Major League Baseball

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 20, 2014

By The Associated Press
CHICAGO — Clayton Kershaw became the majors’ first 20-game winner and A.J. Ellis hit a pair of two-run homers, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 14-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
Kershaw (20-3) pitched five shaky innings in his shortest start in 3 1/2 months, but the NL West-leading Dodgers roughed up Edwin Jackson on their way to a 13-hit attack that included four homers. Matt Kemp hit a three-run shot in Los Angeles’ six-run first, and Yasiel Puig added another three-run homer in the sixth.
The Dodgers improved baseball’s best road record to 48-31 and clinched a postseason berth when Milwaukee lost at Pittsburgh.
Jackson (6-15) recorded just two outs in his first appearance since he was placed on the disabled list last month with a right lat strain. He was charged with four hits and five runs in his fourth consecutive loss.
Kershaw struck out nine in his sixth consecutive win. The left-hander is 17-1 with a 1.39 ERA in his last 20 starts. He had pitched at least eight innings in each of his previous seven outings.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Russell Martin hit a three-run homer off Jonathan Broxton in the eighth inning and Pittsburgh inched closer to a playoff berth by beating Milwaukee Brewers.
Martin sent a Broxton fastball into the seats beyond the center field wall for his 11th home run of the season. Mark Melancon worked a perfect ninth for his 31st save as the Pirates moved 41/2 games in front of the Brewers for the second National League wild card spot with nine days left in the regular season.
John Holdzkom (1-0) earned his first major league victory. The Pirates have won a season-high five straight.
Rickie Weeks hit his seventh homer for the Brewers, and Yovani Gallardo struck out 11 in seven strong innings. The Brewers, who led the NL Central for most of the summer, are now in danger of missing out on the playoffs entirely after losing their third in a row.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer, everyone in the Detroit starting lineup had a hit by the fourth inning, and the Tigers pounded Jason Vargas and second-place Kansas City to add another game to their AL Central lead.
Justin Verlander (14-12) had all the support he needed by the end of the first inning, when the Tigers had shelled Vargas (11-10) for three runs on five hits. Detroit tacked on a run in the second, another in the fourth, and then broke things open with a five-run fifth.
The Tigers (85-68), who lead the division by 1 1/2 games, have forged their advantage by going 12-5 against the Royals his season.
Verlander, who had struggled his previous three outings, allowed one run and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings.
Vargas allowed five runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings, his shortest outing since April 16, 2013.
Detroit designated hitter, 35-year-old Victor Martinez, had a run-scoring single in the first inning to give him 100 RBIs to go with 31 home runs. The only players older than him to become first-time members of the 30-100 club were Carlton Fisk (1985) and Edgar Martinez (2000).
ST. LOUIS (AP) — John Lackey powered back into the St. Louis postseason rotation picture with 7 2-3 dominant innings, and Randal Grichuk and Matt Holliday hit consecutive homers in the first inning of the Cardinals’ victory against Cincinnati.
The NL Central leaders had only five hits but maintained a 2 1-2-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates with eight games remaining. Their magic number is seven for clinching a second straight division title and two over third-place Milwaukee for securing a fourth straight postseason berth.
St. Louis is 6-1 on its final nine-game homestand.
Lackey (14-9) was passed over in the just-completed three-game series against Milwaukee after complaining of a dead arm. The 35-year-old right-hander arrived at the trade deadline with a big-game reputation but was 2-2 with a 5.05 ERA in his first eight starts.
Randy Choate struck out Jay Bruce and Seth Maness and retired Ryan Ludwick for his third save in three chances.
The Cardinals jumped on rookie lefty Mike Holmberg (1-2) early.
The Reds, who have lost five in a row, fell to 22-38 in one-run decisions. They lead the majors in one-run losses.
NEW YORK (AP) — Jacoby Ellsbury, Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees kept Mark Buehrle winless against them for more than a decade, sending Toronto to its season-worst sixth straight loss.
New York won its third in a row to preserve its faint AL wild-card hopes.
The cheers for Jeter kept getting louder and louder during his final homestand, and fans chanted his name throughout the ninth inning.
Jeter delivered two singles, giving him back-to-back multihit games for the first time since late July.
Ellsbury homered, doubled and drove in three runs.
Buehrle (12-10) lost to the Yankees for the 12th straight time in 17 starts since April 2004. His losing streak against New York is the longest by any pitcher against a single opponent since Bobby Witt dropped 12 in a row to Cleveland starting in 1991, STATS said.
Buehrle fell to 1-14 lifetime against the Yankees.
Hiroki Kuroda (11-9) gave up Edwin Encarnacion’s two-run homer off the left-field foul pole in the first. Adam Warren pitched 1 2-3 innings for his third save.
ATLANTA (AP) — Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer, Zack Wheeler pitched six scoreless innings, and the New York Mets beat struggling Atlanta but were eliminated from playoff contention.
Atlanta, which dropped seven games behind Pittsburgh in the NL wild-card race, can be eliminated with any combination of three Pirates wins or Braves losses.
The Mets were knocked out when Pittsburgh beat Milwaukee.
The Braves, losers in six of seven, dropped to 4-12 this month.
Wheeler (11-10) allowed five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. The Georgia native improved to 6-1 with a 1.92 ERA in 13 road starts, dating to May 29.
Daniel Murphy went 4 for 5 and scored on Duda’s homer in the sixth.
Julio Teheran (13-13) took the loss.
RED SOX 5, ORIOLES 3, 10 innings
BALTIMORE (AP) — David Ortiz hit two home runs, including a two-run drive in the 10th inning that lifted Boston past Baltimore.
Although the AL East-champion Orioles are still in the running for home-field advantage throughout the postseason, manager Buck Showalter rested several regulars, including Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis.
The most prominent starter in the lineup was Nelson Cruz, who had three hits, as did Alejandro De Aza.
Ortiz hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and connected in the 10th off Darren O’Day (5-2), his sixth multihomer game of the season and 47th of his career.
Ortiz has 34 homers and 102 RBIs, the club-record eighth time he has had a 30-100 season — passing Ted Williams. At 38, Ortiz is the oldest major leaguer to go 30-100 since Frank Thomas did it at the same age in 2006.
Junichi Tazawa (4-3) worked the ninth and Edward Mujica got three outs to secure his seventh save and end Boston’s five-game losing streak against Baltimore.
MIAMI (AP) — Adam LaRoche hit an early two-run homer to support Doug Fister and lead NL-leading Washington over Miami.
Fister (15-6) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings for the Nationals, who have won six of seven. The NL East-champion Nationals (89-64) lead the Dodgers (88-66) by 1 1-2 games for the best record in the league.
Washington’s Denard Span had two hits and drove in a run for Washington. Drew Storen earned his eighth save in 11 chances.
Justin Bour hit his first major league home run for the Marlins and had two RBIs.
LaRoche hit his 25th home run of Tom Koehler (9-10) in the first inning, a two-run drive.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jose Quintana pitched into the eighth inning, and Avisail Garcia had a two-run double to lead the Chicago White Sox past Tampa Bay, eliminating the Rays from playoff contention.
Chicago rookie Jose Abreu also had a run-scoring single during a four-run fifth, giving him 104 RBIs for the season.
Logan Forsythe drove in Tampa Bay’s runs with a two-run double in the first and a leadoff home run in the fourth, his sixth of the season.
Quintana (9-10) gave up three runs — one earned — and nine hits in 7 1-3 innings. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.65 ERA over his last four starts.
Zach Putnam got the last two outs, striking out Kevin Kiermaier with two runners on to earn his sixth save.
Jeremy Hellickson (1-4) allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings, failing to get through the fifth for the third time in five starts.
DENVER (AP) — Michael Cuddyer hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high seven runs, leading Colorado over Arizona.
Jordan Lyles pitched six strong innings for his first win in six weeks.
Rafael Ynoa added four hits and three RBIs, and Wilin Rosario had three hits and two RBIs for the Rockies, who moved a game up on last-place Arizona in the NL West. It is the first time Colorado hasn’t been in last place since July 13.
Lyles (7-3) gave up two runs and nine hits with one strikeout, en route to his first win in eight starts since Aug. 6.
Chase Anderson (9-7), trying to become the fifth Diamondbacks rookie with at least 10 wins in a season, allowed six runs and nine hits in five innings.
TWINS 5, INDIANS 4, 10 innings
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Trevor Plouffe singled in Danny Santana in the 10th inning to give Minnesota a comeback victory that further damaged Cleveland’s already slim playoff hopes.
Santana led off the inning with a single off Kyle Crockett (4-1).
With Minnesota trailing 4-3 in the ninth, Kurt Suzuki hit a one-out double off closer Cody Allen and was replaced by pinch-runner Eduardo Nunez. Nunez moved to third on Oswaldo Arcia’s single and scored to tie it when Aaron Hicks grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Jared Burton (3-5) stranded Michael Brantley at second base to end the top of the 10th.
Michael Brantley homered and Lonnie Chisenhall had two hits and an RBI for Cleveland.
HOUSTON (AP) — Dustin Ackley hit two solo homers, and Mike Zunino and Kyle Seager each hit three-run shots in a seven-run fourth inning as Seattle cruised past Houston.
Ackley homered in the third and eighth innings for his second career multihomer game for the Mariners.
Taijuan Walker (2-2) yielded eight hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings for his third career win in his return to the rotation for injured left-hander Roenis Elias.
Houston starter Brad Peacock (4-9) walked two batters with one out in the fourth before Robinson Cano chased him with a single for his 900th career RBI.
Major league hits leader Jose Altuve bounced back from Thursday’s 0 for 6 night with three hits to give him 216, the most by a second basemen since Rod Carew had 218 in 1974.