Car­di­nals win 7-1 vs. Dodgers in start of big se­ries

The China Post - - SPORTS -

St. Louis’ Michael Wacha pitched seven ef­fec­tive innings to guide the Car­di­nals to a 7- 1 win at the Los An­ge­les Dodgers in Thurs­day’s opener of a four- game se­ries be­tween the top two teams in the Na­tional League.

Else­where in the Na­tional League, there was a change at the top of the East di­vi­sion, with the New York Mets go­ing top with a win against Ari­zona while Wash­ing­ton lost a tight con­test against the Chicago Cubs.

In the Amer­i­can League, Bal­ti­more won nar­rowly at Hous­ton and Cleve­land beat Kansas City in a game ended af­ter eight innings due to rain.

St. Louis, which knocked the Dodgers out of the play­offs in each of the pre­vi­ous two sea­sons, in­creased its Cen­tral Di­vi­sion lead to 6 1/ 2 games over idle Pitts­burgh while Los An­ge­les’ West Di­vi­sion ad­van­tage shrunk to 1 1/ 2 games over the idle San Fran­cisco Gi­ants.

Wacha ( 8- 1) al­lowed one run

with­out walk­ing a bat­ter and had five strike­outs, five days af­ter the Dodgers beat him 5- 1 at St. Louis. This was Wacha’s first road start against the Dodgers, whom he de­feated twice in the 2013 NL cham­pi­onship se­ries with­out con­ced­ing a run.

Ja­son Hey­ward and Kolten Wong drove in two runs each for the Car­di­nals. The Mets re­turned to the NL East sum­mit with a rare road win, beat­ing Ari­zona 6-2.

New York starter Matt Har­vey ( 6- 3) struck out nine in seven strong innings to record his first win in six starts. It was the fifth time this sea­son he has struck out nine or more.

John Mayberry Jr. had a two- run homer among his ca­reer- high four hits for the Mets, who banged out 14 hits to win for the sec­ond time in 11 road games.

The win moved New York back above Wash­ing­ton, which gave up two runs in the first in­ning against the Cubs and could not catch up, los­ing 2- 1.

Chicago starter Jake Ar­ri­eta ( 5- 4) re­bounded from a pair of sub­par out­ings, pitch­ing six innings and giv­ing up one run.

Wash­ing­ton’s An­thony Ren­don, who missed 53 games due to in­juries, had two hits in his sea­son de­but. He was up at the plate with run­ners on first and sec­ond and two outs in the ninth when Cubs catcher David Ross picked off Clint Robin­son at first to end it.

Bal­ti­more’s Adam Jones had three hits, in­clud­ing a solo homer that lifted the Ori­oles over Hous­ton 3- 2. With the score 2- 2 in the eighth in­ning and two outs, Jones drove a pitch from Chad Qualls ( 1- 3) over the left­field wall. Jones has five hits in his past two games fol­low­ing an 0- for- 12 slump.

Bal­ti­more starter Wei- Yin Chen yielded two runs in 6 1- 3 innings with a sea­son­high nine strike­outs.

Ori­oles manager Buck Showalter was ejected in the sec­ond for ar­gu­ing balls and strikes with the plate um­pire, but still saw his team end a five-game los­ing skid.

Cleve­land’s Bran­don Moss hit a two-run homer to help the In­di­ans win 6-2 at Kansas City.

Af­ter strug­gling to score the pre­vi­ous night, the In­di­ans pounded away against Chris Young (4-2) over the first five innings. They sent eight bat­ters to the plate dur­ing a four­run third in­ning, and Moss added his sec­ond homer of the se­ries with no outs in the fifth.

The game was de­layed with one out in the bot­tom of the eighth as light­ning and heavy rain rolled into the area. The um­pires waited 44 min­utes be­fore end­ing the game.

Bos­ton’s third base­man Pablo San­doval mis­han­dled a throw on Joe Mauer’s bunt in the ninth in­ning, al­low­ing the Twins to break clear for an 8- 4 win against the Red Sox, split­ting the four- game se­ries.

Tampa Bay pitcher Erasmo Ramirez beat his for­mer team, com­bin­ing with four re­liev­ers to give the Rays a 2- 1 win against Seat­tle.

Texas’ Shin- Soo Choo hit a sin­gle past a de­fen­sive shift in the 11th in­ning to give the Rangers a 2- 1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Oak­land com­pleted a three- game sweep of Detroit with a 7- 5 re­sult that sent the Tigers spi­ral­ing to their sev­enth straight loss, with — Jesse Hahn al­low­ing just one run in seven innings.

Cincin­nati’s An­thony DeS­clafani also threw seven ef­fec­tive innings to steer the Reds to a 6- 4 win against Philadel­phia, avoid­ing a three- game sweep.

AP

Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als start­ing pitcher Gio Gon­za­lez #47 bites his bat in frus­tra­tion af­ter strik­ing out on a fouled bunt at­tempt dur­ing the third in­ning of a base­ball game against the Chicago Cubs at Na­tion­als Park in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Thurs­day, June 4.

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