13
The race for the National League Central title has come down to a 26-game scramble. The Cardinals and Pirates are tied for the division lead after St. Louis avoided a three-game sweep in Pittsburgh, 7-2.
Matt Holliday and David Freese (freez) each had two RBIs to back Joe Kelly, who allowed one run and four hits in six innings. Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig, Yadier (YAH'-dee-her) Molina and Shane Robinson had two hits apiece to help Kelly win his fourth straight start and end the Cardinals' three-game skid.
Cincinnati remains third in the NL Central, 3.5 games off the pace.
Just one game separates first-place Texas from Oakland in the AL West following the Rangers' 4-2 loss to Minnesota. Kevin Correia (kohr-AY'-uh) gave up a run and five hits in seven innings as the Twins won a series in Texas for the first time in four years. The Rangers led 1-0 in the fourth until Josmil Pinto and Doug Bernier hit consecutive RBI doubles before Alex Presley singled home the eventual game-winner.
Coco Crisp and Stephen Vogt (voyt) homered and the A's completed a three-game sweep by downing Tampa Bay 5-1. A.J. Griffin gave up his major league-leading 33rd homer but also struck out seven while yielding just five hits in seven innings.
The Rays' fourth straight loss drops them 5.5 games behind AL East-leading Boston.
The Red Sox also finished a three-game sweep as David Ortiz delivered two hits and three RBIs in a 7-6 triumph against the Chicago White Sox. Ortiz is 5 for 9 with six RBIs since an 0-for-23 skid.
Detroit's lead in the AL Central is 7.5 games over Cleveland after the Indians downed the Tigers 4-0 to avoid a three-game sweep. Mike Aviles hit a grand slam in the ninth inning after newly-acquired Jason Kubel (KOO'-bul) was walked intentionally. Danny Salazar scattered six hits over six innings as the Indians beat the Tigers for only the second time in their last 16 meetings.
Also in the majors, Todd Helton collected his 2,500th career hit and Colorado built a 6-2 lead against Mike Leake before completing a 7-4 win over the Reds. Michael Cuddyer (kuh-DY'-ur) went 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs as the Rockies prevented the Reds from padding their six-game lead over Arizona for the final NL wild-card berth.
Nathan Eovaldi worked eight innings and Jeff Mathis had three RBIs as Florida blanked Atlanta 7-0. Mathis hit a two-run double and Ed Lucas poked a two-run single during a five-run third that capped the scoring.
Ryan Zimmerman singled home the tying run before scoring on Jayson Werth's two-out double, capping a three-run eighth that gave Washington a 6-5 comeback win over the New York Mets. The Nationals avoided a three-game sweep and pulled within 6 ½ games of the Reds for the final NL wild-card berth.
Zack Greinke (GREHN'-kee) is 14-3 after limiting San Diego to one run and two hits over seven innings of the Dodgers' 2-1 win over San Diego. Yasiel Puig (YAH'-see-ul pweeg) snapped a 1-1 deadlock with a sixth-inning blast that allowed Greinke to win his sixth straight decision and push the Dodgers' lead in the NL West to 11 ½ games over Arizona.
Yusmeiro Petit struck out a career-high 10 and Hector Sanchez drove in three runs in San Francisco's 8-2 rout of the Diamondbacks. Hunter Pence homered, scored three times and drove in a pair as the Giants improved to 10-5 versus Arizona this season.
Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy hit three-run homers while Baltimore was erupting for seven runs in the seventh inning to turn a 3-0 deficit into a 7-3 win over the New York Yankees. The Orioles managed just three hits off Andy Pettitte in the first six innings before climbing within three games of Tampa Bay for the final AL wild-card berth. The Yankees are a half-game behind the Birds and tied with Cleveland in the wild-card race.
James Shields held the Blue Jays to three hits in seven innings of Kansas City's 5-0 shutout at Toronto. Eric Hosmer had two RBIs as the Royals climbed within 5 ½ games of the Rays in the wild-card race.
The Cubs have their first home winning streak since early July after Jake Arrieta allowed three hits over 6 2/3 innings to pitch Chicago to a 7-1 win over the Phillies. Wellington Castro laced a two-run double while the Cubs scored three times in the fourth to go ahead 5-1.
J.B. Shuck hit a three-run double in the seventh inning as the Angels beat Milwaukee 5-3 for a three-game sweep of their interleague series. Mike Trout tripled and doubled among his three hits to help Los Angeles finish an 8-1 road trip.
Rookie Brett Oberholtzer pitched a four-hitter as Houston blanked Seattle 2-0. Jason Castro broke up a scoreless game with an RBI double in the eighth before coming home on a bunt single.