MAJOR LEAGUE ROUNDUP: Kelly's run ends as Cards fall into first-place tie with Bucs
Joe Kelly’s impressive run came to an end Thursday night.
Kelly, who won his previous five starts, struggled in a 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers that dropped the St. Louis Cardinals into a first-place tie in the NL Central with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1.
St. Louis had won the last eight times Kelly started on the mound. His last loss came on June 5. The right-hander entered Thursday’s game 8-1 with a 2.06 ERA in his past 11 starts.
Kelly (8-4) allowed four runs, three earned, and seven hits in five innings. It wasn’t a bad outing, just not up to his standards of the last two months.
“It wasn’t too good all around,” Kelly said. “Early in the game, they were swinging early at the fastball and getting some hits. I could have made some better pitches. They didn’t hit the ball extremely hard.”
Milwaukee rookie Tyler Thornburg threw six solid innings and Sean Halton homered to lead the Brewers, who snapped the Cardinals’ five-game winning streak.
St. Louis and Pittsburgh are both 85-61 with 16 games left.
The Brewers had four hits through the first two innings and capitalized on two errors by Kelly in the second to grab a 2-0 lead. They made it 4-0 on Halton’s home run in the fourth.
Thornburg kept the Cardinals off the scoreboard in five of his six innings. Making his eighth career start, Thornburg (2-1) gave up two runs and three hits. He spent most of the season with Triple-A Nashville, going 0-9 with a 5.79 ERA in 15 starts. He struck out six and walked two.
The Cardinals pulled to 4-2 in the fourth on a run-scoring double by Matt Holliday and a sacrifice fly by David Freese.
BRAVES 6, MARLINS 1: Freddy Garcia earned his second NL victory since 2007, and first since joining the Atlanta Braves last month, by pitching six innings to help beat Miami.
Freddie Freeman had three hits on his 24th birthday, including his 20th home run. Chris Johnson had three hits to raise his average to .330.
Closing in on their first NL East title since 2005, the Braves reduced their magic number to six.
Garcia (1-1) allowed five hits and one run. He was making a spot start in place of rookie left-hander Alex Wood, whose turn was skipped to give him a breather.
Three relievers completed a seven-hitter.
Brian Flynn (0-1), making his second major-league start, allowed six runs in four innings.
DODGERS 3, GIANTS 2, 10 INNINGS: Adrian Gonzalez singled home the winning run in the 10th inning to give Los Angeles a victory.
The Dodgers reduced their magic number to five for clinching their first NL West title since 2009. They won for the seventh time in eight games against the rival Giants.
The loss ended last-place San Francisco’s streak of four consecutive winning seasons.
Carl Crawford opened the 10th with a single off Jeremy Affeldt (1-5). Pinch-hitter Nick Punto sacrificed Crawford to second before Gonzalez gave the Dodgers their eighth walk-off win of the season.
Gregor Blanco’s RBI single off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen tied the score in the ninth.
NATIONALS 7, METS 2: Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos homered off Aaron Harang in his Mets debut, and Washington completed a four-game sweep.
Anthony Rendon also connected for Washington, which outhomered the Mets 13-0 in a series that helped the Nationals remain on the fringe of the NL wild-card race.
Zimmerman added an RBI double in the eighth after Denard Span extended his career-best hitting streak to 23 games with a leadoff double.
The Mets have lost nine of 11 and fallen to 64-81, ensuring a non-winning record in all five seasons at Citi Field.
Tanner Roark (6-0) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings in his second big league start.
Harang (0-1) allowed the three homers and a single in six innings. He struck out 10 and walked one.
PHILLIES 10, PADRES 5: Carlos Ruiz had three hits and three RBIs, and rookie Cesar Hernandez reached base four times, scored twice and drove in two runs as Philadelphia rode a six-run first inning to a win over San Diego.
Roy Halladay was in line for the win but couldn’t get through the fifth after walking four straight batters and committing a throwing error. In his fourth start since coming off the disabled list, Halladay gave up five runs — four earned — and four hits. He struck out six and walked a season-high five in 4 2-3 innings.
After a 55-minute rain delay at the start, Will Venable hit a leadoff homer on Halladay’s third pitch.
San Diego starter Tyson Ross (3-8) gave up five hits and six earned runs in two-thirds of an inning.
RAYS 4, RED SOX: Wil Myers hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning and Tampa Bay won to avoid a three-game sweep. Myers drove in Evan Longoria, who also doubled off Rubby De La Rosa (0-1), to give the Rays a 4-3 lead.
The Rays lead the crowded race for the second AL wild card despite going 5-13 since Aug. 25.
David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered for Boston, which has an 8?-game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East.
The Red Sox threatened in the ninth when Stephen Drew had an infield single and pinch-hitter Mike Carp walked with one out. Rodney worked out of the jam when pinch-hitter Will Middlebrooks lined out to third and Dustin Pedroia popped out.
YANKEES 6, ORIOLES 5: New York’s Brendan Ryan scored the tiebreaking run in the ninth inning on a wild pitch by Jim Johnson after the Yankees blew a four-run lead.
Mark Reynolds and Curtis Granderson homered for the Yankees, who remained one game behind Tampa Bay for the second AL wild card. New York travels next to first-place Boston for a weekend series.
New York led 5-1 before Nick Markakis hit a solo shot in the seventh and Danny Valencia homered with two on against David Robertson in the eighth.
But the Yankees bounced right back in the ninth with an unearned run against Johnson (3-8).
Mariano Rivera (6-2) got straight three outs in the bottom half and was given credit for the win by the official scorer because Robertson was ineffective in the eighth.
ATHLETICS 8, TWINS 2: A.J. Griffin allowed two hits in seven innings for Oakland.
Josh Reddick homered and had three RBIs for Oakland, which has a 3?-game lead over idle Texas in the AL West. It is Oakland’s largest lead over the Rangers since Aug. 3. The teams are to scheduled play a three-game series this weekend in the Lone Star State.
Oswaldo Arcia homered for Minnesota, which has lost six of eight.
In winning his fourth straight start, Griffin (14-9) struck out eight and walked just one batter.
Making his first start since being recalled from Triple-A, Minnesota’s Scott Diamond (5-11) allowed five runs — four earned — in 4 2-3 innings.
ANGELS 4, BLUE JAYS 3: Garrett Richards pitched 6 2-3 innings for his third straight win and Kole Calhoun hit a solo home run as Los Angeles completed a three-game sweep. Erick Aybar had two hits and scored twice as the Angels won for the 15th time in 20 games.
Calhoun went 2-for-3 with a walk. Los Angeles recorded its first sweep in Toronto since April 16-18, 2010.
Jose Reyes homered and finished 4-for-4 with a walk, but the Blue Jays lost for the 29th time when scoring first.
Richards (7-6) allowed three runs and nine hits, walked one and struck out four. He’s 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA in three September starts.
INDIANS 14, WHITE SOX 3: Ryan Raburn went 3-for-3 with a homer and five RBIs for Cleveland, which remained 1? games out of the second AL wild-card spot.
The Indians blew the game open with a seven-run, rain-delayed fifth inning, when their first nine batters reached base. Charlie Leesman, who relieved Chicago starter John Danks (4-13), faced seven Cleveland hitters, all of whom scored.
Nick Swisher had a solo homer and three RBIs, and Asdrubal Cabrera added a solo shot to support Corey Kluber (9-5), who gave up two runs and six hits in five innings.
Paul Konerko hit a solo homer for the White Sox, who are in last place in the AL Central and have lost 11 of 13.