Cards Reclaim Division Lead...Rangers Thump Rays...Nats Sweep Braves 9/18/13
The St. Louis Cardinals are back atop the National League Central.
Matt Holliday was 4-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBIs as the Redbirds ripped Colorado 11-4. Matt Carpenter, Yadier (YAH'-dee-her) Molina and Daniel Descalso drove in two runs apiece as part of the Cards' 18-hit attack.
Joe Kelly is 9-4 after holding the Rockies to three hits in five shutout innings.
Pittsburgh's 5-2 loss to San Diego drops the Pirates one game behind St. Louis. Jedd Gyorko (JUR'-koh) went 3-for-5 and put the Padres ahead for good with a three-run homer in the third inning. The Padres' bullpen tossed four hitless innings after Eric Stults gave up two runs and seven hits.
Cincinnati is 2.5 games off the division lead after Mike Leake scattered five hits in eight innings of the Reds' 10-0 shutout of Houston. Jay Bruce launched a grand slam and had five RBIs as the Reds took a 4.5-game lead over Washington for the final NL wild-card berth.
The Texas Rangers put a halt to their seven-game losing streak while moving back into a tie with Tampa Bay for the two American League wild-card berths.
Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus (AN'-droos) each had two hits and three RBIs as the Rangers whipped the Rays 7-1. Kinsler led off the game with a homer to put the Rangers ahead to stay. Andrus hit a two-run homer and Leonys (lee-OH'-nihs) Martin added a solo shot to support Alexi Ogando (oh-GAHN'-doh), who held the Rays to a run and two hits in five innings.
Cleveland rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat Kansas City 5-3 and stay within a half-game of an AL wild-card berth. Michael Bourn furnished an RBI triple and a solo homer in his last two at-bats as the Indians dropped the Royals 3.5 games off the wild-card pace.
Miguel Cabrera homered for the first time in three weeks and Austin Jackson hit a two-run single as Detroit beat Seattle 6-2, slicing the Tigers' magic number for winning the AL Central to six. Jose Alvarez worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the eighth to keep the Tigers ahead 3-2.
Atlanta's magic number to clinch the NL East remains four after the Braves were swept in a day-night doubleheader in Washington.
Shortstop Andrelton (AN'-drehl-tuhn) Simmons booted Denard Span's ninth-inning grounder while the Nationals were scoring the tying and winning runs in a 6-5 victory over the Braves in the opener. The Braves turned a 3-0 deficit into a 5-3 lead before Craig Kimbrel blew a save for the first time in 38 chances.
In the nightcap, Span stretched his hitting streak to a major league season-high 28 games and Ryan Zimmerman homered as the Nats blanked the Braves 4-0. Tanner Roarke allowed two hits in seven innings to improve to 7-0.
The Dodgers thumped Arizona 9-3, giving Los Angeles a magic number of two for clinching the NL West. Matt Kemp was 4-for-4 with three RBIs as the Dodgers ended a four-game losing streak. Adrian Gonzalez and Juan Uribe (yoo-REE'-bay) each hit two-run homers to help Zack Greinke (GREHN'-kee) improve to 15-3.
Also in the majors, Oakland moved closer to a playoff berth by beating the Angels 2-1 on Josh Donaldson's walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth. The win gives the Athletics a magic number of six for claiming their second straight AL West title.
R.A. Dickey struck out eight while allowing four hits in seven innings of Toronto's 2-0 shutout of the New York Yankees. Colby Rasmus and Rajai (RAH'-zhay) Davis hit solo homers as the Blue Jays dealt the Yanks their fourth straight loss and dropped them 3.5 games behind the wild-card co-leaders.
Matt Wieters (WEE'-turz) hit a tiebreaking, sacrifice fly off Koji Uehara (wah-HAH'-wah) in the ninth inning to lift Baltimore past Boston 3-2, pushing the Orioles within two games of the wild-card co-leaders. Chris Davis socked his team-record 51st homer of the season for the Orioles, who allowed just three hits and left the Red Sox's magic number at three for winning the AL East.
Chase Utley went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs for the second straight night as Philadelphia downed Miami 6-4. Roy Halladay held the Marlins to a run and four hits in six innings, his best outing in five starts since missing nearly four months due to surgery on his shoulder.
Pinch-hitter Logan Schafer dropped a suicide squeeze bunt in the bottom of the ninth to push Milwaukee past the Chicago Cubs 4-3. Carlos Gomez hit a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly for the Brewers.
Angel Pagan was 3-for-3 with a tiebreaking homer, a triple, three RBIs and two runs scored in San Francisco's 8-5 win over the New York Mets. The Giants worked out 10 walks against Mets pitching, six surrendered by Zack Wheeler.
Alexei Ramirez doubled home the tiebreaking run and Dayan Viciedo (day-AN vih-see-EH'-doh) added a pair of RBI singles as the Chicago White Sox beat Minnesota 4-3. Jose Quintana held the Twins to one run despite yielding eight hits in six innings.