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Saturday, June 08, 2013 12:15 AM

Associated Press

 

Cardinals 9, Reds 2

 

CINCINNATI — Adam Wainwright pitched seven innings for his ninth win, and every Cardinals starter had a hit in a 9-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night that gave St. Louis a four-game lead in the NL Central, its biggest of the season.

Wainwright (9-3) gave up two runs and seven hits as the Cardinals improved the major leagues’ best record to 40-21.

Slumping Pete Kozma drove in three runs, David Freese and Jon Jay knocked in two apiece, and four Cardinals extended long hitting streaks against a pitching staff in a downturn. Mike Leake (5-3) lasted only five innings for the Reds, who have given up 26 runs while losing their last three games.

The NL Central rivalry has fallen into a pattern lately — the second-place Reds can’t score many runs. They’ve scored two or fewer in their last six games against the Cardinals, the first time that’s happened since 1974, the year before the Big Red Machine won its first World Series.

St. Louis has won the last four series between the teams and is 5-2 against Cincinnati this season.

A day after the Cardinals hit five homers for a 12-8 win over Arizona, they put together five singles in the fourth inning for all the runs they’d really need.

The Cardinals came into the game with four players on noteworthy hitting streaks. Three of them extended their streaks during the three-run rally.

Carlos Beltran led off with a single that gave him an eight-game streak. Allen Craig pushed his run to 11 games with another hit, completing a 12-pitch at-bat against Leake. David Freese extended the longest active streak in the majors with an RBI single, giving him a career-best 17-game streak. Jon Jay and Kozma — in a 3-for-33 rut — followed with singles for a 3-0 lead.

That was plenty for Wainwright, who had only one tough at-bat in the first five innings. Shin-Soo Choo drew a base on balls on his 12th pitch from Wainwright, who has walked only seven batters all season.

Jay Bruce’s RBI single ended Wainwright’s shutout in the sixth.

 

Tigers 7, Indians 5

 

DETROIT — Justin Verlander pitched seven solid innings, Victor Martinez homered and the Detroit Tigers beat Cleveland 7-5 on Friday night to take a 3-game lead over the Indians atop the AL Central.

Martinez and Torii Hunter had three hits each for the Tigers in the opener of this three-game series. Detroit led 5-0 before Cleveland scored three runs in the fifth off Verlander.

That was all the Indians could manage against the Tigers’ ace in losing their fifth straight game. Verlander (8-4) allowed three runs and seven hits on the night. He walked two and struck out six.

Detroit’s Jose Valverde came on with a four-run lead in the ninth. He allowed solo homers to Jason Giambi and Drew Stubbs but held on. Nick Swisher grounded out with a man on second to end it.

Ubaldo Jimenez (4-4) allowed five runs — three earned — in three-plus innings.

Cleveland lost its ninth straight road game.

Detroit is trying for its third straight division title, and the Indians have emerged as the top early threat from the rest of the AL Central. Jimenez beat Verlander in Detroit on May 11, and Cleveland took two of three in that series.

But the Tigers swept a two-game series in Cleveland later that month, the start of a stretch in which the Indians have lost 13 of 17.

Martinez opened the scoring in the second with a solo homer to right, his fifth of the year. Detroit then managed two more runs without hitting the ball out of the infield.

Jhonny Peralta walked and Brayan Pena grounded into a force play. Then Ramon Santiago hit a groundball to first, and Swisher tried to make a tough throw to second to get the lead runner. The ball got away for an error on Swisher, and Avisail Garcia walked to load the bases.

After Andy Dirks struck out, Hunter hit an RBI single, and Miguel Cabrera walked to force in another run.

Garcia doubled to lead off the fourth and scored on a single by Dirks. Hunter singled to chase Jimenez, and Cabrera bounced into a double play, bringing another run home to make it 5-0.

Verlander hasn’t allowed fewer than three runs in any of his last six starts, but the damage was limited to the fifth inning Friday. Michael Bourn hit an RBI single, and Jason Kipnis drove in two more runs with a bases-loaded double that Hunter was unable to catch against the wall in right.

Cleveland, which is without shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (right quad strain), could get no closer. Swisher made another error in the fifth, which put men on first and third with nobody out. A double play grounder by Pena made it 6-3.

Pena added an RBI single in the seventh.

Last Updated on Saturday, June 08, 2013 12:17 AM
 

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