Nationals sweep double header
APWASHINGTON -- Tanner Roark threw seven shutout innings as the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 4-0 to sweep a day-night doubleheader Tuesday, ensuring the Braves leave Washington without the NL East title.
September 19, 2013, 12:25 am TWN
Roark (7-0) allowed just two hits, struck out six and retired the final 13 batters he faced.
Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run, Ian Desmond an RBI double and Adam LaRoche an RBI single in the eighth inning. Steve Lomardozzi had a second-inning RBI single off Freddy Garcia (1-2).
Washington entered the nightcap, which followed the Nationals' 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. The Nationals, who have won 10 of 11, have 11 games remaining.
Craig Kimbrel had converted 37 consecutive save chances since early May, and Andrelton Simmons began the day with the second-best fielding percentage among National League shortstops. But they conspired to blow a three-run lead in the ninth inning of the first game.
Kimbrel (3-3), who leads the major leagues with 47 saves, blew a save chance for just the fourth time this season.
Cardinals 11, Rockies 4 Matt Holliday had four hits, including a two-run homer, to help St. Louis take over sole possession of the NL Central lead.
The Cardinals entered the night tied with Pittsburgh, which 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) allowed three hits over five sharp innings before turning a 10-0 lead over to the bullpen.
Juan Nicasio (8-8) lasted just 2 2/3 innings while allowing eight runs, which tied a career high.
Holliday led an 18-hit night by the Cardinals, who had seven players with at least two hits. Holliday finished 4 for 4 with a walk, double and two-run homer against his former team. He drove in three runs and scored twice.
The Cardinals ran away with the game in the third when they sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six times. Daniel Descalso had a two-run triple in the inning, while Holliday added a double and an RBI single.
Padres 5, Pirates 2 Jedd Gyorko blasted a three-run homer among his three hits for San Diego.