MLB: Drew Rasmussen very close to a perfect game

MLB: Drew Rasmussen close to perfect game

UPGRADE DAY

Drew Rasmussen went three outs from a perfect game Sunday at St. Petersburg. He helped the Tampa Bay Rays defeat the Baltimore Orioles 4-1.

Rasmussen (4-2) hadn't allowed a single Orioles hitter to hit the trails before Jorge Mateo got in front of him in the top of the ninth inning. He slammed a double, then he crossed the plate after a bad pitch from Rasmussen.

The starter finally made his last out before giving up his place on the mound. So he conceded a run and a strike to a safe place in eight and a third innings, striking out seven opponents.

In the other clan, Jordan Lyles (9-9) had a hectic day at work, allowing four runs, as many strikes from a safe place and two walks in four and a third innings. He still had time to fan nine batters.

Randy Arozarena hit a three-run homer in the win, allowing Florida to come within a game of the Blues. Toronto Jays, ranked second in the American League East Division.

Pujols propels the Cardinals

In St. Louis, Albert Pujols hit two long drives and drove in four runs in the Cardinals' 6-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

All of the runs in that game also came courtesy of to circuits. Crowd favorites Tyler O'Neill and Dylan Carson and Mariners Hunter Renfroe and Rowdy Tellez also kicked balls out of bounds.

The win allows the Cards to increase their lead in first place in the National Central to a game and a half ahead of Milwaukee.

Leblanc on leave

Without Quebecer Charles Leblanc, left out, the Marlins suffered a 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves in Miami.

The Braves scored all their runs in the ninth inning on a home run by Micheal Harris II, a single from William Contreras and a poor pitch from Tanner Scott (4-5). Tyler Matzek (3-2) earned the win.

Leblanc is posting an excellent .368 in 13 games since his recall. He hit the trails at least once in each game.