CINCINNATI (AP) — Jay Bruce’s 34th homer put the Reds ahead to stay, and they made good on their second chance to win the NL Central title by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-0 on Saturday without Dusty Baker.
The 63-year-old manager spent another day in a Chicago hospital getting treated for an irregular heartbeat. The Reds brought him his fifth division title as a manager, including two during the last three years with Cincinnati.
Bruce’s leadoff homer in the ninth off Houston’s Tim Byrdak clinched the title for Cincinnati in 2010. He led off the fourth with a homer off rookie Stephen Fife (0-2), and Cincinnati’s main offseason acquisition made it stand up.
Mat Latos (13-4) allowed six hits in eight innings. Aroldis Chapman induced a clinching double play from Hanley Ramirez.
CARDS 5, CUBS 4, 10 innings
CHICAGO (AP) — Carlos Beltran hit a tying solo homer in the ninth and Jon Jay doubled in the winning run an inning later as the Cardinals bolstered their bid for another playoff appearance with a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Mitchell Boggs (4-1) got the last out of the ninth. Jason Motte struck out the side in the 10th for his 39th save.
NATIONALS 10, BREWERS 4
WASHINGTON (AP) — Gio Gonzalez became the majors’ first 20-game winner in 2012, and the first pitcher for a Washington baseball team with 200 strikeouts since Walter Johnson in 1916, taking a shutout into the sixth inning to help the Nationals close in on their first NL East title by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 10-4.
Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond each hit a three-run homer off former Nationals pitcher Livan Hernandez in the fourth inning, and Washington stopped Milwaukee’s six-game winning streak.
BRAVES 8, PHILLIES 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer to back Mike Minor and the Atlanta Braves roughed up Roy Halladay to move closer to clinching a postseason berth.
The win coupled with Milwaukee’s 10-4 loss to Washington reduced Atlanta’s magic number for securing a playoff spot to three.
METS 4, MARLINS 3
NEW YORK (AP) — R.A. Dickey pitched eight shutout innings for his 19th victory, and the Mets held on in the ninth to beat the Marlins.
Dickey allowed a four-pitch walk and a double to open the ninth, and Jon Rauch surrendered a three-run homer to John Buck before striking out Gorkys Hernandez to end it.
ORIOLES 9, RED SOX 6
BOSTON (AP) — Jim Thome hit a go-ahead double in the 12th in his first game in nearly two months and the Orioles won in extra innings for the 16th straight time.
Thome had been on the disabled list from July 31 until Friday with a herniated disc in his neck.
TIGERS 8, TWINS 0
DETROIT (AP) — Miguel Cabrera hit his 42nd homer, putting him in Triple Crown position, and Doug Fister pitched his first career shutout to help the Tigers, keeping their hopes high in the AL Central race.
Cabrera’s solo shot tied with Texas star Josh Hamilton for the most homers in the AL. Cabrera has a relatively comfortable league lead with a .332 batting average and 131 RBIs. Hamilton is sidelined this weekend because of a sinus condition that has caused blurred vision.
YANKEES 10, A’S 9, 14 innings
NEW YORK (AP) — Raul Ibanez hit his second home run of the game during a dramatic rally in the 13th inning, then the Yankees won a thriller when Ichiro Suzuki scored on first baseman Brandon Moss’ two-out error in the 14th to beat the Athletics.
Down 9-5 in the 13th, the Yankees won for just the second time in team history after trailing by at least four runs in extra innings.