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On the verge of losing ground — or at least time — in the NL wild card race, the Washington Nationals rallied for their biggest victory of the season. Until their next one.
Jayson Werth's two-out RBI double capped a three-run rally in the eighth inning, sending the Nats to a 6-5 victory against the visiting New York Mets on Sunday night. Werth also made a nice running catch to rob Travis d'Arnaud of extra bases in the fourth inning.
The Nats, who trailed by three runs in the seventh, instead closed within 6 1/2 games of the Reds for the final playoff spot in the league. Cincy lost at Colorado.
''We're stoked,'' said Bryce Harper, who reached base three times and contributed during the rally.
''I was fired up, unbelievably fired up when (Werth) hit that double. ... He's been in that situation so many times in his career. That was just an unbelievable moment.''
Earlier in the rally, Harper had put down a sacrifice bunt against left-hander Scott Rice. Harper, who is Washington's most potent hitter after Werth, is batting only .190/.312/.314 against lefties and is even worse against lefty relievers. Manager Davey Johnson thought Harper was bunting for a hit with the defense playing back. He also said Harper has been playing hurt, though Harper said his knee isn't hurting.
Indians 4, Tigers 0: Nobody scored until Mike Aviles hit a grand slam in the top of the ninth.
Orioles 7, Yankees 3: The Orioles scored all of their runs in a seven-run seventh, with J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones hitting three-run dingers.
Dodgers 2, Padres 1: Right-hander Zack Greinke stole second base, his second steal of the season, and Yasiel Puig hit a home run.
Marlins 7, Braves 0: Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Cishek combined to toss an eight-hitter, which made Eovaldi orange with pride.
Athletics 5, Rays 1: A three-game sweep for the A's, who are off to Texas.
Twins 4, Rangers 2: No more Justin Morneau for the Twins, who won their first series at Texas in four years.
Cardinals 7, Pirates 2: Rookie Kris Johnson did not perform for the Pirates like Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett did, and Joe Kelly's been too good lately for the Cardinals, who avoid the sweep and move back into first.
Rockies 7, Reds 2: Happy 2,500 hits, Todd Helton. Only 96 players have done it.
Giants 8, Diamondbacks 2: By striking out 10 and driving in a run at the plate, you might say Yusmeiro Petit did a little bit of everything against his old club.
Red Sox 7, White Sox 6: Big Papi didn't die. He was just resting.
Royals 5, Blue Jays 0: Big Game James Shields helps to prevent a sweep, and KC is 5 1/2 behind the Rays for the second wild card.
Cubs 7, Phillies 1: Ryne Sandberg Weekend >>> Vampire Weekend.
Astros 2, Mariners 0: Any time the Astros can avoid a sweep, it's a win. Literally and figuratively. Brett Oberholtzer tosses Houston's first complete game of 2013. OBERHOLTZER!
“According to the medical people, that thing can heal while playing."
— Tigers manager Jim Leyland, on the strained abdomen that sidelined slugger Miguel Cabrera for a second straight game.
Blake Parker of the Cubs makes the catch — but what a great photo by by David Banks.
• A's right-hander A.J. Griffin allowed his 33rd homer.
• Kevin Correa has a 1.61 ERA against the Rangers in three career starts.
• David Ortiz needs two hits to become the 39th player in history with 2,000 hits, 400 homers and 1,400 RBIs.