Cardinals edge slumping Brewers
MILWAUKEE (AP) — St. Louis edged Milwaukee 3-2 on Thursday to open a four-game gap between the two National League Central division rivals whose seasons seem headed in radically different directions.
The four-game lead earned by the Cardinals understated the gulf between them, as Thursday’s victory was the sixth in a row for St. Louis while the Brewers have lost nine in succession to slide from clear Central leader to now be in a tie for the last NL wild card spot.
Elsewhere, Detroit beat Cleveland in 11 innings to close in on the American League Central lead, Baltimore maintained its yawning gap atop the AL East by downing Cincinnati, and the Los Angeles Angels extended their lead in the AL West to five games by beating Minnesota.
St. Louis turned to the bullpen early after Michael Wacha was limited to three innings in his first start off the disabled list. Marco Gonzales (2-2) went 2 1-3 innings for the win as he and fellow relievers worked out of several jams.
The Brewers stranded potential tying runs in scoring position in each inning from the sixth through the ninth.
The Cardinals never trailed after Yadier Molina’s two-run single in the first.
Detroit decisively broke clear in the 11th inning at Cleveland, piling on seven runs to beat the Indians 11-4.
Detroit scored four runs in the first and then was shut down for the next nine innings before suddenly re-discovering their offensive mojo, with Eugenio Suarez hitting a two-run single and Victor Martinez smashing a three-run homer.
The Tigers, who hold a slim lead for the second AL wild card, won three of four in a crucial series to move within one game of leader Kansas City in the AL Central.
Baltimore’s J.J. Hardy snapped a seventh-inning tie with a two-run single to lift the Orioles to a 9-7 win over Cincinnati.
Baltimore scored six runs in the first inning, including homer 37 of the season by Nelson Cruz, but the Reds chipped away at that big lead and drew level by scoring four runs in the seventh.
The Orioles stayed 9-1/2 games ahead of second-placed New York in the AL East, with the Yankees beating Boston 5-4 with two homers in the ninth inning.
Los Angeles’ pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta’s sacrifice fly in the ninth inning lifted the Angels to a 5-4 win against Minnesota.
Minnesota’s All-Star closer Glen Perkins (3-2) gave up a leadoff double to David Freese to start the ninth and Iannetta drove him in.
Freese broke out of an 0-for-21 slump with two doubles and an RBI while and Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar each had two hits and an RBI as the Angels moved five games ahead of Oakland in the AL West.
Toronto pinch-hitter Colby Rasmus homered in the 10th inning for the game’s only run as the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep at Tampa Bay for the first time.
Seattle’s Robinson Cano drove in four runs for the first time as a Mariner to help the team jump out to a big early lead and beat Texas 10-2.
Arizona’s Randall Delgado and four relievers combined to give up only four hits, leading the Diamondbacks to a 5-1 win at San Diego.