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MLB Roundup: Tigers edge Royals; Orioles and Yankees both win; Brewers hammer Reds to stay in wild card hunt

Detroit's Alex Avila hits a two-run homer on Wednesday to help the Tigers beat the Royals.

Detroit's Alex Avila hits a two-run homer on Wednesday to help the Tigers beat the Royals.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

DETROIT -- Jhonny Peralta brought home the go-ahead run when Andy Dirks' hard slide broke up a potential inning-ending double play in the eighth inning and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 Wednesday night.

Triple Crown candidate Miguel Cabrera was robbed of a tiebreaking homer in the fifth inning by Alex Gordon's catch above the left-field wall. Detroit, which started the day tied with the Chicago White Sox atop the AL Central for the first time since Sept. 2, found a way to break through the eighth, though.

Delmon Young hit an infield single with one out in the eighth off Kelvin Herrera (4-3) and was replaced by Kelly, who stole second base and took third on Dirks' single.

Alex Avila hit a two-run homer and Austin Jackson had a solo shot in the fourth inning to tie the game.

Luis Marte got two outs in the fifth and Al Alburquerque gave up only one hit over 2 1-3 innings. Joaquin Benoit (4-3) allowed one hit in the eighth. Jose Valverde closed the game for his 32nd save in 37 chances.


ORIOLES 12, BLUE JAYS 2: Chris Davis and Manny Machado each connected twice and the Baltimore Orioles tied a team record with seven home runs and stayed within 1½ games of the AL East lead.

The Orioles ended a two-game losing skid against the Blue Jays and remained close to the division-leading New York Yankees, who won 8-2 in Minnesota.

Nate McLouth hit a leadoff shot in the first inning and Jim Thome and Mark Reynolds also homered. Baltimore has hit seven home runs three times, most recently on Aug. 26, 1985.

Davis finished with a career-high five RBIs.

Davis' three-run drive gave the Orioles a five-run inning and finished Carlos Villanueva (7-7).

Miguel Gonzalez (8-4) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings. He allowed Edwin Encarnacion's 42nd home run with two outs in the top of the first.

RAYS 4, RED SOX 2: Carlos Pena and Ben Francisco hit back-to-back, tape-measure homers in the fifth inning on Wednesday night to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to their seventh consecutive victory, 4-2 over the Boston Red Sox.

The Rays remained 3 1-2 games behind Baltimore for second place in the AL East. Tampa Bay began the day three games behind Oakland for the second wild-card spot.

It was the final home game of the season for the Red Sox, and perhaps the last at Fenway Park for Boston manager Bobby Valentine. Hired to inspire a fractious clubhouse after the team went 7-20 last September under Terry Francona, Valentine instead presided over what could be the worst Red Sox team since 1965.

Alex Cobb (10-9) allowed one run on three hits and a walk, striking out five in five innings as the Rays matched their longest winning streak of the season. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 45th save in 47 chances.

Jon Lester (9-14) gave up three runs on four hits and a walk, striking out five in six innings. He didn't allow a hit until Jeff Keppinger singled to left with one out in the fifth, then he gave up back-to-back home runs.

YANKEES 8, TWINS 2: C.C. Sabathia struck out 10 batters over eight innings and New York beat remained 1 1/2 games ahead of Baltimore in the AL East.

The Orioles beat Toronto 12-2 on Wednesday night. The Yankees visit the Blue Jays for four games starting Thursday. Baltimore, after an off day, plays Boston at home this weekend.

Sabathia (14-6) threw 89 of his 118 pitches for strikes. Robinson Cano hit a two-run double and Curtis Granderson added a two-run triple during a six-run third inning against Brian Duensing (4-11), and Sabathia took care of the rest. The burly lefty gave up six hits, two runs and one walk.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

CINCINNATI — Ryan Braun hit his NL-leading 41st home run on Wednesday night, and Milwaukee kept its wild-card chances flickering with an 8-1 victory over Cincinnati.

Milwaukee moved within 3 1-2 games of St. Louis for the final NL wild-card spot, a long shot that left them with no margin for error. The Cardinals lost 2-0 to Houston.

Shaun Marcum (6-4) went six innings for his first victory since returning from an elbow problem, allowing four hits, including Joey Votto's RBI double.

Norichika Aoki homered to start a three-run third inning off Bronson Arroyo (12-9) and added an RBI double. Braun, the NL's MVP last season as the Brewers won the NL Central, hit a two-run shot in the seventh off Logan Ondrusek.

Jonathan Lucroy also homered and had three hits.

The Reds played all of their healthy regulars even though they have clinched the NL Central.

NATIONALS 8, PHILLIES 4: Bryce Harper hit his 20th homer, Ian Desmond and Kurt Suzuki also connected and Washington moved closer toward winning its first division title since moving to Washington.

The 19-year-old Harper joined Tony Conigliaro as the only teenagers to reach 20 homers in big league history. The Nationals reduced their magic number in the NL East to four, holding a four-game lead over Atlanta, which beat Miami 3-0, with seven remaining.

John Lannan (4-0) gave up two runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings to win his second start since taking Stephen Strasburg's spot in the rotation. Strasburg, the All-Star righty, was shut down after reaching his innings limit.

The Phillies, who closed within three games of St. Louis for the NL's second wild-card spot following a late push, are on the verge of elimination. The five-time defending NL East champions are 5½ games behind the Cardinals.

Kyle Kendrick (10-12) got roughed up, allowing five runs and five hits in two-plus innings.

Jimmy Rollins hit a solo homer, his team-leading 23rd, to snap an 0-for-19 slump.

DODGERS 8, PADRES 2: Matt Kemp had four hits, falling a triple shy of the cycle, and four RBIs as Los Angeles used a rare offensive outburst to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.

Los Angeles, which has scuffled for the better part of a month, remained tied with Milwaukee, 4 ½ games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild-card berth.

Kemp singled and scored in the first inning, hit a two-run double in the fourth and drove a two-run homer well over the fence in center in the sixth, his 20th. His four hits and four RBIs tied his season highs. In 17 games against San Diego this year, he's hitting .407 with seven homers and 19 RBIs.

The Dodgers won for just the 13th time in 33 games since Aug. 19, the last time they were in first place in the NL West.

Aaron Harang (10-10), San Diego's opening day starter in 2011, held San Diego to four singles in 5 1-3 innings, walked four and struck out three.

METS 6, PIRATES 0: David Wright broke the Mets' record for hits and Jeremy Hefner bounced back from a horrendous start in a victory that eliminated Pittsburgh from playoff contention.

Ruben Tejada tied a career high with four hits, including two RBI singles, and Scott Hairston doubled home a run as the Mets took advantage of some shoddy Pittsburgh defense to win for the fifth time in six games.

Jeff Locke (0-3), still searching for his first major league win after nine starts, was chased in the fourth inning.

Tied for the NL Central lead a week after the All-Star game, the Pirates have faded quickly in the second half for the second consecutive year. They have dropped 19 of 25 and must go 5-2 the rest of the way to avoid a 20th straight losing season.

Wright reached on an infield single during a four-run third inning for his 1,419th hit, snapping a tie with Ed Kranepool atop the team's career list.

A six-time All-Star, Wright accomplished the feat in 1,256 games from 2004-12. Kranepool played in 1,853 games from 1962-79.


ASTROS 2, CARDINALS 0: Bud Norris pitched into the eighth inning for his first win since May 21, and Jose Altuve homered as Houston avoided a sweep.

Norris (6-13) allowed two hits and struck out seven without a walk in 7 1-3 innings to snap a career-long 12-game losing streak which spanned 18 starts in the last National League game in Houston with the Astros moving to the American League West for 2013.

The victory broke a 10-game winning streak for the Cardinals over Houston and cut their lead over Los Angeles and Milwaukee to 3 1-2 games for the second NL wild-card spot after both teams won Wednesday.

Norris hurled the gem despite a tough stretch where he has been slowed by a blister on index finger of his right hand and flu-like symptoms.

Wilton Lopez got the final five outs to complete the three-hitter and get his eighth save.

Chris Carpenter (0-1) allowed four hits and two runs in six innings in his second start since missing 150 games following right shoulder surgery.