Around the Bases: Orioles nipping at Athletics' heels in AL Wild Card race

Patrick Smith

The big-bopping Orioles made a move in the AL wildcard race by out-slugging Oakland. Elsewhere, Milwaukee apparently has its own power-hitting CKhris Davis. Plus, don't look now, but the Dodgers have won four straight.

Orioles 9, A's 7: Baltimore pulled to within two games of the final wildcard spot in the American League thanks to a pair of big home runs, including Brian Roberts' fourth-inning grand slam. Adam Jones added a two-run shot earlier in the inning and the O's put up three runs in the seventh to rally from a one-run deficit.

Coco Crisp and Brandon Moss homered for the A's, who outhit the Orioles, 12-7, in the loss. Nine of those hits came against Baltimore starter Bud Norris, but Oakland was only able to muster three hits -- and no runs -- in 4 ⅓ innings against the Orioles' bullpen, which notched five strikeouts.

Cardinals 3, Braves 1: Matt Holliday's sixth-inning solo home run off of Kris Medlen gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead, which was enough for Adam Wainwright, who went the distance while allowing one run and racking up nine strikeouts. All six hits allowed by Wainwright were singles.

Yadier Molina had three hits and scored twice, extending his advantage in the National League batting race to five points over Braves third baseman Chris Johnson, who finished 2-for-4.

In a bit of a bizarre situation, Atlanta outfielder Justin Upton was thrown out of the game by home plate umpire Paul Nauert in the top of the sixth inning after grounding out to end the inning. The reason for the ejection was unclear at the time it occurred.

Dodgers 2, Red Sox 0: Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer off of John Lackey in the fourth inning to provide the only scoring in a game between two of baseball's best squads.

Ricky Nolasco lasted eight innings and allowed just two hits while striking out six. Kenley Jansen notched a pair of strikeouts in the ninth to earn the save. Lackey pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up only three hits while racking up six strikeouts.

The two teams combined for just five hits -- two of which came off the bat of Carl Crawford -- and completed the contest in 2:07.

Rays 7, Yankees 2: Tampa Bay homered four times off of Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda, who entered the game having allowed just 12 home runs in 160 ⅓ innings. Jose Lobaton's three-run blast in the bottom of the second proved to be the deciding blow.

The Rays' power helped Chris Archer, who lasted seven innings and allowed two runs on four hits, to win his seventh game. Lobaton and Matt Joyce had two hits apiece.

Brett Gardner reached in each of his four plate appearances and scored both of the Yankees' runs. Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 4 with a strikeout.

Pirates 3, Giants 1: Clint Barmes hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning off of Madison Bumgarner to give the Pirates their fourth win in five games on their current west coast swing.

Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison had two hits apiece. Charlie Morton allowed a run on seven hits in seven innings to improve to 5-3. Bumgarner surrendered three runs on seven hits and four walks in eight innings of work.

Rangers 11, White Sox 5: White Sox ace Chris Sale allowed four home runs to the Rangers, who hit five total. Sale allowed eight runs in seven innings of work, raising his ERA to 3.08.

Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler both homered and had two hits apiece. Kinsler's homer was of the inside-the-park variety. Dayan Viciedo had two hits, two RBI and two runs scored for Chicago. Martin Perez picked up the win for Texas despite surrendering four runs on eight hits in seven innings.

Brewers 6, Reds 4: Milwaukee outfielder Khris Davis hit a pair of home runs, including a two-run shot to break a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning, to send Cincinnati to its sixth loss in nine games. Scooter Gennett joined Davis in the offensive assault, homering as part of his 3-for-4 performance.

Both starting pitchers -- Yovani Gallardo and Homer Bailey -- allowed six hits in six innings. Both hurlers also walked two, struck out five and allowed a home run. The one difference in their line for the night was that Gallardo only gave up two earned runs compared to Bailey's three.

Tigers 6, Mets 1: Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera homered off of Mets starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who made his season debut in somewhat-ugly fashion. Dice-K allowed five runs on six hits in five innings en route to the loss.

Eric Young and Juan Lagares had three hits apiece for the Mets. Detroit's Victor Martinez caught his first game in two years. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and left the game in the eighth inning in favor of backup backstop Bryan Holaday.

Twins 5, Indians 1: Ubaldo Jimenez struck out 10 batters and allowed just five hits, but three of those were second-inning doubles that resulted in a pair of runs. That was enough for Twins starter Samuel Deduno, who surrendered just one run on three hits in six innings.

Chris Herrmann, Clete Thomas and Pedro Flormion had two hits apiece to lift Minnesota.

Phillies 4, Diamondbacks 3: Chase Utley's bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Philadelphia its third consecutive walk-off win. Arizona squandered a two-run lead in the sixth inning with Wade Miley on the hill when Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz came through with a two-run, game-tying double.

Heath Bell allowed a pair of singles and a walk in the bottom of the ninth before giving way to Eury De La Rosa, who surrendered the fatal free pass.

Nationals 11, Royals 10: Washington scored seven runs in the top of the fourth inning to overcome an early 6-0 deficit and held on to beat Kansas City, which scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to get to within one.

Jayson Werth hit a two-run homer to conclude the Nats' big inning. Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore paced Washington's offense with three hits apiece. The game's starters, Gio Gonzalez and Bruce Chen, combined to allow 14 runs on 15 hits in seven total innings.

Eric Hosmer and Justin Maxwell went deep for the Royals, who had six extra-base hits to the Nationals' four.

Rockies 3, Marlins 2: Colorado scored twice in the eighth inning against Chad Qualls to rally for a 3-2 win, reversing the outcome from its previous two games in which the Rockies blew consecutive ninth-inning leads.

Troy Tulowitzki went 2-for-3 to increase his hitting streak to 10 games and Jhoulys Chacin earned his 12th win by tossing seven innings of two-run ball. He allowed just four hits. Ryan Wheeler's RBI double off of Qualls gave the Rockies the lead, and Rex Brothers, who became the team's de facto closer after Rafael Betancourt landed on the disabled list yet again, earned the save.

Angels 2, Mariners 0: Felix Hernandez racked up 10 strikeouts in six innings, but the two-run home run he served up to Angels third baseman Chris Nelson in the second inning cost his team the game.

Nelson's big homer gave Garrett Richards, who tossed 7 ⅓ scoreless innings, the victory. Josh Hamilton had two of the Halos' four hits while Mariners shortstop Brad Miller had two of Seattle's five knocks.

Padres 8, Cubs 6: Chicago scored six runs in the first inning, chasing San Diego starter Edinson Volquez before the close of the frame. Edwin Jackson made it through three scoreless innings. Then the Cubs showed up. San Diego scored eight unanswered runs to come away with the win.

Will Venable broke the 6-6 tie with a home run off Cubs reliever James Russell in the seventh inning. Russell took the loss. Jedd Gyorko had two home runs among his three hits while accounting for four RBI for the Padres. Junior Lake had three hits for Chicago, and Nate Schierholtz homered.

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