ST. LOUIS — Matt Carpenter and Harrison Bader hit run-scoring singles during St. Louis’ two-run ninth inning, and the Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 on Saturday for a sweep of their day-night doubleheader.
Each of St. Louis’ four batters reached in the ninth. Tommy Edman singled and Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch from Raisel Iglesias (2-11) before Bader tied it at 2 with a single to left.
Kevin Gausman then came in, and Carpenter’s pinch-hit single drove in Molina for the dramatic victory.
St. Louis (75-59) improved to 8-1 in its last nine games and moved 2½ games ahead of the second-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
Cardinals 10, Reds 6
ST. LOUIS — Dakota Hudson pitched a career-high 7 2/3 innings, and the Cardinals beat the Reds in the opener.
Dexter Fowler and Yadier Molina homered as St. Louis won for the seventh time in eight games. Molina, Kolten Wong and Paul Goldschmidt each had two hits and two RBIs.
Hudson (14-6) gave the Cardinals a lift after the series opener was postponed by rain, setting up doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.
Reds right-hander Trevor Bauer (10-12) pitched just four innings in his fourth straight loss.
Eugenio Suarez hit his 39th homer for Cincinnati, and Tucker Barnhart had two hits and three RBIs.
Rays 9, Indians 6
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tommy Pham and Avisail Garcia hit two-run homers, Ji-Man Choi and Travis d’Arnaud had solo shots, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Cleveland Indians 9-6 on Saturday night.
The Rays have won the first two games of the three-game set to tighten the AL wild-card race. Cleveland holds a half-game lead over Tampa Bay and Oakland for the first wild card.
Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor hit two-run homers for the Indians, who also entered 4 1/2 games in back of AL Central-leading Minnesota.
Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis left in the seventh with right wrist discomfort. Left fielder Tyler Naquin was placed on the 10-day injured list before the game with a season-ending torn ACL in his right knee after getting hurt Friday, the second big blow to Cleveland’s lineup in a week after Jose Ramirez broke his hand.
Choi homered in the second and Pham connected in the third off Zach Plesac (7-5) as the Rays went up 3-2.
Plesac was pulled after walking d’Arnaud to start a three-run sixth that included Garcia’s blast off Tyler Clippard. Plesac gave up four runs and six hits in five-plus innings.
D’Arnaud hit his solo blast during a three-run seventh, his 15th of the season.
Santana drove his 31st homer off opener Diego Castillo in the first. The slugger had a one-out, third-inning double against Jalen Beeks (6-3), but Lindor was thrown out trying to score from first.
After Lindor hit his 26st homer in the eighth, Greg Allen cut the deficit to 9-6 on a two-run double in the ninth off Ricardo Pinto.
Beeks, the second of seven Tampa Bay pitchers, allowed four hits over three scoreless innings. Emilio Pagan retired both batters he faced in the ninth to get his 16th save.