Car­di­nals edge Giants 4-3 to keep 5-game gap

The China Post - - SPORTS -

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.

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