Rangers Sting Rays
Atlanta Braves catcher Gerald Laird holds the ball up as home plate umpire Jordan Baker calls Washington Nationals' Denard Span is out at home on the tag, during the third inning of the second MLB National League baseball doubleheader at Nationals Park Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
St. Petersburg, Fla. — Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus homered and drove in three runs each and the Texas Rangers snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.
The Rangers pulled even with the Rays at the top of the AL wild-card race.
Kinsler hit Jeremy Hellickson’s first pitch for his 12th home run, breaking a streak of seven homerless games for the Rangers, their longest in 23 years. The 1-0 lead marked the first time Texas has led in a game since its last victory, on Sept. 8.
Kinsler added a two-run single in the Rangers’ four-run third, driving in three runs on the first two pitches he saw from Hellickson (11-9). Andrus followed with his third home run of the season to put the Rangers up 5-0.
Alexi Ogando (7-4) won in his first start since Aug. 13, giving up two hits in five innings.
Blue Jays 2, Yankees 0
Toronto — R.A. Dickey pitched seven innings to win his fourth straight decision, Colby Rasmus and Rajai Davis homered and Toronto beat New York, the slumping Yankees’ fourth straight loss.
New York, which came in 2 1/2 games behind Texas in the AL wild card race, lost for the eighth time in 12 games. The Yankees have 11 games remaining.
Dickey (13-12) allowed four hits, walked two and struck out eight. The knuckleballer retired the final 11 batters he faced and 15 of the last 16.
Dickey has not lost since the Yankees beat him in the Bronx on Aug. 21. He’s 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five starts since.
Sergio Santos pitched the eighth and Casey Janssen finished in the ninth for his 31st save in 33 chances.
Tigers 6, Mariners 2
Detroit — Miguel Cabrera homered, Austin Jackson hit a two-run single and Detroit held on despite a short-handed bullpen.
The AL Central-leading Tigers were ahead 3-2 when they escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth while playing without closer Joaquin Benoit and left-handed reliever Drew Smyly. They were both given the night off.
Anibal Sanchez struck out 10 in 61∕3 innings, but the Mariners tied it at 2 against him in the seventh, forcing Detroit’s relievers into action.
Nationals 6, Braves 5
Nationals 4, Braves 0
Washington — Tanner Roark threw seven shutout innings, and Washington beat Atlanta 4-0 to sweep a day-night doubleheader, ensuring the Braves leave Washington without the NL East title.
Roark (7-0) allowed just two hits, struck out six and retired the final 13 batters he faced.
Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run, Ian Desmond hit an RBI double and Adam LaRoche a run-scoring single in the eighth inning. Steve Lomardozzi had a second-inning RBI single off Freddy Garcia (1-2).
Washington entered the nightcap, which followed the Nationals’ 6-5 win in the makeup of a series opener postponed by a shooting rampage a day earlier at the nearby Navy Yard, within 4½ games of Cincinnati for the NL’s second wild-card berth. The Nationals, who have won 10 of 11, have 11 games remaining.
The Braves have lost nine of 13, but they still lead the division by eight games.
Phillies 6, Marlins 4
Philadelphia — Chase Utley hit a three-run homer and drove in four, Roy Halladay tossed six effective innings and Philadelphia beat Miami.
Halladay (4-4) allowed one run and four hits in his fifth start after returning from right shoulder surgery. The two-time Cy Young Award winner didn’t top 88 mph and relied on guile to get outs.
Padres 5, Pirates 2
Pittsburgh — Jedd Gyorko blasted a three-run homer among his three hits for San Diego.
Ronny Cedeno added three hits for San Diego, which beat the Pirates for the second straight game to put a dent in Pittsburgh’s pursuit of its first NL Central title. St. Louis and Pittsburgh entered the day tied for first in the division.
Luke Gregerson worked the ninth for his fourth save.
Andrew McCutchen went 2 for 3 and Marlon Byrd drove in both of Pittsburgh’s runs.
New Hampshire native Jeff Locke (10-6) allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings, striking out five and walking three.
Giants 8, Mets 5
New York — Angel Pagan homered, tripled and drove in three runs on a perfect night at the plate against his former team, leading Yusmeiro Petit and San Francisco past New York.
Pagan went 3 for 3 with two walks and scored twice from the leadoff spot for the Giants, who have won four straight and seven of nine. His tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning made a winner of Petit (4-0) in his second start since nearly pitching a perfect game.
Reds 10, Astros 0
Houston — Jay Bruce hit a grand slam and had 5 RBIs, Mike Leake pitched eight scoreless innings and Cincinnati cruised over Houston, handing the Astros their 100th loss.
Cincinnati is 4½ games ahead of Washington for second NL wild card.
The Astros are the first major league team to lose at least 100 games in three straight seasons since Kansas City from 2004-06.