Around the Bases: Cardinals clinch division; Indians, Rangers keep winning

Dilip Vishwanat

The Cardinals ensured their NL Central counterparts, the Pirates and Reds, will have to face each other in the Wild Card play-in game. Three teams are still in the mix to participate in the AL version.

Cardinals 7, Cubs 0: St. Louis won the National League Central for the eighth time, cementing its place in the NLDS with a strong showing on offense and on the mound.

Yadier Molina went 2-for-4 with three runs batted in while Matt Holliday and David Freese each homered. Lance Lynn struck out nine batters in six scoreless innings.

The Cardinals remain tied with the Atlanta Braves for the best record in the NL. The Braves hold the tiebreaker by virtue of their 4-3 record against the Cards during the regular season.

Indians 12, Twins 6: Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera finished with three hits apiece and Drew Stubbs added a two-run homer to power the Indians to their eighth-straight win -- and into a tie for the top American League Wild Card spot. Justin Masterson struck out the side in an inning of work during his second relief appearance of the season.

Blue Jays 6, Rays 3: Tampa Bay jumped out to a 2-0 advantage with a pair of homers against R.A. Dickey, but the knuckleballer didn't allow a run the rest of the way while Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson surrendered six in fewer than five innings. The loss broke the Rays' seven-game winning streak.

Rangers 5, Angels 3: Elvis Andrus finished with two hits and Texas got two RBIs apiece from A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Rios in a game that featured no extra-base hits. Rangers relievers combined for 3⅔ innings of perfect relief to keep the team within a game in the AL Wild Card race.

Pirates 4, Reds 1: Marlon Byrd went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and Pedro Alvarez added two hits, including a two-run homer, to put the Pirates two games ahead of the Reds. One more win for Pittsburgh would mean hosting the NL Wild Card play-in game.

Braves 1, Phillies 0: Cliff Lee racked up 13 strikeouts in eight innings but wound up taking the loss as a result of Chris Johnson's home run to lead off the eighth. Kris Medlen tossed eight scoreless innings in a game that featured only five hits.

Red Sox 12, Orioles 3: The Red Sox are a win or an Oakland loss away from clinching home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs thanks to Clay Buchholz, who held the Orioles to three runs in seven innings en route to his 12th win in 13 decisions this season. Daniel Nava, David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes each homered for Boston.

Athletics 8, Mariners 2: Bartolo Colon worked around a pair of solo home runs to post six innings of two-run ball while striking out eight. Brandon Moss provided the deciding blow on a three-run homer in the first inning against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.

Marlins 3, Tigers 2: Detroit's pitching staff tied the all-time MLB record for strikeouts in a single season in Jhonny Peralta's return from a 50-game suspension. Peralta doubled and drove in a run while playing his first-career game in the outfield.

Nationals 8, Diamondbacks 4: Washington tagged D-Backs rookie Patrick Corbin for five runs, including a three-run homer off the bat of Jayson Werth, in five innings. Wilson Ramos added a three-run blast in the eighth inning to pull away.

Yankees 3, Astros 2: Adam Warren earned the win by tossing five shutout innings. He allowed only two hits and recorded four strikeouts. Mariano Rivera did not pitch.

Royals 6, White Sox 1: Apparently, it was milestone night in Chicago:

Brewers 4, Mets 2: Milwaukee got first inning home runs from Norichika Aoki and Khris Davis, as well as a later bomb from Martin Maldonado, to help Yovani Gallardo clinch a winning season.

Dodgers 11, Rockies 0: Clayton Kershaw finished the season with a 1.83 ERA after holding the Rockies scoreless for six innings. Colorado did not have a runner reach second base during the game. Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis homered for Los Angeles.

Giants 7, Padres 3: San Francisco hit three home runs off Padres starter Burch Smith. Ryan Vogelsong allowed two runs in six innings for the win.

More from SB Nation MLB:

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Watch Rivera’s emotional final exit at Yankee Stadium

The faltering Cubs' youth movement | More Cubs news

Chris Perez out as Indians closer

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