Sept. 9 (Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Monday's Major League Baseball games.
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Pirates 1, Rangers 0
Back-to-back, two-out doubles from Pittsburgh's Marlon Byrd and Pedro Alvarez in the seventh inning provided the Pirates all the cushion they would need to beat the Texas Rangers and ace Yu Darvish.
Pirates youngster Gerrit Cole pitched a three-hit gem that helped snap the Pirates' season-long losing skid at four games and pulled them within one game of the St Louis Cardinals for the lead in the National League Central.
Darvish fell to 12-8, and would not come out for the eighth inning due to cramping in the lower part of his right leg.
The Rangers' deficit in the American League West grew to two games with the Oakland A's taking the night off.
By winning their 82nd game of the season, the Pirates clinched their first winning season since 1992.
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Cubs 2, Reds 0
Travis Wood did not allow a Cincinnati runner past second base in his seven innings as the Chicago Cubs edged the Reds.
Pedro Strop pitched the eighth inning and Kevin Gregg earned his 31st save with a scoreless ninth while Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena provided the offense with solo homers.
Cincinnati fell two games behind St. Louis for first in the National League Central, and one behind Pittsburgh in the NL Wild Card.
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Nationals 9, Mets 0
Gio Gonzalez carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished with a one-hitter as the Washington Nationals hit five homers in a 9-0 drubbing of the New York Mets.
Denard Span, Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Tyler Moore and Wilson Ramos all homered for the Nationals, who won for the 14th time in their last 19 games as they kept their flickering wild-card hopes alive. Washington Are seven games behind Pittsburgh in the race.
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White Sox 5, Tigers 1
Chris Sale led the Chicago White Sox to a win against the Detroit Tigers, preventing Max Scherzer from earning his 20th win of the season.
Detroit also played most of the game without third baseman Miguel Cabrera and manager Jim Leyland, who were ejected for disagreeing with the umpire during Cabrera's plate appearance in the top of the first inning.
Sale allowed just one run in eight innings while Scherzer lasted four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits.
Detroit's (82-62) American League Central lead was trimmed to 4.5 games over the second-place Cleveland Indians.
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Braves 5, Marlins 2
Kris Medlen carried a shutout into the seventh inning, and the National League-best Atlanta Braves held on to defeat the Miami Marlins.
Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his 45th save of the season, the most in the majors. He has 35 saves in a row, the longest streak in Braves history.
Evan Gattis had a two-run double for the Braves. Chris Johnson and Elliot Johnson added RBI singles.
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Orioles 4, Yankees 2
Chris Tillman pitched into the eighth inning and Nick Markakis had three hits as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Yankees in the opener of a four-game series between American League wild-card contenders.
Tillman (16-5) tied a career high with nine strikeouts and Markakis drove in a run and scored another for Baltimore (77-66), who have won four of five.
The Orioles gained a half-game on idle Tampa Bay, which now leads Baltimore by 1 1/2 games for the final AL wild-card spot.
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Indians 4, Royals 3
The Indians were held to five hits, but three of them were home runs, and Ubaldo Jimenez had his third 10-strikeout game in his past four starts as Cleveland beat the Kansas City Royals.
Asdrubal Cabrera, Yan Gomes and Carlos Santana homered for the Indians.
Jimenez (11-9) pitched seven innings, allowing one unearned run. He struck out 10 and did not walk a batter.
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Twins 6, Angels 3
The Minnesota Twins scored two runs in the seventh inning to move ahead against the Angels' bullpen, and they held on for a win to snap their team-record 10-game home losing streak.
The Twins hit Angels starter Jered Weaver, but he was able to scatter nine hits across six innings with minimal damage. He gave up three runs and two walks with five strikeouts.
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Dodgers 8, Diamondbacks 1
The Los Angeles Dodgers blasted six home runs, getting three from Juan Uribe, to knock off Arizona.
Ricky Nolasco (13-9) pitched 6 2/3 innings and yielded just one run to earn his seventh straight win, and his eighth since being traded to the Dodgers.
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Giants 3, Rockies 2 (10 innings)
Brandon Belt lined a shot over the head of drawn-in left fielder Charlie Culberson to score Angel Pagan from third base with one out in the 10th inning, lifting the San Francisco Giants to their second walk-off win in two days.
Despite the victory, the Giants were formally eliminated from the National League West race by virtue of the Los Angeles Dodgers' win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Editing by Jahmal Corner)