- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - Yoenis Cespedes hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning moments after pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson connected for a tying shot, and the New York Mets rallied past the Washington Nationals 5-3 Wednesday night for a pivotal three-game sweep.

Jacob deGrom (13-7) pitched seven strong innings in a tight duel with Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg, who struck out a season-high 13.

Johnson’s leadoff drive against Strasburg (8-7) tied it 2-all before Cespedes teed off for a two-run shot against struggling Drew Storen, sending the Mets to their third consecutive comeback victory in the series.

The sweep extended New York’s lead in the NL East to seven games over Washington with 23 to play. The Mets have won six straight against the Nationals, including a three-game sweep at Citi Field from July 31 to Aug. 2.

Bryce Harper homered twice, doubled and scored three times for Washington, but it wasn’t enough.

New York with an RBI single off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth.

Travis d’Arnaud also homered for the Mets. Jeurys Familia closed for his 39th save.


ST. LOUIS (AP) - Matt Carpenter tripled and scored twice, and Stephen Piscotty doubled in the decisive run as St. Louis beat Chicago to end a three-game skid.

The NL Central leaders scored three times in the eighth inning to avoid their first sweep at home this season and their first against the Cubs since September 2010.

Cubs starter Jon Lester left after seven dominant innings. He didn’t allow a hit after the third batter and retired 20 of his final 21 hitters.

Jonathan Broxton (2-4) got the win and Trevor Rosenthal earned his 43rd save.

Clayton Richard (3-1) took the loss.


BOSTON (AP) - David Ortiz hit a three-run shot for his 498th home run, and Boston beat AL East-leading Toronto to hand the Blue Jays just their second series loss since late July.

Joe Kelly (10-6) won his eighth consecutive start, the longest stretch by a Red Sox pitcher since Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez won nine straight in 1999.

Mookie Betts had a solo homer and drove in three runs, and Ryan Hanigan had three hits and three RBIs for the Red Sox, who have won nine of 13 after taking two of three from Toronto.

Despite the loss, the Blue Jays maintained a 1 1/2-game lead over New York, which lost to Baltimore. Toronto heads to Yankee Stadium for a four-game series that begins Thursday night.

Ortiz connected off Drew Hutchison (13-4). It was his 32nd homer of the season the 59th of his career against the Blue Jays, most by any opponent.


NEW YORK (AP) - CC Sabathia’s strong start in his return from the disabled list was undone by Stephen Drew’s fielding misplays at second base, and Baltimore rallied past New York.

Steve Pearce hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning for the Orioles off Adam Warren (6-6).

Baltimore had lost 15 of 18 and faded from postseason contention before winning the final two in the three-game series.

Carlos Beltran homered and drove in three runs for the Yankees, who took a 3-1 lead in the third but got only one more hit.

Ubaldo Jimenez (11-9) allowed four hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked none. Darren O’Day and Zach Britton finished the four-hitter, with Britton saving his 32nd game in 35 chances.

The crowd of 30,038 was the smallest at new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009, and the lowest for a Yankees home game since 2004.


CINCINNATI (AP) - Reds star Joey Votto went berserk after a called strike and got ejected, with teammates and even an umpire needing to hold him back in Cincinnati’s loss to Pittsburgh.

Jung Ho Kang hit Pittsburgh’s first grand slam of the season, a tiebreaking shot in the sixth inning. The Pirates hold the top spot in the NL wild-card race.

Votto was tossed by plate umpire Bill Welke while the Reds were trying to rally in the eighth. The 2010 NL MVP slammed down his batting helmet, hollering and gesturing as he went nose-to-nose with Welke.

The dispute quickly escalated and Reds teammates intervened to restrain Votto, with first base umpire Laz Diaz helping prevent the big hitter from getting back at Welke. Cincinnati manager Bryan Price also was ejected.

J.A. Happ (5-1) struck out a season-high 10. He won his fifth straight start, pitching into the seventh inning and giving up three hits.

Mark Melancon worked the ninth for his major league-leading 44th save.

Keyvius Sampson (2-4) took the loss.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Julio Teheran threw seven impressive innings, Christian Bethancourt hit a go-ahead homer and Atlanta beat Philadelphia.

Teheran (10-7) gave up one run and four hits to help Atlanta take two of three and avoid tying the Phillies for the worst record in the majors. The Braves had lost 12 in a row and 19 of 20 before coming to Philadelphia.

Michael Bourn had four of Atlanta’s season-high 18 hits. Bethancourt and Hector Olivera each had three hits. The trio entered the game batting a combined .170 (37 for 218).

David Buchanan (2-8) allowed four runs and 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings.


DETROIT (AP) - Jake Odorizzi pitched six strong innings and Tampa Bay hit four homers in a rout of Detroit.

Odorizzi (7-8) held the Tigers to six hits and a walk while striking out six. Logan Forsythe, Tim Beckham, J.P. Arencibia and Mikie Mahtook went deep for the Rays.

Kyle Lobstein (3-7) took the loss in his second start back from a shoulder injury. He gave up five runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.


MIAMI (AP) - Tom Koehler tied career highs with 10 strikeouts in eight innings and Christian Yelich had a tiebreaking, two-run double in the seventh as Miami beat Milwaukee.

Koehler (9-13) won for the first time since July 23 at San Diego, ending a seven-game losing streak. He allowed two runs and four hits.

A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 31 chances.

Martin Prado drove in the other three runs for the Marlins.

Tyler Cravy (0-6) took the loss.


CHICAGO (AP) - Francisco Lindor had three hits, including a home run, and Jose Ramirez also went deep in Cleveland’s victory over Chicago.

Josh Tomlin (5-1) allowed three runs in 5 2-3 innings to win his fifth straight. Cody Allen allowed a run in the ninth before securing his 30th save.

Lindor, who also tripled and scored twice, finished a double shy of the cycle.

Trayce Thompson, Tyler Saladino and Jose Abreu each had a solo homer for the White Sox. Jeff Samardzija (9-12) allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. Samardzija has lost seven of eight overall and six straight at home.

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