Carlos Santana and Asdrubal Cabrera both had two doubles and Jason Kipnis was a homer short of the cycle as the Cleveland Indians had 17 hits in a 12-6 victory over the Twins Friday night in Minneapolis.
With the win and Tampa Bay’s loss at Toronto, the Indians moved into a tie with the Rays for the two AL wild cards, one game ahead of Texas, which beat Los Angeles. Cleveland has won eight straight and 13 of 15, taking advantage of a schedule that ends with 10 games against the Astros, the White Sox, and Twins, the three worst teams in the AL this season.
Indians starter Corey Kluber (11-5) managed to win his fifth straight decision. He started the game with three scoreless innings, but then allowed 10 of the next 16 hitters to reach and was knocked out with one out in the sixth. Kluber gave up six earned runs and 10 hits, but walked only one and struck out five.
Twins starter Pedro Hernandez (3-3) gave up four runs in the first inning and three in the second.
Athletics 8, Mariners 2 — Bartolo Colon outpitched Felix Hernandez to reach 18 wins for the fifth time in his career, Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and Oakland won in Seattle to remain two games back of the Red Sox in the race for best record in the AL and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Rangers 5, Angels 3 — Alex Rios had a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning, and host Texas finally gained some ground in the AL wild-card race.
Cardinals 7, Cubs 0 — St. Louis clinched its first NL Central title in four years, beating visiting Chicago behind the strong pitching of Lance Lynn and home runs by David Freese and Matt Holliday.
St. Louis (95-65) has won six of seven and is tied with Atlanta for the NL’s best record. They secured home-field advantage when the NLDS starts Thursday.
Marlins 3, Tigers 2 — Jhonny Peralta played in his first game since completing a 50-game suspension, going 1 for 4 with an RBI in Detroit’s loss in Miami.
Peralta, who was suspended for his involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing lab, started in left field and had his first chance on Giancarlo Stanton’s bases-loaded double in the third inning that gave Miami a 3-0 lead. The Marlins loaded the bases on Koyle Hill’s leadoff single and consecutive two-out walks to Placido Polanco and Christian Yelich.
Pirates 4, Reds 1 — Marlon Byrd had three hits, and Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run homer high off the batter’s eye, leading Pittsburgh to victory in Cincinnati in a series that will decide which could host the NL wild-card game.
Braves 1, Phillies 0 — Chris Johnson led off the eighth inning with a homer to spoil an otherwise dominant start by Cliff Lee, Kris Medlen allowed only two hits in eight innings, and host Atlanta beat Philadelphia.
Dodgers 11, Rockies 0 — Clayton Kershaw scattered four hits over six innings, Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis each homered and drove in three runs, and host Los Angeles shut out Colorado.
Brewers 4, Mets 2 — Norichika Aoki hit a leadoff homer, Khris Davis connected three batters later, and Yovani Gallardo pitched Milwaukee to a victory in New York.
Yankees 3, Astros 2 — David Robertson got the save as Mariano Rivera looked on, and visiting New York sent Houston to its team-record 13th consecutive loss.
Royals 6, White Sox 1 — James Shields struck out 10 and scattered four hits over seven innings for his 100th career win, and Kansas City won in Chicago to ensure the White Sox (62-98) of their worst record since 1970.
Nationals 8, Diamondbacks 4 — Supported by three-run homers from Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos, Stephen Strasburg (8-9) went seven strong innings for visiting Washington.
Giants 7, Padres 3 — Hunter Pence hit his career-best 26th home run to back a shaky outing by Ryan Vogelsong and host San Francisco beat San Diego.