MLB scores, highlights, live team updates, news: Dodgers, Cardinals now tied in NL wild-card race

The regular season is winding down so that means the pennant and award races are heating up. We've got everything you need to know from tonight's MLB action. 

Friday's scores

Dodgers force tie in NL wild-card chase

The Dodgers' win over the Cardinals on Friday means the two teams are now tied for the second NL wild-card spot. The Dodgers have now taken the first two games of this critical four-game set in St. Louis. 

In this one, 24-year-old rookie Walker Buehler suffocated the Cardinals with eight scoreless innings. Along the way, he struck out eight and allowed just two hits. With that gem, his ERA for the season falls to 2.88. Across the way, fellow rookie Jack Flaherty also pitched well, but he couldn't match Buehler, who had his breaking stuff working in a big way. 

As well, Yasiel Puig came up big with his second multi-homer game of the season. Here's one ... 

And here's the dagger ...  

The once-hot Cardinals are now 5-8 in September. As for the Dodgers, they've of course still got legit designs on their sixth straight NL West title.

NL Central stays tight

The Central-leading Cubs were down 2-0 to the Reds for much of the game on Friday, but they clawed back with a clutch go-ahead blast by Ian Happ in the seventh ... 

Ben Zobrist also contributed three hits, and Cole Hamels logged a quality start en route to the big win for the Cubs, who are back to 25 games over .500. 

About 85 miles up I-94, the Brewers needed a win to stay 1 1/2 games behind Chicago in the Central. They got it thanks to homers from Christian Yelich, Mike Moustakas, and Travis Shaw; a strong bullpen performance, and some typically fine defensive work from Lorenzo Cain in center. Oh, and Orlando Arcia bunted for a two-run double ... 

That win plus the Dodgers' win over the Cardinals means the Brewers are now four games in front for the top NL wild-card spot. Of course, the Brew Crew still wants a division title.

Beltre climbs hit list

Consider it a notable night for Texas' Adrian Beltre ... 

The future Hall of Famer is on an expiring contract, and his numbers to date aren't up to his usual standards. If these are the final days of Interrobang's career, then let's take every opportunity to appreciate his work.  

Stratton pitches Giants' first complete game of 2018

Check out right-hander Chris Stratton's work against the first-place Rockies on Friday ... 

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Chris Stratton SF • SP • 34
vs. COL, 9/14
IP9
H2
R0
SO7
BB2

That's the first shutout and first complete game thrown by a Giant this season and the first complete game of Stratton's career. That's also a critical loss for the Rockies, who now lead the Dodgers by just a half-game in the NL West. This win also snaps the Giants' 11-game losing streak. 

Youth is served in Atlanta

Max Scherzer got knocked around (six runs allowed in four innings), which may mean Jacob deGrom is the clear favorite for the NL Cy Young award. As consolation for Nats fans, Juan Soto made a bit of history ... 

That blast made Soto just the third teenager to reach 20 home runs in a season. He joins Tony Conigliario and his teammate Bryce Harper. And in related matters ... 

Not to be outdone, 20-year-old Ronald Acuna on the other side went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and wound up a homer shy of the cycle. Acuna is now batting .297/.374/.586. As for his Braves, they now have an all-but-insurmountable 7 1/2-game lead in the NL East. 

Yanks dominate Jays

As the score above indicates, the Yankees thoroughly whipped the Blue Jays on Friday night and remained 1 1/2 games ahead of the Athletics for the right to host the AL Wild Card Game. 

In this one, Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-3 with two walks, a double, and a homer; and Didi Gregorius went deep for the 24th time this season. Gary Sanchez also chipped in three hits. As well, check out the work of Masahiro Tanaka ... 

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Masahiro Tanaka NYY • SP • 19
vs. TOR, 9/14
IP6
H4
R0
SO8
BB2

Tanaka now boasts a 3.47 ERA for the season, and in the second half he's got an ERA of 2.09 with 69 strikeouts against 10 walks in 64 2/3 innings. At this point, you have to think that Tanaka gets the nod over Luis Severino to start that AL Wild Card Game for the Yankees. Aaron Judge also played two defensive innings but did not bat in his return from injury.

Tribe falls, but Donaldson goes deep

The Indians lost for the fourth time in their last five games in falling to the lowly Tigers on Friday night. But there's good news (good news that goes beyond their still-huge lead in the AL Central). Take it away, Josh Donaldson ... 

That's Donaldson's first homer since way back yonder on May 3 (he of course missed lots of time with a calf injury), and as such it's his first home run since Cleveland acquired him in a somewhat controversial trade on Aug. 31. Obviously, a healthy and effective Donaldson could be huge for the Indians in the postseason, and on Friday night he gave us a glimpse of that. 

Oh, and thanks to the Royals' walk-off win over the Twins (see below), the Indians' magic number in the AL Central is down to one. 

Davis retakes MLB home run lead with clutch blast

On Thursday, Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez cracked his 41st homer of the season, which pulled him into a tie with Oakland's Khris Davis for the major-league lead. On Friday night, Davis responded, and he did so in clutch fashion against the Rays ... 

Yep, No. 42 for Davis put his team ahead in extras. He's now batting .251/.331/.546 on the season. Blake Treinen worked two perfect innings and lowered his ERA for the season to 0.85. That's win No. 90 for Oakland. 

Royals walk off in grand style against Twins

Point: It's the Twins and Royals, so we don't really need to talk about it. 

Counterpoint: 

Yes, that's a walk-off grand slam by Salvador Perez. That's also Perez's 26th homer of the season, which is one shy of his career high. As well, that's the third grand slam of his career and his second walk-off home run. 

Philly's Aaron Altherr had himself a game

One of the Philadelphia Phillies' September call-ups, Aaron Altherr, made quite the impression in his first start at left field this season. The 27-year-old brought a .171 average into Friday night's game, but on Friday he went 4-for-5 with a pair of home runs, five RBI and three runs scored. It's his fourth career multi-homer game, his first since July 28, 2017 vs. Braves. 

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CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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