Carpenter homers vs Kimbrel, Cardinals bump Cubs from wild-card spot

Matt Carpenter homered in the 10th inning against Craig Kimbrel in the former All-Star closer’s return, and the St. Louis Cardinals regrouped after blowing a late lead to beat the host Chicago Cubs 5-4 Thursday night.

Jack Flaherty shut down Chicago over eight innings, and despite a tying three-run rally in the ninth, the Cubs dropped a game behind Milwaukee for the second NL wild card and four games behind St. Louis for first place in the NL Central.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo provided a jolt in his unexpected return from a sprained right ankle, homering in the third inning to tie the score at 1-1. But Flaherty was spectacular otherwise, pitching three-hit ball and striking out eight.

Carpenter homered to deep center field off Kimbrel (0-3), who was activated from the injured list prior to the game after dealing with right elbow inflammation. Carpenter hadn’t homered since Aug. 25.

Giovanny Gallegos pitched a perfect 10th for his first save in two chances. Andrew Miller (5-5) got the final two outs in the ninth for the victory.

Indians 7, Tigers 0: Mike Clevinger (12-3) pitched six innings and Franmil Reyes homered in his return to the lineup as host Cleveland moved into a tie with Tampa Bay for the second AL wild card. Francisco Lindor added three hits, and the Indians matched the Rays at 90-63. Both teams trail the A’s by two games for the top wild card spot. The Indians defeated the Tigers for the 17th straight time this season to match a franchise record set against Baltimore in 1954. Cleveland won 18 of 19 in the season series and outscored Detroit 116-38.

Brewers 5, Padres 1: Lorenzo Cain homered before exiting with a sore ankle and host Milwaukee’s pitchers combined to strike out 16 as the Brewers moved within one game of Washington for the top NL wild-card spot.

Braves 5, Phillies 4: Ronald Acuna Jr., 21, became the second-youngest player in baseball history to hit 40 homers in a season — Mel Ott was 20 when he hit 42 homers for the New York Giants in 1940 — and host Atlanta clinched at least a tie for first place in the NL East. The Braves’ first chance to clinch the title outright comes Friday when they host the Giants.

Yankees 9, Angels 1: Host New York powered its way to the club’s first AL East title since 2012, routing Los Angeles behind a homer and three RBIs each from Brett Gardner and DJ LeMahieu in the Yankees’ 100th win.

Twins 8, Royals 5: Nelson Cruz hit two of host Minnesota’s four home runs and matched his season high with five RBIs, igniting another impressive power display by the first-place Twins. The win kept the Twins’ AL Central lead over Cleveland at four games — with nine games to go.

Mariners 6, Pirates 5: Shed Long had three hits, two RBIs and scored the go-ahead run in the 11th inning as host Seattle swept the three-game series between last-place teams.

Blue Jays 8, Orioles 4: Cavan Biggio homered and had three RBIs to offset a spectacular, homer-robbing catch by Austin Hays, and visiting Toronto used a six-run seventh inning to complete a three-game sweep of Baltimore.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Carpenter-homers-vs-Kimbrel-Cardinals-bump-Cubs-14454353.php.

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