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Nationals Defeat Cardinals, Orioles Close on Yankees in AL East

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Bryce Harper hit a home run and drove in three runs as the Washington Nationals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 8-1.

Edwin Jackson improved his record to 8-9 as he struck out 10 batters in eight innings and allowed one run on four hits for the home team at Nationals Park in Washington last night.

Harper hit a two-run homer in the first inning and a run-scoring single in the sixth to give Washington a 6-0 lead. Jesus Flores added a two-run single in the seventh to cap the scoring for the Nationals, who have won two straight games following a five-game losing streak.

The Nationals improved to 79-51 to lead the National League East Division by 5 1/2 games over the Atlanta Braves. Washington is tied with the Cincinnati Reds (80-52) for the best record in Major League Baseball.

The Baltimore Orioles (72-58) defeated the American League Central Division-leading Chicago White Sox 5-3 to move within three games of the idle New York Yankees (75-55) in the AL East. The Orioles and Yankees begin a three-game series today at Yankee Stadium.

The Orioles and Oakland Athletics (73-57) who beat the Cleveland Indians 12-7 last night, are currently in position for the AL’s two wild card playoff spots.

The Braves (74-57) and Cardinals (71-60) remain atop the NL’s wild card standings, with St. Louis a half-game ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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