Around the Bases: Max Scherzer improves to 19-1, Cardinals tied for NL Central lead

Jim McIsaac

Scherzer became just the third pitcher in MLB history to win 19 of his first 20 decisions, while Jose Fernandez continues to impress.

Tigers 3, Mets 0: Max Scherzer became just the third pitcher in Major League history to win 19 of his first 20 decisions, tossing six shutout innings against the Mets to improve to 19-1.  Matt Harvey surrendered a career-high 13 hits, but the Tigers stranded 12 baserunners.

Indians 7, Twins 2: Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis each hit two-run homers, helping the Indians move into third place in the AL Wild Card standings. Drew Stubbs went 2-for-4 and scored a pair of runs, while Nick Swisher added a two-run double. Zach McAllister allowed two runs over 7⅔ innings, winning his third straight decision.

Red Sox 4, Dodgers 2: Jonny Gomes hit a three-run homer in the top of the first, capping off a four-run inning to give Jon Lester enough run support. Lester, making his first start against the Dodgers, gave up one run on three hits over 7⅔ innings. Jacoby Ellsbury made a dreaded mental mistake in the top of the ninth, leaving first base after forgetting how many outs there were in the inning:

Ellsburywhooops_medium

Reds 6, Brewers 3: Ryan Ludwick hit his first home run since last October, while Joey Votto, Zack Cozart and Chris Heisey also went deep for Cincinnati. Bronson Arroyo won his fourth straight start, holding the Brewers to three runs on seven hits over seven frames.

Nationals 7, Royals 2: Jordan Zimmermann picked up his 15th win, tying Adam Wainwright for the most wins by an NL pitcher. The right-hander tossed 7⅔ innings, giving up two runs on eight hits while striking out seven. Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore each collected a pair of hits, while Ian Desmond blasted his 18th home run of the year.

Athletics 2, Orioles 1: Coco Crisp hit a game-tying homer in the top of the ninth -- his third straight game with a home run. An Orioles fan caught the ball on the fly, tweeting out a photo of the game-winning home run:

Jarrod Parker tossed eight strong innings to remain undefeated since May 22, while Grant Balfour tossed a perfect ninth for save No. 32.

Astros 8, Blue Jays 5: Jason Castro hit a pair of homers, driving in three runs to tag the Blue Jays with their seventh straight loss. Brandon Barnes went 2-for-4 with an RBI double, while Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes each plated a runner.

Marlins 3, Rockies 0: Jose Fernandez held the Rockies scoreless for seven innings, only allowing four hits while striking out eight. Fernandez has a 1.52 ERA with 112 strikeouts in 15 starts since June 1. Steve Cishek earned his 28th save of the year, and Adeiny Hechavarria hit an RBI-triple in the fourth, later scoring on a sacrifice fly.

White Sox 3, Rangers 2: Josh Phegley hit a walk-off single, helping the White Sox spoil an excellent performance by Yu Darvish:

Darvish struck out 11 over seven innings, with his only blemish a two-run blast from Adam Dunn. Alex Rios plated the only two Rangers runs with a two-run homer of his own.

Rays 4, Yankees 2: David Price out-dueled CC Sabathia, only giving up two runs over six innings against the Yankees. Evan Longoria hit a tie-breaking RBI-single in the sixth, and added an insurance with a solo shot in the eighth. Ben Zobrist drove in the first two Tampa Bay runs with a double, later scoring on Longoria's single.

Cardinals 6, Braves 2: Shelby Miller worked around a solo homer by Freddie Freeman in the first inning, only allowing two more hits over seven innings to give the Cardinals their third straight win against the Braves. Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran each hit homers, while Matt Holliday drove in a pair of runs in the seventh with a double.

The Cardinals are now tied with the Pirates for the NL Central lead. The two NL Central leaders are tied with the Tigers and the Dodgers at 76-53, sitting one game behind the Braves (77-52) for the best record in baseball.

Diamondbacks 12, Phillies 7: A two-run homer by Darin Ruf set up the second half of a marathon game. Lasting more than six hours and with a combined 44 players getting into the game, this one went deep into the night with Arizona finally outlasting Philly. Adam Eaton doubled in Tony Campana off Phillies right-fielder-turned-relief-pitcher Casper Wells for the game-winning run, though the Diamondbacks tacked on four more after that. It wasn't a good day for Wells: Not only did he give up five runs, but he went 0-for-7 with four strikeouts at the plate, too. Like in Little League, when Wells was done pitching he moved back to the outfield when John McDonald trotted in to finish off the inning.

The Diamondbacks have played quite a few extra innings games this season, to the delight of beat writers everywhere:

Cubs 3, Padres 2: Jeff Samardzija turned in eight dominant innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while fanning eight. Darwin Barney paced the Cubs offense, going 3-for-4 with a double, home run and a pair of RBI. Will Venable went 3-for-4 with a homer in the loss.

Giants 6, Pirates 3: San Francisco used six relievers to throw 3⅔  scoreless innings after Tim Lincecum allowed three runs on five hits over 5⅓ innings. The Giants offense chased Francisco Liriano after four innings, tagging the starter with four runs on nine hits. Buster Posey led the attack with three hits, while Gregor Blanco collected a pair of singles and drove in one run.

Angels 5, Mariners 1: Jason Vargas tossed 6⅓  strong innings, holding his former team to one run on eight hits. Mike Trout connected on his 22nd homer in the first inning, while J.B. Shuck collected three hits in the leadoff spot. Endy Chavez went 3-for-4 in the loss, and made a great catch in the second inning, robbing Hank Conger of a home run.

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