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A night after the Cincinnati Reds lost 5-4 the St. Louis Cardinals in 16 innings, done in by a pair of extra-inning homers, the Reds figured they'd up the home run ante. The Reds hit four home runs — two of them by Todd Frazier — to dispatch of the Cards 6-2, closing the gap between the two teams even more in that oh-so-close NL Central race.
With Thursday's win, the Reds took three of four in the series from the Cardinals, who will next play the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates for a weekend series. The Reds, meanwhile, start up a series with the Dodgers, looking to keep piling on the wins. From the AP:
''That was a big series right there,'' manager Dusty Baker said. ''That game last night still hurts, but that's OK. We've got a resilient team. I don't think anybody slept last night.''
That 16-inning loss was set up by the Reds' third, fourth and fifth hitters going a combined 0 for 19. Frazier, their sixth-place hitter on Thursday, came through with his two solo homers and a single.
''We've just got to get somebody hot in the middle of the lineup, and Todd stepped up for us,'' Baker said. ''He's been struggling some. He's a streaky hitter. I'd like to see him streak to the end.''
The Reds are now three behind the Pirates for first place in the NL Central, with a seven-game cushion protecting their wild card berth. The Cards, meanwhile, are a game and a half behind the Pirates. That could easily change, though, after three games between the two teams.
The Red Sox fight back against Yankees and Rivera: The Boston Red Sox need wins like Thursday night's if they're going to continue to fend off their rival Yankees, or anyone else in the American League for that matter.
The Red Sox, with two outs in the night and down a run, got a tying RBI single from Stephen Drew. Off the great Mariano Rivera, of all pitchers. Then the Red Sox got another RBI single from Shane Victorino in the 10th, which eventually gave the team a 9-8 win.
To be fair, the Red Sox owed the Yankees a comeback. New York was down 7-2 in the seventh inning before putting six runs on the board to go ahead 8-7. This was the start of a four-game series between the two teams and the first of seven times they'll play in the next 11 days. If the Yankees get hot, they could close in on the AL East-leading Red Sox in the standings.
Astros 3, A's 2: Former Athletics Chris Carter and Brad Peacock help the Astros beat their former team. Oakland drops out of a first-place tie in the AL West with its loss.
Angels 6, Rays 2: Slumping Rays drop another game as ace David Price gives up 11 hits and six runs. Tampa Ray has now lost nine of 12 games.
Orioles 3, White Sox 1: Baltimore hits three solo homers — from Adam Jones, Brian Roberts and J.J. Hardy — to top the White Sox.
''This is definitely a confidence builder. I have a bunch of buddies over there. I'm happy where I am now. I've got an opportunity here.''
— Astros pitcher Brad Peacock about beating his former team
Daric Barton makes a fuuuuuuull stretch to get Jonathan Villar at first. It completed a nice play by A's pitcher Sonny Gray. Watch it here.
• The Yankees had six different players steal bases on Thursday night, which tied a franchise record. The last time it was done? 1916.
• Adam Jones' solo homer gave him 30 home runs and 100 RBIs for the first time in his career.
• Royals catcher Salvador Perez left Thursday's game because of dizziness that followed getting in the mask by a foul ball.