MLB Wrap: Cards top Bucs to force first-place tie

MLB Wrap: Cards top Bucs to force first-place tie
September 1, 2013, 10:15 pm
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Edward Mujica and Yadier Molina celebrate the Cardinals' 7-2 win over the Pirates on Sunday. (USA Today Images)

PITTSBURGH -- Joe Kelly began the season in the St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen with an electric fastball and an identity crisis.

Consider the crisis solved.

At the moment, Kelly has become The Stopper.

The right-hander allowed four hits over six solid innings to win his fourth straight start and the Cardinals moved back into a tie for first place in the NL Central with a 7-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday (see full recap).

Helton reaches 2,500 hits as Rockies win
DENVER -- Todd Helton has spent much of his career sending balls down the left-field line at spacious Coors Field. It was only fitting, then, that he reached a major milestone the same way.

Helton doubled for his 2,500th career hit, Michael Cuddyer homered among his four hits and the Colorado Rockies overcame the loss of starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood to beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 on Sunday.

Helton became the 96th player in major league history to reach 2,500 hits, and it came after a tough couple of days (see full recap).

Dodgers notch 10th sweep of season
LOS ANGELES -- Coming off one of the best months of his career, Zack Greinke hopes he's not peaking too early.

After all, the playoffs are looming, and that's a place the Los Angeles Dodgers haven't been since 2009.

"Just don't want to waste all the good starts now," Greinke said after allowing one run over seven innings of a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

"It's been good the last nine, 10 starts," he said. "Location's been as good as it's been for a long stretch," (see full recap).

Orioles erupt late to rally past Yankees
NEW YORK -- A day after being shut out on three singles, J.J. Hardy and the Baltimore Orioles got blanked for six innings Sunday on what was shaping up as a lost weekend.

"We were a little flat. We could all see it, we could all feel it," Hardy said.

That all changed in a hurry.

Hardy and Adam Jones hit three-run homers during a seven-run burst in the seventh as Baltimore suddenly broke loose, jolting the New York Yankees 7-3 to avert a sweep in a matchup of wild-card contenders (see full recap).