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September, 28, 2016

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Puig leads Dodgers to 9-3 win over Giants

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles' Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer in a five-run first inning that set the Dodgers up for a 9-3 win against San Francisco on Wednesday, widening the gap between the National League West division's top teams to six games with only ten to play in the regular season.

Washington also moved to the brink of clinching a division as it beat Miami to go nine games clear atop the NL East.

Boston too tightened its grip on a playoff berth by beating Baltimore to open a five-game gap at the top of the American League East, while Cleveland edged Kansas City and also seems bound for the postseason.

Puig's three-run shot was among 12 hits for the Dodgers, who took two of the three games in the series and should have the division wrapped up before another three-game series between the rivals next week.

Los Angeles starter Kenta Maeda allowed three hits in five innings while improving to 4-0 against the Giants this season. He struck out six and walked only one to notch his 16th win of the season; one away from tying Rick Sutcliffe's record by a rookie set in 1979.

Washington's Max Scherzer recorded his 18th win of the season — tied for the NL lead — as he steered the Nationals to an 8-3 victory over Miami.

Scherzer struck out eight over 6-2/3 inning to tie Chicago's Jon Lester for the most wins in the NL.

The Nationals ended their four-game losing skid and lowered their magic number — the combined total of their wins and/or losses by their closest rival — to three games to clinch the NL East.

Boston scored five unearned runs in the sixth inning after a throwing error by Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis, and beat the Orioles 5-1.

Andrew Benintendi hit a three-run homer for the Red Sox, who will try to complete a four-game sweep Thursday. Boston pulled five games ahead of Toronto in the AL East and six in front of Baltimore.

Boston's seven-game winning streak, which began with a sweep of the New York Yankees, is its longest since 2014.

Baltimore is a game behind Toronto for the top AL wildcard, and holds the second wildcard, but only a game ahead of Detroit and Houston.

Cleveland's Corey Kluber allowed two runs and struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings to guide the Indians to a 4-3 win against Kansas City.

Kluber notched his 18th win of the season, matching a career high, and has won ten of his past 11 decisions.

The Indians reduced their magic number for clinching the AL Central to five.

The loss officially eliminated Kansas City, the reigning World Series champions, from contention in the AL Central and they are five games off the last wildcard place.

Seattle's Robinson Cano drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning in a key result between two teams fighting for AL wildcard berths.

Cubs 9, Reds 2; Angels 5, Rangers 4; Rockies 11, Cardinals 1; Astros 6, Athletics 5; Pirates 4, Brewers 1; Yankees 11, Rays 5; Braves 4, Mets 3; Phillies 8, White Sox 3; and Diamondbacks 3, Padres 2.

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San Francisco Giants' Denard Span, left, scores on a single by Angel Pagan as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Carlos Ruiz drops the ball during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Sept. 21.

(AP)

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