Baseball-Highlights of Tuesday's Major League Baseball games

Reuters

(Adds late games)

Sept 24 (Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Tuesday's Major League Baseball games:

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Cardinals 2, Nationals 0

Michael Wacha came within one out of a no-hitter, victimizing the Washington Nationals in a win that put St. Louis another step closer to the National League Central title.

Wacha (4-1), the 19th overall pick in last year's draft, overpowered Washington most of the night, fanning nine and allowing one heartbreaking hit in just his ninth big league start.

With the crowd of 38,940 in full roar during the ninth, Wacha got the first two outs of the ninth Ryan Zimmerman chopped the first pitch off Wacha's glove for an infield hit.

Trevor Rosenthal relieved Wacha for the final out as The Cardinals (93-65) moved 2 1/2 games ahead of Pittsburgh and three in front of Cincinnati, reducing their magic number over the Pirates to three.

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Tigers 4, Twins 2

The Detroit Tigers clinched a spot in the playoffs with a win over the Minnesota Twins, using three home runs in the fourth inning to power their way forward.

The Tigers collected 11 hits in the game, and their first two hitters, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter had six of them.

The win put the Tigers in the postseason for the third consecutive year. They can win the American League Central with one more victory in their five remaining games.

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Pirates 8, Cubs 2

Right-hander Gerrit Cole earned his fourth straight victory as he led the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Chicago Cubs.

Cole (10-7) struck out six and allowed two runs in six innings as the Pirates moved one game in front of Cincinnati for the top NL wild-card spot. Both teams have clinched playoff spots.

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Rangers 3, Astros 2

Adrian Beltre's home run in the sixth proved the difference in Texas' win over the Houston Astros.

The Rangers (86-71) have won two straight and are trailing Cleveland (87-70) by one game for the second wild-card spot with five games left. Tampa Bay (88-69) are the leaders.

Matt Dominguez knotted the game 2-2 in the sixth against Texas starter Yu Darvish, who struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings, before Beltre struck in the bottom half of the inning.

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Rays 7, Yankees 0

Slumping Matt Joyce led off the game with a home run and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees.

The Rays (88-69) remained one-half game ahead of the Cleveland Indians for the second wild card spot.

With the loss, the Yankees can do no better than tie the Indians for the second wild-card spot in the American League. One more Yankees loss or one more Indians victory will officially eliminate the Yankees from playoff contention.

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Indians 5, White Sox 4

Pinch-hitter Jason Giambi belted a two-run, walkoff homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Cleveland Indians a wild victory over the Chicago White Sox.

The rally came after Indians closer Chris Perez blew a save by giving up two home runs in the top of the ninth to lose a 4-2 lead.

The win is Cleveland's fifth win in a row and keeps the Indians in the second wild-card spot in the American League, one game ahead of Texas.

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Rockies 8, Red Sox 3

The Rockies beat the Red Sox, hitting three solo home runs and then erupting four runs in the seventh to blow the game open.

Colorado's Tyler Chatwood, who spent August on the list with an elbow injury, won for the first time in six starts since July 26 while Michael Cuddyer went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .335, giving him an eight-point lead over the Atlanta Braves' Chris Johnson in the National League batting race.

The Red Sox entered play with a one-game lead over the Oakland Athletics for the AL's best record with the A's playing late on Tuesday.

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Blue Jays 3, Orioles 2 (10)

Mark DeRosa drove in the tying run in the eighth inning and hit an RBI single in the 10th inning to give the Toronto Blue Jays a victory over the Baltimore Orioles, who were eliminated from postseason contention.

The Orioles (81-76) suffered their sixth consecutive loss, crushing their flickering playoff hopes.

Baltimore starter Chris Tillman shut down the Jays for seven innings, allowing just one run, but Toronto rallied against the Orioles' bullpen.

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Mets 4, Reds 2

Second baseman Daniel Murphy hit a three-run home run and Jonathon Niese pitched seven solid innings, lifting the New York Mets to victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Cincinnati (90-68) clinched a postseason berth Sunday, but the loss dropped them three games behind St. Louis in the National League Central as well as a game behind Pittsburgh for the top wild card spot.

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Braves 3, Brewers 2

Andrelton Simmons singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Braves defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 for their 11th walk-off victory at Turner Field.

Closer Craig Kimbrel (4-3) got the victory after striking out the side in the ninth inning.

With the win, the East Division-champion Braves retained the best record in the National League despite a 10-12 record in September. The St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers also are battling for the home-field advantage in the NL playoffs.

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Phillies 2, Marlins 1

The Philadelphia Phillies scored a pair of runs early and held on to defeat the Miami Marlins.

Philadelphia needed five pitchers including reliever Michael Stutes (3-1), who got the win, and Jonathan Papelbon who got his 29th save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

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Angels 3, A's 0

Jason Vargas threw his second shutout of the season and fifth of his career to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a victory over the Oakland A's.

Josh Hamilton also came up with the key hit of the game, a two-run single off A's starter A.J. Griffin (14-10) in the third inning. Howie Kendrick's solo homer in the first inning accounted for the Angels' other run.

The A's missed a chance to tie Boston for the best record in the American League and remained one game back.

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Dodgers 2, Giants 1

Yasiel Puig responded to getting hit by a pitch with a home run in his next at-bat, and Matt Kemp broke a tie with another solo shot one inning later as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants.

The win allowed the Dodgers (91-66) to keep pace with the Atlanta Braves (93-64) and the St. Louis Cardinals (93-65) in the battle among National League division winners for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Ryu Hyun-jin (14-7) won a pitchers' duel with Matt Cain (8-10), giving up a solo home run to Tony Abreu over seven innings.

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Mariners 4, Royals 0

Kendrys Morales went 3-for-4 with an RBI as the Mariners beat the Royals leaving Kansas City's playoff hopes all but dead with five games remaining.

The Royals (83-74) trail Cleveland by four games and Texas by three games in the race for the final wild-card berth.

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Diamondbacks 2, Padres 1 (12 innings)

Didi Gregorius' RBI triple in the 12th inning lifted the Arizona Diamondbacks to a victory over the San Diego Padres.

The Diamondbacks improved to 17-7 in extra-innings games.

Gregorius lined a Luke Gregerson pitch down the first base line, scoring Chris Owings, who doubled. (Editing by Jahmal Corner)

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