MLB: Cleveland Indians close the gap on Detroit Tigers in AL Central
Last Updated: 20/07/14 10:32am
The Cleveland Indians closed the gap on the Detroit Tigers with back-to-back wins as the American League Central's top two met in an MLB double-header at Comerica Park.
Corey Kluber had 10 strikeouts as he almost went the distance in a 6-2 opener before two Chris Dickerson home runs and Max Scherzer's bases-clearing double delivered a follow-up 5-2 success.
Divisional rivals the Kansas City Royals were beaten 2-1 by the Boston Red Sox while the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros 4-3 and the Minnesota Twins lost 5-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays.
AL East leaders the Baltimore Orioles won 8-4 against Western Division counterparts the Oakland Athletics.
Saturday’s MLB results:
Diamondbacks 9 Cubs 3
Braves 1 Phillies 2
Red Sox 2 Royals 1
White Sox 4 Astros 3
Tigers 2 Indians 6 (G1)
Tigers 2 Indians 5 (G2)
Angels 2 Mariners 3 (12)
Marlins 3 Giants 5
Twins 1 Rays 5
Yankees 7 Reds 1
Athletics 4 Orioles 8
Pirates 3 Rockies 2 (11)
Padres 6 Mets 0
Cardinals 4 Dodgers 2
Blue Jays 4 Rangers 1
Nationals 8 Brewers 3
Adam Jones started the rout with a three-run homer on his way to a five-RBI night, while JJ Hardy and Chris Davis also went long.
The Los Angeles Angels were unable to take advantage of Oakland's loss as they went down 3-2 in 12 to the Seattle Mariners, Justin Smoak's RBI single proving decisive.
Baltimore remain four games clear of the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays, who beat the Cincinnati Reds and the Texas Rangers respectively.
Struck out nine
Yankees pitcher Brandon McCarthy struck out nine on his home debut while Carlos Beltran's homer and three RBIs from Brett Gardner earned a 7-1 win. Toronto's Marcus Stroman had a seven-inning shutout in a 4-1 win.
The Washington Nationals moved level with the Atlanta Braves atop the National League East with an 8-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos with two-RBI singles in a five-run first inning.
Atlanta lost 2-1 to the Philadelphia Phillies, beaten by Cole Hamels' seven innings of one-run ball and Jimmy Rollins' two-run homer.
The NL Central is also tied, with the Brewers level with the St Louis Cardinals at 54-44. The Cards got it done early in a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Adams with a two-run homer and Matt Holliday a two-run single in the first inning.
The Pittsburgh Pirates joined Cincinnati 2.5 games back after beating the Colorado Rockies 3-2. Jordy Mercer hit a walk-off double in the 11th.
The San Francisco Giants are a game ahead of the Dodgers in the West after a 5-3 win over the Miami Marlins. Brandon Belt had an RBI double before leaving the game for concussion testing and Hunter Pence hit a two-run single while pitcher Tim Hudson recorded his sixth straight win over the Marlins.
The San Diego Padres beat the New York Mets 6-0 and the Arizona Diamondbacks routed the Chicago Cubs 9-3.