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MLB roundup: NL Central contenders all win

MLB: Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals

Marcell Ozuna had a two-run homer and a two-run double, and he threw out a runner at the plate from left field as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the visiting Washington Nationals 4-2 on Monday.


The Cardinals maintained their two-game lead in the National League Central over the second-place Chicago Cubs. Dakota Hudson (16-7) earned the victory by allowing just two runs on five hits in seven innings.


The Nationals, who lost for the eighth time in 12 games, saw their lead over Chicago for the NL's first wild card slip to a half-game. Bench coach Chip Hale guided the team with manager Dave Martinez sidelined after undergoing a heart procedure.


Anthony Rendon hit a solo homer for Washington.


Cubs 8, Reds 2


Kyle Schwarber belted a three-run homer, Nicholas Castellanos added a two-run double, and host Chicago pulled away to defeat Cincinnati. The Cubs remained one game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers in the race for the NL's second wild-card spot.


Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist drove in one run apiece for Chicago, which won its fifth game in a row. The Cubs have scored 55 runs in their past four games, 13.8 per contest.


Cubs reliever Alec Mills (1-0) earned his first career win with two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, walked none and fanned three.


Brewers 5, Padres 1


Cory Spangenberg had his second straight big game, hitting a go-ahead, two-run triple and finishing with three RBIs as red-hot Milwaukee beat visiting San Diego.


The Brewers earned their 10th win in 11 games. The Padres lost their fifth straight game and locked up their ninth straight losing season.


Spangenberg, who played his first five major league seasons with the Padres before signing with the Brewers in January, produced the game's first run Monday with an RBI single in the second inning. He broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run triple in the fourth. On Sunday, he hit a two-run homer in the Brewers' win over St. Louis.


Twins 5, White Sox 3


Luis Arraez went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, and Jose Berrios allowed two runs over 7 1/3 innings as Minnesota topped Detroit in Minneapolis.


Mitch Garver had two hits, including an RBI double, and Marwin Gonzalez scored twice for Minnesota, which increased its division lead to five games over the idle Cleveland Indians while reducing its magic number to eight.


Berrios (13-8) allowed five hits and walked two while striking out eight to improve to 11-2 in 14 career starts against the White Sox, including 4-1 in five starts this season. Taylor Rogers retired the final two batters for his 27th save.


Rockies 9, Mets 4


Antonio Senzatela tossed six strong innings and chipped in with a two-run single as Colorado beat New York in Denver.


Colorado's Ian Desmond homered among his two hits, Trevor Story also went deep, and Garrett Hampson had three hits. Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon contributed two hits each for the Rockies, who overcame a three-run deficit and won their four straight.


Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil homered, and McNeil, Pete Alonso and Amed Rosario had two hits apiece for the Mets, who fell five games back of the Cubs in the race for the second NL wild card.


Royals 6, Athletics 5


Brett Phillips tied the game with a ninth-inning home run, and Adalberto Mondesi followed two batters later with a go-ahead double as visiting Kansas City handed playoff-contending Oakland a stunning defeat.


Jorge Soler bombed his 45th home run for the Royals, whose win trimmed Oakland's lead for the first American League wild card to one game over Tampa Bay and 2 1/2 over Cleveland. Oakland saw its six-game winning streak end.


The Royals' uprising came immediately after Khris Davis broke a 4-4 tie with a run-scoring single in the eighth. Following Phillips' one-out homer off Liam Hendriks (4-3), Whit Merrifield reached when A's center fielder Ramon Laureano dropped his fly ball, and he scored on Mondesi's double.


Diamondbacks 7, Marlins 5


Eduardo Escobar bashed his 35th homer and Jake Lamb hit a three-run, go-ahead double to cap a four-run seventh inning in Arizona's victory over Miami in Phoenix.


Lamb had four RBIs and Escobar had two hits and scored twice for the Diamondbacks, who remain 5 1/2 games behind the Cubs in the NL wild-card race.


Starlin Castro's sixth-inning single was the Marlins' only hit until Neil Walker's two-run, pinch-hit homer ignited a five-run rally in the top of the seventh that gave Miami a 5-3 lead. Arizona responded with four in the bottom of the seventh.


Tigers 5, Orioles 2


Tyler Alexander recorded his first major league victory, and Jordy Mercer hit a two-run home run as host Detroit salvaged a four-game series split with Baltimore in a matchup between the majors' worst teams.


Alexander (1-3) limited the Orioles to one run on four hits and didn't issue a walk while striking out three in six innings. Joe Jimenez struck out Trey Mancini with the bases loaded in the ninth for his seventh save.


Baltimore rookie John Means (10-11) gave up five runs on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. Trey Mancini hit his 33rd home run for the Orioles.


--Field Level Media