Around the Bases: Cardinals in 1st; Mariners' James Paxton wins debut

Dilip Vishwanat

News and notes from Saturday's MLB action, which included a new leader in the NL Central and a win by Seattle's James Paxton in his major league debut.

Cardinals 5, Pirates 0: St. Louis is back in first place for the first time since Aug. 28 after defeating Pittsburgh for the second straight day. Adam Wainwright, who allowed a combined 15 runs in eight innings of work over his last two starts, threw seven scoreless innings to record his NL-best 16th win. David Freese knocked in a pair of runs with a sac fly and a solo home run to lead the Cardinals' offense. Pittsburgh's Jeff Locke hasn't won since July 21, leaving him winless in his last eight starts -- his ERA has increased from 2.11 to 3.23 during that span. The two teams play their final game against each other on Sunday; Pittsburgh leads the season series, 10-8.

Athletics 2, Astros 1: Oakland now leads the AL West by 1½ games after recording its second straight victory over Houston. Dan Straily allowed only two hits over seven scoreless innings to earn the win, and Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie chipped in with solo homers for the only runs that the A's needed. The Astros threatened in the third and eighth innings, but both rallies ended when over-aggressive baserunners were thrown out by Oakland's defense.

Mariners 6, Rays 2: Tampa Bay dropped its third straight game and saw its lead shrink to one game in the race for the second wild card. Top prospect James Paxton made his major league debut for Seattle, throwing six innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk to earn the win. The left-hander threw 95 pitches and recorded 11 ground ball outs. Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales homered for the Mariners.

Reds 4, Dodgers 3: Todd Frazier hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning against reliever Brian Wilson, helping Cincinnati keep pace in the NL Central and creep within a game of Pittsburgh for the first Wild Card. Ryan Ludwick led off the 10th with a walk and was lifted for pinch runner Billy Hamilton, who stole second and came around on Frazier's single. Yasiel Puig homered for Los Angeles, and Joey Votto reached base in all five of his plate appearances -- he hasn't been retired since Thursday, going 4-for-4 with five walks in his last two games.

Angels 8, Rangers 3: Los Angeles scored eight runs off of Derek Holland, thanks in part to four errors by Texas' defense, and the Angels defeated the Rangers for the second straight day. Mark Trumbo homered and Garrett Richard threw seven quality innings for Los Angeles. Texas has dropped five of its last six games and lost its last three series (against the Twins, A's and Angels), a stretch which has cost them their lead in the AL West.

Red Sox 13, Yankees 9: For the third straight day, Boston emerged victorious in a high-scoring affair in New York. Mike Napoli hit a pair of home runs, Jonny Gomes added a three-run shot, and rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts chipped in with his first major league homer. Starter John Lackey was credited with the win despite allowing seven runs in 5⅔ innings. The two teams have combined for 59 runs in the first three games of their four-game series.

Orioles 4, White Sox 3: Baltimore came from behind in the 10th inning to stun Chicago and earn a 4-3 victory on Saturday. The White Sox took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 10th on a pinch-hit solo home run by Conor Gillaspie, but the Orioles rallied back in the bottom of the frame against closer Addison Reed. A pair of singles and a stolen base put runners on the second and third with two outs, and Matt Wieters lined a single to right field to drive in the tying and winning runs. The Orioles are 16-25 in one-run games this year after posting an impressive 29-9 mark in that department last season. Chicago has lost nine straight games.

Indians 9, Mets 4: Cleveland scored five runs in the first inning en route to a win over New York on Saturday. Nick Swisher homered for the second straight day, and the Indians put together their first four-game winning streak since the end of July. With the victory, Cleveland kept pace in the AL Wild Card race, tied with Baltimore and one game behind Tampa Bay.

Diamondbacks 2, Giants 1: After Yusmeiro Petit took a perfect game into the ninth inning on Friday, San Fransicso starter Matt Cain took a perfect game of his own deep into the first inning on Saturday. Cain retired the first two batters of the game before Paul Goldschmidt broke up his no-hit bid with a single. Goldschmidt later scored a run in the fourth and drove in another in the fifth to account for all of Arizona's scoring in the game. Brandon McCarthy threw eight strong innings for the win two days after the one-year anniversary of getting hit in the head with a line drive last season.

Royals 4, Tigers 3: Salvador Perez homered off of Justin Verlander, and Kansas City's bullpen bailed out an ineffective Danny Duffy to defeat Detroit. Duffy walked five batters in 4⅓ innings in his fifth start since returning from Tommy John surgery.

Phillies 6, Braves 5: Freddy Galvis hit a walk-off home run after Atlanta had tied the game in the top of the ninth on a two-run shot by Andrelton Simmons. Galvis had been hitless in his last 16 at-bats heading into the game, but went 4-for-5 on Saturday. His walk-off came off of Atlanta's Freddy Garcia in a thrilling all-Freddy matchup.

Nationals 9, Marlins 2: Ryan Zimmerman hit a pair of home runs and Tanner Roark threw six shutout innings to power Washington past Miami. Bryce Harper was a late scratch due to soreness in his hip.

Blue Jays 11, Twins 2: Adam Lind homered twice and drove in six runs in Toronto's rout of Minnesota.

Padres 2, Rockies 1: Tyson Ross threw seven scoreless innings and Jedd Gyorko hit a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning to help San Diego slip past Colorado.

Brewers 5, Cubs 3: Johnny Hellweg recorded his first major league win, and Milwaukee used a four-run fourth inning to down Chicago. Hellweg has appeared in five games this season and has walked 16 batters against only four strikeouts.

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