Nationals punish Hernandez, Mariners, win 8-3
AP August 31, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
SEATTLE, Washington--The Washington Nationals hit four home runs off Seattle ace Felix Hernandez in an 8-3 win on Friday, moving clear top of the National League standings while dropping the Mariners out of a share of the provisional wild-card places.
The Nationals moved clear top of the NL ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers, which lost a 12-inning marathon at San Diego.
The Dodgers' lead in the NL West division was cut back to 3-1/2 games ahead of San Francisco, which routed Milwaukee in a clash of playoff contenders, while the big game in the American League saw the Los Angeles Angels shut out Oakland to move three games clear of the Athletics.
Washington's Anthony Rendon hit a solo shot in the first, and Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos also connected against Hernandez (13-5), who gave up four homers in a game for the first time.
Werth's two-run shot in the third gave the Nationals a 3-2 lead and Desmond added his an inning later before Bryce Harper and Ramos went deep in the eighth.
San Diego's Yasmani Grandal singled in the winning run with two outs in the 12th inning to give the Padres a 3-2 win over the Dodgers.
The Dodgers used a five-man infield in the 12th to try to stymie the light-hitting Padres, but Grandal managed to find a gap through to right field to bring in Yangervis Solarte, who had got on base with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
San Francisco's Buster Posey went 5 for 5 and drove in three runs in just six innings as the Giants routed Milwaukee 13-2.
Posey had a triple in his second career five-hit game. The star catcher is batting .500 (20 for 40) with five home runs and 13 RBIs in his past nine games.
Gregor Blanco hit a two-run homer for San Francisco, which scored a season high in runs and notched a fourth-straight win.
Los Angeles' Jered Weaver produced a superb pitching performance to guide the Angels to a vital 4-0 win over Oakland.
Weaver (15-7) threw seven scoreless innings to get the better of A's starter Jon Lester, who gave up two earned runs in six innings.
Albert Pujols hit his 516th career homer and Chris Iannetta hit a two-run shot for the Angels.
Kansas City's lead in the AL Central was cut to the bone after a 6-1 home defeat by Cleveland.
The Royals are only half a game ahead of Detroit, and their hopes of ending a 29-year playoff absence is in jeopardy.
Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer in the ninth, making it six at Kauffman Stadium in a couple of months.
Cleveland's Danny Salazar (5-6) pitched five shutout innings but did not return after a 44-minute rain delay.
New York's Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley homered as the Yankees beat Toronto 6-3 to stay within three games of the wild-card placings.
Chris Capuano (2-3) pitched 6 1-3 innings in his first win in seven starts since joining New York. The veteran, who was acquired last month from Colorado, allowed two earned runs.
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