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Nationals power to 6-4 win over Dodgers

September 2, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Washington’s Denard Span hit two of the Nationals’ four homers as they won 6-4 at Los Angeles on Monday, opening a two-game lead on the Dodgers in the fight over top spot in the overall National League standings.

While Washington has a comfortable lead in the East, the Dodgers’ lead in the West was pared back while the Central had a new outright leader in St. Louis, which beat rival Pittsburgh and moved a game clear of second-placed Milwaukee, which lost yet again.

In the American League, Oakland bounced back from a series sweep at West division rival, the Los Angeles Angels, and beat Seattle, while Detroit stayed within half a game of the Central lead by beating Cleveland.

Washington pitcher Gio Gonzalez (7-9) belatedly notched his first win since the All-Star break, allowing three hits in over six innings. He had been 0-5 over his previous nine games.

Rafael Soriano pitched a shaky ninth inning to earn his 31st save.

Dodgers’ starter Roberto Hernandez (2-2) gave up all four of the homers — a career worst — and lasted only 4-1/3 innings.

St. Louis’ Matt Holliday hit the go-ahead single in the seventh inning, lifting the Cardinals to a 5-4 win over Pittsburgh and sole possession of the NL Central lead for the first time this season.

St. Louis’ Kolten Wong did not start the game after suffering a head knock on Sunday, but came in as a pinch hitter and hit a tying homer off Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole (7-5), setting it up for Holliday’s winner.

The Pirates fell three games behind the Cardinals and two games off the last wild-card spot.

Oakland’s Adam Dunn made an instant impact for his new team, hitting a towering two-run homer in his first at-bat as the Athletics beat Seattle 6-1.

Acquired a day earlier from the Chicago White Sox, Dunn became the 12th player in Oakland history to homer in his first at-bat with the team.

Dunn homered off Chris Young (12-7) during a five-run first inning. His drive was a welcome sight for a team that just got swept in a four-game series by the Angels and had not scored for 29 straight innings.

Detroit’s David Price bounced back from a woeful previous start and steered the Tigers to a 12-1 thrashing of Cleveland.

Price (13-10) gave up one run in seven innings; a marked contrast to his loss against the New York Yankees when he gave up nine consecutive hits in one inning and eight runs over two.

Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the first inning off and Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez connected for consecutive shots in the third. Cabrera homered again in the eighth and went 4 for 5 with three runs and three RBIs.

Minnesota’s Joe Mauer drove in four runs as the Twins beat Baltimore 6-4 to avoid a four-game series sweep.

Twins’ starter Phil Hughes (15-9) did not give up any unearned runs or walks over eight innings.

The Orioles came into the game with a 6-1 record over their previous seven and appear certain of winning the AL East despite the defeat, leading by 8-1/2 games with 26 to play.

Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels and three relievers combined to pitch a no-hitter, beating Atlanta 7-0 and giving the last-placed Phillies a rare cause for celebration.

Hamels (8-6) was pulled after six innings despite his dominance, having thrown 108 pitches on a hot afternoon. He struck out seven.

Relievers Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and closer Jonathan Papelbon each pitched a perfect inning to finish off the fourth no-hitter in the majors this season and the first using multiple pitchers.

Right fielder Marlon Byrd foiled the Braves’ best bid for a hit, making a diving catch on Chris Johnson’s slicing liner to end the third.

Chicago’s Welington Castillo homered and drove in three runs while Luis Valbuena also hit a home run as the Cubs beat Milwaukee 4-2 to hand the Brewers their sixth-straight loss.

Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton hit his 34th home run of the season and the Marlins scored three runs in the eighth inning to beat the New York Mets 9-6.

Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon lined a two-out single in the ninth inning to give the Rockies a 10-9 win over San Francisco to end the Giants’ six-game winning streak which had been extended earlier in the day as they won 4-2 in the completion of a game that had been suspended back in May.

Kansas City’s Salvador Perez homered and drove in three runs to power the Royals to a 4-3 win over Texas and keeping the team narrowly ahead of Detroit for the AL Central lead.

Tampa Bay’s Matt Joyce hit an RBI single in the 10th inning to give the Rays a 4-3 victory over Boston, splitting the four-game series.

San Diego’s Cory Spangenberg had a two-run single for his first big league hit as the Padres beat Arizona 3-1.

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