Cardinals edge Giants 4-3 to keep 5-game gap
St. Louis’ Yadier Molina hit his 100th career home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Cardinals to a 4-3 win against San Francisco on Wednesday, helping the Cards maintain a five-game divisional lead.
Their nearest rival in the National League Central, Pittsburgh, kept pace by beating Arizona thanks to a strong pitching performance from J.A. Happ.
The New York Mets saw their lead in the NL East trimmed after a narrow loss at Baltimore, while the cross-town New York Yankees pushed their lead in the American League East out to two games by edging Minnesota.
St. Louis’ Molina led off the eighth by lining a breaking ball from Hunter Strickland (2-3) for only his fourth homer of the year. He earlier drove in a run with a first-inning single, while rookie Stephen Piscotty homered in the third.
The result meant the Cardinals took the series 2-1, making its sixstraight series victories for the majors’ top team.
Pittsburgh’s J.A. Happ pitched six scoreless innings to guide the Pirates to a 4-1 win against Arizona.
Happ (5-7), recently acquired from Seattle, earned his first National League victory in more than three years.
Sean Rodriguez had three hits and an RBI for the Pirates, who have a 16-3 record this season against teams from the NL West division.
Baltimore’s Henry Urrutia broke a ninth-inning tie with his first major league home run, giving the Orioles a 5-4 win against the Mets, ending a run of nine straight losses to the New York team.
Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones also homered for the Orioles, who hadn’t defeated the Mets since 2009.
Baltimore rallied from 3-1 and 4-3 deficits before Urrutia led off the ninth with the winning drive, securing the Orioles’ fifth win in six games.
The Yankees edged Minnesota 4-3, with New York rookie Greg Bird hitting a pair of soaring two-run drives for his first major league homers.
Bird, who was called up from the minor leagues on Thursday, connected twice off Ervin Santana (2-4), who fell to 0-8 in his past 11 starts against New York.
Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi (13-2) did not allow a baserunner until the sixth. He is 8-0 in his past 11 starts.
Detroit pitcher Daniel Norris homered in his first career batting appearance and Nick Castellanos went deep twice, one a grand slam, as the Tigers pounded the Chicago Cubs 15-8.
The Tigers set season highs in runs and hits (21) and tied a season best with five homers — three off Jon Lester — and have scored 25 runs over two games against the Cubs.
The Cubs dropped their third straight after winning 15 of 16, with Lester (8-9) making his earliest exit of the season. The Cubs’ ace lasted just 2 2-3 innings while allowing a season-worst seven runs.
Norris became the first pitcher in four years to homer in his first major league at-bat, according to STATS, when he lined a two-run drive in the second inning.
Castellanos drove in a career-high five runs. He recorded the first multihomer game of his career: a leadoff drive in the second and the grand slam that made it 7-0 in the third.
Houston rookie Carlos Correa homered and later drove in the winning run in the 13th inning as the Astros edged Tampa Bay 3-2.
Colby Rasmus walked with one out in the 13th and advanced to third on a single by Jose Altuve off Matt Andriese (3-3). Correa’s grounder to right field with two outs in the inning scored Rasmus to give Houston the victory.
It was the second straight extrainning win for the Astros who beat the Rays 3-2 on Tuesday.
Kansas City capitalized on a baserunning mistake by Cincinnati to beat the Reds 4-3.
In the fifth inning, Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce popped up along the first base line. Bruce was out under the infield fly rule, under which the batter is out regardless of whether the ball is caught. But runner Jason Bourgeois, not knowing the rule, tried to score from third base when he saw the attempted catch dropped, and the pitcher tossed the ball to home plate, where Bourgeois was easily tagged for a double play which ended the inning.
Lorenzo Cain had a tiebreaking RBI single in the second inning while Ben Zobrist had four hits for the Royals, who swept the four-game series.
Oakland’s Jesse Chavez struck out six over eight innings to guide the Athletics to a 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Chavez (7-12) threw a career-high 116 pitches
Billy Burns hit a tying double for Oakland in the sixth then scored the go-ahead run on Danny Valencia’s double-play grounder two batters later.
The Los Angeles defeated the Chicago White Sox 1-0, with Jered Weaver pitching into the seventh in- ning to take his first win since May and a seven-week injury absence.
Texas’ Derek Holland also won in his return from injury to steer the Rangers to a 7-2 win against Seattle.
Philadelphia rookie Aaron Altherr homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the Phillies beat Toronto 7-3.
San Diego’s Yangervis Solarte drove in two runs as the Padres beat Atlanta 3-2 to complete a three-game sweep.
Boston’s David Ortiz, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ryan Hanigan all homered — the latter two on consecutive pitches — to power the Red Sox past Cleveland 6-4.
Washington’s Stephen Strasburg pitched seven strong innings as the Nationals won 4-1 against Colorado.
Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun became the Brewers’ career home run leader with his 252nd homer in an 8-7 win against Miami.
(Above) Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa, center, is mobbed by teammates after hitting a walk-off RBI in the 13th inning of a baseball game to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in Houston, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 19. (Right) San Francisco Giants center fielder Juan Perez climbs the outfield wall to catch a ball hit by St. Louis Cardinals’ Stephen Piscotty for an out during the first inning of a baseball game in St. Louis, Missouri, Wednesday.