UNDATED (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals hurler Jaime Garcia allowed a pair of unearned runs and five hits over eight innings after being sidelined 64 days with a strained pitching shoulder. Redbirds outfielder Carlos Beltran took over the National League RBI lead with a two-run double.
But the rest of the Cards' day was long and fruitless as Pittsburgh earned a 6-3, 19-inning victory that took more than six hours to complete. The Pirates blew a lead in the 17th inning before scoring three times in the 19th to beat the Cardinals. Pedro Alvarez snapped a 3-3 tie with a solo homer in the 19th before Andrew McCutchen's two-run single gave the Bucs some breathing room.
McCutchen went 2-for-8 with three RBIs as the Pirates stayed 6 1/2 games behind the Central Division-leading Reds and moved a game ahead of San Francisco for the final wild-card berth.
The Cards and 8 ½ games behind Cincinnati and two games in back of Pittsburgh.
Cincinnati also won in its final at-bat as pinch-hitter Xavier Paul tripled and scored on Ryan Hanigan's single to lift the Reds past the Chicago Cubs 5-4. Hanigan had two hits and two RBIs.
Also in the NL:
— Chad Billingsley won his sixth straight start by combining with two relievers on a three-hitter in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 5-0 shutout of Atlanta. Mark Ellis put the game out of reach with a three-run double in the ninth and finished with four RBIs.
— The Dodgers lead the NL West by a half-game over San Francisco after Clayton Richard allowed an unearned run and five hits over eight innings of San Diego's 7-1 win over the Giants. Cameron Maybin had three RBIs as the Padres halted a five-game skid.
— Washington leads the East by five games over the Braves after Gio Gonzalez allowed a run and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings to pitch the Nationals past the New York Mets 5-2. Homers by Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa helped Gonzalez become the league's second 16-game winner.
— Houston got beat 8-1 by visiting Arizona in its first game under interim manager Tony DeFrancesco. He's replacing Brad Mills, who became the first skipper to be fired this season after Saturday's night's loss to the Diamondbacks. Aaron Hill went deep twice for the winners.
— Kyle Kendrick pitched three-hit ball for eight innings and Dominic Brown drove in four runs to lead Philadelphia past Milwaukee 8-zip. There was a rare rain delay at Miller Park. The game was held up for a short time in the bottom of the first while they closed the retractable roof.
— Jordan Pacheco homered among his three hits and the banged-up Rockies beat the visiting Marlins 3-2. One day after becoming the first big league player to homer in his first six games in a particular park, Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton failed to go deep in his seventh game at Coors Field.
Over to the American League, where Tampa Bay completed a four-game sweep of the Angels as Ryan Roberts hit a two-run homer in the Rays' 8-3 rout of Los Angeles. Matt Joyce and Carlos Pena drove in two runs apiece to support Matt Moore, who won his fourth straight decision despite surrendering home runs by Mike Trout and Albert Pujols (POO'-hohlz).
The Rays remain 4 1/2 games behind the East-leading Yankees.
The Angels have dropped 13 of 18 and are 4 1/2 games behind Baltimore in the battle for the final AL wild-card berth.
The Yankees were 4-1 winners over the Red Sox as Hiroki Kuroda (hih-ROH'-kee kuh-ROH'-dah) took a shutout into the seventh and allowed just a run and four hits in eight innings. Ichiro Suzuki hit a pair of solo homers and Derek Jeter went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
In other AL action:
— Salvador Perez drove in three runs and the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 5-2 to complete a three-game series sweep of the AL Central leaders. Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie was working on a no-hitter before Paul Konerko (kuh-NER'-koh) reached on an infield single with two out in the seventh.
— Michael Young belted a three-run homer and had a two-run double while AL West leader Texas was pounding out an 11-2 decision over the Blue Jays. The Rangers, who have baseball's highest scoring offense, had been limited to four runs while splitting the first two games of the series in Toronto.
— The Orioles bounced back from a 5-0 first-inning deficit to pin a 7-5 loss on the Tigers. Nate McLouth hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in a three-run fourth inning and the O's went on to record their fifth win in seven games. Baltimore leads Detroit by two games in the race for the second wild card berth in the AL.
— Coco Crisp homered and drove in five runs as Oakland crushed Cleveland 7-0 to complete a three-game sweep. Jarrod Parker gave up six hits in eight innings and retired 16 of his final 18 batters.
— Seattle picked up its fifth consecutive win as Michael Saunders launched a two-run homer in a 5-1 win against Minnesota. The Seattle bullpen tossed 3 2/3 innings of hitless relief after Blake Beaven allowed seven hits in 5 1/3 frames.
Thanks for the help
NEW YORK (AP) — An associate of San Francisco Giants All-Star Melky Cabrera purchased a website and attempted to create evidence to support a claim that the outfielder inadvertently took the substance that caused his positive drug test, according to a report in the New York Daily News.
Baseball officials uncovered the scheme as Cabrera prepared his case to challenge the test. Cabrera dropped his grievance and Major League Baseball announced a 50-game suspension Wednesday.
On hold in Greensboro
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — They'll finish the Wyndham Championship this morning after rain forced a suspension of Sunday play.
Third round leader Sergio Garcia was 1-under-par on the day through four holes. The Spaniard holds a one-stroke advantage over Tim Clark, Jason Dufner and Bud Cauley.
Garcia is chasing his first PGA Tour title since 2008 and a win would also improve his chances of making Europe's team for next month's Ryder Cup.
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) — Japan's Mika Miyazato (MEE'-kuh mee-uh-ZAH'-toh) has earned her first LPGA victory, a wire-to-wire win at the Safeway Classic in Oregon. Miyazato closed with a 2-under 70 for a 13-under total, two strokes better than Brittany Lincicome (LIHN'-sih-kuhm) and Inbee Park.
CHAMPIONS-DICK'S SPORTING GOODS OPEN
ENDICOTT, N.Y. (AP) — Willie Wood parred the first playoff hole to beat Michael Allen and win a Champions Tour event in Endicott, N. Y. Wood forced the playoff by sinking a long birdie putt on the last hole of regulation to cap a 66 that left him 13-under.
Biffle rides to Victory Lane
BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — Greg Biffle won NASCAR's Pure Michigan 400. He held off Brad Keselowski by about a-half second after a green-white-checkered finish at Michigan International Speedway.
Biffle got to the front when leader Jimmie Johnson developed an engine problem with six laps left and was forced to take his car off the track. Biffle took over the points lead, while Johnson dropped from first to fourth.
Kasey Kahne finished third, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Marcos Ambrose.
TENNIS-WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN
The Queen City is a Federer favorite
MASON, Ohio (AP) — Top-ranked Roger Federer won a record fifth Cincinnati title by beating second-ranked Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) 6-love, 7-6 for the Western & Southern Open championship. The Swiss star won the second-set tiebreak 9-7 to snap the Serb's streak of 15 straight hard-court victories.
Ninth-seeded Li (lee) Na of China beat No. 5 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the women's finale. It's LI's first title of the season after three second-place finishes.
Hornets extend coach
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hornets coach Monty Williams has agreed to what he confirms to The Associated Press is a four-year contract extension that ties him to the club through 2016.
The 40-year-old Williams is heading into the final year of the contract he signed when he took his first NBA head coaching job in New Orleans in 2010.
Williams took the Hornets to the playoffs his first season with a 46-36 record. The team slumped to 21-45 last season after trading star guard Chris Paul to the L.A. Clippers.
The Hornets then won the NBA's draft lottery and selected Kentucky star Anthony Davis first overall and added Duke's Austin Rivers with the 10th pick
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
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