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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers won their appeal on a wild play, and Joe Nathan escaped a ninth-inning jam to hold off the Kansas City Royals 3-2 Saturday and boost their AL Central lead.

The Tigers increased their edge to 2 1/2 games over the Royals. Kansas City stayed a half-game ahead of Seattle for the second wild-card spot.

Detroit, seeking its fourth straight division title, has won 13 of 18 against the Royals this year, including eight of nine at Kauffman Stadium.

Scherzer (17-5) outpitched James Shields (14-8). The Royals put two runners on against Nathan, but he retired Nori Aoki and pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez on grounders for his 33th save in 40 tries.

It was 1-all in the sixth when a line drive and a wild throw led to an appeal toss and a pair of umpire discussions that wound up ruling a Royals runner had left third base too soon.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Elian Herrera sprinted home on Logan Schafer's sacrifice fly in the ninth inning and the Milwaukee Brewers edged the Pittsburgh to tighten the race for the second National League wild-card spot.

The Brewers overcame the ejection of starting pitcher Matt Garza and pulled within 3 1/2 games of the Pirates. Pittsburgh had won five in a row.

Zach Duke (5-1), a former All-Star with the Pirates, picked up the victory after getting the final out of the eighth. Francisco Rodriguez worked a perfect ninth for his 43rd save of the season and 347th of his career, moving him into a tie with Randy Myers for 10th on the all-time list.

Herrera reached on a forceout off Mark Melancon (3-5) in the ninth and moved to third on Lyle Overbay's second double of the night. Herrera scored when Schafer's fly to left was just deep enough.


SAN DIEGO (AP) — Andrew Cashner pitched brilliantly into the ninth inning and the San Diego Padres kept San Francisco from advancing on on the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Giants remain 3 1/2 games behind the Dodgers, who lost 8-7 to the Cubs. San Francisco remains one game ahead of Pittsburgh in the race for the top wild-card spot.

Cashner (5-7) took a two-hit shutout into the ninth before allowing Hunter Pence's 20th home run. Kevin Quackenbush got three outs for his fifth save.

Cashner hit his first career triple with one out in the fifth, the first triple by a big league pitcher this season, and bunted for a single in the sixth.

Yusmeiro Petit (5-5), who has taken Tim Lincecum's spot in the Giants' rotation, allowed two earned and four hits 5 1-3 innings.


CHICAGO (AP) — Chris Coghlan hit two homers, including the go-ahead two-run drive off Brian Wilson in the eighth inning, and the Cubs rallied to beat the Dodgers.

The Dodgers were looking to build on a 3 1/2-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West after clinching a playoff spot for the fifth time in nine years on Friday.

Instead Los Angeles blew a five-run lead and wasted a pair of homers and five RBIs by Adrian Gonzalez.

The Dodgers were up 7-2 in the seventh, but the bullpen couldn't hold the lead.

J.P. Howell gave up an RBI single to Anthony Rizzo and a three-run homer to Arismendy Alcantara, making it a one-run game.

Wilson (2-4) came on in the eighth and things just got worse from there.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jerome Williams beat the Athletics for the third time this season with three different teams, and Oakland missed an opportunity to extend its lead in the AL wild-card race with a loss to the Phillies.

Freddy Galvis hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning against Dan Otero (8-2). Marlon Byrd added an RBI single in the eighth.

The A's remained a half-game ahead of Kansas City for the top wild-card spot.

Williams (4-2) allowed four hits, struck out three and walked one in seven innings.


HOUSTON (AP) — Seattle starter Chris Young got hit hard and the Mariners missed a chance to move up in the AL playoff race, yielding five home runs in a loss to Houston.

The Mariners stayed one game behind AL wild-card leader Oakland and a half-game in back of Kansas City for the second slot.

Chris Carter and Alex Presley hit two-run homers and Matt Dominguez and Carlos Corporan added back-to-back solo shots. Jake Marisnick had a three-run homer in the seventh inning as the Astros snapped a four-game skid.

Young (12-9) was tagged for seven runs in three-plus innings.

Dallas Keuchel (12-9) pitched eight strong innings, and reached reached 200 innings in a season for the first time in his career.


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jered Weaver earned his AL-leading 18th victory, Albert Pujols reached the 100-RBI mark with a two-run homer and Mike Trout also hit a two-run shot to lead the Los Angeles Angels over Texas.

David Freese added a three-run homer in support of Weaver (18-8). Texas had won seven in a row.

Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth for his career-high 39th save as the AL West champion Angels kept their 2 1/2-game lead over Baltimore in the race for the best record in the majors.

Colby Lewis (10-14) took the loss. Adrian Beltre hit three doubles for Texas.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Yan Gomes homered and drove in four runs to help the Cleveland Indians advance in the AL wild-card race by beating Minnesota.

The Indians are 3 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot after Oakland, Kansas City and Seattle all lost ahead of them earlier in the day.

The start of the game was delayed an hour because of rain.

Gomes, who had three hits, broke it open with a three-run homer off Trevor May (3-5) in the fifth inning.

T.J. House (4-3) got the win.


ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tony Cruz hit a three-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals connected three times, beating Cincinnati and moving closer to their fourth straight playoff berth.

The Cardinals cut their magic number to one for clinching a postseason berth. The magic number is five for their second NL Central title in a row.

Kolten Wong and Randal Grichuk also homered as St. Louis won for the seventh time in eight games.

Cincinnati has lost six in row and been outscored 30-8 in that stretch.

Jason Motte (1-0) needed just three pitches and one out to earn the win.

Mike Leake (11-13) went five innings and allowed six runs.


MIAMI (AP) — Ryan Zimmerman had two hits, including an RBI triple, in his return to the lineup and the Washington Nationals beat Miami.

Zimmerman, who missed 55 games because of a hamstring injury, had his run-scoring triple to key Washington's three-run seventh inning.

Jordan Zimmermann (13-5) gave up two runs and five hits over six innings. He struck out four and stayed in the game and finished the inning despite getting hit by a line drive from Casey McGehee to start the sixth.

Drew Storen gave up one-out singles to Marcel Ozuna and Justin Bour in the ninth before he retired pinch-hitter Garrett Jones on a game-ending double play for his ninth save in 12 opportunities.

Jarred Cosart (4-3) took the loss.


BALTIMORE (AP) — Adam Jones hit a pair of two-run homers and the Baltimore Orioles received another steady performance from right-hander Chris Tillman in a victory over Boston.

Tillman (13-5) gave up two runs in seven innings. He has allowed three runs or fewer in 20 straight starts.

Baltimore's likely starter in Game 1 of the playoffs, Tillman is 6-0 in 13 starts since July 12.

Jones connected against Rubby De La Rosa (4-8) in the third inning and Heath Hembree in the fifth. It was his sixth career two-homer game, the second this season. Christian Walker homered for Baltimore, his first in the majors.

David Ortiz hit his third homer in two games and No. 35 of the season. He has 466 for his career, passing Dave Winfield for 33rd place on the all-time list.


ATLANTA (AP) — The slumping Atlanta Braves were shut down by Jonathon Niese and lost the New York Mets, damaging their flickering playoff hopes.

Atlanta has lost seven of eight to drop to 4-13 in September.

Jonathon Niese (9-11) allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings. Jenrry Mejia then worked the ninth for his 27th save in 30 chances.

Dilson Herrera and Curtis Granderson homered for New York.

Braves starter Mike Minor (6-12) left after one inning because of discomfort in his left shoulder.


NEW YORK (AP) — Jose Bautista hit his eighth homer of the year against New York, Marcus Stroman pitched six gritty innings and the Blue Jays ended a season-worst six-game skid to beat the Yankees and keep their faint playoff hopes alive.

With eight games to play for both teams, Toronto is 5 1-2 games back for an AL wild card and the Yankees are 4 1-2.

Danny Valencia hit a go-ahead, two-run double, helping hand the Yankees their first loss of Derek Jeter's final homestand after two wins over Toronto.

With most of the 47,292 fans at Yankee Stadium standing and chanting "Der-ek Je-ter!" his every at-bat, the retiring captain doubled and singled for his third straight multihit game. He also scored his 1,920th run to pass suspended teammate Alex Rodriguez for ninth place on the career list.


DENVER (AP) — Eddie Butler pitched six solid innings for his first major league win and the Rockies beat the Diamondbacks.

Corey Dickerson and Josh Rutledge homered for the Rockies, who have won five straight for the first time since June 11-15.

Butler (1-1) made his debut against the Dodgers on June 6 and went on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation the next day. He made nine minor league rehab starts before this start.

He made the most of it, allowing one run and five hits and giving the Rockies a glimpse into the future. Butler was Colorado's first-round pick in 2012 and has quickly moved through the organization.

Trevor Cahill (3-12) allowed five runs and 10 hits in five innings. He hasn't won since beating Miami on Aug. 15.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Nick Franklin hit his first home run with Tampa Bay and Chris Archer pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, leading the Rays over the White Sox.

Franklin connected against Hector Noesi (8-10) in the second inning. Franklin had to wait 79 seconds for a replay review to determine if it was fair after it hit off a catwalk at Tropicana Field.

Franklin was acquired from Seattle in the three-team trade that sent David Price to Detroit on July 31. He was playing in his fourth game for the Rays.

Archer (10-8) allowed two hits and walked four in 6 1-3 innings. Jake McGee got his 18th save.

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