>>Wacha, Cardinals Blank Reds
The mound was slippery, the rain was steady, the bullpen was exhausted. Michael Wacha overcame all of it for another win.
Wacha gave St. Louis' tired bullpen a respite by throwing seven innings in the rain Thursday, and the Cardinals pulled away to a 3-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, taking yet another series from their NL Central rival.
The Cardinals improved to 30 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2013 season. They have the best record in the major leagues at 69-39.
They took two of three in Cincinnati and have won 15 of their last 18 series together. The Reds were shut out for the last 18 innings.
Wacha (13-4) overcame a 68-minute rain delay at the start of Thursday's game, and then gave his used-up bullpen a rest.
The right-hander allowed four hits and a pair of walks, allowing only two runners to reach second base as he beat the Reds for the third time this season. It was impressive considering the start of the game got pushed back twice and there were long delays between innings while the grounds crew worked on the field.
Trevor Rosenthal gave up an infield single and a walk in the ninth while getting his 32nd save in 34 chances and completing a five-hitter.
Tony Cruz snapped his 0-for-15 slump with an RBI single, and Kolten Wong singled home two more off Michael Lorenzen (3-7) as the teams played through intermittent, sometimes heavy rain. There was a long delay after the sixth inning to spread a drying compound around the infield.
Lorenzen, one of five rookies in the Reds' rotation, gave up three runs in five innings. He hasn't won since June 21, going 0-5 in seven starts. In his last four starts, he's allowed 20 runs in 18 innings.
>>Schwarber Homers Again, Cubs Win
Rookie slugger Kyle Schwarber homered in his second consecutive game, and Chicago beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 Thursday night.
The Cubs, playing meaningful baseball in August for the first time in years, won for the seventh time in eight games. They also moved a half-game ahead of the Giants in the race for the second NL wild card.
Jorge Soler drove in the first two runs with a bases-loaded single in the first inning, and Schwarber made it 5-0 with a three-run drive off Chris Heston (11-6) in the second - his first homer at Wrigley Field. But instead of an easy win, the Cubs had to hang on.
Hammel gave up a two-run homer to Brandon Belt in the fourth and was less than pleased when Maddon lifted him after
The game got tight in the sixth when Brandon Crawford hit a two-run homer off Tommy Hunter to make it 5-4, but the Cubs hung on from there.
Jason Motte and Pedro Strop each worked a scoreless inning. Hector Rondon pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 20 chances.
Hunter Pence had two hits and scored two runs, but the Giants lost for just the sixth time in 22 games.
Heston, tops among major league rookies in wins, went four innings and took the loss after going 5-0 in his previous eight starts for San Francisco. He gave up five runs and five hits, walked two and hit a batter with a pitch.
Hammel allowed two runs and three hits. He exited after walking Ehire Adrianza and Hector Sanchez, but Justin Grimm (2-3) escaped the jam.
Hammel talked to Maddon and insisted they are on the same page. He also thought plate umpire Manny Gonzalez had a tight strike zone.
Kansas City 6
NY Yankees 2
Houston 5 Final/10
LA Dodgers 10
San Diego 1