Cardinals beat Reds to stretch NL Central lead


CINCINNATI (AP) – The St. Louis Cardinals opened a four-game lead over Cincinnati atop the National League Central division by beating the Reds 9-2 on Friday, with pitcher Adam Wainwright notching his ninth win of the season. Elsewhere Friday, Tampa Bay edged Baltimore to close the gap between them to half a game, while Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt again proved the match-winner against San Francisco. A wild pitch in the tenth inning gave the Los Angeles Dodgers victory over Atlanta, Detroit stretched its lead over division rival Cleveland, and Oakland pulled off a come-from-behind win over the Chicago White Sox. St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright (9-3) gave up two runs over seven innings to guide the Cardinals to a league-best 40th win of the season. Every starter had a hit for St. Louis, which has won the past four series between the teams. The Reds have given up 26 runs over their past three games. Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer pitched seven strong innings in just his second start of the season to guide the Rays to a 2-1 win over Baltimore. Archer (1-1) spent the first two months of the season at the minor league Durham Bulls before being promoted to the majors last weekend. Desmond Jennings hit a two-run homer to the deepest part of the ball park in the seventh inning, and that was enough for the Rays.

Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt continued his hot streak by hitting a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning, lifting theDiamondbacks to a 3-1 win over San Francisco. The Giants looked poised for victory before Goldschmidt lined a 2-0 pitch from Jeremy Affeldt over the right field fence for his 15th home run of the season. Los Angeles’ pinch-runner Skip Schumaker scored on the second wild pitch by Anthony Varvaro in the 10th inning, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 victory over the Braves.


Ramon Hernandez started the rally with a one-out single, took second on the first wild pitch and advanced to third on a single by Luis Cruz. Varvaro (3-1) then bounced another wild pitch to the catcher, allowing Schumaker to score.

Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig was on-deck, but he wasn’t needed after homering for the fourth time in five career games.

Detroit’s Justin Verlander pitched seven solid innings to steer the Tigers to a 7-5 win over Cleveland, opening a 3-1/2 game lead over the Indians atop the American League Central. Verlander (8-4) allowed seven hits and struck out six. Victor Martinez homered among his three hits for the Tigers in this opener of a three-game series. Oakland’s Josh Donaldson hit his first career grand slam to rally the Athletics from a three-run deficit and beat the Chicago White Sox 4-1. Donaldson’s sixth-inning homer was one of two key moments, with the other being Josh Reddick making a homer-saving catch in the bottom of the ninth. Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run double and pitcher Neil Wagner earned his first major league win as the Blue Jays beat Texas 6-1. Seattle’s Brendan Ryan and Jason Bay both hit two-out, two-run singles in a four-run fourth inning, while Jeremy Bonderman won for the first time since 2010 as the Mariners beat the New York Yankees 4-1. Colorado’s Nolan Arenado hit a game-ending homer leading off the ninth inning, completing a giant comeback from a six-run deficit, and giving the Rockies a 10-9 win over San Diego. Pittsburgh’s Francisco Liriano pitched seven scoreless innings as the Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 2-0 for their major league-leading 10th shutout. Milwaukee’s Aramis Ramirez hit an RBI single with one out in the ninth inning, rallying Milwaukee from four runs down to beat Philadelphia 5-4 and end Philadelphia’s five-game winning streak.

Kansas City’s Billy Butler drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as the Royals beat Houston 4-2 for their third straight win. 



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