Royals keep division lead...Brewers, Dodgers make bigger cushionUNDATED (AP) - The Kansas City Royals were able to stay atop the American League Central today, while the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals padded their division leads.
In Kansas City, the Royals scored five runs in the seventh inning to beat Oakland 7-3. The Athletics led 3-2 until Jarrod Dyson hit an RBI single and scored on Nori Aoki's two-run triple. Billy Butler capped the rally with a two-run single to secure the Royals' 10th victory in 11 games.
The outcome sliced Oakland's lead in the AL West to 2 1/2 games over the idle Angels.
Detroit kept pace as Max Scherzer struck out 14 batters in eight shutout innings to pitch the Tigers past Pittsburgh 5-2. Scherzer is 6-1 with a 1.78 ERA in his last 10 starts after limiting the Pirates to three hits. J.D. Martinez hit a solo homer and had two RBIs to help Scherzer become the American League's first 14-game winner of the season.
The Pirates' loss drops them 2 1/2 games behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee, and a half-game behind St. Louis. Mike Fiers struck out 14 while allowing three hits in six scoreless innings as the Brewers downed the Cubs 6-2 in Chicago. Khris Davis and Mark Reynolds hit solo homers, and Scooter Gennett laced a two-run double to help the Brewers earn a split of the four-game series.
The Cardinals are two games off the NL Central lead after Jon Jay hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning to push the Redbirds past San Diego 4-3. Trevor Rosenthal allowed a ninth-inning run and loaded the bases with two out before striking out Tommy Medica for his league-best 36th save.
The NL West-leading Dodgers moved 5 1/2 games ahead of idle San Francisco and dropped the Braves six games behind NL East-leading Washington. Drew Butera hit a two-run homer, Adrian Gonzalez had three RBIs and Dee Gordon scored four runs as the Los Angeles Dodgers outlasted the Braves 6-4 in Atlanta. Roberto Hernandez gave up a run and three hits in six innings to earn his first victory in two starts since being acquired from Philadelphia on Aug. 7.
The Nationals increased their division lead by winning at Citi Field for the 11th straight time. Adam LaRoche and Bryce Harper hit two-run homers as the Nats beat the New York Mets 4-1. Stephen Strasburg struck out eight while holding the Mets to an unearned run and three hits in seven innings.
Elsewhere in the majors:
- Dustin Pedroia's two-run double capped a seven-run sixth as Boston ripped Houston 9-4. Pedroia finished with three hits, Daniel Nava doubled twice and David Ortiz added two singles as the Red Sox improved to 8-0 at Fenway Park against the Astros.
- Dustin Pedroia and Logan Forsythe each hit two-run homers and combined for five hits and five RBIs in Tampa Bay's 6-3 triumph at Texas. Jake Odorizzi held the Rangers to a pair of runs and four hits in seven innings to win for the fifth time in his last six starts.
- Charlie Culberson hit a three-run double and scored twice in Colorado's 7-3 win over Cincinnati. The Reds suffered their third consecutive loss to fall four games off the NL Central lead.
- Miami beat Arizona 5-4 on Marcell Ozuna's RBI double in the bottom of the 10th. The Marlins trailed 4-2 until Adeiny Hechavarria hit an RBI triple in the sixth and a run-scoring single in the eighth to tie the game.
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