Baseball-Highlights of Monday's MLB games

Sept 12 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Monday's Major League Baseball games: Cubs 4, Cardinals 1 Chicago Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks entered his Monday night start as the relatively anonymous National League leader in earned-run average. He exited with that title still intact, and came within three outs of a no-hitter to boot. Jeremy Hazelbaker ended Hendricks' no-no bid with a leadoff homer in the ninth, but it didn't keep Chicago from reducing its magic number for clinching the National League Central to three with a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Hendricks (15-7) walked two -- Yadier Molina in the second and Jedd Gyorko in the eighth -- and struck out seven in his 87-pitch masterpiece. It would have been the first no-hitter in Busch Stadium III's 11-year history and the second no-hitter in the majors this year. Cubs righty Jake Arrieta authored one on April 21 in Cincinnati. Blue Jays 3, Rays 2 Ezequiel Carrera led off the eighth inning with a pinch-hit home run, leading Toronto to a victory over Tampa Bay. The loss eliminated the Rays (60-83) from postseason contention while the Blue Jays (79-64) hold second place in the American League East. Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer for the Blue Jays. Evan Longoria and Brad Miller homered for the Rays. Neither starter factored in the decision. Toronto's Francisco Liriano allowed three hits, two of them home runs, one walk and two runs in 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out six in his first start since Aug. 26. Red Sox 12, Orioles 2 David Price won his seventh straight start as Boston, which leads the American League East, opened a crucial seven-game homestand with a resounding win over contending Baltimore. Chris Young had a homer, two doubles and a single, and David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez (three RBIs) also homered to power the Red Sox's rout. The win, the eighth in the last 11 games, kept Boston two games ahead of the victorious Toronto Blue Jays atop the division. The Orioles, who came in tied with Toronto for both second place and the top AL wild-card spot, fell three games off the division lead. Nationals 8, Mets 1 Hot-hitting Anthony Rendon belted a three-run homer and Daniel Murphy had three hits against his former team as Washington blitzed New York in the opener of a three-game series between the top teams in the National League East. The first-place Nationals (86-58) now lead the second-place Mets (76-68) by 10 games in the division. Washington has won eight of its last 11 and is a season-high 28 games above .500. New York is 16-6 in the last 22 games and still in the wild-card hunt. The Nationals are 11-6 against the Mets this season. Tigers 4, Twins 2 Ian Kinsler drove in two runs and Daniel Norris recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts, leading Detroit to a win over Minnesota at Comerica Park. Kinsler hit his 26th homer in the first inning and added a go-ahead sacrifice fly. Norris, whose previous high was nine strikeouts, pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up two solo homers but did not figure in the decision. Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier hit his 40th homer of the season and tied his career-high by extending his hitting streak to 16 games. Kurt Suzuki also homered for the Twins. Dodgers 8, Yankees 2 Rookie Jose De Leon pitched five effective innings, and Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner hit late home runs as Los Angeles capitalized on two errors by New York en route to a victory. De Leon (2-0) allowed two runs and three hits in his second career start. He threw 83 pitches. In 18 combined starts with Los Angeles and Triple-A Oklahoma, the right-hander is 9-1. Starlin Castro and Judge hit long home runs for the Yankees, who have lost two straight after a season-high, seven-game winning streak. New York (76-67) is five games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox in the American League East, and the Yankees remain two games out in the AL Wild Card race. Phillies 6, Pirates 2 Jeremy Hellickson took care of the Pittsburgh on the mound to spoil the return of ace Gerritt Cole, and Philadelphia snapped a three-game losing streak at Citizens Bank Park. Hellickson worked through a rough first inning and threw 6 1/3 innings of one-run baseball. The veteran anchor for a young Phillies pitching staff scattered three hits and struck out six against three walks. He improved to 11-9 on the year. Cole's return did nothing to stop the slide of the Pirates, who have lost four straight and 12 of their last 14 games. The Pittsburgh ace made his first start since landing on the disabled list (elbow) in late August. He lasted just two innings. The Phillies tagged him for five runs on four hits. Reds 3, Brewers 0 Scott Schebler hit a two-run single in the first inning, and four Cincinnati pitchers combined for a shutout of Milwaukee in the opener of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park. Brewers right-hander Wily Peralta (6-10) allowed three runs over six innings. Blake Wood (6-3) earned the win for Cincinnati after throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Keyvius Sampson. It was the second consecutive shutout for the Reds, the first time they accomplished the feat since blanking the St. Louis Cardinals on July 28-29, 2015. Braves 12, Marlins 7 Right fielder Nick Markakis only had two of Atlanta's 17 hits, but his RBI double in the sixth inning might have been the most important one in the win over Miami at Turner Field. The Braves had blown a 7-0 lead, allowing Miami to tie the score at 7 in the top of the sixth. But Atlanta surged ahead 8-7 when Markakis doubled off reliever Brian Ellington to drive home Freddie Freeman with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Markakis also had a homer, his 11th of the season, and walked twice. Chaz Roe (2-0) pitched one inning of scoreless relief for the win. Ellington (2-2) took the loss. Athletics 16, Royals 3 Khris Davis and Marcus Semien belted three-run homers as Oakland routed Kansas City. The A's set season highs for runs and victory margin, while their 17 hits matched a season high. Joey Wendle, Danny Valencia, Stephen Vogt and Davis, the A's starting first four hitters, combined to go 8-for-15 with three walks, eight RBIs and scored six runs. Left-hander Daniel Coulombe (3-1) struck out five in two perfect innings to pick up the victory. White Sox 11, Indians 4 Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier each drove in a pair of runs and Avisail Garcia homered and matched a career high with four hits as Chicago beat up Cleveland at U.S. Cellular Field. Frazier capped the scoring with a two-run homer in the eighth inning, his career-high 36th of the season. Mike Napoli homered off White Sox relief pitcher Blake Smith in the eighth for the Indians, who used seven pitchers in the loss. Miguel Gonzalez (4-6) was strong over 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander scattered six hits and surrendered three runs, but allowed only two hits over his final 4 2/3 innings. Rangers 4, Astros 3 (12 innings) Rougned Odor homered leading off the 12th, and Texas squeezed out a win over Houston at Minute Maid Park. Odor launched his 31st home run off Astros right-hander James Hoyt (1-1) to help the Rangers (86-59) extend their lead over the Astros (75-69) in the American League West to 10 1/2 games. Four Astros relievers had kept the Rangers hitless for five innings before Odor snapped that string with his 375-foot blast to right field. Right-hander Keone Kela (5-1) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief for Texas. Left-hander Jake Diekman recorded his fourth save with a perfect 12th. Diamondbacks 12, Rockies 9 Yasmany Tomas had four hits including a grand slam and Brandon Drury and Mitch Haniger also homered in Arizona's victory over Colorado at Chase Field. Tomas' grand slam in the sixth inning put the Diamondbacks up 10-9 after they squandered a 5-0 lead after three innings. Tomas had five RBIs and scored three runs. Drury and rookie Haniger hit bases-empty homers in the seventh inning. Haniger's was the first of his career. Mariners 8, Angels 1 Leonys Martin tied a team record with three doubles, scored twice and finished 4-for-4 in Seattle's rout of Los Angeles at Angel Stadium. Robinson Cano added three hits, including his 33rd home run of the season, and Ben Gamel hit his first major league homer as Seattle used its sixth successive victory to move into second place in the American League West by one game over the Houston Astros. The Mariners continue to trail the first-place Texas Rangers by 9 1/2 games in the division but moved within 2 1/2 games of the Baltimore Orioles, who hold the second wild-card spot. Padres 4, Giants 0 Paul Clemens won for the first time in a month Monday night, combining with five San Diego relievers on a five-hit shutout in a victory over San Francisco. The loss dropped the Giants four games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West with just 19 to play. San Francisco retained a 1 1/2-game lead over the New York Mets and a two-game edge over the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL's two wild-card playoff berths. (Editing by Simon Jennings)