ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha lost his no-hit bid on Ryan Zimmerman's infield single with two outs in the ninth inning, and St. Louis beat the Washington Nationals 2-0 Tuesday night to close in on the NL Central title.
Making his ninth career start, Wacha came about as close as possible to finishing off the third no-hitter in the majors this season. Instead, the Busch Stadium crowd let out a loud, collective groan as he became the third pitcher to have a bid broken up with one out to go.
Zimmerman hit a chopper just over the 6-foot-6 Wacha, and the ball bounced slowly toward shortstop. A charging Pete Kozma grabbed it with his bare hand and whipped a throw to first that was a little wide, pulling Matt Adams off the bag as Zimmerman arrived.
"I think it nicked off my glove a little bit," Wacha said.
As the ball left Zimmerman's bat, several Cardinals started to climb the dugout railing, ready to pour onto the field to celebrate. Second baseman Matt Carpenter did a little hop, all set for the final out.
But first base umpire Jeff Kellogg correctly called Zimmerman safe, and the Cardinals sagged right along with their fans (see full recap).
Blue Jays end Orioles' playoff hopes
BALTIMORE -- How appropriate the Baltimore Orioles were eliminated from the playoff hunt by a one-run defeat in extra innings.
The Orioles dropped out of the postseason race Tuesday night, losing to the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 in 10 innings in a game that had an all too familiar feel for Baltimore.
Baltimore's sixth straight loss, combined with Cleveland's comeback win over the Chicago White Sox, left the Orioles six games behind the Indians for the final wild-card slot with five games left.
A year ago, the Orioles made the playoffs because they were outstanding in close games. Baltimore was 29-9 in one-run affairs and 16-2 in games that went extra innings.
This year, those numbers are 17-31 and 8-7 (see full recap).
Giambi's 2-run HR pushes Indians past White Sox
CLEVELAND -- In a stunning season of walk-off wins, late-inning comebacks and magical moments , Jason Giambi provided the most stirring one yet.
"It doesn't get any better than that," Giambi said. "I'm speechless."
The Indians are roaring toward October.
Giambi belted a two-run, pinch-hit homer with two outs in the ninth inning to give Cleveland a shocking 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night, keeping the Indians up with the lead pack in the AL wild-card race.
Giambi drove a 1-1 pitch from Addison Reed (5-4) deep into the lower deck in right field to prevent a potentially devastating loss for the Indians, who are trying to make the postseason for the first time since 2007. Giambi's heart-pounding shot bailed out controversial closer Chris Perez, who gave up two homers in the top of the ninth and nearly blew a game Cleveland absolutely had to have (see full recap).