Indians close in on Central title; Pirates fall

CLEVELAND (AP) – Carlos Santana’s three-run homer pushed the Cleveland Indians to a 5-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night and nearer to their first AL Central championship since 2007.

Santana’s shot in the sixth inning off Dillon Gee (7-9) snapped a 2-2 tie as the Indians improved to 9-1 against the Royals this season.

Kansas City’s chances of making the postseason took another blow. The defending World Series champions began the night behind six teams in the wild-card chase.

Brewers 3, Pirates 1

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Chris Carter hit his 37th home run, matching his career high and Scooter Gennett sliced an opposite-field, two run homer to help the Milwaukee Brewers avoid another sweep at Miller Park by the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 2-1 win Thursday night.

Pittsburgh entered 3 1/2 games back of New York, St. Louis and San Francisco, all tied for the NL wild-card lead. Chase Anderson (9-11) allowed four hits in 5 2/3 innings, including a fifth-inning home run by David Freese.