MLB ROUNDUP: Cardinals regain NL Central lead
September 14, 2013 10:35 AM

The same offense that went hitless until the sixth inning twice earlier on their homestand showed up again for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Four hits in 10 innings were just enough to beat the Seattle Mariners, who helped beat themselves.

Pete Kozma scored on catcher Mike Zunino’s passed ball with the bases loaded and two outs in the 10th and the Cardinals retook the NL Central lead with a 2-1 victory on Friday night.

“We’ll take them any way we can get them right now,” manager Mike Matheny said. “The guys are showing a lot of heart and that means something.”

The Cardinals, who also got a big defensive game from second baseman Matt Carpenter, lead the division by a game after Pittsburgh lost. They’re 6-1 on a nine-game homestand.

Kozma entered in the eighth inning as a pinch runner, later stole third base and scored the tying run.

In the 10th, Kozma singled with two outs off Chase Ruffin (0-2). Oliver Perez walked Carpenter and Jon Jay to load the bases.

Zunino couldn’t handle the first pitch to Matt Holliday, with the ball rolling free and Kozma scoring on a head-first slide.

Rookie Kevin Siegrist (3-1) worked around two hits in the 10th for the win. He has not allowed a run in 19 1-3 innings.

Zunino homered for the Mariners, who have lost a franchise-record 13 games in extra innings, including their last six in a row.

The Cardinals have won their last four extra-inning games. Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina helped them get there this time, throwing out pinch-runner Endy Chavez and Dustin Ackley when they tried to steal in the ninth.

Hisashi Iwakuma allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings for Seattle.

The Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright allowed a run in eight innings. The 16-game winner was hurt only by Zunino’s homer in the fifth.

Seattle second baseman Nick Franklin dropped pinch-hitter Brock Peterson’s towering pop fly in the eighth for a two-base error that helped the Cardinals tie it. Kozma stole third on Carpenter’s full-count walk, then scored on Jay’s grounder off Charlie Furbush.

 

PADRES 4, BRAVES 3: Chase Headley hit a tying homer and Logan Forsythe drove in the go-ahead run in San Diego’s two-run eighth, and the Padres spoiled the debut of Atlanta rookie David Hale.

Hale pitched five scoreless innings and struck out nine, the most by a Braves pitcher in his first major league game.

Justin Upton and Brian McCann hit home runs off Ian Kennedy in the third inning to give the Braves a 3-0 lead.

The Padres scored two runs in the seventh and tied the game on Headley’s leadoff homer off Jordan Walden (4-3) in the eighth. Walden walked Tommy Medica, who moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Forsythe’s pinch-hit single to center field off Scott Downs.

Nick Vincent (5-3) had three strikeouts in the seventh. Luke Gregerson pitched a perfect eighth before Huston Street got the final three outs for his 30th save.

 

NATIONALS 6, PHILLIES 1: Wilson Ramos homered and drove in three runs, Ross Ohlendorf pitched five innings in place of Stephen Strasburg, and Washington won its seventh straight.

Ian Desmond had two hits and two RBIs, and Ryan Zimmerman (3-for-4) hit a solo homer and scored three runs for the Nationals, who trail Cincinnati and Pittsburgh by 4½ games for the final NL wild card.

Strasburg was scratched after experiencing forearm tightness during a throwing session Thursday in New York. Ohlendorf (4-0), who recently moved to the bullpen, stepped in and allowed a run on five hits over five innings.

Kyle Kendrick (10-13) was charged with six runs on eight hits.

Washington’s Denard Span singled, extending his hitting streak to 24 games.

 

ROCKIES 7, DIAMONDBACKS 5: Corey Dickerson hit a pitch that bounced well in front of the plate for a double, starting a five-run burst in the seventh inning that led the Colorado Rockies over Arizona.

Wilin Rosario drove in four runs with a single and double, and Troy Tulowitzki and Dickerson each had three of the Rockies’ 16 hits.

It was 2-all in the seventh when Dickerson swung at a pitch from Will Harris (3-1) that skipped about 3 feet in front of the plate, and still managed to wind up with a double. The Rockies broke open the game, helped by Charlie Blackmon’s two-run triple.

Arizona’s Miguel Montero hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth. Rex Brothers got the last out for his 17th save.

 

GIANTS 4, DODGERS 2: Madison Bumgarner outdueled Clayton Kershaw, and the San Francisco Giants held off the Los Angeles Dodgers when Adrian Gonzalez’s hard grounder took a fortunate hop for the final out.

With runners on first and third and two outs, Gonzalez hit the ball off Sergio Romo’s leg, and the ball bounced to third baseman Joaquin Arias, who threw to first to end it.

A night earlier, Gonzalez hit an RBI single in the 10th to beat San Francisco.

Hunter Pence homered and scored twice. The Giants got to Kershaw (14-9) with four consecutive singles to start the seventh.

Bumgarner (12-9) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. Romo got four outs to earn his 34th save in 38 chances.

 

METS 4, MARLINS 3: Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer and the New York Mets overcame two solo shots by Giancarlo Stanton tp beat Miami.

Andrew Brown also connected for the Mets, outhomered 13-0 by Washington at Citi Field in a four-game sweep that ended Thursday. Jonathon Niese (7-7) struck out seven and walked none in 6 1-3 innings, improving to 4-1 in seven starts since returning from a shoulder injury last month.

New York won for only the third time in 12 September games and upped its mark to 6-10 this season against the Marlins, who have the worst record in the NL at 54-92.

Making his first major league start of the year, Brad Hand (0-1) gave up the go-ahead homer to Duda in the sixth.

 

BREWERS 5, REDS 1: Carlos Gomez went 3-for-4 with 5 RBIs while Kyle Lohse retired 23 consecutive batters during one stretch and finished with a four-hitter to lead Milwaukee.

Cincinnati had three consecutive hits to open the second, but then didn’t get a base runner until Jay Bruce walked with two outs in the ninth en route to its third loss in four games.

Lohse (10-9) started the season 1-6 after missing most of spring training, signing with the Brewers as a free agent on March 25. Since the slow start, he has gone 9-3.

Reds starter Mat Latos (14-6) allowed five runs — the most he has given up since the All-Star break — and seven hits and three walks while striking out four in 6 2-3 innings.

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

RED SOX 8, YANKEES 4: Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the seventh inning, Koji Uehara closed with another perfect inning and Boston beat New York.

David Ortiz and Stephen Drew each doubled twice as the AL East-leading Red Sox won for the 15th time in 19 games. Saltalamacchia also doubled and scored twice.

Uehara breezed through the ninth. He’s retired 37 straight batters, the longest streak by a reliever since Bobby Jenks of the White Sox set down 41 in a row in 2007.

Robinson Cano went 4-for-4 with three doubles and two RBIs for New York.

 

ATHLETICS 9, RANGERS 8: Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and Oakland survived a shaky night from the bullpen to extend its AL West lead with a victory over Texas.

The A’s handed the Rangers their fourth straight loss and moved 4½ games ahead of Texas in the opener of the final series of the regular season between the past two AL West champions.

Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios had two-run singles in a six-run eighth as the Rangers tried to rally from a 9-2 deficit. Cespedes, playing left field, ended the threat by throwing out Rios at third on Adrian Beltre’s third hit.

Cespedes’ 23rd homer came off Derek Holland (9-9), who is winless in a career-high seven straight starts.

Dan Straily (10-7) allowed two hits in 5 2-3 innings to win his fourth straight start and beat Texas for the second time in 11 days.

 

ORIOLES 5, BLUE JAYS 3: Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 50th home run, a tiebreaking solo shot in the eighth inning, and Baltimore erased a 3-0 deficit to beat Toronto and snap a three-game losing streak.

Davis became the 27th major leaguer to join the 50-homer club, and the first since Jose Bautista in 2010. Davis led off the eighth with a blast to center off All-Star reliever Steve Delabar, connecting on a 2-2 pitch.

The drive matched Brady Anderson’s 1996 Orioles record and made Davis just the third player in major league history with 50 homers and 40 doubles in the same season. The others were Babe Ruth (1921) and Albert Belle (1995).

Adam Jones followed Davis’ milestone blast with an infield hit and, two outs later, moved up on Ryan Flaherty’s walk before scoring on Danny Valencia’s RBI single.

Tommy Hunter (5-4) worked 1 2-3 innings for the win and Jim Johnson finished for his 44th save in 53 chances, rebounding after his wild pitch helped the New York Yankees beat Baltimore 6-5 on Thursday.

 

RAYS 3, TWINS 0: Chris Archer pitched six scoreless innings and Tampa Bay added to its slim wild-card lead by beating Minnesota.

The Rays hold the second wild-card spot with four teams still in striking range. They nudged their edge to 1½ games over Cleveland, and a loss by New York pushed the Yankees to two games back. Baltimore (2½ games behind) and Kansas City (3½) are lurking, too.

Archer (9-7) scattered three singles and struck out seven without a walk, following a pair of rough outings for the rookie right-hander to start September.

Yunel Escobar had an RBI double among his three hits for the Rays, and Desmond Jennings and James Loney drove in runs with singles against Kevin Correia (9-12).

 

 

TIGERS 6, ROYALS 3: Prince Fielder homered and drove in three runs, and Justin Verlander pitched effectively into the seventh inning to lift Detroit to victory over Kansas City.

Detroit remained six games ahead of second-place Cleveland in the AL Central and dealt the third-place Royals a setback in the postseason race. Kansas City is one of several teams hoping at least to catch Tampa Bay for a wild card.

Verlander (13-11) allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. Three relievers finished. Joaquin Benoit worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and got the final four outs for his 19th save in 19 chances.

Bruce Chen (7-3) allowed five earned runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings.

 

ASTROS 9, ANGELS 7: Jose Altuve hit a three-run homer and Matt Dominguez’s grand slam powered a big fifth inning to give Houston a victory over Los Angeles for its fourth straight win.

The Astros trailed by 1 entering the fifth before Trevor Crowe singled in two runs to put Houston up 5-4. Dominguez then hit his 20th homer off the wall in left field to extend the lead to 9-4.

Dallas Keuchel (6-9) yielded 10 hits and six runs, but tied his career high by striking out nine in 5 2-3 innings for his first win since July 27. Josh Fields struck out two in a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.

Houston tagged Angels starter Jason Vargas (8-7) for nine hits and a season-high eight runs in 4 1-3 innings.

 

INDIANS 3, WHITE SOX 1: Danny Salazar struck out nine in 3 2-3 innings, Ryan Raburn hit an RBI double and Cleveland beat Chicago for the 10th time in a row this season.

Salazar’s pitch count was limited to 85, and after allowing Dayan Viciedo’s single with two outs on his 78th pitch, he was replaced by Nick Hagadone with runners on first and third.

Bryan Shaw (4-3) threw two scoreless innings for the win.

Hector Santiago (4-9) remained winless since Aug. 18 for Chicago, going four-plus innings and giving up three runs and six hits.

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