Maikel Franco broke a 1-all tie with a two-run single in the sixth inning and the Royals went on to beat the Cardinals 4-1 in Kansas City. Alex Gordon tied the game with an RBI groundout in the fifth and Jorge Soler doubled in a run in the eighth as the Royals snapped a three-game skid. Josh Staumont got the win and Greg Holland his sixth save. Matt Carpenter homered for St. Louis in the second. Adam Wainwright fanned seven over five-and-two-thirds innings of three-run ball to take the loss.

>>Reds Double Up Brewers

(Cincinnati, OH) — Mike Moustakas and Curt Casali homered in a four-run eighth inning as the Reds doubled up the Brewers 6-3 in Cincinnati. Eugenio Suarez also homered for the Reds. Luis Castillo struck out nine and only gave up one run over six and two thirds innings for the Reds, who have won nine of 11. Jace Peterson and Jedd Gyorko went yard for the Brewers. Brandon Woodruff gave up two runs over five and two thirds innings to take the loss for Milwaukee, which had a four-game win streak snapped.

>>Lester, Cubs Shut Down Pirates

(Pittsburgh, PA) — Jon Lester threw six shutout innings as the Cubs beat the Pirates 5-0 in Pittsburgh. Kyle Schwarber doubled in a pair of runs in the eighth and David Bote singled in another to put the game on ice. Lester scattered four hits and the bullpen threw three innings of no-hit ball for Chicago, which snapped a two-game skid. Ke’Bryan Hayes had two of the Bucs’ four hits. JT Brubaker took the loss.

With the Reds win over the Brewers, Cincinnati (28-27) jumps into a tie for second place with the Cardinals (26-25) 4.5 games behind the Cubs. The Brewers (26-27) are 5.5 games out of the division’s top spot. The top two teams from the Central Division make the playoffs. Miami (28-26) and Philadelphia (27-27) battle for second place in the East Division. San Francisco (26-27) is third in the West Division.

Six of the following eight teams will make the playoffs

Atlanta (32-22) and Chicago’s (32-22) magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 2
Miami (28-26) leads the Phillies by one game for second place in NL East and trails Atlanta by four games
St. Louis (26-25) holds second place in the NL Central by percentage points over the Reds and trails Chicago by 4.5 games
Cincinnati (28-27) holds a one game lead over Milwaukee for a wild card spot
Philadelphia (27-27) currently holds final wild card in NL
Milwaukee (26-27) trails NL Central’s second playoff spot by one game
San Francisco (26-27) — can only make the playoffs as a wild card team