Cardinals grab division lead

Cardinals grab division lead

St. Louis Cardinals' Allen Craig, right, and Matt Carpenter celebrate after Craig's grand slam during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, in St. Louis. Photo: Associated Press/Jeff Roberson

UNDATED — A bases-loaded blast has allowed the St. Louis Cardinals to move into sole possession of first place in the National League Central, a half-game ahead of Pittsburgh.

Allen Craig launched a go-ahead grand slam in a five-run seventh as the Cardinals rallied to beat Cincinnati 8-6. The Redbirds trailed 5-3 in the seventh until Jon Jay hit an RBI grounder and Craig followed with his 13th homer of the season. Matt Holliday smacked a three-run homer in the third to help the Cards overcome Zack Cozart’s two-run triple and RBI double.

The outcome leaves the Reds three games behind St. Louis.

Oakland also won a matchup of playoff contenders as Coco Crisp went 3-for-6 with a solo homer, two RBIs and two runs scored in the Athletics’ 8-6 triumph in Detroit. It was a 4-4 game until Daric Barton and Crisp hit RBI singles in the sixth, allowing A.J. Griffin to pick up his 11th win.

Miguel Cabrera slammed his 43rd homer, a two-run blast off Griffin in the fifth inning. Omar Infante also hit a two-run homer and Victor Martinez added a solo shot, but the Tigers saw their lead in the AL Central trimmed to 5 ½ games over Cleveland.

The A’s top the second AL wild-card berth by two games over the Indians and remain 2 ½ games behind first-place Texas in the AL West.

The Rangers earned an 8-3 victory at Seattle as A.J. Pierzynski smacked a three-run homer and Mitch Moreland added a solo shot. Armando Rios added two hits and two RBIs in support of Travis Blackley, who allowed three runs in six innings.

Checking out the rest of the majors, Boston owns a 1 ½-game edge in the American League East after second-place Tampa Bay was clobbered 11-1 in Kansas City. Salvador Perez hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs, while Billy Butler homered and collected three RBIs. That was more than enough support for Jeremy Guthrie, who’s 13-10 after limiting the Rays to a run and six hits in five innings.

Alex Rodriguez belted his 650th career homer, but a pair of ex-Mets were winners at Yankee Stadium as Toronto downed the New York Yankees 5-2. Jose Reyes went 1-for-3 and scored twice to support R.A. Dickey, who limited the Yankees to one earned run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. Edwin Encarnacion had two RBIs to help the Jays beat the Yankees for only the second time in 14 meetings this season.

Zack Greinke came within one out of a three-hit shutout before the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a 6-2 win over the Chicago Cubs. Greinke struck out nine over 8 2/3 innings and singled home the Dodgers’ first run. Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez hit solo homers after Carl Crawford’s two RBIs helped Los Angeles stay 9 ½ games ahead of Arizona in the NL West.

Brandon McCarthy was terrific in the Diamondbacks’ 6-1 win over San Diego, allowing just an unearned run and five hits in seven innings. Martin Prado drove in three runs and Paul Goldschmidt had two RBIs.

Cody Asche supplied a go-ahead, two-run triple in the fourth inning of Philadelphia’s 2-1 win at New York, the Mets’ fifth straight loss. Cliff Lee held the Mets to five hits while striking out seven in eight innings of the Phillies’ seventh victory in nine games.

Juan Nicasio tossed six shutout innings and poked an RBI single as Colorado dumped San Francisco 6-1. Todd Helton and Charlie Blackmon homered off Barry Zito, who’s 0-8 with a 9.61 ERA on the road this season.

Matt Dominguez and Chris Carter hit back-to-back solo homers in the ninth inning to lift Houston past the White Sox 10-8 in Chicago. Carter went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored.

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