Cards Widen Gap Over Bucs...Yanks Avoid Sweep 9/9/13
The Pittsburgh Pirates entered St. Louis leading the National League Central by 1 ½ games over the Cardinals. The Bucs are leaving town 1 ½ games behind the Redbirds after the Cards completed a three-game sweep.
Michael Wacha (WAH'-kah) hit a two-run single and pitched seven shutout innings as the Cards thumped the Pirates 9-2. Wacha allowed two hits and never had more than one runner on base at a time.
Matt Carpenter and Jon Jay each had two hits, scored twice and drove in a run for the Redbirds, who outscored the Bucs 26-10 in the series.
Cincinnati is in a virtual tie with the Pirates for the two NL wild-card berths after Ryan Hannigan hit a walkoff double in the bottom the ninth to give the Reds a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cincy's other runs came on solo homers by Jay Bruce, and the Dodgers tied the game on a solo blast by Hanley Ramirez.
Starters Homer Bailey and Clayton Kershaw each allowed two runs in seven innings.
The outcome gives the Reds and Pirates eight-game leads over Washington in the NL wild-card hunt. The Dodgers continue to pace the NL West by 11 games over Arizona.
Oakland still owns a 1 ½-game lead over Texas in the AL West.
Bartolo Colon (bahr-TOH'-loh koh-LOHN') won for the first time in more than a month, allowing a run and five hits in six innings of the Athletics' 7-2 win against Houston. Seth Smith hit a three-run homer and Brandon Moss had three hits and two RBIs in Oakland's third straight win.
Alex Rios hit a first-inning homer and doubled home the go-ahead run in the seventh as the Rangers downed the Angels 4-3. Elvis Andrus (AN'-droos) drove in a pair of runs for Texas.
Detroit's lead in the AL Central remains 5 ½ games over Cleveland after the Tigers and Indians both lost.
Bruce Chen is 7-2 after yielding two runs and five hits in seven innings of Kansas City's 5-3 win over the Tigers. Eric Hosmer recorded his 53rd multi-hit game by going 3-for-4 with a three-run homer.
The Indians failed to complete a three-game sweep by falling to the New York Mets 2-1 on Eric Young's RBI double with two out in the top of the ninth. Daisuke Matsuzaka (DYS'-kay math-soo-ZAH'-kah) had his best start since joining the Mets late last month, allowing one run in 5 2/3 innings as New York dropped the Indians two games behind Tampa Bay for the final Al wild-card berth.
Boston failed to complete a four-game sweep of the Yankees in New York, leaving the AL East-leading Red Sox 7 ½ games ahead of Tampa Bay.
Ichiro Suzuki (EE'-cheer-oh soo-ZOO'-kee) scored on Brandon Workman's wild pitch with two outs in the ninth to give the Yanks a 4-3 win over the Red Sox. Will Middlebrooks tied the game with a solo homer off Mariano Rivera in the top of the ninth before Ichiro singled, stole second, moved to third on a fly ball to right and scored the winning run.
Robinson Cano had two RBIs for the Yankees, who were outscored 36-25 in the first three games of the series.
The Rays were 4-1 winners at Seattle as James Loney and Desmond Jennings hit RBI doubles during Tama Bay's last two at-bats. Rays pitcher Matt Moore allowed a run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings but left trailing 1-0.
Atlanta suffered its fourth consecutive loss to keep its magic number at nine for winning the NL East. Darin Ruf hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning to back a strong outing by starting pitcher Cole Hamels and lift the Philadelphia Phillies to a 3-2 victory and three-game sweep of the Braves. Hamels allowed two hits over eight innings and improved to 7-13.
Also in the majors, the Chicago White Sox ended a nine-game losing streak by holding off the Baltimore Orioles 4-2, leaving the Birds two games behind the Rays for the last AL wild-card slot. The game ended when Orioles pinch-runner Chris Dickerson got lost on the bases and was doubled up for the final out.
San Francisco beat Arizona 3-2 on Angel Pagan's RBI single in the bottom of the 11th. Madison Bumgarner allowed four hits in six shutout innings to help the Giants drop the Diamondbacks further out of playoff contention.
Jose Reyes (RAY'-uhs) hit a late double to break a scoreless tie and lead the Toronto Blue Jays past the Minnesota Twins 2-0 for a three-game sweep.
Washington held off Miami 6-4. Stephen Strasburg balked in two runs but went six innings to improve to 7-9. Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos homered for the Nats.
Yovani Gallardo (gy-YAR'-doh) tossed seven strong innings and Jeff Bianchi delivered a key pinch-hit single in the Milwaukee Brewers' 3-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.
Pinch-hitter Nick Hundley's three-run double in the seventh was the difference as San Diego downed Colorado 5-2 to complete a three-game sweep.