>>Lester, Rizzo Lead Cubs
Jon Lester overcame an injury scare to throw seven strong innings, Anthony Rizzo drove in three runs and the Chicago Cubs moved closer to securing the NL's best record with a 6-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
Lester (18-4) extended his scoreless streak to 21 innings before Jose Peraza's RBI triple in the fifth. He allowed six hits, struck out five, walked none and added an RBI double. Lester stayed in after Joey Votto's comebacker in the sixth left him with a welt on the wrist of his glove hand.
Rizzo had a two-run single in a four-run fourth and a run-scoring single in the sixth to give him 104 RBIs. The Cubs' 96th win reduced their magic number to three over Washington for clinching home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs.
John Lackey (9-8, 3.42 ERA), contending with Jason Hammel for the final postseason rotation spot, starts the series finale Wednesday night against RHP Robert Stephenson (2-1, 4.97).
>>Cardinals Pound Rockies, Three-Way Tie For Wild Card
Although shaky on the hill, Adam Wainwright shined in the batter's box with a career-high four RBIs as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 10-5 on Tuesday night to move into a three-way tie for the two NL wild cards.
The free-swinging Wainwright lined a two-run double in the second inning and brought in two more with a bloop single in the fifth. Matt Adams and Jedd Gyorko homered for the Cardinals, now even with the Mets and Giants in the race for the final two NL playoff spots.
The 35-year-old Wainwright (12-9) didn't have his sharpest command, yielding solo homers to Daniel Descalso, Charlie Blackmon and Gerardo Parra. But the right-hander was sharp enough - especially his curveball - as he gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Jorge De La Rosa (8-9) struggled through what could be his final start in a Rockies uniform. The winningest pitcher in team history allowed eight runs - seven earned - in 4 2/3 innings.
Adams had a solo homer in the second and Gyorko added a two-run shot in the fourth - a 452-foot no-doubter to center. Gyorko has 27 homers this season.
DJ LeMahieu's average remained at .349 after he went 1 for 3 with a double. He holds a slight lead over Washington's Daniel Murphy in the NL batting race. Murphy is hitting .347.
The Cardinals will send RHP Luke Weaver (1-3, 3.21 ERA) to the mound in the series finale Wednesday. The Rockies counter with righty German Marquez (0-0), who will make his first major league start after three relief appearances.
>>Herrera Leads Phillies Past White Sox
Odubel Herrera kept up his hitting surge with three hits and three RBIs, and the Philadelphia Phillies held off a late Chicago White Sox rally in a 7-6 win Tuesday night.
Tommy Joseph and Roman Quinn added two hits apiece and combined to drive in three runs for the Phillies. Herrera is 15 for 28 in his last seven games.
Melky Cabrera hit a three-run home run for the White Sox, who have lost four straight. Struggling veteran James Shields (5-18), winless since July 26, allowed six earned runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Trailing 7-3 in the ninth, the White Sox pulled within one on a two-out wild pitch and a two-run double from Adam Eaton. However, Michael Mariot came on and got Tim Anderson to ground out to short to end the game and pick up his first career save.
Jake Thompson (3-5) gave up three runs and four hits over five innings.
The Phillies and White Sox close their two-game series Wednesday with Chicago LHP Chris Sale (16-8, 3.03) opposing Philadelphia RHP Jerad Eickhoff (10-14, 3.74).