Marcell Ozuna drove in four runs and threw out a runner at home plate from left field, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Washington Nationals 4-2 on Monday night in St. Louis.
St. Louis retained its two-game lead over the second-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. Washington is one-half game ahead of the Cubs for the top NL wild card.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez missed the game following a heart procedure in Washington, and bench coach Chip Hale was in charge of the dugout.
Dexter Fowler walked against Sean Doolittle (6-5) with one out in the seventh, Hunter Strickland walked Paul Goldschmidt with two outs and Ozuna doubled just inside the left-field line, just the second hit in 11 at-bats for the Cardinals with runners in scoring position.
Dakota Hudson (16-7) won for the sixth time in seven starts. Carlos Martinez got his 20th save in 23 chances.
Rockies 9 Mets 4: In Denver, pitcher Antonio Senzatela hit a tying, two-run single that ended a year-long 0-for-44 slide at the plate, Trevor Story followed three pitches later with a three-run homer off Steven Matz to cap a six-run fourth inning and Colorado drop New York five games back for the second NL wild card with 12 games to play.
Brandon Nimmo, batting leadoff for the first time since May 17, opened the game with a home run off Senzatela (10-10). Starting their last road trip of the regular season, the Mets built a 4-1 lead on Jeff McNeil’s two-run homer in the third that stopped an 0-for-13 slump and Amed Rosario’s RBI double in the fourth.
Matz, who allowed Ian Desmond’s second-inning homer, needed 42 pitches to get through the fourth and dropped to 0-2 with a 10.15 ERA in three starts at Coors Field.
Charlie Blackmon singled with one out, Ryan McMahon walked and Garrett Hampson hit an RBI single with two outs.
Matz (10-9) allowed seven runs, six hits and two walks in four innings.
Senzatela gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings.
Cubs 8, Reds 2: In Chicago, Kyle Schwarber hit a three-run homer and made a diving catch in left field, helping Chicago win its fifth straight.
Nicholas Castellanos added a two-run double in the eighth inning as the Cubs moved a season-high 14 games above .500. Chicago has outscored its opponents 59-18 during its win streak.
The Cubs (82-68) pulled within a half-game of Washington for the top spot in the wild-card standings and stayed two games back of NL Central-leading St. Louis, which held off the Nationals for a 4-2 win.
Steve Cishek, Alec Mills (1-0), Rowan Wick, Kyle Ryan and David Phelps combined for 5 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of an ineffective Cole Hamels. It was Mills’ first major league win in his 17th big league appearance.
Kevin Gausman (3-9) pitched two innings for the Reds in his first start since he was claimed off waivers from the Braves last month.
Twins 5, White Sox 3: In Minneapolis, Jose Berrios pitched into the eighth inning to win his second straight start, Mitch Garver hit a go-ahead double and Minnesota increased its lead to five games over Cleveland in the AL Central.
Seeking their first division title since 2010, the Twins (92-58) are assured of their best record since finishing 94-68 nine years ago.
Berrios (13-8) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts and two walks. He was rewarded with a standing ovation when he was removed.
Tyler Duffey finished the eighth, Sergio Romo allowed Eloy Jimenez’s homer leading off the ninth before getting an out, and Taylor Rogers needed just eight pitches to finish a six-hitter for his 27th save in 33 chances.
White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez (9-14) gave up five runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Brewers 4, Padres 1: In Milwaukee, Corey Spangenberg drove in three runs, including a tiebreaking, two-run triple in the fourth inning, and Milwaukee kept up a playoff push with its 10th win in 11 games.
The Brewers remained one game behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL’s second wild card and three games back of St. Louis, the NL Central leader.
San Diego got just two hits and dropped to 68-82, tying the franchise record with its ninth consecutive losing season. The Padres also finished under .500 from 1969-77, the first nine years of the expansion franchise.
Padres starter Garret Richards (0-1) allowed three runs and five hits over 3 2/3 innings in his first major league appearance since Tommy John surgery in July 2018.
Zach Davies (10-7) allowed two hits in five innings.
Tigers 5, Orioles 2: In Detroit, Jordy Mercer hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and Detroit split a four-game series between the teams with the worst records in the major leagues.
After the first series in American League history between teams in 50 or more games under .500, Detroit (45-104) has a 3 1/2-game “lead” over Baltimore (49-101) for the top pick in June’s amateur draft, which goes to the club with the lowest winning percentage this season.
Detroit needs to win one of its final six games at Comerica Park to avoid breaking the major league record of 59 home losses, set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns.
Tyler Alexander (1-3), a 24-year-old left-hander forced into the rotation by a doubleheader last week, got his first big league win.
John Means (10-11) gave up five runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Diamondbacks 7, Marlins 5: In Phoenix, Robbie Ray pitched 5 2/3 innings of no-hit ball, Jake Lamb hit a crucial three-run double and Arizona for a victory over Miami in Phoenix.
Arizona, clinging to slim postseason hopes, remained 5 1/2 games back of the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wild card with 11 to play and also would have to leapfrog Milwaukee, Philadelphia and the New York Mets.
At 52-98, the NL-worst Marlins matched their loss total of last year and appear headed to their first 100-defeat season since 2013.
Ray had his no-hit bid stopped in the sixth when Starlin Castro sent the left-hander’s 86th pitch up the middle for single. Arizona led 3-0 at the time.
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