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Minor in command, steers Braves past Cardinals

July 27, 2013

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta’s Mike Minor put in a dominant pitching display to provide a boost for the Braves’ depleted rotation and lead the hosts to a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday in a clash of the National League’s top two teams.

With Tim Hudson lost for the year and Paul Maholm also injured, Atlanta’s remaining fit starters need to stand up and Minor (10-5) did so, giving up only one run and no walks in seven innings to become the first Brave to reach 10 wins this season.

There was a change at the top of the American League as Tampa Bay beat the New York Yankees to move above Boston, which lost at Baltimore. The Red Sox had led the AL standings since May.

In other key games, the Los Angeles Dodgers held onto their half-game lead in the National League West with a tight win over Cincinnati, while Cleveland beat Texas in 11 innings to stay close in the AL Central race.

The Rangers dropped four games behind Oakland in the AL West, as the Athletics beat the Los Angeles Angels and Bartolo Colon notched his 14th win, while Detroit edged Philadelphia in the day’s interleague clash.

Atlanta got the better of St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright (13-6) who took his first loss in over a month after giving up four runs in seven innings.

Baltimore’s Chris Tillman pitched seven scoreless innings to lead the Orioles to a 6-0 win over Boston.

Tillman (13-3) tied a career high with eight strikeouts in becoming the Orioles’ first 13-game winner since Erik Bedard in 2007. In his past three starts against Boston, he is 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA.

Adam Jones hit a two-run homer in the first and a solo shot in the fifth for the Orioles, who rebounded from three straight losses in Kansas City and edged within 3-1/2 games of new division leader Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay rose to the AL East summit with a 10-6 win over New York, as the Rays once again got to Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia.

The Rays have won 20 of 23 and took sole possession of the AL East lead for the first time since June 10, 2012. Tampa Bay moved a half-game ahead of Boston.

Sabathia (9-9) was booed early and was hit hard for the third straight start, allowing 22 runs over 14 innings in that span.

Tampa Bay starter Jeremy Hellickson (10-3) won his sixth straight decision, and retired newly-signed Yankee Alfonso Soriano with the bases loaded to preserve an early lead.

Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw pitched eight stellar innings to guide the Dodgers to a 2-1 win over Cincinnati to stay on top in the NL West.

Kershaw (10-6) allowed one run, struck out eight and walked none, dropping his major league-best ERA to 1.96. The 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner is 5-1 with a 1.72 ERA over his past six starts.

Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer to provide all the runs the Dodgers needed.

Reds starter Homer Bailey (5-10) lost his fourth straight since his no-hitter, allowing seven hits in seven innings.

Cleveland’s Ryan Raburn hit a walk-off three-run homer in the 11th inning as the Indians beat Texas 11-8.

After Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana singled off Jason Frasor (0-2), Raburn pulled a 2-1 pitch onto the home-run porch in left to rescue the Indians, who blew a 7-1 lead and nearly lost to a Texas team that committed three errors and had three wild pitches.

Cleveland stayed within three games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central.

Oakland capitalized on Texas’ slip and opened a four-game lead by beating the Los Angeles Angels 6-4.

Bartolo Colon (14-3) claimed a share of the major league lead in wins. He gave up a two-run homer in the first but no runs after that in seven innings. He has won 11 of his past 12 decisions, and none since he turned 40 in May.

Jed Lowrie hit a homer and two-run single while Stephen Vogt had a two-run shot for the Athletics.

Detroit’s Alex Avila hit a two-run double in the fifth inning to put the Tigers ahead for good, holding on for a 2-1 win over Philadelphia.

Phillies starter Cole Hamels (4-13) was trying to protect a 1-0 lead for the Phillies when he allowed the bottom of Detroit’s batting order to break through. After a one-out walk to Hernan Perez, Ramon Santiago and Avila hit back-to-back doubles.

Tigers’ starter Doug Fister (9-5) pitched eight innings, yielding only one unearned run.

Arizona’s Randall Delgado pitched his first career shutout as the Diamondbacks routed San Diego 10-0, racking up 17 hits.

Miami’s Henderson Alvarez earned his first National League victory as the Marlins eked out another low-scoring victory, beating Pittsburgh 2-0.

Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman homered with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Nationals to a 2-1 win over New York in the late game after the Mets stormed to an 11-0 win in the opener of the double-header.

Minnesota’s Chris Colabello hit his first career home run, a two-run shot in the 13th inning, to lift the Twins to a 3-2 win over Seattle.

Colorado’s Tyler Chatwood pitched seven strong innings and hit a two-run double to help the Rockies beat Milwaukee 8-3.

Chicago’s Julio Borbon and Junior Lake both scored on an error by San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt in the ninth inning, handing the Cubs a 3-2 win over the Giants.

Kansas City’s James Shields tossed seven shutout innings to steer the Royals to a 5-1 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion hit two home runs in one inning, including his sixth career grand slam, as the Blue Jays homered five times in a 12-6 win over Houston.

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