Cards still 2-up on Bucs...Tigers clinch playoff berth...Rays, Indians win...Masterson cleared

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Associated Press

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 2:06 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 25 at 2:06 AM

UNDATED (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals still hold a two-game lead over Pittsburgh in the National League Central, with the Cincinnati Reds three games back following a 4-2 loss to the New York Mets. Michael Wacha (WAH'-kah) came within one out of a no-hitter as the Cardinals blanked Washington 2-0. The Pirates hammered the Chicago Cubs 8-2 as Pedro Alvarez doubled twice and had three RBIs.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Detroit Tigers have clinched an American League playoff berth while cutting their magic number for winning the AL Central to one. Victor Martinez, Omar Infante (ihn-FAHN'-tay) and Austin Jackson homered during a four-run fourth as the Tigers beat the Twins 4-2 in Minnesota. Doug Fister is 14-9 after allowing two runs and eight hits while striking out seven over 6 1/3 innings.

NEW YORK (AP) — Tampa Bay still has a one-game lead over Cleveland for the first AL wild-card berth, with Texas still one game behind the Indians. James Loney hit a two-run double and Matt Moore worked five innings as the Rays blanked the Yankees 7-0, putting New York on the brink of elimination. The Indians blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth before beating the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Jason Giambi's, pinch-hit, two-run homer.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Justin Masterson will return to the Indians for the post-season push but be used out of the bullpen unless the team plays deep into October. The Cleveland ace has been sidelined since Sept. 2 with a strained oblique muscle, but has been cleared to pitch. He could be on the mound as early as Wednesday against Chicago as the Indians try to hold onto one of the AL's two wild-card spots.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Paul George has agreed to a new long-term contract with the Indiana Pacers, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. George was the NBA's Most Improved Player last season and had made it clear he wanted to stay with the team that drafted him with the No. 8 overall pick in 2010. He was scheduled to become a restricted free agent next summer when his rookie contract expired.

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