Rival Watch: Reds lose ground as Cards, Pirates both win

BY foxsports • September 25, 2013

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha lost his no-hit bid on Ryan Zimmerman's infield single with two outs in the ninth inning, and St. Louis beat the Washington Nationals 2-0 Tuesday night to close in on the NL Central title.


Making his ninth career start, Wacha came about as close as possible to finishing off the third no-hitter in the majors this season. Instead, he became the third pitcher to have a bid broken up with one out to go.
Zimmerman hit a chopper just over Wacha's glove -- the pitcher said he thought it nicked his mitt -- and the ball bounced slowly toward shortstop. A charging Pete Kozma grabbed it with his bare hand and whipped a throw to first that was a little wide, pulling Matt Adams off the bag just as Zimmerman arrived.
The crowd at Busch Stadium let out a loud, collective groan. Third baseman David Freese sat crouched in the infield, stunned at how close his 22-year-old teammate had come.
Wacha (4-1) was pulled after Zimmerman's hit and walked off to a huge ovation. Trevor Rosenthal got Jayson Werth to ground out for his second save.
Washington left-hander Gio Gonzalez (11-8) pitched seven effective innings, allowing two runs and six hits.
PIRATES 8, CUBS 2CHICAGO (AP) -- Gerrit Cole threw six strong innings, helping Pittsburgh take over the NL wild-card lead.
The Pirates moved one game ahead of Cincinnati, which lost 4-2 to the Mets. Pittsburgh remained two games behind NL Central-leading St. Louis.
One night after clinching their first postseason spot in 21 years, Cole and the Pirates showed few signs of a letdown. Cole hit a two-run single, Pedro Alvarez drove in three runs and Jordy Mercer homered.
Cole (10-7) won his fourth straight start, giving up two runs and seven hits.
Cole's single came during a three-run second inning against Chris Rusin (2-6).


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