PITTSBURGH — Garrett Jones hit his 100th career homer and drove in four runs as Francisco Liriano and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat St. Louis 5-0 Friday night to tie the Cardinals atop the NL Central.
The slumping Jones had three hits and Russell Martin added his 12th homer of the season. Jose Tabata and Neil Walker got two hits as the Pirates moved within four victories of their first winning season in 21 years.
Liriano (15-6) allowed two hits over eight innings, walking two and striking out six to reach 15 wins for the first time.
Jones came in hitting .119 in August but broke out against Shelby Miller (12-9).
Jones hit a two-run double in the first inning, added a long shot to right field off Miller in the fourth and followed it up with an RBI single in the fifth.
That was plenty for Liriano. The left-hander is in the midst of a mid-career revival with the Pirates and he had little trouble improving to 4-0 against the Cardinals.
Former University of Hawaii standout and ex-Big Island prep star Kolten Wong went 0 for 1 as a pinch-hitter. His average fell to .167.
BRAVES 2, MARLINS 1
ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Julio Teheran topped Jose Fernandez in a matchup of young right-handers to lead Atlanta over Miami for its fifth straight win.
The 21-year-old Fernandez (10-6) took his first loss since July 7 but allowed only one hit after Freeman’s homer. He gave up three hits in six innings.
The Marlins have lost five straight.
The 22-year-old Teheran (11-7) yielded one run and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. Each starter had eight strikeouts.
With closer Craig Kimbrel unavailable after pitching in three straight games, Anthony Varvaro got six outs, including a perfect ninth, for his first career save.
Fernandez led off the third with a triple, the first of his career, and scored on Christian Yelich’s single.
PHILLIES 6, CUBS 5
CHICAGO — Michael Young had four hits, including a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning, and Philadelphia rallied past Chicago in Ryne Sandberg’s return to Wrigley Field.
Kevin Frandsen had two hits and scored two runs after entering in the sixth. Chase Utley added a two-run triple.
Philadelphia improved to 9-6 since Sandberg was promoted to interim manager when Charlie Manuel was fired on Aug. 16. The Hall of Fame second baseman spent most of his playing career with the Cubs and was cheered all day long in his first trip to Chicago since he was elevated to the top spot in Philadelphia.
METS 3, NATIONALS 2
WASHINGTON — Ike Davis hit a two-run homer, Daniel Murphy scored from second on a grounder and Dillon Gee allowed two runs over 7 2-3 innings to help New York beat Washington.
Gee (10-9) gave up six hits, struck out three and walked one, outpitching Jordan Zimmermann as the Mets won for the third time in nine games.
The Nationals, trying to work their way into the NL pennant race, lost for just the second time in 10. Washington began the day 6½ games behind Cincinnati for the second wild-card spot.
YANKEES 8, ORIOLES 5
NEW YORK — Ichiro Suzuki hit a two-run homer and Robinson Cano singled in two runs during a five-run fifth inning that helped the New York Yankees pick up an ineffective CC Sabathia and beat the Baltimore Orioles.
Alfonso Soriano connected for a two-run shot in the fourth off Miguel Gonzalez (8-7), and Alex Rodriguez had an RBI single in the seventh inning of a late August game that felt more like October.
TWINS 3, RANGERS 2
ARLINGTON, Texas — Chris Herrmann hit a tying, two-run homer to break up Yu Darvish’s no-hit bid in the seventh inning, Justin Morneau followed with a home run and Minnesota beat Texas.
Minnesota snapped a five-game losing streak on a night when it looked as if the strikeout-prone Twins had no chance against the AL’s strikeout leader.
Instead, Darvish (12-6) had a third straight start without a win and the right-hander’s home run total jumped to 22 after the Japanese ace allowed 14 his entire rookie season.
RED SOX 4, WHITE SOX 3
BOSTON — Ryan Dempster returned from his suspension for hitting Alex Rodriguez and pitched into the seventh inning, leading Boston over Chicago for its fifth win in six games.
David Ortiz snapped an 0-for-23 slump with a two-run single for the AL East leaders.
Dempster (7-9), penalized five games for plunking A-Rod on Aug. 18, held Chicago hitless through the first four innings. He allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Koji Uehara struck out two in the ninth for his 15th save in 18 opportunities. He worked 1 1-3 innings in his 20th straight scoreless appearance.
Hector Santiago (4-8) took the loss as Chicago opened a 10-game road trip.
BLUE JAYS 3, ROYALS 2
TORONTO — Mark Buehrle pitched seven shutout innings to win his sixth straight decision and Toronto ended Kansas City’s winning streak at five games.
Adam Lind drove in two runs for the Blue Jays, who have won 10 of 14 against K.C. since 2011.
The Royals, who came in six games behind Oakland for the second AL wild-card berth, lost for the first time since Aug. 24 against Washington, the final defeat in a seven-game skid.
Buehrle (11-7) allowed four hits, walked one and struck out five to match his longest winning streak since 2005, when he won a career-best nine consecutive decisions.
Ervin Santana (8-8) allowed three runs, two earned, and four hits in seven innings.