Around the Bases: Pirates clinch winning season; Orioles, Indians gain ground in AL

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates did something they haven't done in almost 21 years, and the Orioles and Indians maintained their close distance from the Rays in the AL Wild Card standings.

Pirates 1, Rangers 0: Gerrit Cole struck out nine batters in seven scoreless innings, and Pedro Alvarez doubled home Marlon Byrd with two outs in the seventh to give the Pirates their first winning season since 1992.

Yu Darvish went toe-to-toe with Cole, punching out six and allowing just a run on four hits in seven innings, but he left the game with a cramp in his right leg. Darvish is expected to make his next start.

The Pirates previously lost four straight after ensuring themselves of at least a .500 season last week. The victory brought Pittsburgh to within a game of the first-place Cardinals in the NL Central.

The Rangers dropped to two games behind the AL West-leading Athletics.

Indians 4, Royals 3: Ubaldo Jimenez didn't allow an earned run in seven innings of work and racked up 10 strikeouts to help the Tribe stay within striking distance of the Rays in the AL wildcard race. Cleveland pushed Kansas City to four games off the pace in the process.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Yan Gomes and Carlos Santana each homered off of Royals starter Ervin Santana. Alex Gordon hit a two-run shot off of Cody Allen in the eighth inning to pull Kansas City to within a run, but three Indians relievers, including closer Chris Perez, held serve.

Orioles 4, Yankees 2: Baltimore remained tied with Cleveland at a game and a half behind Tampa Bay behind Chris Tillman, who worked around a pair of solo home runs to strike out nine and allow just four hits in seven innings in a hotly contested game that featured a shouting match between Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Yankees skipper Joe Girardi.

Nick Markakis had three hits out of the lead-off spot for the O's. Alex Rodriguez and Lyle Overbay homered for the Yankees in the loss.

Cubs 2, Reds 0: Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena homered off of Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo and Travis Wood tossed seven shutout innings to help the Cubs end the Reds' four-game winning streak.

Cincinnati won seven of eight games against a pair of first-place teams, the Cardinals and Dodgers, but couldn't get anything going against last-place Chicago and fell to two games off the Cards' pace in the NL Central as a result.

Nationals 9, Mets 0: Gio Gonzalez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished with a complete-game shutout in which he allowed just one hit. The Nats hit five home runs to back him up.

Braves 5, Marlins 2: The Braves scored all five of their runs and had all five of their hits in the top of the fourth inning. Kris Medlen allowed two runs in 6⅓ innings and posted six strikeouts.

White Sox 5, Tigers 1: Chicago starter Chris Sale allowed one run in eight innings and notched eight strikeouts. Miguel Cabrera and Jim Leyland were ejected in the first inning after Cabrera was charged with a swing on a pitch that hit him in the right knee.

Twins 6, Angels 3: Rookie catcher Josmil Pinto doubled three times and Trevor Plouffe drove in three runs to lead the Twins to a victory over the Angels, who went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

Dodgers 8, Diamondbacks 1: Juan Uribe homered three times and hit an infield single in his final plate appearance and Ricky Nolasco allowed an unearned run in 6⅔ innings. Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez also homered for the Dodgers.

Mariners 3, Astros 2: Abraham Almonte's hit a two-run shot, the first homer of his career, in the bottom of the seventh inning to take rookie hurler Taijuan Walker off the hook. Walker struck out eight but allowed a pair of runs in five innings.

Giants 3, Rockies 2: Brandon Belt tied the game with an eighth inning double, then gave San Francisco the victory with a walk-off single in the 10th inning. Buster Posey as 2-for-4 with a home run.

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