WASHINGTON — Max Scherzer allowed two hits over eight innings and Bryce Harper's two-run double helped the Nationals avoid a four-game home-and-home sweep with a 4-0 victory over the Orioles on Thursday night.
Scherzer struck out 10 with no walks. He retired 12 straight after Adam Jones's fourth-inning double and 21 of 22 before Mark Trumbo's eighth-inning single. Trumbo then stole second with two outs in the eighth, but J.J. Hardy flied out to deep center on Scherzer's 95th and final pitch. Mark Melancon pitched the ninth.
The Nationals had lost four straight including three in a row to the Orioles, who won twice in Baltimore before the teams shifted to Washington.
Rangers 9, Indians 0: Cole Hamels allowed two singles over eight innings for his 14th victory, Carlos Gomez hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat with host Texas and the AL-best Rangers won the opener of a four-game series matching division leaders. Hamels retired 19 straight after Francisco Lindor's solid two-out single to left in the first. The only other baserunner for the Indians was Carlos Santana, who led off the eighth with a hit.
Mets 10, Cardinals 6: Pitcher Adam Wainwright lost his glove trying to tag out Yoenis Cespedes and lost the game, too, when Alejandro De Aza homered and drove in five runs for visiting New York. Seth Lugo pitched five scoreless innings for his first big-league win. The Mets led 3-0 in the fifth when Cespedes tried to go from first to third on a bloop single by James Loney. When several Cardinals chased the ball, Wainwright covered third. Cespedes slid and his cleat pinned Wainwright's glove to the bag — he would have been out, but when Wainwright pulled away his hand, the mitt stayed stuck under Cespedes' foot. Because Wainwright didn't control the ball, Cespedes was called safe. Moments later, De Aza hit a three-run homer.
Angels 6, Blue Jays 3: Albert Pujols reached the 100-RBI mark for the 13th time, the fifth to achieve the feat, and visiting Los Angeles won consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 2-3. After winning 11 straight decisions, J.A. Happ suffered his first loss since June 10 at Detroit. Pujols joined Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Alex Rodriguez and Babe Ruth as players to collect 100 or more RBIs in 13 seasons. Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista was activated off the 15-day disabled list and was DH, batting leadoff. He was 1-for-4, with a sacrifice fly.
TIGERS 8, TWINS 5: James McCann had a three-run homer among his four hits, Daniel Norris pitched into the seventh inning and visiting Detroit completed a sweep. Norris struck out five in 61/3 innings in his longest and strongest start this season. Jose Berrios lasted five innings, giving up six runs on six hits and five walks. Yet his ERA dropped four percentage points, to 9.24.
Royals 5, Marlins 2: Alcides Escobar homered and drove in two runs for visiting Kansas City, which has won 15 of 18 to pull within four games of the second AL wild-card spot.
TRADE: The Dodgers traded backup A.J. Ellis, who is Clayton Kershaw's personal catcher and best buddy, and Class A pitcher Tommy Bergjans to the Phillies for backup catcher Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz is popular with Phillies fans who loved to call out his nickname, "Chooch." "I know what he does," said Dodgers reliever J.P. Howell, a Ray when they fell to the Phillies in the 2008 World Series. "I lost a World Series to him. He'll help us."