Cards Fly Past Pirates, 11-5
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals rookie Tyler O’Neill hit a three-run homer during a six-run eighth inning, Marcell Ozuna drove in three and Miles Mikolas pitched seven solid innings to lift the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-5 on Tuesday night.
Mikolas (15-5) gave up a run, five hits and a walk while striking out seven. He dropped his ERA to 2.99, and he got his first victory in five starts against the Pirates this season. Mikolas struck out five straight in one stretch, and the Cardinals improved to 21-8 in his starts.
Ozuna is hitting .352 this season against Pittsburgh. He has 13 RBIs against the Pirates and 79 on the season.
Joe Musgrove (6-9) went six innings. He allowed four hits, four runs and two walks while striking out eight.
St. Louis took a 2-0 lead in the first when Ozuna hit a two-run double to left, scoring Matt Carpenter and Jose Martinez.
Corey Dickerson countered for Pittsburgh with an RBI single in the fourth before St. Louis added two runs in the sixth after loading the bases with no outs. After Ozuna struck out, Musgrove uncorked a wild pitch to score Carpenter. Paul DeJong hit a sacrifice fly to center, driving in Martinez for a 4-1 lead.
A wild pitch by Pirates reliever Tanner Anderson with the bases load in the seventh let Francisco Pena score.
Then St. Louis blew it open in the eighth. Pena singled home Kolten Wong from second base, and O’Neill then hit a 3-0 pitch 457 feet into the upper left field bleachers for his eighth home run. The shot knocked out rookie pitcher Nick Burdi, who was making his major league debut.
Pinch-hitter Adolis Garcia added a run-scoring double off Clay Holmes, and Ozuna finished off the St. Louis scoring with a sacrifice fly.
The Pirates scored four runs and five hits in the ninth off Luke Weaver. John Brebbia relieved to record the final out.
Indians 2, Rays 0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Josh Donaldson went hitless in in Cleveland debut, Edwin Encarnacion reached 30 homers for the seventh straight season and the Indians beat the Tampa Bay Rays.
Cleveland lowered its magic number to three for a third straight AL Central title. Second-place Minnesota was hosting the New York Yankees.
Acquired from Toronto on Aug. 31, Donaldson went 0 for 4 in his first big league game since May 28, a layoff caused by a strained left calf. The 2015 AL MVP flied out to deep center and deep right, struck out and grounded into a forceout. The third baseman made a nifty backhand grab on C.J. Cron’s sixth-inning grounder.
Yan Gomes also homered and rookie Shane Bieber (10-3) struck out a career-high 11 in 6 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and three walks.
Tampa Bay had its franchise record 12-game home winning streak end and lost for just the fourth time in 21 games overall.
Athletics 3, Orioles 2
BALTIMORE (AP) — Mike Fiers remained unbeaten in an Oakland uniform, working six solid innings to lead the Athletics past the Baltimore Orioles.
Oakland extended its winning streak to five games and is 33-15 since the All-Star break, the best mark in the majors during that span. The Athletics hold the second AL wild-card spot behind the Yankees.
Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have become the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season.
Boston beat the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, boosted by pinch-hitter Brock Holt’s go-ahead home run in the seventh inning.
Guided by rookie manager Alex Cora, the Red Sox have the best record in baseball at 99-46. They assured themselves at least a spot in the AL wild-card game while reaching the postseason for the third straight year.
Astros 5, Tigers 4
DETROIT (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the game’s first pitch, and the Houston Astros powered their way past the Detroit Tigers.
Houston maintained a three-game lead over the Oakland Athletics in the AL West.
Cubs 3, Brewers 0
CHICAGO (AP) — Jose Quintana pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning, Victor Caratini drove in two runs and the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers to regain their two-game lead in the NL Central.
Marlins 5, Mets 3
NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom took his latest hard-luck loss in a record-setting season, getting outpitched by Jose Urena as the Miami Marlins beat the New York Mets.
In a close race for the NL Cy Young Award despite his pedestrian record, deGrom (8-9) gave up only Lewis Brinson’s two-run double in seven stellar innings. The right-hander allowed three hits and struck out nine, his major league-low ERA climbing just a tick from 1.68 to 1.71.
Reds 3, Dodgers 1
CINCINNATI (AP) — Former Dodgers prospects Brandon Dixon and Scott Schebler homered, and Los Angeles stumbled for the second straight night in a loss to the lowly Cincinnati Reds.
Defending NL champion Los Angeles is 0-6 against Cincinnati this season. After losing Monday’s series opener 10-6 to the last-place Reds, the Dodgers began the day 1Ç games behind NL West-leading Colorado and two games back of St. Louis for the second NL wild card.
Dixon homered in the second inning and Schebler in the third for a 2-0 lead against Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-3). Jose Peraza, another former Los Angeles prospect, had two hits.
Royals 6, White Sox 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Brad Keller pitched seven strong innings to win for the fourth time in six starts, leading the Kansas City Royals to a win.
Twins 10, Yankees 5
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joe Mauer hit a grand slam to highlight a six-run fifth inning, and the Minnesota Twins beat New York for the first time in 10 meetings after another flop in the Yankees’ starting rotation by Sonny Gray.
Didi Gregorious answered Mauer’s big bop with his own grand slam in the sixth. That was the only bright spot for the Yankees, who dropped nine games behind Boston in the AL East race and had their lead over Oakland for the first wild card spot cut to two games. The major league leaders in home runs with 234, the Yankees fell to 80-36 in games when they go deep.
Nationals 3-7, Phillies 1-6
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Juan Soto hit a solo home run in the 10th inning, his second of the game, to lead the Washington Nationals to a doubleheader sweep.
The Nationals rallied for three runs in the ninth inning off Seranthony Dominguez to tie the game at 6-6. Soto, who hit a two-run shot in the fourth, connected off Yacksel Rios (3-2) with one out in the 10th for the winner.
Greg Holland retired the first batters in the 10th before he walked the next two. Holland got Cesar Hernandez to fly out to end the game for his third save. Wander Suero (3-0) got the win.
In the first game, Spencer Kieboom hit his first major league home run after losing a tooth earlier in the day, Erick Fedde (2-3) pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning and the Nationals beat the Phillies 3-1.
The Phillies, who were 15 games over .500 in early August and in the thick of NL playoff race, have lost four straight games and are 6-16 since Aug. 18.
Phillies starter Nick Pivetta (7-12) was one of seven pitchers to work the opener.
Fedde, making his second start since he missed two months with a sore right shoulder, tossed one-hit ball through five.