Baseball-Highlights of Friday's MLB games

(Adds late games) Sept 25 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights from Major League Baseball games on Friday: - - - - Pirates 3, Cubs 2 Gerrit Cole (18-8) allowed one run on four hits while striking out eight and walking just a pair as the Pirates beat the Cubs in a 3-2 pitchers' duel to extend their top wild-card berth spot by another game over Chicago. Cole pitched seven innings as the Pirates (94-60) moved 4 1/2 games ahead of the Cubs (89-64) with eight regular-season games to play. Chicago's magic number to clinch a postseason berth remained at one. - - Phillies 8, Nationals 2 Rookie left fielder Aaron Altherr had four hits, including an inside-the-park grand slam among his two homers, and five RBIs as the Phillies beat the Washington Nationals to push the defending National League East champions on the brink of elimination. In the third, Altherr's single up the middle got past center fielder Michael A. Taylor and the rookie scored the first inside-the-park grand slam in the majors since Tampa Bay's Randy Winn in 1999. - - Blue Jays 5, Rays 3 R.A. Dickey earned his 100th career win, Josh Donaldson, Kevin Pillar and Jose Bautista homered, and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 on Friday. Donaldson, the designated hitter for this game, tied the score with a solo homer in the third for the American League East leaders, while Bautista led off the seventh with his 37th homer of the season to increase Toronto's lead to 5-2. Dickey allowed four hits, no walks and two runs while striking out two in seven innings. He retired the final 11 batters he faced. - - Red Sox 7, Orioles 0 Rich Hill, a 35-year-old left-hander, pitched a two-hitter for his second major league shutout -- and first in almost nine years -- in leading the Boston Red Sox to a 7-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Hill, who had last started in the major leagues in 2009, recorded the first shutout of the season for the last-place Red Sox (73-80). Designated hitter David Ortiz collected three doubles and three RBIs as the Red Sox ended a three-game loss streak. - - White Sox 5, Yankees 2 Third baseman Mike Olt hit a long solo home run at the top of the seventh inning as the Chicago White Sox further damaged the New York Yankees hopes of winning the American League East with a 5-2 victory Friday night. Olt snapped a 2-2 tie when he drove a fastball from CC Sabathia (5-10) into the second deck as the Yankees (84-69) fell four games behind the Toronto Blue Jays with nine games remaining after losing for the sixth time in eight home games. - - Tigers 6, Twins 4 Rajai Davis hit a tie-breaking two-run home run in the eighth inning to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 6-4 victory over Minnesota that stalled the Twins' drive for the second wild-card berth. Davis drove over the right-field wall for his eighth home run of the season to cap a Detroit comeback from a 4-0 deficit. Right-hander Alex Wilson (3-3) earned the win for the Tigers by pitching a scoreless eighth. Right-hander Neftali Feliz earned his ninth save of the season. - - Mets 12, Reds 5 Lucas Duda hit a pair of three-run homers, and Noah Syndergaard pitched seven shutout innings as the New York Mets reduced their magic number to one with a 12-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night at Great American Ball Park. Right fielder Curtis Granderson added a three-run homer off J.J. Hoover putting the Mets (87-67) in position to clinch their first National League East title since 2006 on Saturday afternoon with a victory over the Reds. - - Marlins 12, Braves 11 Jose Fernandez became the first major league pitcher to start his home career with a 17-0 record, surviving a rough first inning to defeat the Atlanta Braves 12-11 on Friday night at Marlins Park. Fernandez eclipsed the previous 16-0 record set by Johnny Allen (1932-33) and LaMarr Hoyt (1980-82). But it wasn't easy for Fernandez (6-0), who allowed five hits and four runs in the first inning. - - Indians 6, Royals 0 Carlos Carrasco threw a one-hitter and struck out a career-high 15 as the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 6-0 Friday night. Royals manager Ned Yost rested most of his regulars one night after the Royals beat the Seattle Mariners 10-4 to clinch the American League Central title. The lineup included four rookies. - - Rockies 7, Dodgers 4 Three-run outbursts against Mike Bolsinger (6-5) in the third and fourth gave the Colorado Rockies a 7-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rockies teed off on Bolsinger in the fourth inning with three homers -- center fielder Charlie Blackmon, right fielder Carlos Gonzalez and left fielder Corey Dickerson. - - Brewers 4, Cardinals 3 After losing starting pitcher Carlos Martinez to right shoulder tightness three hitters into the game, St. Louis blew a 3-1 lead and absorbed a 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers Friday night at sold-out Busch Stadium. Left fielder Khris Davis belted his 24th homer of the year to lead off the ninth for Milwaukee (65-89) off Trevor Rosenthal (2-3), the Cardinals' eighth pitcher. St. Louis (97-57) had its five-game winning streak end and division lead over second-place Pittsburgh dip to three games. - - Rangers 6, Astros 2 Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo continued his torrid month with a three-hit game as the Texas Rangers took a stranglehold on the American League West with a 6-2 victory over the spiraling Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Rangers (84-69) won their eighth consecutive game against the Astros (80-74) and extended their lead in the division to 4 1/2 games. Choo, who entered the series leading the AL in batting (.410), on-base percentage (.539) and walks (19) this month, finished 3-for-5 with a two-run home run. - - Athletics 5, Giants 4 Center fielder Billy Burns hit a two-run homer, designated hitter Billy Butler had a solo shot and right-hander Sonny Gray pitched six solid innings, leading the Oakland A's to a 5-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants. The Giants, defending World Series champions, remained eight games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West but were eliminated from contention in the wild-card race. - - Diamondbacks 6, Padres 3 Center fielder A.J. Pollock had a career-high five RBIs and hit a second-inning grand slam to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks over the San Diego Padres 6-3 on Friday night. - - Angels 8, Mariners 4 Designated hitter Albert Pujols and first baseman C.J Cron each hit a two-run home run to lead the Los Angeles Angels to an 8-4 win over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night in front of 38,355 at Angel Stadium. It was Pujols' 37th home run of the season and the 557th of his career as the Angels used their sixth victory in eight games to move within half a game of the Houston Astros, who hold the American League's second wild-card spot. (Compiled by Patrick Johnston)