>>Fowler's Big Hit Sends Cubs Over Reds
Dexter Fowler hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the seventh inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-2 on Monday night.
Fowler's line drive into center field capped a three-run rally for the Cubs after they were shut down by Tim Adleman most of the night. It also made a winner of Jason Hammel (15-9), who pitched seven solid innings.
Jason Heyward added a two-run homer in the eighth as the Cubs moved seven games ahead of Washington for the best record in the National League, lowering their magic number for clinching home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs to five. That's the only major goal still out there during the regular season for major league-leading Chicago after it secured the NL Central title last week.
on Lester (17-4, 2.40 ERA) faces Reds RHP Josh Smith (3-1, 4.97) on Tuesday night. Lester is 8-0 with a 1.47 ERA in his last 11 starts. Smith is making his first start of the season.
>>Martinez Helps Cardinals Keep Pace in NL Wild Card
Martinez threw five effective innings despite struggling to take a deep breath in the thin air and added a two-run double, helping the St. Louis Cardinals gain ground in the NL playoff race with a 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
Martinez, who turns 25 on Wednesday, gave himself an early birthday present by holding Colorado to two runs while striking out six. The right-hander is 9-1 on the road this season.
Martinez (15-8) helped his own cause with a two-out double as part of a three-run fourth. He also was hit just below the left leg by a fastball from Tyler Anderson (5-6) in the third - two pitches after Randal Grichuk lined a two-run homer.
Anderson allowed five runs - two earned - in seven solid innings. The rookie is 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 12 starts at Coors Field.
Arenado, a Gold Glove third baseman, made a costly throwing error in the fourth. Martinez followed with a two-run double - giving him six RBIs this season - and Matt Carpenter added a run-scoring single.
LeMahieu finished 2 for 4 to raise his average to .349 and take a slight lead over Washington's Daniel Murphy in the NL batting race. Murphy is hitting .348.
The Cardinals moved into a tie for the second wild card with the Giants, who blew a ninth-inning lead in Los Angeles and lost 2-1 to the Dodgers.
St. Louis and San Francisco are one game behind the New York Mets, who lost to Atlanta.
With 132 wins, RHP Adam Wainwright (11-9, 4.51 ERA) tries to move closer to tying Dizzy Dean (134) for sixth on the team's career list.
Jorge De La Rosa (8-8, 5.22) is 4-0 with a 4.01 ERA in four starts against St. Louis at Coors Field.
>>Ventura Goes Distance As Royals Down Sox
Yordano Ventura picked up his first complete-game victory, Kendrys Morales hit a three-run homer and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox 8-3 Monday.
The Royals have won three straight, keeping their faint playoff hopes flickering with 12 games remaining. The Royals went 14-5 against the White Sox this year.
Ventura (11-11) gave up nine hits, struck out five and walked one. His only other complete game in the majors was a loss July 28 at Texas.
Ventura had allowed 10 runs, 17 hits and six walks in 11 1-3 innings in losing his previous two starts.
Morales homered off Carlos Rodon (7-10) in a four-run fifth. Morales homered in back-to-back games, bringing his total to 29. The last Royal to hit 30 home runs in a season was Jermaine Dye, with 33 in 2000.
James Shields, who is 0-5 with a 9.37 ERA in his past nine starts, will start Tuesday at Philadelphia. RHP Jake Thompson will start for the Phillies.