|Ramirez: 5-5, 3 2B, 2 HR|
Houston, winners of four straight themselves, hold a 13 1/2 game advantage in the West and have been virtually assured of a playoff run since going on a 27-7 tear through May and into June, vastly outpacing the rest of the division. However, Cleveland has been on fire since just after the all-star break, going 32-11 from July 21, when they began a nine-game win streak. They are just three games behind the Astros, seeking the league's top mark.
The current 11-game streak has included sweeps of Kansas City, the Yankees, and now Detroit. Cleveland begins a four-game series in Chicago with the last place White Sox (54-81) on Monday.
Sunday's triumph was a highlight reel for infielder Jose Ramirez, who went 5-for-5 with three doubles and a pair of home runs. The 2017 all-star drove in three runs and scored three times, his homers the 21st and 22nd of the year. His 47 doubles lead the AL by a good margin. Oakland's Jed Lowrie is second in the category with 41.
Cleveland opens their series with the White Sox at 2:10 pm ET Monday afternoon.
|Martinez: 3-5, HR, 3 RBI|
From the perspective of the St. Louis Cardinals, the season is far from over and may, in fact, just beginning to become more interesting.
The Cardinals took the final game of their four-game series in San Francisco with a solid, 7-3 victory over the Giants taking the series three-games to one.
Rookie outfielder Jose Martinez was the offensive star, stroking a pair of doubles and his 11th home run of the season. Martinez was instrumental in roughing up Giants' starter, Madison Bumgarner, wo allowed five runs over six innings.
Martinez socked a solo homer in the fourth, putting the Cards up, 2-1. Martinez doubled and scored in St. Louis' three-run sixth, then added some icing on the cake with a ground rule RBI double in the seventh. Martinez, who has only 197 at-bats this season, is hitting .299.
The win left the Cardinals six games behind the Cubs in the NL Central, with Milwaukee also ahead of them, 3 1/2 out. St. Louis is three games out of the second wild card spot, as Colorado is losing its grip, only 1/2 ahead of the Brewers.
St Louis heads to San Diego for a four game series, and has seven games against the division-leading Cubs near the end of September and closes out the regular season hosting three games with Milwaukee.