Matt Kemp scored a phantom run early, then hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning -- right after Washington rallied with a six-run eighth -- and the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers grabbed a 7-6 victory Wednesday night for a doubleheader split that prevented the Nationals from sewing up a playoff berth.
Kemp was credited with crossing home to give Los Angeles a 6-0 lead in the fourth, even though TV replays showed the inning's last out already had been recorded on third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's head-over-heels, reaching tag of runner Adrian Gonzalez.
Informed that he should not have scored, Kemp said: "Actually, yeah, I don't think I did. But we got lucky right there. We stole a run."
That extra run loomed large when the hosts -- who had won the opener 3-1 thanks largely to Jordan Zimmermann's six innings of one-run baseball -- wound up sending 12 batters to the plate while scoring six runs in the eighth. Michael Morse had a homer and a two-run single, and Washington chased Josh Beckett, who had allowed only two hits through seven innings.
The announced crowd of 26,931 was getting loud, perhaps anticipating a comeback and playoff-clinching victory, when Kemp drove an 0-2 pitch from closer Tyler Clippard (2-5) over the wall in center for his 19th homer.
Yankees: Andy Pettitte was a little unsettled by an uncharacteristically thin crowd at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday afternoon compared to the raucous
Pettitte pitched five sparkling innings in his return from a broken leg and Ichiro Suzuki made a difficult catch to preserve a lead, keeping New York atop the A.L. East with a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of a day-night doubleheader. The Yankees won the nightcap 2-1.
"The beginning of the game it was almost like you could hear people talking -- I'm just trying to focus," Pettitte said. "I think for me it probably would've been better if we had a packed house."
Pettitte (4-3) looked his old steely self in giving up four hits in his first September start since 2010. He was injured on June 27.
Orioles: Adam Jones hit a two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning and Baltimore won its 15th straight extra-innings game with a 3-1 victory over Seattle. A night after the teams played an 18-inning marathon that lasted nearly six hours, Jones, the one-time Mariners prospect, gave Baltimore a huge boost in its race with the Yankees in the A.L. East. Additionally, the Orioles moved ahead of the A's into the top wild-card spot.
Reds: Manager Dusty Baker was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and was expected to stay overnight in a Chicago hospital.
TV deals: Major League Baseball is nearing agreements with Fox and Turner Sports on eight-year contracts through 2021, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.