>>Cards Pound Reds
Lance Lynn returned to form and Matt Holliday returned to the lineup for the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
Matt Carpenter simply kept doing what he's been doing.
The result was a 10-2 rout of the Cincinnati Reds that completed a three-game sweep and improved St. Louis' major league-best record to 96-56. The Cardinals remained four games in front of second-place Pittsburgh in the NL Central.
Carpenter hit a pair of two-run homers, Lynn (12-10) pitched six scoreless innings and Holliday had an RBI double in his first start since July 29 during a game when virtually everything went right for the Cardinals.
Randal Grichuk and Peter Bourjos also homered as the Cardinals hit four for the first time this season.
Cincinnati fell into last place in the NL Central, a half-game behind Milwaukee.
Both of Carpenter's homers came off rookie Brandon Finnegan (1-1), who allowed six runs in five innings. With his second multihomer game, Carpenter increased his total to 26 homers, 15 more than his previous career best.
Lynn gave up three singles, walked none and allowed only one runner to reach second base before leaving with the Cardinals ahead 9-0 after the sixth. He had allowed 12 runs in 11 2-3 innings over his past three starts.
Grichuk, one of four Cardinals regulars to spend time on the disabled list in the second half, started the offensive barrage with a two-out homer in the second.
Cincinnati slugger Joey Votto hit his 29th homer in the seventh and singled while extending his streak of reaching base safely to 40 games, one shy of his career best.
Michael Wacha (16-6, 3.08) will make his first start this season against Milwaukee in the opener of St. Louis' final home series. Wacha has given up 12 earned runs in 15 innings over his past three starts.
Taylor Jungmann (9-6, 3.31 ERA) will face the Cardinals looking for his first win since Sept. 3. Jungmann has taken no-decisions in his last two outings during which he has given up nine earned runs.
>>Brewers Beat Cubs
Zach Davies allowed two hits over six innings and Martin Maldonado drove in two runs to lead Milwaukee to a 4-1 victory over Chicago on Wednesday night, snapping the Brewers' nine-game losing streak to the Cubs.
Jorge Soler homered for the Cubs, who lost for the second time in nine games and finished with three hits total.
Davies (2-2) allowed two singles in the second inning, walked one and struck out four. Davies kept the Cubs off-balance all game, notching a win that Brewers manager Craig Counsell said was a real confidence booster for the young right-hander.
Milwaukee's bullpen took over from there before Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth and picked up his 35th save in 37 opportunities.
Luis Sardinas gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead with an RBI single just out of the reach of a diving Kris Bryant at third base.
The Brewers took a 3-0 lead in the seventh when Khris Davis followed Adam Lind's double with an RBI single. Two walks by reliever Justin Grimm loaded the bases and Maldonado hit a sacrifice fly.
Maldonado had an RBI single in the ninth.
Soler homered in the seventh off reliever Will Smith, his 10th of the season.
The Brewers couldn't solve Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (7-7), who retired the first 14 hitters. Jean Segura finally reached in the fifth when he legged out an infield single and he scored on Sardinas' hit.
Hendricks went six-plus innings, striking out eight and allowing three runs and four hits.
Jon Lester (10-11, 3.46 ERA) will be looking for his third win in September and his second against the Pirates after limiting Pittsburgh to one hit over five innings on Sept. 15.
>>Verlander Leads Tigers Past White Sox
In possibly his most encouraging start of the season, Justin Verlander reached back to past, but familiar, territory with his velocity on Wednesday.
In his prime, the 32-year-old's signature style included dialing upper-90s heat in the late innings, and true to his old form, he stepped on the gas in a seventh-inning jam Wednesday. With two outs and the bases loaded, he used five 98-99 mph fastballs to strike out Geovany Soto, exiting with a four-run lead.
Verlander allowed three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts in his seven innings.
Melky Cabrera's 100th career home run, a two-run shot in the fourth, accounted for the first two White Sox runs.
Detroit scored twice in the first on Victor Martinez's 11th home run, his 200th career homer, then added four more runs in the third - two of them on J.D. Martinez's bases-loaded double that gave him 98 RBIs for the season.
Rajai Davis, who scored three runs, had two singles and a triple for the Tigers.
Making his first career start, White Sox right-hander Frankie Montas (0-1) worked the first three innings. He allowed six runs on six hits.
Chicago opens a four-game series at Yankee Stadium, with Chris Sale (12-10, 3.47) facing Michael Pineda (11-8, 4.10).
>>Wainwright Closer To Returning
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright moved a step closer to returning when he faced hitters for the first time since having left Achilles surgery April 30.
The operation was expected to end his season, but Wainwright now hopes to pitch out of the bullpen next week.
After throwing 25 pitches in simulated-game conditions to Cardinals hitters, Wainwright said he felt strong but lacked sharpness.
''I like being out there again,'' he said. ''I wanted to be better than that. The second time, it's got to improve.''