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Twins Open 5-Game AL Central Lead

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jose Berrios pitched into the eighth inning to win his second straight start, Mitch Garver hit a go-ahead double and the Minnesota Twins rallied to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3 Monday night.

Seeking their first AL Central title since 2010, the Twins opened a five-game lead over second-place Cleveland. At 92-58 with 12 games left, Minnesota is assured of its best record since finishing 94-68 in 2010.

Given an extra day of rest between starts, Berrios (13-8) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts and two walks. He was rewarded with a standing ovation when he was removed.

Tyler Duffey finished the eighth, Sergio Romo allowed Eloy Jimenez’s homer leading off the ninth before getting an out, and Taylor Rogers needed just eight pitches to finish a six-hitter for his 27th save in 33 chances.

TIGERS 5, ORIOLES 2

DETROIT (AP) — Jordy Mercer hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles to split a four-game series between the teams with the worst records in the major leagues.

After the first series in American League history between teams in 50 or more games under .500, Detroit (45-104) has a 3¢ game “lead” over Baltimore (49-101) for the top pick in June’s amateur draft, which goes to the club with the lowest winning percentage this season.

Detroit needs to win one of its final six games at Comerica Park to avoid breaking the major league record of 59 home losses, set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns.

Tyler Alexander (1-3), a 24-year-old left-hander forced into the rotation by a doubleheader last week, got his first big league win. Before a crowd announced at 14,142, he allowed one run and four hits in six innings during his first major league start since Aug. 7.

CARDINALS 4

NATIONALS 2

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Marcell Ozuna drove in four runs and threw out a runner at home plate from left field, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Washington Nationals.

St. Louis began the night with a two-game lead over the second-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

Washington entered one game ahead of the Cubs for the top NL wild card.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez missed the game following a heart procedure in Washington, and bench coach Chip Hale was in charge of the dugout.

Ozuna hit a two-run homer in the first off Stephen Strasburg, who walked Dexter Fowler leading off.

BREWERS 5, PADRES 1

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Corey Spangenberg drove in three runs, including a tiebreaking, two-run triple in the fourth inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the San Diego Padres to keep up a playoff push with their 10th win in 11 games.

Milwaukee began the night one game behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL’s second wild card and three games back of St. Louis, the NL Central leader.

San Diego got just two hits and dropped to 68-82, tying the franchise record with its ninth consecutive losing season. The Padres also finished under .500 from 1969-77, the first nine years of the expansion franchise.

CUBS 8, REDS 2

CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Schwarber hit a three-run homer and made a diving catch in left field, helping the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds for their fifth straight victory.

Nicholas Castellanos added a two-run double in the eighth inning as Chicago moved a season-high 14 games above .500. It has outscored its opponents 59-18 during its win streak.

The Cubs (82-68) pulled within a half-game of Washington for the top spot in the wild-card standings and stayed two games back of NL Central-leading St. Louis, which held off the Nationals for a 4-2 win.

Steve Cishek, Alec Mills (1-0), Rowan Wick, Kyle Ryan and David Phelps combined for 5 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of an ineffective Cole Hamels. It was Mills’ first major league win in his 17th big league appearance.

It was Chicago’s first game since Anthony Rizzo had an MRI that showed the big first baseman had a moderate lateral right ankle sprain sustained during Sunday’s 16-6 victory over Pittsburgh.

Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days, casting doubt on his availability for the rest of the season.

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