MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton homered in his return to the majors, and Trevor Plouffe continued his resurgence with a two-run shot as the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 8-5 and ended a 13-game losing streak Thursday night.
Minnesota got to Chicago starter Jose Quintana, who entered the day leading the American League with a 2.77 ERA. Quintana (11-10) allowed seven runs and seven hits in five innings and saw his ERA rise to 3.05.
Ervin Santana (7-10) escaped trouble to win for the fourth time in five decisions. He gave up 11 hits and two walks, but allowed just two runs as the Twins snapped their losing streak, one off the franchise record for a season.
Brandon Kintzler recorded his 13th save in 14 chances (see full recap).
Yelich, Marlins beat Mets to snap 5-game skid
NEW YORK -- Christian Yelich showed off his bat, legs and glove, capped by hitting a three-run homer that helped the Miami Marlins beat shaky Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets 6-4 on Thursday night to end their season-worst five-game losing streak.
Yelich homered and singled twice, drove in four runs and stole two bases. He also made a dashing, diving catch in center field with the bases loaded and two outs -- that made up for him later dropping a routine fly for an error.
Jose Urena (3-5) outpitched deGrom (7-8) as Miami averted a four-game sweep. Down 6-1, the Mets made it close, boosted by pinch-hitter Asdrubal Cabrera's two-run homer in the ninth off Fernando Rodney.
The Mets fell two games behind idle St. Louis for the second wild-card spot, with the Marlins another game back. Earlier in the day, New York second baseman Neil Walker said he needed season-ending surgery for a herniated disk (see full recap).
Russell's clutch hit gives Cubs win over Giants
CHICAGO -- Addison Russell hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Thursday night.
The Cubs spoiled a shaky Jeff Samardzija's return to Wrigley Field and started September on a winning note after going 22-6 to match the 1932 team for the best August in franchise history.
The major league leaders also moved a season-high 39 games over .500 and a jaw-dropping 15 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central -- their largest lead in the standings since the 1907 team finished 17 games ahead of Pittsburgh, according to the Elias Sports Bureau (see full recap).
Braves top Padres for 1st home sweep this season
ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman homered and the Atlanta Braves broke the game open with a five-run fifth inning, beating San Diego 9-6 Thursday to complete their first three-game sweep at Turner Field this season.
One day after Minnesota dipped below Atlanta to the worst record in the majors, the Braves kept on winning behind a six solid innings from Mike Foltynewicz (8-5) and another strong showing from the hitters. They scored at least seven runs for the fifth straight time at home.
Freeman put Atlanta up in the third with his 28th homer, a two-run liner into the right-field seats off Jarred Cosart (0-2). After Hector Sanchez homered for the Padres in the fifth, the Braves finished off Cosart in the bottom half. Freeman walked with the bases loaded, followed by two-run singles from both Matt Kemp and Anthony Recker.
The Braves' two previous three-game sweeps this season came on the road. They are 22-44 at the Ted (see full recap).