Sunday's major league summary

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Associated Press

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 24 at 10:02 PM

AMERICAN LEAGUE

ATHLETICS 5, YANKEES 4

NEW YORK (AP) — Cliff Pennington hit a go-ahead single in the sixth inning after a key error by backup shortstop Eduardo Nunez and the Oakland Athletics bounced back to avoid a sweep, edging New York 5-4 Sunday and stopping the Yankees' seven-game winning streak.

A day after their stunning 14-inning loss, the A's held on to maintain their 2½-game lead for the second AL wild-card spot over the Angels, who also won.

The Yankees kept their one-game lead in the AL East because Baltimore lost in Boston. Despite the defeat, the Yankees have to like their chances to win the division — their final 10 games are against three teams with records below .500.

RED SOX 2, ORIOLES 1

BOSTON (AP) — Cody Ross doubled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, Andrew Bailey escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth and the Red Sox ended Baltimore's six-game winning streak, 2-1.

The Orioles remained behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East and one game ahead of Oakland for the top wild-card spot in the league.

Boston stopped its four-game losing streak after Dustin Pedroia led off the eighth with a double against Luis Ayala (5-5) and Ross followed with his tiebreaking hit.

A double by Jim Thome helped Baltimore load the bases with one out in the ninth. But Bailey got Manny Machado on a forceout at home and struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Flaherty to finish it.

ANGELS 4, WHITE SOX 1

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jered Weaver kept the Angels within striking distance in the AL wild-card chase, posting his league-leading 19th victory with a decision over the struggling White Sox, 4-1.

The White Sox lost their fifth in a row but increased their lead to one game over Detroit in the AL Central. The Tigers lost both ends of a day-night doubleheader against Minnesota.

Albert Pujols reached the 100-RBI mark for the 11th time in 12 big league seasons with a two-run double as the Angels remained 2½ games behind Oakland for the second wild-card spot.

Kendrys Morales hit a two-run homer that helped the Angels complete a three-game sweep.

Weaver (19-4) established a career high for wins.

TWINS 10, TIGERS 4, 1st game

DETROIT (AP) — Joe Mauer drove in four runs and the Minnesota Twins rallied against Max Scherzer, handing the contending Tigers a 10-4 loss in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

After leaving his previous start with shoulder weakness, Scherzer (16-7) pitched five shutout innings with a fastball that topped out at 93 mph, a bit slower than usual. But he couldn't get an out in the sixth, hurt by a dropped fly ball, and ended up allowing three runs.

TWINS 2, TIGERS 1, 10 innings, 2nd game

DETROIT (AP) — Jamey Carroll hit an RBI single in the 10th inning and the Minnesota Twins beat Detroit 2-1 Sunday, winning both games of a doubleheader to prevent the Tigers from at least tying the Chicago White Sox atop the AL Central.

Chicago still has a one-game lead in the division despite extending its losing streak to five with a 4-1 loss earlier in the day against the Los Angeles Angels.

Detroit closer Jose Valverde (3-4) allowed pinch-hitter Denard Span to lead off the extra inning with a single and gave up a one-out, fall-behind single to Carroll.

INDIANS 15, ROYALS 4

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Carlos Santana hit two homers and drove in five runs as the Indians routed Kansas City in their highest-scoring game of the season, 15-4.

Santana connected for a two-run shot in the sixth inning off Jake Odorizzi, who lost in his major league debut. Santana added his team-leading 18th homer, a three-run drive during a seven-run ninth.

The loss officially eliminated the Royals from playoff contention and assured them of another losing record. Kansas City has not made the postseason since winning the 1985 World Series, the longest active playoff drought in the majors.

RAYS 3, BLUE JAYS 0

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — B.J. Upton hit his eighth home run in 14 games and Jeremy Hellickson won for the first time in more than a month to help the Rays beat the Blue Jays 3-0.

It was the fifth straight win for the Rays, who remained 3½ games behind the Oakland Athletics in the race for the AL's second wild-card spot.

Hellickson (9-10) pitched 5 2-3 innings, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out six. The right-hander has given up only 16 runs in his last eight starts, but has won only two of them. Sunday marked his first win since Aug. 20.

Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 44th save.

Upton's 26th home run came in the first inning off Chad Jenkins, who was making his first major league start.

RANGERS 3, MARINERS 2

SEATTLE (AP) — Ryan Dempster allowed two runs and six hits over six-plus innings and Mike Napoli and Geovany Soto homered to lead the Rangers over the Mariners 3-2 and preserve a four-game lead over the Oakland A's in the AL West.

With Oakland's 5-4 win over the New York Yankees earlier Sunday, the Rangers were looking to avoid a sweep by the scuffling Mariners in order to keep their distance over the Athletics with a pivotal four-game series against them beginning in Texas on Monday.

Solo homers by Eric Thames and Brendan Ryan off Dempster (12-7) in the seventh inning were the only blemishes to a strong outing. Dempster went 6 2-3 innings allowing one walk while striking out eight. Joe Nathan earned his 35th save.

The Rangers were again without Josh Hamilton, who has missed the last five games with a sinus issue that's affected his vision.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

CARDINALS 6, CUBS 3

CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Lohse and the short-handed St. Louis Cardinals won for the sixth time in seven games, holding their lead in the NL wild-card race with a 6-3 win Sunday over the Chicago Cubs.

Minus All-Stars Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran from the starting lineup, the Cardinals stayed 2½ games ahead of Milwaukee for the second wild-card spot.

Lohse (16-3) made his team-leading 32nd start, giving up three runs and five hits in six innings.

Jason Motte earned his sixth save in the Cardinals' last seven games, and now has 40 saves this season.

Molina did not play for the defending World Series champions because of lower back spasms, having hurt himself while getting out of the way of a pitch Saturday. The catcher was feeling better, manager Mike Matheny said, still had some discomfort.

Cubs starter Justin Germano (2-9) worked 5 2-3 innings, giving up four earned runs and 10 hits.

BREWERS 6, NATIONALS 2

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jonathan Lucroy had a pair of RBI singles and Milwaukee beat Washington 6-2 to keep the Brewers in the playoff chase.

Rickie Weeks had three hits while Aramis Ramirez had two doubles for Milwaukee, which twice benefitted from Washington outfielders losing fly balls in the sun. The Brewers are 2½ games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild-card berth.

Washington (92-60) leads the NL East by 4½ games over Atlanta, a 2-1 winner over Philadelphia Sunday. The Nationals magic number to clinch the division remains at six.

Reliever Brandon Kintzler (3-0) pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the win. John Axford recorded the final out with two runners on for his 33rd save.

Losing pitcher Ryan Mattheus (5-3) allowed three earned runs on four hits.

BRAVES 2, PHILLIES 1

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tim Hudson tossed two-hit ball over 7 1-3 innings to help the Braves move to the brink of a playoff spot with a 2-1 win over the Phillies.

Hudson (16-6) struck out four and allowed one unearned run to send the Braves back to Atlanta with a shot at winning an NL wild-card berth.

A year after a historic September collapse, the Braves are again close to a postseason spot. They can clinch during a six-game homestand that opens Tuesday.

The Braves were up 8½ games through Sept. 5 last year, but went 9-18 down the stretch and were overtaken by St. Louis on the final day of the season.

This season, the Braves can almost work the final week on setting their playoff rotation.

David Ross hit a solo homer for the Braves.

PIRATES 8, ASTROS 1

HOUSTON (AP) — A.J. Burnett allowed one run in eight innings for his 16th win, and Josh Harrison tied a career high with four hits to jumpstart Pittsburgh's offense in an 8-1 win over Houston.

The win snapped a five-game skid for the Pirates, who at 75-77 are in danger of posting their 20th straight losing season, which would extend their major North American professional sports record.

They have won just three times in the past 16 games to make their chances of securing the second NL wild-card slim.

Burnett (16-8), who allowed four hits and struck out a season-high 11, won for the first time since Aug. 16 to become the first Pittsburgh pitcher to win more than 15 games since 1991. He had started six games with four losses between victories.

METS 3, MARLINS 2

NEW YORK (AP) — Ruben Tejada singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Mets a 3-2 victory over Miami.

Scott Hairston led off the inning with a single, took second on a passed ball by Rob Brantly, and was safe at third when pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin beat the throw on what would have been an inning-ending double play. Instead, pinch-hitter Fred Lewis was intentionally walked after Valdespin was allowed to take second.

Tejada lined a pitch from right-hander Ryan Webb (4-3) into shallow left field and sprinted toward first with his finger in the air as the rest of the Mets poured out of the dugout.

David Wright hit a two-run homer in the first and Bobby Parnell (5-4) pitched the top of the ninth for the win.

DIAMONDBACKS 10, ROCKIES 7

DENVER (AP) — Aaron Hill hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat Colorado 10-7, the Rockies' season-high ninth straight loss.

Arizona remained 4½ games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot.

Wil Nieves had four hits and Hill had three for the Diamondbacks, who have won three straight and six of seven.

Wilin Rosario had three hits for the fourth game in a row and DJ LeMahieu also had three hits for the Rockies.

PADRES 6, GIANTS 4

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yonder Alonso's two-run single in the seventh inning snapped a tie and helped the Padres beat the Giants 6-4.

Mark Kotsay hit a home run and Yasmani Grandal also drove in a run for the Padres, who had lost four of their previous five games. Everth Cabrera had four hits, walked and stole three bases in five plate appearances.

Xavier Nady, who had two hits, Eli Whiteside, Emmanuel Burriss and Buster Posey each drove in runs for the Giants, who rested their regulars a day after clinching the NL West Division title.

Eric Stults (7-3) worked six-plus innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, to win his sixth in seven decisions. He struck out four and walked one.

Clay Hensley (4-4) took the loss after giving up Alonso's hit.

DODGERS 5, REDS 3

CINCINNATI (AP) — Adrian Gonzalez hit a pair of solo homers off Homer Bailey on Sunday night, powering the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds that let them keep pace in the wild card race.

The Dodgers remained three games behind St. Louis and a half-game behind Milwaukee for the final NL playoff spot. All three won on Sunday.

The Dodgers have dropped 11 of their last 17 games. They're off Monday before starting a three-game series in San Diego. The Dodgers finish the season with six games at home — three against Colorado, three against NL West-champion San Francisco.

The Reds rested several regulars a day after clinching their second NL Central title in three years. Manager Dusty Baker briefly visited the players in the clubhouse after his release from a Chicago hospital, where he was treated the last four days for an irregular heartbeat.

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