MLB scores, highlights, live team updates, news: Dodgers hold off late Cardinals rally in win

We've got the start of a Dodgers-Cardinals series that could shape up the National League wild card race tonight. Here's everything you need to know from all of today's MLB action.

Thursday's scores

Dodgers win key clash in St. Louis

It got interesting in the ninth -- the Cardinals plated a pair of runs against closer Kenley Jansen -- but the Dodgers held to win the opener of this key series. That's their 80th win of the season, and they're now just one game behind the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot in the NL (while remaining 1 1/2 games behind the Rockies' pace in the NL West). 

In this one, Clayton Kershaw notched a quality start, and Manny Machado tallied three hits, including a double and his 34th homer of the season ... 

Machado hasn't been as productive in L.A. as he was in Baltimore prior to the trade, but this is certainly a step forward. He's of course set up for a big free agent payday this coming offseason. 

As for the Dodgers, the SportsLine Projection Model (@SportsLine on Twitter) remains bullish on them. Coming into Thursday, the system gave L.A. a healthy 75.3 percent chance of making the postseason, and this big win will surely nudge that figure up just a bit. 

These same two teams go at it again on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so we could have more playoff clarity by the time this high-stakes series is done. 

Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story set records in win

The Rockies picked up a big win on the Diamondbacks on Thursday to drop Arizona to 4 1/2 games back in the division, and Colorado did it behind record-setting performances by two of their infielders.

With a home run in the first inning, Nolan Arenado became the fourth player in Colorado Rockies history with four-straight seasons of 30 home runs and 100 RBI. Vinny Castilla, Todd Helton and Larry Walker are the other three Colorado players. Arenado's also the youngest third baseman to do so.

Two innings later and shortstop Trevor Story hit his 33rd home run of the season, establishing a new single-season home run record for Rockies shortstops (Troy Tulowitzki, 32 in 2009). Story has a strong case as anyone in the National League for the Most Valuable Player award.

The 25-year-old has hit six home runs in the last two weeks and is batting .291 on the season. He even has caught the attention of former shortstop Alex Rodriguez.

The Rockies currently hold a two-game lead over the Dodgers in a tight National League West. However, the SportsLine Projection Model (@Sportsline on Twitter) has the Dodgers at a 70.3 percent chance of winning the NL West while the Rockies only have a 24.7 percent chance. The Rockies will face the Dodgers for a three-game series starting Sept. 17. Colorado has never won a division title, but with the way they've been playing as of late (8-3 in their last 11 games), things could easily go their way this year.

Martinez powers Red Sox

The Red Sox edged the Blue Jays at home and in doing so moved to 101-46 on the season. Speaking of that ... 

Jays second baseman Yangervis Solarte allowed the go-ahead run to score on a dropped pop-up. The underrated Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six strong innings, Xander Bogaerts picked up two hits (he's now batting .291/.362/.524 on the year), and J.D. Martinez did this ... 

That opposite-field shot is Martinez's 41st homer of the season, and that ties him with Khris Davis for the MLB lead. Martinez, of course, is an MVP candidate in 2018. 

Cubs pick up big win in D.C. 

The Cubs of course had to fly to Washington for Thursday's make-up game in the middle of a homestand, much to the consternation of their fans (they haven't had a true off day in more than a month). Fortunately for Chicago, they made the best of a the bad situation by edging the Nats in extras. As a result, they nudged their lead over the Brewers in the NL Central to 1 1/2 games. They also still have the best record in the NL. 

In this one, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant combined for five hits, and NL MVP candidate Javier Baez homered, doubled, and plated the eventual winning run on a safety squeeze. He's now batting .295/.330/.568 on the season. Eight Cubs relievers combined to allow only one run in six innings of work. 

The win, however, may have been a costly one, as the Cubs lost closer Pedro Strop to a hamstring injury. The circumstances leading up to that injury will likely lead to some criticism of manager Joe Maddon

Mets make a bit of history in win

In the first game of Thursday's doubleheader against the Marlins, the Mets prevailed by a thin margin, as you see above. Why, pray tell, are we devoting precious bandwidth to a Mets-Marlins contest in September of 2018? Here's why ... 

Yep, Michael Conforto and Todd Frazier went back-to-back in the bottom of the ninth with two outs to give the Mets the walk-off win. Speaking of which ... 

History hath been made. The Mets have also won seven of their last 10.

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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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