- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Matt Carpenter raced home to break a scoreless tie in the ninth inning when two Pittsburgh Pirates outfielders mishandled Jon Jay’s single, and Mark Reynolds followed with a two-run homer to lift the banged-up St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-0 win on Monday night.

The Cardinals reduced their magic number to clinch a third straight NL Central title to two after getting to Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon (3-2). St. Louis can wrap up the division with a victory at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

In the bottom of the seventh, Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty was carted off the field following a violent collision with teammate Peter Bourjos. The team said Piscotty was taken to the hospital with a head contusion, and tests were negative. He will be held overnight for observation.

Jonathan Broxton (4-5) earned the win, and Trevor Rosenthal got three outs for his 48th save.

GIANTS 3, DODGERS 2, 12 innings

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Zack Greinke and the NL West-leading Dodgers were denied a playoff-clinching party for at least another day, losing to the World Series champion Giants on pinch-hitter Alejandro De Aza’s sacrifice fly.

Andre Ethier hit a tying groundout in the top of the ninth, then the rivals needed three more innings to decide this one. With the Dodgers employing a five-man infield, De Aza hit a fly to left against Adam Liberatore for a victory that prevented San Francisco from being eliminated from the pennant race.

Yimi Garcia (3-5) took the loss.

Los Angeles lost its fourth straight game after a weekend sweep at Colorado and is five games ahead of the Giants with six to play.

Greinke, who had his last turn skipped as he nursed a tender right calf, had his five-start winning streak snapped dating to an Aug. 22 defeat at Houston.

ANGELS 5, ATHLETICS 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Pinch-hitter David Murphy drove a bases-loaded single into left field to end it, and the Angels kept the pressure on in the AL wild-card race with their sixth consecutive victory, beating the Athletics.

Albert Pujols tied it with his 558th career homer in the sixth inning for the Angels, who have won nine of 11 during their majors-best 17-8 performance in September

Johnny Giavotella and Erick Aybar had early run-scoring doubles as the Angels (82-74) remained a half-game behind the Houston Astros (83-74), who won at Seattle, and one game ahead of the Minnesota Twins (81-75), who beat Cleveland.

Los Angeles also closed within just two games of the AL West-leading Rangers (84-72), who lost to Detroit. The Angels finish the season with four games at Texas.

TIGERS 7, RANGERS 4

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Justin Verlander allowed one run in six innings, and Tyler Collins’ three-run home run sparked a five-run fifth inning as the Tigers beat Texas, handing the Rangers their third straight loss.

It’s Texas’ longest losing streak since mid-August. The Rangers went into Monday’s play leading the AL West by 2 1/2 games over the Astros, who played later Monday at Seattle.

Verlander (5-8) gave up a leadoff homer to former Detroit teammate Prince Fielder in the fourth. He allowed six hits and walked two while striking out five.

Collins, who graduated from Justin Northwest High School about 45 minutes from Globe Life Park, pulled his fourth homer of the season down the right field line to break a 1-1 tie. The homer followed a leadoff single by Dixon Machado and a double by Anthony Gose.

Colby Lewis (17-9) allowed six runs on 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings, his shortest outing since June 5.

ASTROS 3, MARINERS 2

SEATTLE (AP) - Chris Carter drove in the go-ahead run with Houston’s third solo homer, rookie Lance McCullers pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the Astros enhanced their position in a crowded AL playoff race with their win over the Mariners.

Houston moved with 1 1/2 games of first-place Texas in the AL West and maintained its slim lead in the chase for the second wild card. The Rangers lost 7-4 at home to the Detroit Tigers.

Carter snapped 2-all tie in the seventh with his 23rd home run, a two-out shot to left off Danny Farquhar (1-6).

McCullers (6-7) allowed two runs and four hits in six-plus innings. He struck out seven and walked two, including a free pass to start the seventh.

Luke Gregerson struck out Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano in the ninth for his 30th save.

TWINS 4, INDIANS 2

CLEVELAND (AP) - Emergency starter Tommy Milone replaced an ill Phil Hughes and pitched Minnesota to a big win for its wild-card chances.

Hughes, one of several Twins players hit with a virus that has spread throughout the team, was scratched about 4 hours before the game. Milone (9-5), removed from the rotation two weeks ago, stepped in and allowed two runs in 5 2-3 innings.

Minnesota (81-75) began the day trailing Houston by 1 1/2 games in the race for the second AL wild card. The Astros played later in Seattle.

Cleveland (77-78) was four games behind the Astros before its costly defeat.

Kevin Jepsen worked the ninth for his 14th save.

Corey Kluber (8-16) allowed four runs in six innings and lost to Minnesota for the second time in a week.

CUBS 1, ROYALS 0, 11 innings

CHICAGO (AP) - Pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia led off the 11th inning with a home run, lifting the Cubs to the victory.

Denorfia drove the first pitch from Miguel Almonte (0-2) into the left-field bleacher for the Cubs’ major league-leading 13th walk-off victory of the season. It was Denorfia’s third homer of the season.

Fernando Rodney (2-0) pitched a scoreless top of the 11th to get the win.

The homer ended a pitcher’s duel that was a makeup of a May 30 rainout. Both teams combined for eight hits.

BLUE JAYS 4, ORIOLES 3

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Blue Jays edged closer to clinching the AL East title, getting a homer from Edwin Encarnacion and scoring a ninth-inning run to secure a comeback victory over the Orioles.

Toronto’s fifth straight victory, coupled with the Yankees’ loss to Boston, reduced the Blue Jays’ magic number for securing the division to two.

After scoring twice in the eighth to pull even, the Blue Jays got the decisive run against Brad Brach (5-3). Dioner Navarro led off with a single, and was replaced by Dalton Pompey, who advanced on a single. After a sacrifice moved the runners up, Pompey scored when Justin Smoak hit a dribbler to first and Chris Davis threw wildly to the plate.

Brett Cecil (5-5) pitched one inning and Roberto Osuna got two outs for this 20th save.

Ryan Flaherty hit a three-run homer for the Orioles, who have lost four straight.

RED SOX 5, YANKEES 1

NEW YORK (AP) - Eduardo Rodriguez became the first Red Sox rookie left-hander to win 10 games in 43 years, and Boston slowed the Yankees’ march toward a postseason berth.

The Yankees had a chance to clinch their first playoff appearance since 2012 with a win - what would’ve been their 10,000th franchise victory - and losses by Minnesota, Texas and the Angels.

But scoreboard watching was rendered unnecessary when Travis Shaw and Jackie Bradley Jr. each hit A two-run homer off Ivan Nova (6-10). New York managed little offense after Alex Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly in the first.

New York dropped five games behind Toronto in the AL East with six to play.

Eduardo Rodriguez (10-6) pitched six innings while supplanting John Curtis, who went 11-8 in 1972, as the most recent Boston rookie lefty to reach 10 wins.

NATIONALS 5, REDS 1

WASHINGTON (AP) - On another eventful afternoon at Nationals Park, Washington right-hander Max Scherzer came within five outs of his second no-hitter of the season hours after closer Jonathan Papelbon was suspended for fighting with Bryce Harper a day earlier.

Scherzer (13-12) did not allow a hit until Tucker Barnhart singled to left field on a 1-2 count with one out in the eighth. That came on Scherzer’s 105th pitch, and fans at the stadium rose to salute the right-hander with a standing ovation. To that point, the Reds only had three baserunners, on walks in the first, third and seventh innings.

Papelbon, meanwhile, is done for the season: He will miss four games because he was suspended by the Nationals for the episode in which he grabbed Harper’s throat, and the other three games because he dropped his appeal of a Major League Baseball ban for throwing at an opponent’s head last week.

Reds starter Brandon Finnegan (1-2) allowed three runs in five innings.


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