MLB Wrap: Cardinals cap sweep of Pirates

MLB Wrap: Cardinals cap sweep of Pirates
September 8, 2013, 6:15 pm
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Matt Carpenter and the first-place Cardinals took a 1 1/2-game lead over the Pirates with a sweep of Pittsburgh. (AP)

ST. LOUIS -- Michael Wacha pitched seven shutout innings and drove in two runs as the St. Louis Cardinals routed the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-2 Sunday for a three-game sweep.

The Cardinals outscored Pittsburgh 26-10 overall in taking the NL Central lead.

The Pirates arrived at Busch Stadium this weekend with a 1 1/2-game division lead and a chance to cement their first winning season since 1992. They left trailing the Cardinals by 1 1/2 games and still stuck on 81 victories.

This was the last time this season Pittsburgh and St. Louis were scheduled to play (see full recap).

Yankees top Red Sox to avoid sweep
NEW YORK -- Ichiro Suzuki scored on Brandon Workman's wild pitch with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday, and the New York Yankees overcame Mariano Rivera's blown save for a 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox that prevented a four-game sweep.

Robinson Cano hit a two-run double and the Yankees finally quieted Boston's booming bats behind starter Hiroki Kuroda. They took a one-run lead into the ninth inning before Rivera, called on to start the eighth, gave up a wind-aided homer to streaking Will Middlebrooks.

Suzuki hit a one-out single off Workman (5-3) in the bottom half, stole second and advanced to third on Vernon Wells' fly to right.

Workman then fired a high pitch that deflected off the mitt of catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and caromed away off the backstop, allowing Suzuki to score easily (see full recap).

Strasburg shaky early, but Nationals win
MIAMI -- Stephen Strasburg overcame a shaky start to earn his first victory in nearly a month.

Strasburg gave up four runs and four hits in six innings to help the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 6-4 on Sunday.

"I knew if I kept the game close we could bust it open," Strasburg said.

Ryan Zimmerman homered, his third shot in two days, and Wilson Ramos also connected for Washington.

Strasburg (7-9) struck out seven and also hit a batter, threw a wild pitch and had two run-scoring balks. It was his first win since Aug. 11 against Philadelphia (see full recap).

Mets snap Indians' four-game winning streak
CLEVELAND -- Eric Young's two-out double in the ninth inning gave the New York Mets a 2-1 victory over Cleveland on Sunday, ending the Indians' four-game winning streak and putting a temporary halt to their playoff push.

Juan Lagares started the ninth with a single off Chris Perez (5-3) and moved to second on a sacrifice. Omar Quintanilla struck out, but Young lined a 2-0 pitch down the right field line.

Frank Francisco (1-0), making his first appearance of the season, got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground into a double play with the bases loaded to end the eighth.

LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth for his eighth save. Jason Giambi led off the inning with a bloop single to left, his 2,000th career hit. With one out, pinch-runner Mike Aviles was thrown out attempting to steal second and ejected by umpire Gary Darling for arguing the call. Drew Stubbs struck out to end the game (see full recap).