Here is a recap of Friday's relevant action.
Giants 4, Dodgers 2: Up 2-0 with Clayton Kershaw on the mound in the seventh inning, the Dodgers were looking good. But four straight singles and a Hunter Pence home run later put a damper on the best laid plans to clinch the division in Los Angeles.
Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 5: A five-run seventh inning was highlighted by a two-run double by Wilin Rosario and a two-run triple by Charlie Blackmon, giving Colorado a cushion big enough to withstand Miguel Montero's three-run home run in the ninth inning.
Cardinals 2, Mariners 1 (10): What began as a pitchers duel between Adam Wainwright and Hisashi Iwakuma ended with Oliver Perez on the mound for Seattle in the 10th inning. Perez entered with two outs and a runner on first base, but two walks and a walk-off passed ball later, St. Louis had a one-game lead over Pittsburgh in the NL Central.
Cubs 5, Pirates 4: Pittsburgh hit three straight home runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by an inside-the-park job from Pedro Alvarez. But a two-run home run by Anthony Rizzo in the seventh inning gave Chicago the win. Perhaps the Pirates should have seen this coming:
Pirates have set an all-time MLB record with their 11th straight loss on Friday the 13th. #blackandyellowcat (Elias)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 14, 2013
Brewers 5, Reds 1: Dodgers fans have to be wondering if this is the same Cincinnati team that swept them last weekend, as the Reds lost for the third time in four games. Kyle Lohse lulled them to sleep, allowing one run on four hits in a complete-game win.
Padres 4, Braves 3: Atlanta, like the Dodgers, took a shutout into the seventh, but couldn't hold a 3-0 lead. Two runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth gave San Diego the victory. The Braves and Dodgers have had the same outcome for 12 consecutive days, dating back to Sept. 2.
Nationals 6, Phillies 1: Ryan Zimmerman went 3-for-5 and homered for the ninth time in 11 games as Washington won its seventh straight game. The Nationals are now just 4½ games back of the Reds for the second wild card spot, and trail by just four in the loss column.
Several good young arms get a chance to affect playoff races on Saturday, including Johnny Hellweg, Gerrit Cole, Robbie Erlin and James Paxton. Here is a look at relevant games on Saturday (all times PT):
- 10:05 a.m. - Cincinnati (Homer Bailey) at Milwaukee (Johnny Hellweg)
- 4:05 p.m. - Philadelphia (Cole Hamels) at Washington (Gio Gonzalez)
- 4:05 p.m. - Chicago (Scott Baker) at Pittsburgh (Gerrit Cole)
- 4:10 p.m. - San Diego (Robbie Erlin) at Atlanta (Kris Medlen)
- 4:15 p.m. - Seattle (James Paxton) at St. Louis (Michael Wacha)
- 5:10 p.m. - Colorado (Roy Oswalt) at Arizona (Wade Miley)
- 6:10 p.m. - San Francisco (Tim Lincecum) at Dodgers (Ricky Nolasco)