A rare letdown by the bullpen kept the St. Louis Cardinals from moving into first place alone.
The relief corps was touched up for four runs in the eighth inning of a 6-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. Charlie Blackmon had three hits and three RBIs for the Rockies, who prevented the Cardinals from taking over sole possession of the NL Central lead. They remained tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who lost 2-0 to San Diego.
“You can’t be perfect all the time. It isn’t that way in baseball,” said John Axford, one of three relievers roughed up by Colorado in the eighth. “There are going to be tough games and there’s going to be good ones and tonight was just one of the tough ones.”
Trevor Rosenthal allowed four runs and three hits in the eighth. Axford came on and gave up a two-out, two-run single.
“Overall our bullpen has been very, very good,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “They just need to stick with what they know is right and they will be just where they’ve been all season. They will bounce back.”
Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams had two hits each for the Cardinals.
DIAMONDBACKS 2, DODGERS 1: Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Trevor Cahill and three relievers made it stand up in Arizona’s win over Los Angeles. Goldschmidt raised his NL-leading RBI total to 116 with his 33rd home run off Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-7). Goldschmidt has homered in each of his last two games after a drought of 83 at-bats.
PHILLIES 12, MARLINS 2: Cliff Lee had three hits, knocked in a career-high four runs and struck out a season-high 14 to lead the Phillies over the Marlins. Lee (14-6) stroked a two-run, bases-loaded single to cap a six-run third inning and also hit his first career triple in the fifth. Chase Utley, who also drove in four runs, hit a long three-run homer in the third. Lee allowed two runs while scattering eight hits and walking none.
BREWERS 6, CUBS 1: Caleb Gindl had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Wily Peralta pitched six strong innings to lead the Brewers over the Cubs. The Brewers’ fourth win in five games moved them 3ﾽ games above Chicago at the bottom of the NL Central. Peralta (10-15) gave up an unearned run and five hits. He struck out seven while walking two. Chicago’s Edwin Jackson lasted four innings.
RAYS 6, RANGERS 2: Wil Myers homered and had three RBIs, Alex Cobb pitched eight solid innings and Tampa Bay took the lead for the first AL wild-card spot. Myers had a second-inning solo shot and hit a two-run double during a four-run fifth. Cobb (9-3) allowed two runs and six hits while striking out 10. Matt Garza (3-5) gave up six runs and eight hits over 4 1-3 innings against his former team. He lost his third straight start for the Rangers, who have dropped seven in a row.
TIGERS 4, MARINERS 2: Rick Porcello struck out 10 in six innings and Detroit beat Seattle to move a step closer to its third straight AL Central title. Victor Martinez broke a 1-all tie in the sixth with a run-scoring single, and Omar Infante followed with his own RBI single. Porcello (13-8) allowed a run and five hits with two walks, falling one strikeout short of his career high. The Tigers’ Drew Smyly got five outs in relief and Jose Veras finished the eighth.
ROYALS 7, INDIANS 1: James Shields kept Cleveland off balance for six innings, Salvador Perez led a scrappy Kansas City offense and the Royals won the opener of a three-game set with significant playoff implications. Shields struck out a season-high 10 for the Royals (79-71), who moved within 2ﾽ games of the second AL wild-card berth. The Indians (81-69) remained a half-game back of Texas. Shields (12-9) allowed only Lonnie Chisenhall’s homer before turning the game over to his stingy bullpen.
ANGELS 12, ATHLETICS 1: C.J. Wilson pitched seven innings of four-hit ball for his career-best 17th win, and Los Angeles became the first team in nearly four months to beat Oakland starter Jarrod Parker. Kole Calhoun had two of his three RBIs during a five-run fifth inning that chased Parker (11-7), who was 9-0 in 19 starts since a loss at Texas on May 22. Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo each hit two-run homers.
WHITE SOX 12, TWINS 1: Erik Johnson pitched six scoreless innings to earn his first major league victory, and Chicago scored seven runs in the first against Minnesota. The White Sox broke out of their offensive funk against Liam Hendriks, who got only two outs. Chicago set a season high for runs. Alexei Ramirez went 4-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. He was a triple short of the cycle. Adam Dunn, Dayan Viciedo and Jordan Danks also homered.
REDS 6, ASTROS 1: Johnny Cueto threw five shutout innings in his return from the disabled list and Zack Cozart homered and drove in four runs to lead Cincinnati over Houston. Pitching for the first time since straining the muscle below his right shoulder on June 28, Cueto (5-2) allowed five hits and struck out five with one walk. Cozart hit a two-run homer in the second and a two-run single in the fourth.