Red-hot Nationals sweep Braves as baseball resumes in D.C.
Tanner Roark threw seven shutout innings, and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves, 4-0, to sweep a day-night doubleheader yesterday, ensuring the Braves leave Washington without the NL East title.
Roark (7-0) allowed just two hits, struck out six and retired the final 13 batters he faced.
Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run, Ian Desmond an RBI double and Adam LaRoche an RBI single in the eighth inning. Steve Lomardozzi had a second-inning RBI single off Freddy Garcia (1-2).
Washington entered the nightcap, which followed the Nationals’ 6-5 win in the makeup of a series opener postponed by a shooting rampage a day earlier at the nearby Navy Yard, within 4 ½ games of Cincinnati for the NL’s second wild-card berth. The Nationals, who have won 10 of 11, have 11 games remaining.
Craig Kimbrel had converted 37 consecutive save chances since early May, and Andrelton Simmons began the day with the second-best fielding percentage among National League shortstops. But they conspired to blow a three-run lead in the ninth inning of the first game.
Kimbrel (3-3), who leads the major leagues with 47 saves, blew a save chance for just the fourth time this season.
PADRES 5, PIRATES 2
Jedd Gyorko blasted a three-run homer among his three hits for San Diego.
Ronny Cedeno added three hits for San Diego, which beat the Pirates for the second straight game to put a dent in Pittsburgh’s pursuit of its first NL Central title. St. Louis and Pittsburgh entered the day tied for first in the division.
Eric Stults (9-13) allowed two runs over five innings to pick up his first win in more than two months. Stults struck out five and walked one.
Jeff Locke (10-6) allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings, striking out five and walking three.
PHILLIES 6, MARLINS 4
Chase Utley hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs and Roy Halladay tossed six effective innings for Philadelphia.
Halladay (4-4) allowed one run and four hits in his fifth start after returning from right shoulder surgery. The two-time Cy Young Award winner didn’t top 88 mph and relied on guile to get outs.
The top three hitters in Philadelphia’s lineup – Cesar Hernandez, Jimmy Rollins and Utley – were 8-for-12 with four RBIsand six runs.
Jonathan Papelbon allowed an RBI single to Giancarlo Stanton before finishing for his 28th save in 35 chances.
Rangers 7, Rays 1
Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus homered and drove in three runs each and Texas snapped a seven-game losing streak with a victory over Tampa Bay.
The Rangers pulled even with the Rays at the top of the AL wild-card race.
The Rangers, who held the No. 1 wild-card spot or the AL West lead for most of the summer, won for only the fourth time in 17 games.
Kinsler hit Jeremy Hellickson’s first pitch for his 12th home run, breaking a streak of seven homerless games for the Rangers, their longest in 23 years. The 1-0 lead marked the first time Texas has led in a game since its last victory, on Sept. 8.
TIGERS 6, MARINERS 2
Miguel Cabrera homered, Austin Jackson hit a two-run single and Detroit held off Seattle despite a short-handed bullpen.
The AL Central-leading Tigers were ahead 3-2 when they escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth while playing without closer Joaquin Benoit and left-handed reliever Drew Smyly. They were both given the night off.
Anibal Sanchez struck out 10 in 6 1∕3 innings, but the Mariners tied it at 2 against him in the seventh, forcing Detroit’s relievers into action.
Al Alburquerque (3-3) got out of the seventh, and Phil Coke and Jose Alvarez made it through a dodgy eighth. Alvarez got two outs in the ninth, and Jose Veras finished.
BLUE JAYS 2, YANKEES 0
R.A. Dickey pitched seven innings to win his fourth straight decision, Colby Rasmus and Rajai Davis homered and Toronto handed slumping New York its fourth straight loss.
The Yankees came in 2 ½ games behind Texas in the AL wild card race and lost for the eighth time in 12 games. The Yankees have 11 games remaining.
Dickey (13-12) allowed four hits, walked two and struck out eight. The knuckleballer retired the final 11 batters he faced and 15 of the last 16.
Dickey has not lost since the Yankees beat him in the Bronx on Aug. 21. He’s 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five starts since.
INDIANS 5, ROYALS 3
Asdrubal Cabrera drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and Cleveland rallied against Kansas City’s stingy bullpen to remain a half-game behind Texas and Tampa Bay in the AL wild-card race.
The Indians were shut out until the sixth by Yordano Ventura, who made an electric major league debut. They tied the game 3-all in the seventh off reliever Kelvin Herrera, and Cabrera’s double off Wade Davis (7-11) in the eighth scored Drew Stubbs and gave Cleveland the lead.
Michael Bourn added a homer in the ninth to provide a cushion.
Meanwhile, Cody Allen (6-1) was among six Indians relievers who kept Kansas City off the scoreboard the final 4 1-3 innings. Chris Perez handled a perfect ninth for his 25th save.
REDS 10, ASTROS 0
Jay Bruce hit a grand slam and had five RBI, Mike Leake pitched eight scoreless innings and Cincinnati handed Houston its 100th loss.
Cincinnati is 4 ½ games ahead of Washington for second NL wild card.
The Astros are the first major league team to lose at least 100 games in three straight seasons since Kansas City from 2004-06.
The Reds got to work early, with Zack Cozart driving in two runs in a four-run first inning.
Cincinnati was up by five in the fourth before Bruce’s towering slam to the Crawford Boxes in left field pushed the lead to 9-0 and chased Jordan Lyles (7-8).
Leake (14-6) allowed five hits over eight innings and struck out six with two walks.