Bryant powers Cubs to 9-2 win at Rockies

Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant follows the flight of his three-run home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman in the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, in Denver. The Cubs won 9-2. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Chicago's Kris Bryant hit a long homer and drove in four runs to power the majors-leading Cubs to a 9-2 win at Colorado on Saturday, stretching the gap at the top of the National League Central standings to a yawning 13 games

DENVER, Colorado — Chicago's Kris Bryant hit a long homer and drove in four runs to power the majors-leading Cubs to a 9-2 win at Colorado on Saturday, stretching the gap at the top of the National League Central standings to a yawning 13 games.

The huge lead enjoyed by the Cubs in the NL was in contrast to the tight playoff races in the American League. Toronto kept its nose in front in the AL East with a narrow win at Cleveland.

The Blue Jays stayed half a game ahead of Boston, which won a tight contest on a rainy night in Detroit, while former division leader Baltimore dropped further off the pace after another heavy home defeat at the hands of Houston.

Colorado handed a major league debut to former first-round draft pick Jeff Hoffman, and he started encouragingly but ran into trouble from the second inning onward.

Bryant hit his 31st homer of the season in the fifth inning with a three-run drive that traveled an estimated 469 feet, while Ben Zobrist had three hits and hit a home run in the ninth inning to cap the victory.

Toronto recovered from the shock of losing the previous night to a ninth-inning inside-the-park homer and this time handed Cleveland the narrow defeat, winning 6-5.

Edwin Encarnacion homered leading off the fifth — his 35th of the season — to put the Blue Jays ahead.

Roberto Osuna put the previous night's trauma behind him and recorded his 28th save of the season, fittingly ending the game by retiring Tyler Naquin — the man who dashed home for the winner on Friday — on a groundout.

Boston's David Ortiz homered after being honored by Detroit in his farewell season, and the Red Sox edged Detroit 3-2.

Ortiz was given a pregame tribute, then hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning.

The start was delayed 80 minutes by storms and another heavy downpour interrupted the game for more than an hour after the fifth inning.

Houston's Jason Castro homered and drove in four runs in the Astros' second straight blowout victory at Baltimore.

The Astros have scored 27 games in two games at Camden Yards, and eased up in this one after leading 6-0 in the third inning and 10-1 in the sixth.

Baltimore pitchers combined to allow a season-worst 10 walks.

New York's Yoenis Cespedes hit two long home runs and drove in another in his second game back from injury, powering the Mets to a 9-5 win at San Francisco.

Cespedes, who missed two weeks with a thigh strain, increased his season tally of homers to 27. The slugger's shot in the third inning went 457 feet, according to Cespedes added a 418-footer in the seventh.

The Giants, who have won only 11 of 33 games since the All-Star break, clung on to top spot in the NL West despite the loss.

Miami's David Phelps pitched six scoreless innings to guide the Marlins to a 3-1 win at Pittsburgh.

Phelps had nine strikeouts in his fourth start of the season.

Xavier Scruggs hit his first major league home run for the Marlins.

Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi continued mining his rich seam of form as he steered the Rays past Texas 8-2.

Odorizzi is 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break.

Evan Longoria and Luke Maile homered for the Rays, who ended the Rangers' four-game winning sequence.

Philadelphia's Jeremy Hellickson pitched seven strong innings to guide the Phillies to a 4-2 win against St. Louis.

Hellickson skipped his last start because of back tightness but looked healthy and sharp, allowing two runs with eight strikeouts and one walk.

Cesar Hernandez homered, doubled and singled for the Phillies.

St. Louis lost its first game in six, and also missed its chance to set a record for most consecutive games with multiple homers, having tied the majors record with nine.

Cincinnati's Brandon Finnegan held the Los Angeles Dodgers hitless until the seventh inning, and the Reds cruised to an 11-1 win.

Seattle's Felix Hernandez pitched eight strong innings as the Mariners beat Milwaukee 8-2; the Brewers' sixth straight loss.

Washington's Ryan Zimmerman homered and had three hits in his return from injury and the Nationals scored eight runs in the fourth inning to set up an 11-9 win against Atlanta.

New York's Luis Cessa pitched six scoreless innings to win his first major league start and help the Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-1.

Chicago's Chris Sale pitched eight scoreless innings for his first victory in seven weeks, helping the Athletics defeat Oakland 6-2.

Kansas City extending its winning streak to seven games by downing Minnesota 10-0, with Ian Kennedy pitching eight scoreless innings.

Arizona's Robbie Ray struck out a career-high 13 and gave up just one hit in seven innings, pitching the Diamondbacks past San Diego 2-1.

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