Baseball-Highlights of Saturday's Major League Baseball games

Reuters

(Adds later games)

Sept 14 (The Sports Exchange) - Highlights of Saturday's Major League Baseball games.

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Red Sox 5, Yankees 1

Jon Lester pitched eight brilliant innings and the Boston Red Sox continued their September surge with a 5-1 victory over the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on Saturday.

Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes each had two hits for the AL East-leading Red Sox, who jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on their way to their 10th win this month and 16th in their past 20 games.

Boston have built an almost unassailable lead in the division while the Yankees have lost six of their past 10 games, five coming against Boston.

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Reds 7, Brewers 3

The Cincinnati Reds stayed in the hunt for the play-offs when they beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-3 on the road.

Less than 24 hours after losing to Milwaukee, the Reds took advantage of an erratic start by Brewers pitcher Johnny Hellweg, as Choo Shin-soo and Joey Votto homered, while Homer Bailey pitched seven innings.

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Blue Jays 4, Orioles 3

Colby Rasmus hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning and the Toronto Blue Jays held on to defeat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3.

The victory ended a four-game losing streak for the Blue Jays (68-80) and evened their three-game series with the Orioles (78-70), who did not help their quest for an American League wild card berth.

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Athletics 1, Rangers 0

Two teams trending in opposite directions continued on the same trajectory as the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 1-0 at Rangers Ballpark.

The A's (87-61) won for the seventh time in eight games, while Texas (81-66) fell for the fifth consecutive game and eighth time in their last nine.

Oakland increased their lead to 5 1/2 games in the AL West over division rival Texas by taking the first two games of a three-game series that concludes on Sunday.

Bartolo Colon pitched the Athletics through eight innings with little threat to his shutout bid.

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Marlins 3, Mets 0

Henderson Alvarez threw seven shutout innings as the Miami Marlins recorded a 3-0 win over the New York Mets in the first game of a doubleheader at Citi Field.

The Marlins (55-92) won for just the third time in their last nine games. The Mets (65-82) fell to 3-10 this month and clinched their fifth straight losing season.

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Mets 3, Marlins 1

Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed just two hits over seven innings in earning his first major league win in more than a year and Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda hit back-to-back homers in the third inning as the New York Mets earned a split of a doubleheader by beating the Miami Marlins 3-1 at home.

The doubleheader was necessitated by a rainout on June 7.

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Royals 1, Tigers 0

Ervin Santana blanked Detroit on five hits over 6 2/3 innings to make a first-inning RBI triple by Eric Hosmer stand up and give the Kansas City Royals a 1-0 road victory over the Tigers.

Relievers Will Smith, Luke Hochevar and Greg Holland kept Detroit scoreless over the last 2 1/3 innings to keep Kansas City in the chase for the second wild-card berth.

Detroit's Prince Fielder was thrown out at the plate to end the game trying to score from first on Omar Infante's double to left.

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Pirates 2, Cubs 1

Veteran Marlon Byrd hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning and rookie Gerrit Cole pitched seven superb innings to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 2-1 home victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Pittsburgh won for the fifth time in six games and moved back into a tie for first place with the St Louis Cardinals in the National League Central race.

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Mariners 4, Cardinals 1

Seattle rookie left-hander James Paxton tossed six shutout innings and Kendrys Morales homered to lift the Mariners to a 4-1 road win over the St Louis Cardinals.

Paxton, in only his second major league start, allowed two hits and struck out five. He retired the first eight batters and set the side down in order four times as Seattle broke a five- game losing streak.

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Braves 2, Padres 1

Freddie Freeman was 3-for-3 with his 21st home run and Kris Medlen pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings for his fourth straight victory as the Atlanta Braves defeated the San Diego Padres 2-1 at home.

Medlen (14-12) allowed just four hits -- all singles -- while striking out five and walking two. The right-hander threw 72 of his 110 pitches for strikes on his way to winning for the eighth time in 10 decisions.

The Braves, runaway leaders in the National League East, had lost four in a row to the Padres.

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Indians 8, White Sox 1

Ubaldo Jimenez pitched into the ninth inning and the Cleveland Indians kept pace in the American League playoff race by continuing their dominance of the Chicago White Sox with an 8-1 road win.

Cleveland pulled within 1 1/2 games of Texas for the lead in the American League wild card chase and Jimenez (12-9) continued his strong September form. He has won all three of his starts this month.

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Angels 6, Astros 2

Los Angeles Angels veteran right-hander Jered Weaver made his first career start against the Houston Astros a solid one, allowing just one extra-base hit in six strong innings in a 6-2 road victory.

Weaver (10-8) allowed a two-run homer to Astros first baseman Brett Wallace in the fourth inning, but that was his lone hiccup.

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Phillies 5, Nationals 4

Starting pitcher Cole Hamels continued his mastery of Washington and Carlos Ruiz hit a three-run double as the Philadelphia Phillies won 5-4, ending a seven-game winning streak by the surging Nationals.

Washington scored three runs in the seventh inning to pull within 5-4 but could not add to the total as the Nationals (78-70) suffered a setback in the race for the second NL wild card spot.

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Diamondbacks 9, Rockies 2

Aaron Hill homered and drove in three runs and Gerardo Parra had two doubles and three RBIs to help Wade Miley remain perfect in his career against the Colorado Rockies as the Arizona Diamondbacks won 9-2 at home.

Miley (10-10) gave up two runs in 6 1/3 innings and improved to 6-0 with a 2.56 ERA in nine appearances against the Rockies, including eight starts.

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Rays 7, Twins 0

The Tampa Bay Rays battled through the rain to beat Minnesota 7-0 on the road, shutting out the Twins for the second successive night.

Rays starter Matt Moore handcuffed the Twins for three innings before the rains came, and the Tampa Bay bullpen followed suit the rest of the way. They pitched six more innings of shutout ball and extended the Rays' streak of dominance over the Twins to 11 games.

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Giants 19, Dodgers 3

The Los Angeles Dodgers were clinging to the slim hope that they could clinch the National League West title in front of their home fans this weekend.

San Francisco had other ideas. Hunter Pence continued his torrid hitting, pounding two Dodgers pitchers with a grand slam, a two-run double and an RBI single as the Giants romped to an unlikely 19-3 at sold-out Dodger Stadium.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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