Settling the Score: Saturday’s results


There are only two weeks remaining on the 2013 regular season schedule and the National League Central remains a heated three-team race.

The Cardinals couldn’t solve Mariners left-hander James Paxton on Saturday night in St. Louis and fell 4-1. The Pirates beat the Cubs 2-1 in an afternoon game at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park with young righty Gerrit Cole twirling a gem. The Reds also played in the afternoon and stomped the Brewers 7-3 in Milwaukee behind big offensive days from Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto.

St. Louis and Pittsburgh are now tied for first place in the division with the exact same record (86-62) and the Reds are just 2 1/2 games back at 84-65. The teams that finish second and third will likely meet in the National League Wild Card Game.

Your Saturday box scores and recaps:

Yankees 1, Red Sox 5

Reds 7, Brewers 3

Athletics 1, Rangers 0

Orioles 3, Blue Jays 4

Marlins 3, Mets 0 (Game 1)

Phillies 5, Nationals 4

Cubs 1, Pirates 2

Royals 1, Tigers 0

Indians 8, White Sox 1

Padres 1, Braves 2

Angels 6, Astros 2

Mariners 4, Cardinals 1

Marlins 1, Mets 3 (Game 2)

Rockies 2, Diamondbacks 9

Rays 7, Twins 0

Giants 19, Dodgers 3

Blue Jays sign Danny Espinosa to minors deal

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Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.

Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.

Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.