Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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The Cardinals have themselves a little breathing room in the National League Central.

Though closer Edward Mujica struggled again and put the Brewers in position to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Cardinals eventually won 7-6 in 10 innings. Carlos Beltran drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly while John Axford was victorious in his return to Milwaukee. Aramis Ramirez drove in five runs in a losing effort.

The Pirates imploded and lost to the Reds in 10 innings last night, so the Cardinals are now two games up in the division with eight to play. Their magic number sits at seven.

Your Friday box scores:

Braves 9, Cubs 5

Astros 1, Indians 2 (7 innings)

Reds 6, Pirates 5 (10 innings)

White Sox 5, Tigers 12

Marlins 0, Nationals 8

Orioles 4, Rays 5 (18 innings)

Mets 6, Phillies 4

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 6

Giants 1, Yankees 5

Rangers 1, Royals 2

Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 9

Mariners 2, Angels 3 (11 innings)

Twins 0, Athletics 11

Dodgers 0, Padres 2

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

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If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.