A-Rod powers Yanks back into first

The New York Yankees vaulted back into first place in the American League East, and St. Louis chopped a game off Cincinnati's National League Central's lead on Friday night.

In the AL Central, Minnesota and Chicago's White Sox lost; and Philadelphia and Atlanta both won in the NL East.

Yankees 4, Orioles 3 — Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning, his second of the game, for New York.

Trailing 3-1, Jorge Posada led off the ninth with a single off Koji Uehara (1-2), prevailing in an 11-pitch at-bat, and went to second on Curtis Granderson's one-out single. Mark Teixeira popped out and the Yankees were down to their last strike before Rodriguez hit a 2-2 fastball into the stands in left-center.

Angels 4, Rays 3 — Brandon Wood hit his first homer since June 27, a tiebreaking shot leading off the ninth inning that lifted the Los Angeles Angels over Tampa Bay 4-3 on Friday night and knocked the Rays out of first place in the AL East.

Wood, mired in a 3-for-43 slide and hitless in three previous at-bats Friday, gave the Angels a 4-3 lead with his drive off Dan Wheeler (2-4). Los Angeles has won six of eight.

Athletics 3, Twins 1 — Jack Cust had a solo homer and a double for Oakland.

Tigers 9, White Sox 2 — Max Scherzer struck out 11 in eight innings, and Alex Avila hit a go-ahead two-run double in the seventh for Detroit.

Phillies 9, Nationals 1 — Roy Oswalt threw six sharp innings to earn his seventh straight win for Philadelphia.

Oswalt (13-13) allowed one run and six hits, striking out seven. The right-hander is 7-0 with a 1.41 ERA in his last eight starts and 7-1 overall since Philadelphia acquired him from Houston on July 29.

The Phillies won their fifth straight game and reduced their magic number for clinching their fourth consecutive division title to 12, holding its three-game lead.

Braves 6, Mets 4 — Jason Heyward hit a three-run homer to cap a six-run inning spurred by David Wright's error, and Atlanta shook off the road blues by starting a critical nine-game trip with a win.

Tommy Hanson (10-11) won for just the second time in 14 starts and Omar Infante had a two-run double for the Braves, who came into the series in New York having dropped three of four at home.

Atlanta gained a 1 1/2-game lead in the wild card race as San Diego fell at St. Louis.

Cardinals 14, Padres 4 — Yadier Molina went 4 for 4 with a career-high five RBIs for St. Louis.

The Padres, who began the day a half-game behind the first-place San Francisco Giants in the NL West, fell 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta in the wild-card standings.

San Diego led the NL West by 6 1/2 games after beating Arizona on Aug. 25 but has dropped 16 of 22 since.

St. Louis has won 11 successive games against San Diego at Busch Stadium, tying the longest active streak in the major leagues. San Francisco has won 11 in a row at home over Texas, and Toronto has an 11-game home winning streak against Baltimore.

Astros 5, Reds 3 — Angel Sanchez hit a tiebreaking two-run single off Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning for Cincinnati.

Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before giving up a leadoff double to Joey Votto and a three-run homer that gave the Reds a 3-2 lead.