PITTSBURGH – Russell Martin drove home Neal Walker with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Martin’s sharp grounder off Trevor Rosenthal (1-2) rolled into left field, giving Walker enough time to score from second. The Pirates’ fourth straight win over the Cardinals gave Pittsburgh a 21/2-game lead in the NL Central.
St. Louis left 11 runners on base and dropped its seventh consecutive game. The Cardinals led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 but couldn’t hold on.
“We can win just about every way possible,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said.
Tony Watson (3-1) worked two shutout innings in relief. Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
BRAVES 9, ROCKIES 0: Mike Minor allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings, Brian McCann hit a three-run homer in a seven-run third, and host Atlanta won its sixth straight.
MARLINS 3, METS 2: Jake Marisnick hit his first major league home run, Henderson Alvarez pitched into the eighth inning, and Miami beat visiting New York.
REDS 4, PADRES 1: Homer Bailey came within two outs of a five-hit shutout to end his four-start losing streak and Cincinnati ended a five-game skid with a win at San Diego.
Brandon Phillips homered and Joey Votto hit a two-run double for the Reds, who avoided a three-game sweep and ended San Diego’s four-game winning streak.
GIANTS 9, PHILLIES 2: Chad Gaudin threw seven sharp innings, Brett Pill and Brandon Crawford hit homers, and visiting San Francisco snapped a five-game losing streak.
BLUE JAYS 5, ATHLETICS 2: Jose Bautista hit a go-ahead double in the top of the 10th inning to give Toronto a win at Oakland, Calif.
INDIANS 6, WHITE SOX 5: Carlos Santana’s leadoff home run in the 10th inning gave host Cleveland its seventh straight win.
RANGERS 2, ANGELS 1: Adrian Beltre led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run as host Texas completed a three-game sweep of Los Angeles.
ASTROS 11, ORIOLES 0: Rookie left-hander Brett Oberholtzer allowed three hits over seven innings to earn his first major league win, Jason Castro hit a grand slam and Houston won at Baltimore.
ROYALS 4, TWINS 3: Alex Gordon hit a two-out triple in the seventh inning and then scored the go-ahead run on an error to give visiting Kansas City its eighth straight win.
The Royals are above .500 at the end of July for the first time since 2003. At 53-51 they are two games over the break-even mark for the first time since May 17.
Jeremy Guthrie (11-7) won his third start in a row with his seventh consecutive appearance of at least six innings.
TIGERS 11, NATIONALS 1: Alex Avila and Torii Hunter hit homers in a five-run second inning and Detroit scored five more runs in the fourth inning to rout visiting Washington.
DIAMONDBACKS 7, RAYS 0: Wade Miley pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and Eric Chavez drove in three runs as Arizona won at St Petersburg, Fla.