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Professional

Braves pull away from Cubs

Chris Johnson went 3-for-4 with a home run, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Cubs 9-5 at Wrigley Field on Friday to reduce their magic number to clinch the NL East to one.

The Braves broke open a tie game in the top of the ninth inning with four runs – all with two outs. Brian McCann and Johnson each had an RBI single, and Andrelton Simmons followed with a two-run double.

Freddie Freeman earlier hit a three-run homer for Atlanta.

David Carpenter (4-1) pitched a scoreless eighth to get the win. Kevin Gregg (2-5) took the loss for the Cubs, who wasted three home runs.

The Braves led 5-1 going into the bottom of the fifth before Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro led off with a solo homer. Third baseman Donnie Murphy did the same thing in the sixth to make it 5-3. With two outs, Luis Valbuena's pinch-hit RBI single made it 5-4.

Catcher Dioner Navarro then tied the score in the seventh with another solo homer,

Tigers 12, White Sox 5: Max Scherzer became baseball's first 20-game winner, pitching through bad weather for six innings as the Tigers beat the White Sox in Detroit.

Scherzer (20-3) was making his fifth attempt at win No. 20. He had two losses and two no-decisions in his previous four starts before Friday's victory on a rainy night. Torii Hunter had four hits for Detroit, and Victor Martinez homered.

Dylan Axelrod (4-10) allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings.

The AL Central-leading Tigers lowered their magic number to eliminate second-place Cleveland to three.

Former Tiger Avisail Garcia hit a two-run homer for Chicago.

Scherzer's previous career high was 16 wins last year, and he's been terrific this season from the start. He began with a 13-0 stretch and remains among the front-runners for the American League Cy Young Award.

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