MLB Wrap: Nats sweep Braves day after tragedy

MLB Wrap: Nats sweep Braves day after tragedy
September 18, 2013, 1:00 am
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The Nationals share a moment of silence in remembrance of the lives lost in the shootings at the nearby Navy Yard on Monday. (USA Today Images)

WASHINGTON -- Washington Nationals rookie pitcher Tanner Roark wanted to keep going.

He had thrown 101 pitches - 23 more than he'd ever thrown in a single game - but still wasn't ready to call it a night.

"I said, `Nice game.' He said, `You sure I'm through?'" Nationals manager Davey Johnson said as he began to smile. "I said, `Yeah, you're through."

Roark was through, but Washington certainly isn't.

The right-hander threw seven shutout innings, and the Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 4-0 to sweep a day-night doubleheader Tuesday, ensuring the Braves leave Washington without the NL East title.

The Nationals entered the nightcap, which followed their 6-5 win in the makeup of a series opener postponed by a shooting rampage a day earlier at the nearby Navy Yard, within 4 1/2 games of Cincinnati for the NL's second wild-card berth. Washington, which has won 10 of 11, has 11 games remaining (see full recap).

Davis hits HR No. 51 in Orioles' win
BOSTON -- The Baltimore Orioles did plenty to hurt their chances despite Chris Davis' team-record 51st homer.

The best fielding team in the majors committed three errors, Scott Feldman walked a season-high six batters and they had to face Boston closer Koji Uehara, who had retired his previous 37 hitters.

But Danny Valencia ended that streak with a triple to lead off the ninth, Matt Wieters' hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly and the Orioles beat the Red Sox 3-2 on Tuesday night to stay two games behind in the AL wild-card race.

"They were real frustrated that we didn't make a couple of plays that we normally made," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said, "but the bullpen was really good. Scotty bent but didn't break.

"You don't like your chances there with Koji, but we got a big hit from Danny," (see full recap).

Cards move into first place with win
DENVER -- Matt Holliday had four hits, including a two-run homer, to help the St. Louis Cardinals take over sole possession of the NL Central with an 11-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals entered the night tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who lost 5-2 at home to San Diego. St. Louis reduced its magic number for clinching a playoff spot to five with 11 games remaining.

Joe Kelly (9-4) baffled the Rockies as he allowed three hits over five sharp innings before turning a 10-0 lead over to the bullpen. The hard-throwing right-hander has been one of the team's most consistent pitchers since becoming a permanent member of the rotation in July (see full recap).

Rangers snap seven-game losing streak
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It took only one pitch Tuesday night for the Texas Rangers to take the lead in a game for the first time in more than a week.

Ian Kinsler drove Jeremy Hellickson's first fastball for a home run, and the Rangers went on to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-1, breaking a seven-game losing streak.

"Obviously we've been fighting from behind a lot in this last week or so," Kinsler said. "So to be able to get a first hit out of the way, and a first run out of the way, gave (Alexi) Ogando a little bit of breathing room."

Elvis Andrus felt it from the on-deck circle.

"I think the homer by Ian made the whole team just relax," he said. "We haven't scored first in a little while."

Kinsler and Andrus homered and drove in three runs each to help the Rangers pull even with the Rays at the top of the AL wild-card race (see full recap).

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