Pittsburgh extends wild-card lead

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 22, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) Vance Worley pitched eight sparkling innings, Russell Martin hit a late RBI single and the Pittsburgh Pirates trapped a runner in the ninth to edge Milwaukee 1-0 Sunday, extending their wild-card lead over the Brewers.
The Pirates tied San Francisco atop the NL wild-race race, 4 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee. Andrew McCutchen singled and scored in the seventh, helping Pittsburgh take two of three from the Brewers.
Carlos Gomez led off the Milwaukee ninth with a single and Rickie Weeks followed with an infield hit, but the speedy Gomez got caught in a rundown and was tagged between second and third.
McCutchen led off the seventh with a single against Wily Peralta (16-11).
Worley (8-4) scattered four hits, walking none and striking out five. Tony Watson worked the ninth for his first save.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Nori Aoki hit a two-run triple, helping Jeremy Guthrie and the Royals increase their lead in the AL wild-card race.
The Royals avoided a three-game sweep and moved within 1 1/2 games of the AL Central-leading Tigers. Kansas City also opened a 1 1/2-game edge over Seattle for the second wild-card spot.
Aoki’s tiebreaking triple in the fourth scored Omar Infante and Mike Moustakas, making it 4-2 and chasing Rick Porcello from the game.
Porcello (15-12) is 0-4 in his past five starts.
Guthrie (12-11) gave up one earned run in 5 1-3 innings. Greg Holland threw a perfect ninth for his 43rd save.
ST. LOUIS (AP) The Cardinals clinched a playoff spot, and then lost to the Reds.
St. Louis secured its fourth consecutive postseason appearance when Milwaukee lost to Pittsburgh earlier in the day. But the Cardinals’ lead in the NL Central was sliced to 2 1/2 games over the Pirates.
Bruce hit two of Cincinnati’s four homers as the Reds snapped a six-game losing streak. Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco also went deep.
Reds right-hander Alfredo Simon (15-10) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings.
Lance Lynn (15-10) gave up three runs and four hits in six innings for St. Louis.
HOUSTON (AP) Seattle’s playoff hopes took another hit, with Jake Marisnick hitting a three-run homer for the second straight game to lead Houston to the victory.
Houston took two of three from the Mariners, dropping them 1 1/2 games behind Kansas City for the second AL wild card.
Rookie Collin McHugh (11-9) became the first Astros pitcher to win seven straight decisions since Roy Oswalt’s nine-game string in 2006-07.
Hisashi Iwakuma (14-9) was trying to bounce back from his last two starts, when he was 0-2 with a 12.91 ERA. Instead, he allowed six hits and four runs in 4 1-3 innings.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Corey Kluber matched a career best by striking 14 for the second straight start and Cleveland didn’t lose any ground in the playoff chase with a win over Minnesota.
The Indians have won five of six.
Cleveland is 3 1/2 games behind Kansas City for the second AL wild card, and hosts the Royals for three-plus games beginning Monday. In addition to Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting, the teams will complete the Aug. 31 game in Kansas City that was suspended in the middle of the 10th inning due to rain with Cleveland up 4-2.
Kluber (17-9) won his fourth straight start. Anthony Swarzak (3-2) took the loss.
CHICAGO (AP) Matt Kemp homered and drove in four runs, Yasiel Puig scored a career-high four times and the NL West-leading Dodgers beat the Cubs.
Kemp had four hits for the Dodgers, who clinched a playoff berth on Friday and lead San Francisco by 4 1/2 games. The Giants start a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Monday.
Jamey Wright made his first start since Sept. 1, 2013, going two innings as the Dodgers used their bullpen to pitch the whole game. Chris Perez (1-3) got the win and Kenley Jansen earned his 43rd save.
Jacob Turner (5-11) took the loss.
SAN DIEGO (AP) Reeling San Francisco managed just six hits off Ian Kennedy and three relievers, losing to San Diego and falling 4 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.
San Diego swept the three-game series. The Giants are still in good shape for a wild-card berth they’re tied with Pittsburgh, 4 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee.
Kennedy (12-13) struck out five, giving him a career-high 201.
Ryan Vogelsong (8-12) held the Padres hitless until Seth Smith doubled leading off the fifth.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning, lifting Oakland to the victory.
The A’s lead the AL wild-card race by a half-game over Kansas City, with Seattle 1 1/2 games behind the Royals.
Nate Freiman singled with one out against Miguel Gonzalez (0-1) to set up Donaldson’s shot.
Sean Doolittle (2-4) pitched two innings.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Ryan Rua hit his first major league homer, connecting off Huston Street in the ninth inning as the Rangers beat the playoff-bound Angels for their eighth win in nine games.
The Rangers, who have the worst record in majors, took two of three from the Angels, who have the best record.
Rua broke a tie with his one-out shot off Street (1-2).
Shawn Tolleson (3-1) got two outs in the eighth. Neftali Feliz struck out the side for his 11th save.
BALTIMORE (AP) Joe Kelly pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and the Red Sox got home runs from Mookie Betts and David Ross.
Boston took two of three from the Orioles, who have been playing without several regulars in the lineup since clinching the AL East title on Tuesday.
Edward Mujica got his eighth save, preserving the win for Kelly (3-2).
Baltimore’s Miguel Gonzalez (9-9) allowed three runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.
NEW YORK (AP) Masahiro Tanaka made a triumphant return from an elbow injury that sidelined him for 2 1/2 months and a rejuvenated Derek Jeter got two more hits on his final homestand, leading the Yankees to the victory.
The Yankees are 4 1/2 games out of the second AL wild-card spot with a week left.
Jeter went 8 for 15 with two doubles, a home run and three RBIs in his next-to-last home series. The retiring 40-year-old captain saluted the crowd after sharing postgame handshakes and high-fives with his teammates.
Tanaka (13-4) made his first start since being sidelined by a small tear in his elbow in early July. He has tried to recover with rest and rehabilitation, rather than Tommy John surgery.
Tanaka allowed one run and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. As promised, manager Joe Girardi removed him after 70 pitches.
David Robertson pitched a hitless ninth for his 38th save in 42 chances.
Brett Gardner hit the 15,000th home run in Yankees history, connecting against Drew Hutchison (10-13).
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Avisail Garcia hit two home runs, John Danks took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and the White Sox beat Tampa Bay in the Rays’ home finale.
Winning for the first time in 10 starts since July 25, Danks (10-11) didn’t allow a hit until Brandon Guyer’s double with one out in the sixth.
Nathan Karns (1-1) took the loss. Tampa Bay finished with its worst home record (36-45) since 2002.
MIAMI (AP) Stephen Strasburg pitched seven shutout innings and NL-leading Washington swept a four-game series from Miami.
The East champion Nationals have won eight of nine.
Strasburg (13-11) allowed three hits. Rafael Soriano got through the ninth for his 32nd save in 39 chances.
Nathan Eovaldi (6-13) gave up two runs in six innings.
ATLANTA (AP) The Braves were knocked out of the playoff race after a late-season collapse, losing to Jacob deGrom and the Mets.
A half-game out of first place in the NL East on July 29, the Braves have gone 18-30 since then to fall 15 back of Washington.
Atlanta lost for the 14th time in 18 September games as deGrom (9-6) struck out 10 in six innings.
Braves starter Ervin Santana (14-10) took the loss.
DENVER (AP) Michael Cuddyer homered, Rafael Ynoa drove in three runs and the Rockies completed a four-game sweep.
Rookie Christian Bergman (3-4) allowed two runs in 5 2-3 innings for the win.
Mark Trumbo homered twice and drove in all three runs for the Diamondbacks, who have lost six in a row. Wade Miley (8-12) took the loss.