(Reuters) - The Cincinnati Reds pulled out a 5-4, 11-inning victory over the Miami Marlins Sunday to avoid being swept and get their march to a division title back on track.
Ryan Ludwick delivered the game-winning RBI single in the top of the 11th as the Reds shook off two previous defeats to the Marlins to open up an 11.5 game lead in the National League Central standings.
Cincinnati (88-59) had to work a little harder than they might have expected after starting pitcher Mat Latos gave up a 4-2 lead when Miami scored runs in the seventh and eighth to tie the game.
But the Reds bullpen combined for a strong performance with Logan Ondrusek getting the final out of the 10th for the win. Ludwick finished 3-for-6 with two RBIs.
In the American League, the New York Yankees beat visiting Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 to remain on top of the East Division, leading Baltimore by 1.5 games with the Orioles yet to finish their game against Oakland.
Russell Martin delivered a three-run blast for the Yankees (83-63) early to put the home team up 5-0, and starter Hiroki Kuroda struck out 10 batters in six innings to record the win.
The Chicago White Sox also protected their slim advantage in the AL Central with a 9-2 rout of Minnesota.
Adam Dunn slugged his 39th home run of the season as part of a six-run sixth-inning that allowed the White Sox (79-66) to cruise. They now hold a two game edge over Detroit after they lost to Cleveland.
The Los Angeles Angels nipped Kansas City 4-3 on the road to keep alive their playoff hopes.
Mark Trumbo smashed a three-run home run in the second, his 31st homer of the season, and the Angels (80-67) held off the Royals to pull two games behind Baltimore for the second Wild Card spot in the AL.
Each league will award two wild cards this season and have them battle in a one-game playoff.
“We’re definitely in (the race) this year,” Trumbo told reporters. “That’s all you can ask for is to at least give yourself a chance.”
Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Julian Linden