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Highlights of Sunday's Major League Baseball games

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[September 15, 2014]  Sept 14 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Sunday's Major League baseball games:

Tigers 6, Indians 4

Ian Kinsler blasted a two-run home run off Bryan Shaw in the seventh inning to lead the Detroit Tigers a victory over the Cleveland Indians and a sweep of their three-game weekend series.

Detroit's (83-66) sixth win in seven games went to left-handed reliever Phil Coke (5-2), who pitched a scoreless seventh. The loss dropped Cleveland 6 1/2 games behind first-place Detroit in the American League Central Division.

Right-hander Joe Nathan earned his 32nd save while starter Justin Verlander allowed three runs and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings of a no-decision.

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Cardinals 4, Rockies 1

Marco Gonzales, making the fifth start of his career, allowed just four hits through 5 2/3 innings and the Cardinals went on to complete a sweep of the three-game series against the Colorado Rockies with a victory.

The win allowed the Cardinals (83-67) to maintain their 3 1/2 game lead in the NL Central over the Pittsburgh Pirates, while the Rockies suffered their sixth consecutive loss on the road and 90th defeat of the season.

Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run home run in the third inning where the Cardinals scored three times to take control.

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Brewers 9, Reds 1

Matt Clark belted a three-run home run in the seventh inning as part of a five-run inning, and Milwaukee blasted Cincinnati.

After getting just two hits of Reds' starters in each of their last two games, the Brewers collected eight off Cincinnati right-hander Mike Leake (11-12), who also walked and hit left fielder Khris Davis with a pitch to lead off the fifth.

The Brewers (78-72) remained five games behind St Louis for the lead in the NL Central.

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Pirates 7, Cubs 3

Neil Walker had a home run and double among his three hits and was the pivot man on an around-the-horn triple play as the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied for a victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Walker's solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning started the Pirates' comeback from a 3-0 deficit and was his 20th of the season, setting a franchise record for a second baseman.

His double drove in a run during a six-run fifth inning in which the Pittsburgh sent 12 batters to the plate and went ahead 7-3.

The Pirates (79-70) turned their first triple play since 2009 in the fourth an won for the eighth time in their last 10 games to stay 3 1/2 games behind St Louis in the National League Central.

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Red Sox 8, Royals 4

Designated hitter Daniel Nava hit a grand slam and Joe Kelly settled down after the third inning as the Boston Red Sox topped the wobbling Kansas City Royals.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts also contributed three hits, including a three-run homer, and drove in four runs.

The Red Sox, who are in last place in the American League East, won three of four at Kauffman Stadium to put a dent in the Royals' playoff hopes.

The Royals (81-67) entered the series a game in front of Detroit in the American League Central, but fell 1 1/2 games behind the Tigers after the loss.

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Astros 6, Angels 1

Left-hander Dallas Keuchel pitched no-hit ball for 6 1/3 innings as the Houston Astros earned a victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

Keuchel (11-9) had a perfect game for five innings before walking catcher Chris Iannetta to begin the bottom of the sixth inning.

The loss ended the Angels' (93-56) 10-game winning streak, the team's longest since 2002 and one shy of the club record.

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Athletics 4, Mariners 0

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester shut down the Seattle Mariners to help the A's win back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 22-23 while widening their lead in the American League wild-card race.

Oakland (83-66) maintained their spot as the first of two AL wild cards, 1 1/2 games in front of Kansas City and 2 1/2 ahead of the Mariners (80-68).

Lester (15-10) earned his fifth win since being traded from Boston after throwing six innings of shutout ball and allowing four hits.

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Nationals 3, Mets 0

Catcher Wilson Ramos hit a two-run homer to snap a scoreless tie in the seventh inning, when the Washington Nationals inched closer to the National League East title by beating the New York Mets.

The Nationals (85-63) won three of four against the Mets (72-78) to reduce their magic number for winning the NL East to five, pending the outcome of the Atlanta Braves' game against the Texas Rangers later Sunday afternoon.

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The Nationals will have a chance to clinch the division in Atlanta when they visit the Braves for a three-game series beginning Monday.

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Dodgers 4, Giants 2

Right fielder Matt Kemp broke open a pitchers' duel between left-hander Clayton Kershaw and righty Yusmeiro Petit with a two-run home run in the sixth inning, propelling the Los Angeles Dodgers to a victory over the San Francisco Giants.

The win was the second in a row for the Dodgers (85-64) after a 9-0 defeat in the series opener Friday night and increased their lead over the Giants (82-67) to three games atop the National League West with just 13 games remaining in the regular season.

The loss, just San Francisco's second in their last 12 home games, also cost the Giants ground in the wild-card race. They remain in the number one wild-card spot, but they now lead the Pittsburgh Pirates (79-70) by just three games, with the Milwaukee Brewers (78-72) another 1 1/2 games back.

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Rays 6, Blue Jays 5

Sean Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to snap a 5-5 tie and the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Pinch-hitter John Mayberry hit a pinch-hit home run with two out in the bottom of the ninth against left-hander Jake McGee (5-2) to tie the game for the Blue Jays and force extra innings.

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Orioles 3, Yankees 2

Kelly Johnson capped a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off one-out double that gave the Baltimore Orioles a victory over the New York Yankees.

Baltimore's magic number also dropped to three, thanks to Toronto's loss against Tampa Bay earlier in the day.

Now, Baltimore (89-60) have a chance to clinch the American League East Division title at home during a three-game series with the Jays that starts Monday.

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Twins 6, White Sox 4

Rookie right-hander Trevor May struck out a career-high 10 batters and allowed three runs in six innings for his third straight win, as the Twins beat the Chicago White Sox.

Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu went 2-for-4 with his 35th homer and two RBIs in the defeat.

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Marlins 5, Phillies 4

Jonathan Papelbon walked off the mound to the choral sound of boos from the Philadelphia faithful after he let a three-run lead in the ninth slip away in the Philadelphia Phillies' loss to Miami Marlins.

Everything was going smoothly for the Phillies before Papelbon took the hill in the ninth. By the time he was done, a 4-1 lead turned into a 5-4 deficit and the Phillies could not tie the game in the bottom of the ninth.

Christian Yelich went 2-for-4 and had the winning run on a wild pitch from Papelbon.

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Rangers 10, Braves 3

Second baseman Luis Sardinas and right fielder Michael Choice combined for five hits and seven RBIs in the Texas Rangers' victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Sardinas - who went 3-for-5 with four RBIs - and Choice, the team's number eight-nine hitters, were among a bottom three of the order that went 8-for-12 with seven RBIs, five runs and two walks.

Six Texas hitters had more than one hit as part of a 18-hit Rangers attack in support of winning pitcher Colby Lewis (6-10).

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Diamondbacks 8, Padres 6

Arizona third baseman Aaron Hill singled in the final run of five-run third inning and rookie right-hander Zeke Spruill recorded his first major league victory in the Diamondbacks' victory over the San Diego Padres.

Owings had two hits and Spruill also had his first major league hit for the Arizona (61-88), who have won their last two after a season-long seven-game losing streak. (Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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