Jay Bruce homered and had five RBIs and the Cincinnati Reds got a dominant effort from Homer Bailey to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-0 on Wednesday and avoid a three-game sweep.
The Reds came out swinging a few hours after manager Dusty Baker criticized his team for falling short while dropping four of five.
The Cardinals lead the NL Central by a half-game over Pittsburgh after losing for the third time in 12 games, and the Reds are 3?½ games behind.
Bailey capped a six-run first against Adam Wainwright (15-8) with the Reds’ sixth hit and his first RBI of the season.
DODGERS 4, CUBS 0: Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig was pulled by manager Don Mattingly after four innings following a pair of early episodes, and Los Angeles beat Chicago. Puig is hitting .346.
Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier homered as the first-place Dodgers earned their 21st victory in August.
PHILLIES 6, METS 2: Cole Hamels pitched seven strong innings and handed himself some much-needed run support, sending Philadelphia past New York.
Carlos Ruiz homered and the Phillies overcame a couple of mental mistakes by shortstop Jimmy Rollins to win for only the third time in 17 road games.
NATIONALS 4, MARLINS 3: Ian Desmond had three hits, including the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning, and Washington kept pace on the fringes of the playoff race with a rain-delayed win over Miami.
Desmond also scored a run and stole a base, and Jayson Werth homered for the Nationals, who have won seven of eight.
ROCKIES 5, GIANTS 4: Jhoulys Chacin did not allow a hit for 6 2-3 innings and hustled for a crucial RBI to help Colorado beat San Francisco.
Chacin (13-7) tied a season high with nine strikeouts. Brandon Crawford’s single was the only hit Chacin allowed in seven innings.
PADRES 5, DIAMONDBACKS 1: Will Venable homered and drove in three runs, Robbie Erlin pitched six effective innings in his return to the majors and San Diego avoided a three-game sweep with a win over Arizona.
Jesus Guzman also homered and had two RBIs for the Padres.
RED SOX 4, ORIOLES 3: Pinch hitter Mike Carp’s bloop single to left in the eighth dropped just beyond the glove of Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado, scoring Jarrod Saltalamacchia from second with the tiebreaking run and lifting Boston over the Orioles.
Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 47th homer and added an RBI double for Baltimore.
RANGERS 12, MARINERS 4: Leonys Martin homered and drove in a career-high four runs and Texas roughed up Felix Hernandez in a win over Seattle.
The Rangers tagged Hernandez (12-8) for nine runs and 11 hits in three-plus innings.
Adrian Beltre, who hit his 28th homer, and Elvis Andrus each got three of the Rangers’ 17 hits.
ATHLETICS 14, TIGERS 4: Brandon Moss homered twice and drove in six runs to lead Oakland over Detroit.
Moss has three home runs in his past two games for the A’s, who had a season-high 21 hits. Josh Donaldson had three hits and drove in two runs for Oakland.
BLUE JAYS 7, YANKEES 2: Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run home run, rookie Todd Redmond snapped a seven-start winless streak and Toronto beat New York.
The Blue Jays took two out of three from the Yankees after losing 12 of their first 13 meetings this season. They’re 3-3 against New York at home and 0-10 on the road.
RAYS 4, ANGELS 1: Chris Archer pitched seven strong innings, David DeJesus scored twice and Tampa Bay ended Los Angeles’ four-game winning streak.
Archer (8-5) allowed one run and five hits while striking out five. For the fifth time in his last 10 starts, the rookie right-hander did not walk a batter.
ROYALS 8, TWINS 1: Salvador Perez had four hits and two home runs, Danny Duffy pitched 6 2-3 shutout innings and Kansas City beat Minnesota.
Perez hit two-run shots in the fourth and eighth innings as the Royals won their fourth straight.
WHITE SOX 6, ASTROS 1: Chris Sale struck out 12 over eight-plus dominant innings and Avisail Garcia hit a three-run homer to lead Chicago to a win over Houston.
Garcia finished with three hits for the White Sox, who have won 10 of their last 12 games.
BRAVES 3, INDIANS 2: Chris Johnson singled to left with two outs in the ninth inning for his first career walk-off hit and Atlanta won again at home, beating Cleveland.
Jordan Schafer drove in Atlanta’s first two runs, then scored the winner after reaching on an infield single and stealing his second base of the night.
The Braves improved to 46-18 at Turner Field, the best home record in the majors.