PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jon Lester limited the Pittsburgh Pirates to five hits while picking up his first complete game of the season and the Chicago Cubs earned a doubleheader split with a 2-1 win on Tuesday night.

The Pirates took the first game 5-4 when Pedro Florimon scored on Starling Marte’s sacrifice fly in the eighth, but they couldn’t complete the sweep as the Cubs pulled back within four games of Pittsburgh for the top spot in the NL wild-card race.

Lester (10-10) walked one and struck out nine while picking up his 12th career complete game. David Ross and Javier Baez had two hits each for the Cubs.

J.A. Happ (9-8) had his five-game winning streak end. Happ pitched in and out of trouble, allowing two runs on eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. Aramis Ramirez had two hits but Pittsburgh’s rejiggered lineup mustered little against Lester.

NATIONALS 4, PHILLIES 0

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Stephen Strasburg gave up one hit and tied a careerbest with 14 strikeouts in eight dominant innings, Bryce Harper hit two homers and the Nationals beat the Phillies.

Strasburg (9-7) allowed only a single to Cody Asche leading off the bottom of the fifth — a hard grounder to right field. He has 27 strikeouts in his last two starts.

The hard-throwing righty struck out the side twice and fanned eight of the last 12 batters he faced. He was still firing 96 mph fastballs in the eighth. Blake Treinen tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to complete the shutout.

The Nationals have won three straight, but it’s seems too late to catch the NL Eastleading New York Mets.

MARLINS 9, METS 3

NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom was hit hard during a rare dud at home against one of his favorite opponents, and the Marlins stopped the Mets’ eight-game winning streak.

Mets nemesis Dee Gordon homered and had four hits to back Tom Koehler, who plunked Yoenis Cespedes in the first inning and then helped silence the streaking slugger the rest of the way.

New York’s commanding lead in the NL East was trimmed to 8 1/2 games over Washington, which beat Philadelphia 4-0. The magic number remained 10 for the Mets to clinch their sixth division title.

Christian Yelich had three hits and two RBIs following a surprise meeting with his “Saturday Night Live” doppelganger, and Justin Bour also had three hits and two RBIs.

RANGERS 6, ASTROS 5

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Rangers overtook the Houston Astros for first place in the AL West, winning another tense Texas showdown on Mitch Moreland’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Adrian Beltre’s fourth hit put the Rangers in position to win a night after Prince Fielder pulled them within a halfgame of the Astros with a tiebreaking tworun home run in the eighth. Houston had been in first place since July 28.

Fielder opened the ninth with a single to left off Oliver Perez (2-3), and pinch-runner Drew Stubbs went to third on Beltre’s third single. Moreland sent a 1-0 pitch from Will Harris to Colby Rasmus in shallow center field, but Rasmus’ throw was off target and bounced, allowing Stubbs to score easily.

Texas closer Shawn Tolleson (6-3) pitched a scoreless ninth as the Rangers (77-67) moved into first place for the first time this year, at a season-high 10 games over .500. Houston (77-68) holds the second AL wild card.

ROYALS 2, INDIANS 0

CLEVELAND (AP) — Kris Medlen pitched five-hit ball over 6 1-3 innings and Alex Rios hit a home run that launched some unintentional fireworks, leading the Royals to a win over the Indians.

Medlen (4-1) stifled the Indians before Royals manager Ned Yost turned things over to his top-ranked bullpen. Ryan Madson struck out two in the seventh, Wade Davis got through the eighth and Greg Holland worked around a two-on, no-out mess he created in the ninth for his 31st save.

Rios homered in the fifth inning off Josh Tomlin (5-2) for the Royals, who won for just the third time in 11 games as they close in on a probable AL Central title.

The Indians, who pulled back to .500 for just the second time since April by winning the series opener, fell to 13-6 since Aug. 25.

RAYS 6, YANKEES 3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Nick Franklin hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning and the Rays beat the AL wild-card leading Yankees.

Hobbled Alex Rodriguez and Greg Bird homered for the Yankees, who remain three games behind AL East-leading Toronto, which lost 3-2 at Atlanta.

Franklin, who entered when shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera left after four innings with a left knee strain, put the Rays up 4-3 on his homer off Nick Rumbelow (1-1). J.P. Arencibia made it 6-3 on a two-run single in the eighth.

Rodriguez hit his 32nd homer this season and 686th of his career off Jake Odorizzi (8-8) in the first hours after the team learned he is playing with a bruised left knee. Rodriguez moved past Craig Biggio into sole possession of 21st place alltime with his 3,061st hit.

BRAVES 3, BLUE JAYS 2

ATLANTA (AP) — Andrelton Simmons’ tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth inning snapped a 12-game home losing streak and the Braves beat the AL East-leading Blue Jays.

Toronto began the night with a threegame lead over the New York Yankees, but the Blue Jays, despite the majors’ best record since the All-Star break, have lost two straight.

The Braves ended the longest home skid in franchise history. They began the game 14-46 overall since July 8.

Aaron Sanchez (7-6) took the loss, allowing four hits, one run and striking out one in 1 1-3 innings.

Arodys Vizcaino (3-1) faced the minimum in the ninth to earn the win.

Blue Jays sluggers Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista went a combined 0 for 8 with four strikeouts. First baseman Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto’s other big bat, missed his second straight game with an injured finger.

TIGERS 5, TWINS 4

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Victor Martinez had three hits and two RBIs, and the Tigers beat Phil Hughes and the Twins.

James McCann also had three hits for Detroit, and Alfredo Simon (13-9) pitched into the seventh inning. Bruce Rondon allowed a run in the ninth before finishing for his fifth save.

The Tigers (66-78) were officially eliminated in the AL Central after winning the division title each of the last four years.

Minnesota (75-69) is contending for an AL wild card, but Hughes (10-9) lasted just three innings in his return from a monthlong stint on the disabled list with a back injury.

ATHLETICS 17, WHITE SOX 6

CHICAGO (AP) — Josh Reddick homered and drove in four runs during a 10- run fourth inning to power the Athletics to a rout of the White Sox.

Billy Butler had three hits and three runs batted in, and Eric Sogard and Jake Smolinski each had a pair of RBIs as the Athletics snapped a six-game losing streak against Chicago.

Reddick had a two-run homer and a two-run single in the big inning. The 17 runs were the most by the A’s since they scored 18 on Sept. 11, 2013, against the Minnesota Twins.

Aaron Brooks (2-3) allowed six runs on 10 hits in six-plus innings for the win. Brooks had been 0-3 with a 14.14 ERA in his last five games in the majors with an opponents’ batting average of .439 before Tuesday.

Melky Cabrera had a homer and three RBIs and Alexei Ramirez had a solo homer for the White Sox.

CARDINALS 3, BREWERS 1

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jason Heyward hit a line drive two-run homer in the 10th inning to lead the Cardinals to a victory over the Brewers.

St. Louis has won consecutive games following a 2-8 skid and increased its lead in the NL Central to three games over secondplace Pittsburgh.

Kevin Siegrist (7-1) pitched the ninth and Trevor Rosenthal the 10th for his 44th save.

Carlos Martinez matched a season high by going eight innings. He struck out nine and gave up one earned run and four hits, as the team improved to 16-4 in his last 20 starts.

Milwaukee lost its fourth straight game and has just 10 victories in its last 36 home games against St. Louis.

Matt Carpenter led off the 10th and reached on an error on by first baseman Adam Lind. With one out, Heyward connected off Tyler Thornburg (0-2) for his 12th homer.


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