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Nat. briefs: Tigers pound Nationals

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press

Detroit 16 games over .500 but not celebrating

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 10:50 pm

DETROIT — Alex Avila and Torii Hunter hit homers in a five-run second inning and the Detroit Tigers scored five more runs in the fourth inning of an 11-1 rout of the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

The AL Central-leading Tigers took the two-game series. They have won five straight and nine of 10 to move 16 games over .500 for the first time this season, but they're not in the mood to celebrate. Miguel Cabrera was out of the lineup, a day after aggravating an injury, and Jhonny Peralta was in it perhaps for the last time in a long time.

Justin Verlander (11-8) shook off a shaky start by giving up one run, four hits and five walks while striking out six over six innings.

Gio Gonzalez (7-4) gave up 10 runs — one short of his career high — and 11 hits over 3 1-3 innings.

Reds 4, Padres 1

SAN DIEGO — Homer Bailey came within two outs of a five-hit shutout to end his four-start losing streak and the Cincinnati Reds beat the San Diego Padres 4-1 Wednesday to snap a five-game skid.

Brandon Phillips homered and Joey Votto hit a two-run double for the Reds, who avoided a three-game sweep and ended San Diego's four-game winning streak.

Bailey had allowed just five singles going into the ninth, when Everth Cabrera reached on a fielding error by first baseman Votto leading off the inning. The right-hander got Chris Denorfia to fly out before Chase Headley doubled in Cabrera. Manager Dusty Baker pulled Bailey, and Aroldis Chapman got the final two outs for his 25th save in 29 chances.

Molina on DL for Cardinals

PITTSBURGH — St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina's sprained right knee needs rest, but not surgery.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday that Molina is dealing with inflammation in the knee but called the results of an MRI encouraging. The Cardinals placed the All-Star on the 15-day disabled list less than 24 hours after Molina left a 6-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates after the third inning.

“There's something going on in there,” Matheny said. “He's going to try and get it taken care of so that he can move and do the things that he needs to do.”

Molina, third in the National League with a .330 batting average, has felt soreness in the knee for weeks. The All-Star said late Tuesday he tried to play through the pain but believes taking some time off is a better option.

Trade action before deadline

In the playoff mix for a second straight year, the Baltimore Orioles made the biggest move on a quiet trade deadline day, acquiring pitcher Bud Norris to keep pace with the Boston Red Sox.

Hoping to catch the NL West-leading Dodgers, the Arizona Diamondbacks filled a hole in their bullpen Wednesday by sending struggling 20-game winner Ian Kennedy to San Diego for lefty reliever Joe Thatcher.

Boston put the pressure on Baltimore by picking up 2007 NL CY Young Award winner Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox less than 24 hours earlier in a three-team trade. The deal was finalized quickly in part because the Detroit Tigers were eager to protect themselves in case shortstop Jhonny Peralta is suspended for his involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drugs scandal.

Llija joins Broncos

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos have lured Ryan Lilja out of retirement, agreeing to terms with the offensive lineman Wednesday.

The Broncos are searching for a replacement at center for Dan Koppen, who is out for the season after tearing his left ACL last weekend. Manny Ramirez, who took most of the snaps at center during Denver's offseason practices, has been filling in for Koppen the last few days in training camp.

The 6-foot-2, 290-pound Lilja slid over from guard to center for Kansas City last season, but announced his intention to retire after the Chiefs went 2-14.

Lilja, who turns 32 in October, has quite a bit of familiarity with Peyton Manning after playing guard for six seasons in Indianapolis.

Indians 6, White Sox 5, 10 innings

CLEVELAND — Carlos Santana's leadoff home run in the 10th inning gave the Cleveland Indians their seventh straight win, a 6-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

Santana hit a 3-2 pitch from Dylan Axelrod (3-7) into the right field seats for Cleveland's ninth walkoff win of the season. The crowd of 22,258 roared when the ball reached the seats and Santana threw his helmet in the air as he reached home plate and was mobbed his teammates.

Chris Perez (4-1) hit Adam Dunn with a pitch with two outs in the 10th, but struck out Paul Konerko to end the inning as Chicago lost its sixth straight game.

Both teams scored two runs in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Jeff Keppinger's two-run single with the bases loaded gave Chicago a 5-3 lead. Cleveland tied the game on sacrifice flies by Michael Bourn and Jason Kipnis

Pirates 5, Cardinals 4

PITTSBURGH — Russell Martin drove home Neal Walker with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 on Wednesday night.

Martin’s sharp grounder off Trevor Rosenthal (1-2) rolled into left field, giving Walker enough time to score from second. The Pirates’ fourth straight win over the Cardinals gave Pittsburgh a 21/2-game lead in the NL Central.

St. Louis left 11 runners on base and dropped its seventh consecutive game. The Cardinals led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 but couldn’t hold on.

Tony Watson (3-1) worked two shutout innings in relief. Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save.

Matt Holliday had three hits and drove in two runs, and the Cardinals’ struggling offense put together 13 hits.