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>>Cardinals Beat Giants
 
Wacha pitched six strong innings and Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2.
 
The Giants were without staff ace Madison Bumgarner, a late scratch with flu symptoms, as they lost for the sixth time in seven games.
 
Wacha (10-7) gave up one run, four hits and two walks as he bounced back from a tough stretch. In his three previous starts he was 0-3 with a 10.22 ERA.
 
Tommy Pham was 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs for St. Louis.
 
Matt Cain gave up two runs on seven hits in five innings after a disastrous outing in his last game. 
 
Five Cardinals relievers combined to allow one run over the final three innings with Seung Hwan Oh getting his 20th save.
 
Jack Flaherty will make his major league debut for the Cardinals on Friday. The 21-year-old prospect was a combined 14-4 with a 2.18 ERA in 25 starts this year at Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. San Francisco RHP Johnny Cueto (6-7, 4.59) will pitch for the first time since going on the disabled list with a flexor strain on July 15.
 
>>Cubs Jump Braves
 
Kyle Hendricks turned in his fourth straight quality start and the Cubs ran their winning streak to four with a 6-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.
 
Hendricks (6-4) allowed one earned run on five hits while striking out five and walking three in 6 2/3 innings as the reigning World Series champs maintained their 3 1/2-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central.
 
Hendricks felt so out-of-whack that he found himself simulating his pitching motion between pitches early on.
 
Despite a laundry list of things that felt wrong, Hendricks and the Chicago Cubs continued to do most everything right.
 
Jon Jay had four hits and Kris Bryant homered to lead the Cubs offense.
 
Bryant's two-run blast through a stiff wind in the sixth inning made him the first Cubs player to begin his career with three straight 25-homer seasons.
 
Hendricks was backed by Brian Duensing, Carl Edwards and Justin Wilson, who combined on 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
 
Rookie left-hander Sean Newcomb (2-8) took the loss, allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out seven and walking three in five innings.
 
Jon Lackey (10-10, 4.98 ERA) will oppose fellow RHP Mike Foltynewicz (10-10, 4.84) in the second game of the four-game series on Friday. 
 
>>Twins Top White Sox
 
Max Kepler was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Twins rallied to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 Thursday for their fourth straight victory.
 
Trailing 4-3 entering their final at-bat at Target Field, the Twins came back and held their slim lead for the second AL wild-card spot. They completed a three-game sweep with their first game-ending HBP since current Minnesota manager Paul Molitor was plunked in the 10th at the Metrodome in 1996 to beat Kansas City.
 
Pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza opened the ninth with a single to right off closer Juan Minaya (2-2). After a one-out walk, Eddie Rosario hit a tying single.
 
Joe Mauer then walked to load the bases and Jorge Polanco lined back to Minaya.
 
With the crowd on its feet, Minaya's first pitch hit Kepler in the shin for the winning run. Knocked to the ground, Kepler got up quickly and trotted to first.
 
Closer Matt Belisle (1-2) got the win despite giving up the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth.
 
Alen Hanson homered earlier to put the White Sox ahead 4-3.
 
Both starters - Chicago's Miguel Gonzalez and Minnesota's Bartolo Colon - allowed three earned runs in six innings. Colon gave up 10 hits and struck out eight; Gonzalez gave up seven hits and fanned five.
 
Chicago, 4-19 in its last 23 road games, scored three runs on nine hits between the second and fourth innings, but left two runners on in each frame.
 
An RBI single by Rob Brantly and RBI double by Adam Engel gave Chicago a 2-0 lead in the second. Yolmer Sanchez singled home a run in the fourth for a 3-1 lead.
 
Polanco and Kepler had RBI doubles in the fifth to tie it at 3.
 
Reynaldo Lopez (0-1, 6.97) is expected to come off the 10-day disabled list (back strain) when Chicago opens a 10-game homestand Friday against Tampa Bay. Blake Snell will start for the Rays (2-6, 4.29).

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