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>>Cardinals Rally Past Reds
Dexter Fowler hit two doubles and a single as St. Louis overcame Scott Schebler's two home runs to beat the Reds 8-5 Thursday night.
The Cardinals began the day 2 1/2 games behind Colorado for the second NL wild-card spot and five games behind the Central-leading Cubs.
Fowler drove in two runs. He went 7 for 13 with two home runs and six RBIs in the three-game series.
Yadier Molina drove in two runs as the Cardinals completed their first sweep in Cincinnati since 2010.
Five different Cardinals finished with two or more hits as St. Louis scored at least eight runs for the third consecutive game.
Carlos Martinez (12-11), celebrating his 26th birthday, lasted 6 1/3 innings on a muggy night with a gametime temperature of 85 degrees, allowing four runs and nine hits.
Martinez improved to 3-1 in his last four starts. He gave up Phillip Ervin's two-run homer in the fourth and a drive by Schebler in the seventh.
Schebler led off the ninth with a homer, his 29th of the season.
Homer Bailey (5-9) became the third consecutive Reds starter to be lifted without getting through five innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings.
Michael Wacha (12-8) allowed five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over eight innings in his last start against Pittsburgh, a 7-0 win on Sept. 10. He starts when St. Louis visits the Pirates on Friday night.
>>Cubs Rally Past Brewers
Baez grounded a tying single with two outs in the ninth inning, Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer in the 10th and the Cubs widened their NL Central lead over Milwaukee, rallying past the Brewers 5-3 Thursday night.
Chicago is now 4 1/2 games ahead of the Brewers after winning the opener of a four-game series. The Cubs have won eight of nine.
The Cubs trailed 3-2 when Ian Happ led off the ninth by hitting a grounder that first baseman Neil Walker fielded wide of the bag. Reliever Jeremy Jeffress covered first and Happ was called safe in a close play, a ruling upheld on replay.
Happ moved to second on a one-out grounder and scored when Baez, down to his last strike, singled up the middle.
Milwaukee was in position to win it in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with one out. But Wade Davis (4-1) struck out Domingo Santana and then, after falling behind 3-1 in the count to Orlando Arcia, came back to retire him on an easy comebacker on a full-count pitch.
Davis struck out the side in the 10th.
Jon Jay opened the Cubs 10th with a double and Bryant followed with his 28th homer, connecting off Oliver Drake (3-5).
Anthony Rizzo followed Bryant with a drive off the top of the wall in center and wound up with a triple when a crew chief review showed the ball didn't leave the park.
Santana hit his 28th home run in the fourth. He doubled off Justin Wilson in the eighth, stole third and scored on Eric Thames' single for a 3-2 lead.
Jeffress took over the ninth because closer Corey Knebel had pitched three days in a day. On Wednesday night, the Brewers lost at Pittsburgh 6-4 on Adam Frazier's walk-off homer against Knebel with two outs in the ninth.
Jake Arrieta gave up one run and five hits over five innings in his first game since Sept. 4. The 2015 NL Cy Young winner had been sidelined by a strained right hamstring.
Kyle Schwarber hit his 29th homer for the Cubs, tagging 17-game winner Zach Davies, who gave up two runs in seven innings.
John Lackey (11-11, 4.62 ERA) looks to rebound from his shortest start of the season (4 2/3 innings) and ejection for arguing balls and strikes Sept. 15 against the St. Louis Cardinals. He is 6-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 14 career starts against the Brewers.
Brewers RHP Brandon Woodruff (2-2, 2.38) aims for his fourth quality outing in his seventh career start and first against the Cubs.
>>White Sox Beat Astros
Chris Volstad got his first victory since 2012 on Thursday night, leading a group of seven relievers that covered 8 2/3 innings as Chicago beat the Houston Astros 3-1.
Volstad (1-0) entered after starter Carson Fulmer was pulled with a blister on his right index finger. Volstad allowed a run over 4 1/3 innings, and six more relievers kept Houston scoreless from there. Juan Minaya worked around two walks in the ninth for his fifth save.
Volstad hadn't appeared in the majors since 2015 before Chicago purchased his contract Sept. 10. His previous win was on Sept. 10, 2012, when the Cubs beat Dallas Keuchel and the Astros 4-1. Keuchel also took the loss Thursday.
Tim Anderson homered to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games, and Kevan Smith added two hits for Chicago.
The victory snapped a six-game winning streak for the Astros, who clinched the AL West on Sunday but are still making a push for the league's best record.
Matt Davidson was out of the lineup with a low-grade fever.
Reynaldo Lopez (2-3, 4.84 ERA) will start for Chicago in the opener of a three-game series against Kansas City on Friday. Lopez allowed seven hits and four runs in seven innings of a win over Detroit in his last start.

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