Reds blank Dodgers, clinch NL Central

    CINCINNATI — Jay Bruce's 34th homer put the Cincinnati Reds ahead to stay, and they made good on their second chance to win the NL Central title without Dusty Baker by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-0 on Saturday.

    The 63-year-old manager spent another day in a Chicago hospital getting treated for an irregular heartbeat. The Reds brought him his fifth division title as a manager, including two during the last three years with Cincinnati.

    Bruce's leadoff homer in the ninth off Houston's Tim Byrdak clinched the title for Cincinnati in 2010. He led off the fourth with a homer off rookie Stephen Fife (0-2), and Cincinnati's main offseason acquisition made it stand up.

    Braves 8, Phillies 2

    At Philadelphia, Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer to back Mike Minor and the Braves roughed up Roy Halladay to move closer to clinching a postseason berth.

    Cardinals 5, Cubs 4, 10 innings

    At Chicago, Jon Jay's RBI double in the 10th inning lifted St. Louis to the victory, bolstering the Cardinals' bid for another playoff appearance.

    Nationals 10, Brewers 4

    At Washington, Gio Gonzalez became the majors' first 20-game winner in 2012, and the first pitcher for a Washington baseball team with 200 strikeouts since Walter Johnson in 1916, taking a shutout into the sixth inning to help the Nationals close in on their first NL East title.

    Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 7

    At Denver, Aaron Hill tripled and drove in four runs for Arizona, and Jason Kubel had two hits and two RBIs.

    Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Johnson also had two hits apiece for the Diamondbacks, who have won five of six. J.J. Putz pitched a scoreless ninth for his 31st save.

    Astros 4, Pirates 1

    At Houston, Jason Castro hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and the Astros handed the fading Pirates their fifth straight loss.

    Mets 4, Marlins 3

    At New York, R.A. Dickey earned his 19th victory with a strong performance, Jason Bay and Scott Hairston homered and the Mets barely held on in the ninth inning for their second straight home win.

    Yankees 10, Athletics 9

    At New York, Raul Ibanez hit his second home run of the game during a startling rally in the 13th inning, then the New York Yankees won a thriller when first baseman Brandon Moss' two-out error in the 14th lifted them over Oakland.

    The AL East leaders came back to hold their one-game edge over Baltimore. Down 9-5 in the 13th, the Yankees won for just the second time in team history after trailing by at least four runs in extra innings.

    Orioles 9, Red Sox 6, 12 innings

    At Boston, Jim Thome hit a go-ahead double in the 12th in his first game in nearly two months and Baltimore stretched its extra-inning win streak to 16 games.

    Angels 4, White Sox 2

    At Anaheim, Calif., Dan Haren earned his first win at home in more than a month, Mark Trumbo capped a four-run first inning with a two-run single and the Angels gained ground in the playoff race.

    Rays 11, Blue Jays 5

    At St. Petersburg, Fla., B.J. Upton and Jose Molina homered during a six-run fifth inning and the surging Rays earned their fourth consecutive victory.

    Tigers 8, Twins 0

    At Detroit, Miguel Cabrera hit his 42nd homer, putting him in Triple Crown position, and Doug Fister pitched his first career shutout to help the Tigers get the win.

    Mariners 1, Rangers 0

    At Seattle, Michael Saunders homered, former Texas prospect Blake Beavan was terrific against his former club, and the Mariners kept the Rangers from extending their lead in the AL West.

    Seattle took the first two games in the weekend series — handing the Rangers consecutive defeats for the first time in more than a month — and finally solved Matt Harrison.

    Royals 5, Indians 3

    At Kansas City, Mo., Billy Butler hit a run-scoring single in the first inning to reach 100 RBIs for the first time, helping Kansas City to the victory.

    Butler also doubled twice in his 53rd multihit game, raising his batting average to .312. He became the first Royals player to drive in at least 100 runs since Carlos Beltran had 100 RBIs in 2003.

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