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Baseball Today

SCOREBOARD

Saturday, Oct. 3

Kansas City at Minnesota (4:10 p.m. EDT). Royals ace Zack Greinke (16-8, 2.06 ERA) gets one more chance to impress Cy Young Award voters and play spoiler against the Twins, who are trying to win the AL Central.

STARS

Thursday

—Chris Carpenter, Cardinals, hit a grand slam and drove in six runs, getting St. Louis back on track with his arm and bat in a 13-0 drubbing of Cincinnati.

—Chris Davis, Rangers, homered and drove in three runs, and Texas beat the playoff-bound Los Angeles Angels 11-3.

—Jon Lester, Red Sox, gave up two hits in 6 1-3 innings to lead Boston to a 3-0 win over Cleveland.

—Aaron Cook, Rockies, pitched four-hit ball over eight spectacular innings for Colorado, which clinched a playoff berth with a 9-2 win over Milwaukee.

—Pete Orr, Nationals, hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and Washington beat Atlanta 2-1, hours after the Braves were eliminated from playoff contention.

—Mike Sweeney, Mariners, hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the fifth inning, and Seattle beat Oakland 4-2.

THEY’RE IN

The Rockies’ fourth straight victory — 9-2 over Milwaukee — eliminated Atlanta, their final pursuer, from contention for the NL wild card. Colorado can still catch the Dodgers for the NL West title if the Rockies sweep a weekend series in Los Angeles. Colorado was 18-28 on May 29 when Jim Tracy took over for longtime manager Clint Hurdle. They are 91-68 heading into the weekend.

PITCHER CAN HIT

Chris Carpenter hit a grand slam and drove in six runs to lead St. Louis to a 13-0 victory over the Reds. Carpenter’s first career homer capped a five-run second inning for the Cardinals. He added a two-run double during a four-run fifth to match the career RBI total he brought into the game. The last pitcher to have six RBIs in a game was Micah Owings for Arizona at Atlanta on Aug. 18, 2007, according to STATS LLC.

NO BUBBLY

The Tigers had a chance to wrap up their first division crown since 1987 in the finale of a four-game series against Minnesota, but lost 8-3.

SKID STOPPER

Baltimore stopped a 13-game losing streak by beating Tampa Bay 3-2. The skid was the longest in the majors this season and the third-worst in Orioles history. Baltimore dropped 14 consecutive games in August 1954 and opened the 1988 season by losing 21 straight.

MILESTONE

Garret Anderson had two hits for Atlanta, including a second-inning single for his 2,500th major league hit. He is the 89th player to reach the plateau, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Anderson ranks seventh among active players. He is in his first season with the Braves after playing for the Angels from 1994-2008.

LOST ONE

Oakland’s Brett Anderson lost for the first time in September, 4-2 to Seattle. He was 4-0 with a 2.28 ERA since his last loss Aug. 30, and was 8-3 with a 3.02 ERA over his previous 16 starts.

SLAM IT HOME

Here’s another sign of how bad a season it’s been for the New York Mets: Francisco Rodriguez became the first pitcher since Lee Smith in 1995 to allow two game-ending grand slams in the same season. Justin Maxwell’s two-out homer capped a five-run ninth inning off the All-Star closer and gave Washington a 7-4 victory Wednesday. ... The Mets are cutting the average price of season tickets by at least 10 percent following a dismal opening season at Citi Field. The team said that some locations will have cuts or more than 20 percent. All season tickets will go down in price.

PACKED HOUSE

By drawing 44,905 fans for their 5-3 loss to Houston, the Phillies set a franchise record for attendance at 3,465,206. The previous mark was 3,422,583, during last season’s run to the World Series championship.

SPEAKING

“We controlled our own destiny today and we had a chance to clinch it out, but you have to give them credit. We’re still two games up with three to play, and we’re in the driver’s seat. We just have to play good baseball like we have at home, take it to the White Sox and we’ll be celebrating.” — Tigers catcher Gerald Laird on what his team has to do win the AL Central after failing to clinch the division with an 8-3 loss to the Twins.

SEASONS

Oct. 3

1897 — Cap Anson closed out a remarkable 27-year career, which started in the National Association in 1871. He hit two home runs against St. Louis. He was 46, the oldest player to homer in the majors.

1946 — The St. Louis Cardinals won the National League pennant by beating the Brooklyn Dodgers 8-4 and sweeping the best-of-three playoff.

1947 — Floyd Bevens of the Yankees held the Dodgers hitless until two were out in the ninth, when pinch-hitter Cookie Lavagetto doubled in two runs for a 3-2 Brooklyn victory in the fourth game of the World Series.

1951 — Bobby Thomson hit a three-run homer off Ralph Branca of the Brooklyn Dodgers with one out in the bottom of the ninth to give the New York Giants a dramatic 5-4 playoff victory and the National League pennant.

1962 — The San Francisco Giants rallied for four runs in the ninth inning to win the third game of the tie-breaking playoffs, 6-4, over the Los Angeles Dodgers and move on to the World Series.

1971 — Bob Robertson’s three home runs led the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 9-4 trouncing of the San Francisco Giants, tying the National League playoffs at 1-1.

1987 — Benito Santiago’s 34-game hitting streak, a rookie record, ended as the San Diego Padres snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1990 — George Brett became the first player to win a batting title in three different decades. Brett went 1-for-1 in Kansas City’s 5-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians to win the American League title with a .329 average. Brett also won AL batting titles in 1976 and 1980.

1990 — Willie McGee became the first player to win a batting title in a league in which he didn’t finish the season. McGee, who had a .335 average when St. Louis traded him to Oakland on Aug. 28, won his second National League crown when Dave Magadan of the New York Mets failed to catch him on the season’s final day.

1993 — The Toronto Blue Jays became the first team in American League history to have teammates finish 1-2-3 in the batting race. John Olerud led the league with a .363 average. Paul Molitor finished at .332 and Roberto Alomar ended at .326.

1999 — On the final day of the season, Mark McGwire hit his 65th home run, moving past Ted Williams and Willie McCovey into 10th place on the career list with 522. McGwire finished with a two-homer edge over Chicago’s Sammy Sosa, who hit his 63rd in the same game.

2002 — Alex Cabrera hit his 55th home run, tying the Japanese record set by Sadaharu Oh in 1964 and matched by Tuffy Rhodes last year. Cabrera ended the season with 55 homers.

2006 — Frank Thomas went 3-for-4, hitting two home runs to send Oakland to a 3-2 victory over Minnesota. The 38-year-old Thomas became the oldest player to have a multihomer game in postseason history.

2008 — J.D. Drew stunned Francisco Rodriguez with a two-run homer in the ninth inning, and the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-5 for a 2-0 lead in their first-round AL playoff series. Boston won its 11th consecutive postseason game against the Angels, outscoring them 80-33 and setting the record for most postseason victories in a row over one opponent. The Red Sox won their ninth consecutive postseason game overall.

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