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story.lead_photo.caption St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Dylan Carlson catches a fly ball by Los Angeles Dodgers' Max Muncy during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS — Tyler O'Neill hit a tiebreaking homer, Cardinals relievers combined for five scoreless innings, and St. Louis salvaged a split of its four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 2-1 win on Thursday.

The Cardinals climbed within three games of the San Diego Padres for the final NL wild-card spot, while the Dodgers fell 2 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants.

"Two-and-a-half games is not very much," Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner said. "A lot of things can happen in the last 20 games and I don't try to watch the scoreboard or pay attention to that stuff. You try to control what's in front of you and today was this game and didn't get the job done so we move on to tomorrow."

O'Neill's fifth-inning drive off Phil Bickford (3-2), his 25th homer this season, barely cleared the left field wall, inching past the outstretched glove of Steven Souza Jr.

"He's really grown into the consistent player that he really wanted to be and is capable of," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. "He's prepared for every at-bat. This is a sharp kid. He does his homework."

The homer made a winner out of Alex Reyes (6-8), who pitched two scoreless innings in his fifth appearance since being demoted from the closer's role.

"I'm feeling healthy and my arm's feeling good," Reyes said. "As a competitor I'm willing to pitch wherever and whenever my name is called go out there and get quick outs."

Cardinals catcher Andrew Knizner said Reyes came through in a pivotal part of the game.

"His stuff was coming out good," Knizner said. "Fastball was good. Slider was good, mixing all of his pitches. And I think if you go back and look at the game, his innings right there kind of set the tone for the back half of that game."

T.J. McFarland and Lus Garcia combined for two scoreless innings to bridge the gap to Giovanny Gallegos, who earned his sixth save with a perfect ninth.

The Dodgers mustered just four hits against five different Cardinals pitchers.

"Just that time where results matter," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "And so, the process has been good and we still got to just keep grinding and expect good things happen."

Neither starter lasted long.

Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin, who was activated before the game, threw 55 pitches in three innings in his first start since July 30. He had been sidelined with right shoulder inflammation.

Gonsolin allowed Knizner's RBI double in the second.

Cardinals righty Jake Woodford threw 66 pitches in four innings while making his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Sept. 3. He surrendered Turner's RBI single in the third.

"It's a great lineup, especially at the top," Woodford said. "I thought they made some adjustments and I kind of dug myself in the hole a little bit there too, so definitely some stuff to work on and go back and review."

Rockies 4, Phillies 3

PHILADELPHIA — Pinch-hitter Ryan McMahon and Sam Hilliard hit back-to-back home runs with two outs in the ninth inning, rallying the Colorado Rockies over the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3.

Bryce Harper hit his 30th home run of the season to bolster his MVP candidacy, and the Phillies looked as if they were going to start a pivotal home stretch with a victory before the bullpen blew their 30th save of the season.

Philadelphia began the day 2 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East with a soft home schedule in front of them. The Phillies play 13 of their next 16 contests at home against the Rockies, Cubs, Orioles and Pirates, who began Thursday a combined 113 games under .500.

With a 2-1 lead, closer Ian Kennedy (1-1) retired the first two Colorado batters in the ninth.

After Colton Welker singled, McMahon drove an 0-2, 80-mph curveball over the wall in right to put Colorado ahead 3-2. Hilliard followed with a long drive to right.

It was Kennedy's third blown save of the season and second since the Phillies got him from Texas in a trade on July 30.

Welker, a highly touted prospect, had a pair of singles, including his first career hit and RBI. Colorado snapped a four-game losing streak.

Lucas Gilbreath (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Carlos Estévez got out of a jam in the ninth to earn his sixth save.

The Phillies put runners on second and third with one out, and Didi Gregorius' groundout scored Brad Miller and pulled Philadelphia within a run. Estévez struck out pinch-hitter J.T. Realmuto to end it.

Harper is doing all he can to lift Philadelphia into its first postseason appearance since it won the last of five straight division titles in 2011.

The 28-year-old slugger connected for an opposite-field, solo drive to left in the first off Antonio Senzatela. It was the fourth homer in five games for Harper, who now has 30 or more homers in four of his 10 seasons. Harper won the 2015 NL MVP with Washington.

After Welker's RBI single tied it in the fourth, Harper helped Philadelphia take the lead in the sixth. His one-out drive to right bounded high off the wall for a single that put runners at the corners, and Miller followed with an RBI grounder.

Phillies starter Ranger Suarez continued his strong season and now has a 1.38 ERA in 78 innings as a starter and reliever. The left-hander gave up one run on five hits with six strikeouts and a walk.

Senzatela allowed two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks in six innings.

Marlins 3, Mets 2

MIAMI — Jazz Chisholm Jr. hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning and the Miami Marlins beat the New York Mets 3-2.

Javier Bez homered and doubled for the Mets, who began the day four games behind NL East leader Atlanta and 4 from the second wild card.

Chisholm drove a 97 mph fastball from Jeurys Familia (9-4) into the upper deck seats for his 15th homer. Chisholm also had an RBI grounder in the sixth.

With the score 2-all, New York wasted Pete Alonso's leadoff triple against reliever Anthony Bender in the eighth. Bender retired Javier Bez and J.D. Davis on groundouts with the infield drawn in.

Michael Conforto was intentionally walked before Richard Bleier (3-2) relieved and retired pinch-hitter Jeff McNeil on a grounder.

Dylan Floro pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save.

The Marlins tied it 2 in the seventh around three infield hits and a throwing error by reliever Brad Hand.

Starter Marcus Stroman was lifted after allowing Sandy Len's one-out single and Hand gave up Isan Daz's single. Mets catcher James McCann then threw out pinch-runner Alex Jackson at third when a pitch caromed to the backstop, with Daz advancing to second on the play.

Pinch-hitter Lewis Brinson beat out a dribbler near the mound and Hand's throw got Alonso at first base, allowing a run to score.

Stroman allowed one run, four hits and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings.

Bez hit a two-out double and scored on two wild pitches from Miami starter Jess Luzardo to give New York a 1-0 lead in the first.

The Mets increased their advantage on Bez's 29th homer in the third. He hit Luzardo's curveball over the wall in center field, admiring the 438-foot shot before he rounded the bases.

The two hits by Bez were the only ones allowed by Luzardo in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked four.

American League

Indians 4, Twins 1

CLEVELAND — Franmil Reyes, Oscar Mercado and José Ramirez homered, and the Cleveland Indians scored for the first time in three games, beating the Minnesota Twins 4-1.

Reyes' two-run shot in the third inning against Andrew Albers snapped the Indians' 25-inning scoreless streak. The 418-foot blast to center also gave Cleveland a 2-1 lead.

"It was OK, man, it was only two games we didn't score," Reyes said. "There was no frustration."

The Indians managed just two runs while dropping the first three games of the series, including 3-0 losses Tuesday and Wednesday. They were limited to one baserunner Wednesday on Amed Rosario's single in the seventh.

"It helps when you get the lead, and we also had some traffic on the bases tonight," Cleveland acting manager DeMarlo Hale said.

Indians starter Cal Quantrill (5-3) pitched a career-high 7 2/3 innings, allowing one run on Miguel San's homer in the second. The right-hander gave up four hits and struck out five while improving to 5-1 in 12 outings since July 10.

San and Quantrill exchanged words and gestures in the seventh following an at-bat that featured the slugger jawing back and forth with catcher Austin Hedges. All four umpires positioned themselves between the mound at home plate at one point.

"Quantrill had a lot to say about a lot of things," Twins acting manager Bill Evers said. "He should keep his mouth closed and be happy he's getting guys out, rather than talking to them, because he pitched a great game."

Quantrill offered no apology for his demonstrative nature, saying, "I play this game with a lot of emotion and everybody knows it. It seemed like it fired (San) up. Whatever."

Mercado's homer just inside the foul pole in left made it 3-1 in the fourth, and Ramirez added his team-high 33rd of the season in the seventh off Ralph Garza Jr.

Emmanuel Clase pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 22nd save, completing a four-hitter with Quantrill and Blake Parker. Cleveland avoided being swept by Minnesota in a four-game home series for the first time.

"I've known Cal since he got drafted by the Padres and I know who he is," Reyes said. "He's a great pitcher and I always have trust in him."

Albers (1-2), who was recalled from Triple-A St. Paul to make a spot start, allowed three runs and six hits in four innings. The Twins had won four straight on the road.

"Albers did the best he could," Evers said. "You need to be more efficient with your pitches."

Harold Ramirez and Yu Chang had two hits apiece for the Indians.

Royals 6, Orioles 0

BALTIMORE — Carlos Hernndez pitched six impressive innings, and Nicky Lopez and Hunter Dozier homered as the Kansas City Royals beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-0.

Hernndez (6-1) allowed three hits, walked three and struck out one. Then Kansas City's bullpen threw three scoreless frames — a night after the Royals allowed nine runs in the eighth inning and lost 9-8.

Baltimore's John Means (5-7) allowed two runs and five hits in seven-plus innings.

The closest the Orioles came to scoring was in the second, when Jahmai Jones singled with men on first and second. Left fielder Andrew Benintendi's throw to the plate was in time to retire Pedro Severino, who was trying to score with two outs.

Lopez hit a solo homer with one out in the first, and the Royals added three more runs in the eighth. Lopez singled home a run and later scored on Benintendi's single. Carlos Santana hit an RBI groundout.

Dozier added a two-run homer in the ninth.

Hernndez has allowed three earned runs in 24 2/3 innings over his past four appearances.

Kansas City won for only the fifth time in its last 19 games in Baltimore.

A's 3, White Sox 1

OAKLAND, Calif. — Sean Manaea struck out nine in seven dominant innings, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Chicago White Sox 3-1.

Manaea (9-9) allowed one run and five hits in his first win since July 28. The left-hander went 0-3 with an 8.00 ERA in his previous six starts.

Tony Kemp and Matt Chapman each drove in a run for Oakland, which took two of three games in the series.

"It's huge," Manaea said. "Especially against those guys. Those guys are a playoff team. Anytime you get a team like that, it's a good indication of how we stack up. So playing against those guys and getting these last two wins was huge and definitely, I think a big momentum push for us."

Added A's manager Bob Melvin: "This was a big series for us. ... To be able to come back after the first loss and win two games kind of shows you what this team is made of."

José Abreu had two hits and drove in a run for the AL Central-leading White Sox, who have lost 10 of their last 11 regular-season games at the Oakland Coliseum.

Kemp put the A's ahead with a run-scoring triple against Reynaldo Lpez (3-2) in the second. The White Sox tied it when Abreu singled home César Hernndez in the third, giving him 104 RBIs on the year.

Oakland answered with two unearned runs in the bottom of the third. Lpez attempted to pick off Starling Marte at second base, but his throw went into center field, allowing Marte to score and Matt Olson to go from first to third. Chapman then drove in Olson with a sacrifice fly.

Lpez was charged with one earned run and six hits in five innings.

"I had to battle through a few things," the right-hander said through an interpreter. "My stuff wasn't as good as it usually is. Today was one of those days you have to battle through, and even though I didn't have my best stuff I was able to get through five innings. I made one mistake, I paid for it."

Andrew Chafin pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record his third save.

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: RHP Lance Lynn, on the 10-day injured list since Aug. 31 with right knee inflammation, is slated to start Sunday against the Red Sox. ... RHP Lucas Giolito (left hamstring strain) is scheduled to start Tuesday against the Angels. He has been on the IL since Sept. 3. ... LF Eloy Jiménez missed his second straight game with a bruised right knee after getting hit by a foul ball while sitting in the dugout Tuesday night. Manager Tony La Russa is hopeful he can return Friday. ... SS Tim Anderson (left hamstring strain) took ground balls before Thursday's game. He has been on the IL since Sept. 1.

Athletics: Kemp returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday's game with a left wrist ailment. ... RHP Chris Bassitt threw more than 20 pitches off flat ground and will throw a bullpen session on Saturday. He underwent facial surgery on Aug. 25 to repair three cheekbone fractures from an Aug. 17 line drive against the White Sox in Chicago. ... OF Seth Brown, on the COVID-19 IL since Aug. 27, will make a rehab start for Low-A Stockton on Thursday night and is expected to return to the A's on Friday.

UP NEXT

White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodn (11-5, 2.41 ERA) is expected to start Friday night when Chicago returns home to open a three-game series against Boston. Rodn was originally scheduled to pitch in Oakland but had his start moved back due to shoulder soreness.

Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn (0-2, 4.12 ERA) will open a three-game series against Texas on Friday night. It will be the fifth start this season for Blackburn, who is seeking his first win since 2018.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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