Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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It only seems right to use this space to update the situation in the National League Central — baseball’s tightest divisional race by far here in late 2013.

Shelby Miller allowed just three hits and one earned run over seven innings and Carlos Beltran slugged his 23rd home run of the season Saturday as the Cardinals won their third straight game 6-2 over the Braves. Out in San Francisco, the Pirates fell 6-3 to the Giants after a rare poor start from left-hander Francisco Liriano. That leaves us with a tie for first place between two 76-53 teams with a little over a month to go. And don’t sleep on the Reds either.

Cincinnati pulled out a 4-2 win over the Brewers on Saturday at Great American Ball Park behind Chris Heisey, Joey Votto, Ryan Ludwick and Zack Cozart home runs. The Reds are 2 1/2 games back.

Your Saturday box scores and recaps:

Athletics 2, Orioles 1

Red Sox 4, Dodgers 2

Tigers 3, Mets 0

Twins 2, Indians 7

Rangers 2, White Sox 3

Nationals 7, Royals 2

Brewers 3, Reds 6

Blue Jays 5, Astros 8

Rockies 0, Marlins 3

Yankees 2, Rays 4

Braves 2, Cardinals 6

Diamondbacks 12, Phillies 7 (18 innings)

Cubs 3, Padres 2

Pirates 3, Giants 6

Angels 5, Mariners 1

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.