ST. LOUIS — Randal Grichuk and Paul DeJong homered and the St. Louis Cardinals stretched their winning streak to eight games with a 6-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
The victory moved the Cardinals into a virtual tie for first place with the Chicago Cubs, who lost to Arizona. The Cubs lead the race by just a single percentage point.
Carlos Martinez (9-9) tossed six solid innings and also drove in a run for the Cardinals, whose eight-game run is their longest since April 28-May 5, 2015.
Grichuk hit his 15th homer of the season in the second to tie the game 2-all. He also added a double in a three-run outburst in the fifth.
DeJong led off the seventh with his team-high 17th home run.
Diamondback 6, Cubs 2: Patrick Corbin pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, David Peralta hit an inside-the-park home run and Arizona beat the Cubs, cutting Chicago's NL Central lead to a percentage point.
Jon Lester (8-7) allowed four runs — three earned — and seven hits in six innings as the Cubs lost their third straight and for the seventh time in nine games.
Corbin (9-11) allowed five hits and struck out eight. He escaped trouble in the opening inning when Ian Happ hit an inning-ending groundout with runners at the corners.
Royals 5, White Sox 4: Melky Cabrera hit a go-ahead, two-run homer against his former team in the eighth inning, and Kansas City stopped a five-game losing streak.
Cabrera, acquired from Kansas City on July 30, homered with one out off Aaron Bummer (1-3) and drove in Lorenzo Cain, who led off the inning with a walk and Chris Beck. Cabrera has an eight-game hitting streak.
Scott Alexander (3-3) won after allowing a two-run, two-out single in the seventh to Leury Garcia that put Chicago ahead 4-3.
Cadet debuts: Walking off the mound to a standing ovation from a crowd that included his parents and sister, Chris Rowley started to become aware of the magnitude of his achievement.
Rowley became the first West Point graduate to reach the major leagues, pitching one-run ball over 5 1/3 innings to win his debut Saturday and lead the Toronto Blue Jays over the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2.
A 26-year-old right-hander, Rowley is a 2013 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. Bypassed in the amateur draft, he signed with Toronto and went 4-0 with the Gulf Coast Blue Jays that year. A first lieutenant, Rowley missed the 2014 and 2015 minor league seasons while on active service, which included a stint in Bulgaria.
Sale confirmed: Miami Marlins president David Samson says a signed $1.2 billion agreement has been submitted to Major League Baseball to sell the franchise to a group that includes former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, and the team expects to close on the deal in early October.
The MLB ownership committee will review the transaction Wednesday at an owners' meeting in Chicago, Samson said Saturday. He anticipates major league owners will approve the deal in September, and closing will take place shortly after the end of the regular season.
Jeter plans be a limited partner in the group led by venture capitalist Bruce Sherman, who will be the controlling owner. Jeter, a 14-time All-Star shortstop, will be in charge of the business and baseball operations, Samson said.
Pudge honored: A plaque in Cooperstown and now the No. 7 retired by the Texas Rangers for Pudge.
Two weeks after Ivan Rodriguez was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Rangers retired the jersey number the perennial All-Star catcher wore in Texas.
"That was a great moment for me," Rodriguez said after the pregame ceremony Saturday night. "In Cooperstown, but today here was a little different. ... Here in front of my home crowd and the ovation that they gave me from right field all the way to home plate was amazing."