(MENAFN - Arab News) LOS ANGELES: Washington's Adam LaRoche made a huge impact off the bench hitting a game-tying homer and later driving in the go-ahead run in the 14th inning as the Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-5 in Wednesday's clash of National League pennant aspirants.
The win moved the NL East-leading Washington two games ahead of the NL West-leading Dodgers in the fight over the overall league lead. The other divisional leader St. Louis opened a three-game lead atop the Central by edging Pittsburgh in a one-run game while nearest rival Milwaukee continued its freefall.
In the American League Seattle beat Oakland to close further on a wild-card spot while driving another nail into the Athletics' fading hopes of winning the West division and Detroit's Central division ambitions received a setback with defeat at the hands of Cleveland.
Washington's LaRoche made an extraordinary impact for someone who only came into the game in the ninth inning. All of his five RBIs either tied the game or gave his team the lead. He delivered a two-run homer that tied the game in the ninth and a go-ahead two-run single in the 12th.
LaRoche then gave the Nationals the lead for good in the 14th. Ian Desmond scored on the groundball and LaRoche beat the relay throw to first base avoiding an inning-ending double play.
Asdrubal Cabrera added a two-run shot for the Nationals who withstood two late rallies in a game that lasted 5 hours 34 minutes the longest at Dodger Stadium this season.
St. Louis' Peter Bourjos singled home the winning run in the ninth inning for the only run of the game as the Cardinals beat Pittsburgh 1-0 to stretch their winning streak to five.
Yadier Molina was walked with two outs and a full count in the ninth by Mark Melancon (2-4). Molina advanced to second on John Jay's single and scored on the hit by Bourjos easily beating the throw home from center field.
St. Louis which only took sole possession of the NL Central lead for the first time this season on Monday opened a three-game lead while dropping the Pirates five games back. Pittsburgh has lost 10 of its last 12 road games but is still within two games of the last wild-card berth.
Seattle's Kyle Seager and Corey Hart both homered to start the seventh inning and that was enough for the Mariners to beat Oakland 2-1 in the clash of playoff contenders.
The home runs negated an otherwise stellar start by Oakland's Jon Lester (13-10) and helped Mariners ace Felix Hernandez (14-5) win for the first time in four outings.
Seattle moved within half a game of the last wild-card spot while the A's missed a chance to make up ground on the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels with the gap staying at 4-1/2 games.
Cleveland's Danny Salazar pitched his first career shutout to guide the Indians to a 7-0 win over Detroit.
Salazar (6-6) who has pitched 17 consecutive scoreless innings had ns on their feet throughout the ninth inning and they roared when he struck out Nick Castellanos to end the game.
Detroit slipped 1-1/2 games behind AL Central leader Kansas City which beat Texas 4-1 to complete a three-game sweep.
Baltimore inched closer to being the first team to secure a playoff spot as it beat Cincinnati 6-0 to maintain its 9-1/2 game lead atop the AL East.
Miguel Gonzalez (8-7) pitched a shutout and his first career complete game with eight strikeouts and only one walk.
David Lough and Jonathan Schoop hit solo homers before Chris Davis connected with a man on in the fourth to make it 4-0. All those homers came off Dylan Axelrod (1-1).
Houston's Chris Carter homered twice and drove in three runs to power the Astros to a 4-1 victory over the L.A. Angels.
It was the second straight win for the Astros since manager Bo Porter was fired on Monday and replaced by interim manager Tom Lawless.
Carter has 35 home runs and his seven multihomer games this season are a franchise record. It's the most homers by an Astros player for eight years.
Toronto's Dioner Navarro and Edwin Encarnacion each hit two-run homers as the Blue Jays rolled past Tampa Bay 7-4 to notch their fourth-straight win.
Adam Lind had four consecutive hits and scored twice for the Blue Jays who won a road series against the Rays for the first time since 2007.
The game was held up for 30 minutes during the third inning when lightning struck a nearby power station knocking out a bank of lights.
Atlanta's rookie catcher Christian Bethancourt had three hits in his return to the major leagues including a fifth-inning single that helped the Braves beat Philadelphia 7-4.
Bethancourt recalled from six weeks in the minors drove in the Braves' first run with an infield single ending Atlanta's 25-inning scoreless slump and put the team ahead 5-4 with an RBI single in the fifth.
B.J. Upton hit a two-run homer in a three-run second.
Chicago's Jorge Soler hit a two-run double as the White Sox defeated Milwaukee 6-2 sending the Brewers to an eight-straight loss.
New York's Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead double in the eighth inning to lift the Mets to a 4-3 win against Miami.
Colorado's Nolan Arenado hit a go-ahead three-run homer and Corey Dickerson followed with his second of the game leading the Rockies to a 9-2 victory over San Francisco.
New York's Brian McCann homered among his career high-tying four hits as the Yankees bounced back to end a three-game losing streak beating Boston 5-1.
Minnesota's Kennys Vargas homered for the second consecutive night and Eduardo Nunez had four hits as Minnesota defeated the Chicago White Sox 11-4.
Arizona's Daniel Hudson returned from two reconstructive elbow operations to pitch in the big leagues for the first time in more than two years and contributed to a 6-1 win over San Diego.