Cubs close on title, Kinsler leads Tigers


The Chicago Cubs closed in on the division title in MLB as the Detroit Tigers' push for a wildcard continued.

Pitcher Jon Lester was dominant over eight innings as the Cubs crushed the St Louis Cardinals 7-0 on Wednesday.

The Cubs' win lowered their magic number to one to clinch their first National League (NL) Central title since 2008.

In the American League (AL), the Tigers are just a game behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the second wildcard.

The Tigers claimed a 9-6 win over the Minnesota Twins as the Blue Jays were beaten 8-1 by the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 8-4, the Cleveland Indians were 6-1 winners over the Chicago White Sox and the Oakland Athletics shut out the Kansas City Royals 8-0.

The Milwaukee Brewers blanked the Cincinnati Reds 7-0, the Miami Marlins edged the Atlanta Braves 7-5 and the Baltimore Orioles overcame the Boston Red Sox 1-0.

There were narrow wins for the Los Angeles Dodgers (2-0 over the New York Yankees) and Washington Nationals (1-0 over the New York Mets).

The Philadelphia Phillies were more comfortable in a 6-2 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants went down to the San Diego Padres 3-1.

The Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 and the Arizona Diamondbacks claimed an 11-6 win over the Colorado Rockies.



Recording his first four-hit game in nearly a year, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler finished a homer shy of the cycle in a win over the Twins. Kinsler drove in three and scored twice.



Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos launched a game-winning, 427-foot solo home run to left-center field to lead the team to a win over the Mets.


Cy Young candidate Rick Porcello lost at Fenway Park for the first time since September 23, 2015. The right-hander fell to 20-4 this season in the loss to the Orioles.



One of the greatest rivalries in baseball renews with playoff implications. Masahiro Tanaka (13-4, 3.04 ERA) takes the mound for the Yankees as the club try to move up the wildcard standings. Eduardo Rodriguez (2-7, 4.70 ERA), however, will look to give the Red Sox extra padding in the AL East title race against a team he has had success against in the past. Rodriguez is 4-1 with a 1.88 ERA against the Yankees in six career starts.