MLB Recap: Nats And Tigers Clinch Division Titles

UNDATED (AP) — The Washington Nationals lost a ballgame and couldn’t have cared less. Because the second-place Atlanta Braves lost 2-1 in Pittsburgh, the Nationals won their first National League East title despite dropping a 2-0 game at home to Philadelphia.

The Nationals won 96 games this year for their first division title since moving from Montreal seven years ago. It’s the first full-season division title for the Expos-Nationals franchise. Just three years ago, the Nationals were the laughingstock of baseball, winning just 59 games.

The Nationals turned it around while playing for the oldest manager in baseball, 69-year-old Davey Johnson. Johnson in the middle of the Nationals celebratory clubhouse, said simply: “This never gets old.” In 16 seasons as a big league manager, Johnson’s teams have finished first or second 13 times.

In the National League

__ The Nationals dropped a 2-0 decision to Philadelphia as Kyle Kendrick and three relievers combined on a five-hitter. Darin Ruf drove in both runs with a second-inning triple.

__ Starling Marte (MAHR’-tay) hit his sixth home run of the season and scored twice to lead the Pirates in their 2-1 win over Atlanta. The Braves managed just two hits against Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke, who picked up his first major league win.

— Jaime (HY’-mee) Garcia homered off Bronson Arroyo and pitched into the seventh inning, helping the St. Louis Cardinals clinch a tie for the second NL wild card and spoil Dusty Baker’s return from a mini-stroke with a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. The defending World Series champions have won 11 of 14 and lead the L.A. Dodgers by two games with two games left.

__ The Dodgers nipped West champion San Francisco 3-2 to keep their faint wild card hopes alive. Elian Herrera singled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the ninth for the Dodgers’ sixth straight win.

__ Giancarlo Stanton hit his 37th homer, and Rob Brantly hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth inning to help the Miami Marlins beat the New York Mets 3-2.

— Carlos Gomez, Rickie Weeks and Jonathan Lucroy all hit home runs to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres.

— The Chicago Cubs got their 100th loss of the season when Lucas Harrell threw six shutout innings to lead the Houston Astros to a 3-0 win.

__ The Arizona Diamondbacks scored four runs in the top of the 13th and beat Colorado 7-5.

Over in the American League:

— Miguel Cabrera had four hits, including a homer during a five-run sixth inning, and the Detroit Tigers held off the Kansas City Royals 6-3 to clinch the AL Central title. The Tigers have made the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1934-35.

__ Oakland is back in the playoffs for the first time in six years. The Athletics beat the first-place Texas Rangers 4-3 to remain in contention for a division crown. Coco Crisp had a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth as Oakland pulled within one game of Texas in the down-to-the-wire AL West race.

— Mike Trout had four hits and drove in three runs in Los Angeles’ 8-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners but it wasn’t enough to keep the Angels in the playoff chase.

— Robinson Cano (kuh-NOH’), Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin and Mark Teixeira (teh-SHEHR’-uh) homered in a nine-run second inning, and the New York Yankees routed the Boston Red Sox 10-2 Monday night to open a one-game lead over Baltimore in the AL East with two games to play.

__ Baltimore lost 5-3 at Tampa Bay and dropped into second place. Alex Cobb allowed two hits over seven innings. The Rays have won 11 of 12 but were eliminated from the wild card chase.

— Rookie Hector Santiago allowed just one hit in seven shutout innings as the Chicago White posted an 11-0 win over Cleveland, but were eliminated in the AL Central race.

— Anthony Gose singled home the winning run in the 10th inning as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5.

Source: Associated Press