Nationals will have best NL record
Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 27, 2014
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — For the second time in three seasons, the Washington Nationals will head to the postseason with the top seeding in the National League.
The NL East champion Nationals locked up home-field advantage until the World Series by beating the Miami Marlins 4-0 on Doug Fister’s three-hitter in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Friday.
Miami earned a split by winning the insignificant second game 15-7 with 22 hits, including Kike Hernandez’s grand slam and J.T. Realmuto’s three-run triple.
Washington’s record was 94-66 at the end of a long day; the last pitch was thrown 9 hours, 35 minutes after the first.
Taylor Hill (0-1) took the loss in his first major league start, allowing seven runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings. A.J. Ramos (7-0) earned the win with a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Earlier, Solano was the only player who got a hit off Fister (16-6).
Washington’s Anthony Rendon hit a solo shot to left off wild-as-can-be Jarred Cosart (4-4), who walked eight.
ROYALS 3, WHITE SOX 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Kansas City’s long postseason drought is over.
The Royals clinched a playoff spot for the first time in 29 years, beating the White Sox behind seven scoreless innings from Jeremy Guthrie.
Kansas City secured at least a wild card and ended the longest active postseason drought among the major North American sports leagues.
With Detroit losing to Minnesota, Kansas City trails the Tigers by a game in the AL Central with two to play. If they are tied after Sunday, the teams will play game No. 163 at Detroit on Monday to determine the division winner.
Guthrie (13-11) allowed four hits while winning his third straight start. He struck out six and walked one.
Hector Noesi (8-12) allowed six hits in six innings.
YANKEES 3, RED SOX 2
BOSTON (AP) — Derek Jeter took the night off after his emotional final home game and watched a bunch of Yankees rookies beat a group of Red Sox rookies.
Watching from the dugout, there was little excitement for him to see one day after he provided plenty with his ultimate walkoff — a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning in the final home game of his 20 seasons.
The Yankees had five rookies in the starting lineup for the first time in more than 30 years and the Red Sox started seven, including pitcher Steven Wright (0-1).
David Robertson pitched the ninth for his 39th save a night after failing to protect a three-run lead, setting up Jeter’s dramatic moment.
New York gave Chris Capuano (3-4) got the win.
ATHLETICS 6, RANGERS 2
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Josh Reddick drove in three runs, Scott Kazmir won for the first time in seven starts and the Athletics moved ever so close to their third consecutive playoff appearance with a victory over Texas.
The A’s, who snapped a three-game losing streak, would clinch an American League wild-card spot with a loss by Seattle against the AL West champion Los Angeles Angels later Friday night.
Adam Dunn, the big designated hitter batting in the No. 2 spot for the first time since June 2008, had a two-run double in the third for Oakland (87-73).
Nick Tepesch (5-11) allowed six runs and six hits, with four walks, in 4 1-3 innings.
Kazmir (15-9) struck out five without a walk while limiting the Rangers to two runs (one earned) and four hits over seven innings.
TWINS 11, TIGERS 4
DETROIT (AP) — Rick Porcello allowed six runs in fewer than four innings, and Detroit lost to the Twins on a night the Tigers had hoped to clinch the AL Central title.
Detroit could have wrapped up the division with a victory and a Kansas City loss, but Porcello (15-13) endured another rough outing down the stretch.
Porcello allowed four earned runs and six hits in 3 2-3 innings. He is 0-4 with a 6.20 ERA in September.
A.J. Achter (1-0) earned his first career win with a solid relief effort.
PIRATES 3, REDS 1
CINCINNATI (AP) — Travis Snider and Andrew McCutchen hit consecutive run-scoring doubles in the eighth inning, and the Pirates beat the Reds 3-1 to keep the pressure on NL Central-leading St. Louis.
The Pirates have won five of six and 17 of 21 overall. They have already clinched a wild card.
NL batting leader Josh Harrison was aboard after a two-out single against Pedro Villareal (0-2) when Snider followed with a scorching line drive to right that Jay Bruce overran, allowing it to roll to the wall for a 2-1 Pittsburgh lead. McCutchen then doubled into the gap in left-center.
Jared Hughes (7-5) got the final two outs of the seventh for the win.
PHILLIES 5, BRAVES 4
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jonathan Papelbon made his first appearance in Philadelphia since he made a lewd gesture as he left the field, closing out the Phillies’ victory over the Braves with a scoreless ninth inning.
The game was Papelbon’s first at home since he blew a save against the Marlins on Sept. 14 and lost his composure when he was booed coming off the field. He grabbed himself in response, and then bumped umpire Joe West.
Papelbon denied that he was insulting the fans but served a seven-game suspension.
Luis Garcia (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win.
Chris Johnson homered for Atlanta, which dropped its ninth in 11 games while falling to 5-18 this month.
Philadelphia took the lead in the seventh off Jordan Walden (0-2).
INDIANS 1, RAYS 0
CLEVELAND (AP) — Corey Kluber struck out 11 in eight innings, and the Indians beat the Rays.
The game concluded about an hour before the Indians were eliminated from playoff contention by Oakland’s 6-2 victory at Texas.
Kluber (18-9), who allowed five hits and walked two, is tied for the AL lead in wins. He recorded his 11th double-digit strikeout game of the season and leads the majors with 269 strikeouts.
Kluber also helped Cleveland set the major league record for strikeouts in a season when he fanned David DeJesus in the eighth inning for the team’s 1,429th K of the season. Detroit’s pitchers fanned 1,428 in 2013.
Chris Archer (10-9) pitched 7 2-3 innings of three-hit ball for the Rays.
BLUE JAYS 4, ORIOLES 2
TORONTO (AP) — Rookie Dalton Pompey had three extra-base hits, Drew Hutchison won for the first time in three starts and the Blue Jays beat Baltimore, ensuring that the Orioles will not finish with the best record in the AL.
Baltimore right-hander Chris Tillman lost for the first time in 16 road starts. Tillman (13-6) came in 8-0 with a 4.19 ERA in his 15 previous road starts.
Tillman, who’s expected to start Baltimore’s playoff opener next Thursday, allowed four runs and a career-high 11 hits.
Hutchison (11-13) allowed two runs and five hits in five innings, walked one and struck out eight.
ASTROS 3, METS 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese left his final start of the season with an elevated heart rate, a condition he has dealt with before, and the Astros rallied against reliever Carlos Torres for a victory over New York.
Jose Altuve, closing in on the American League batting title, hit a tying single in a three-run sixth inning. Chris Carter and Robbie Grossman doubled off Torres (8-6), and Matt Dominguez capped the outburst with an RBI single.
Kevin Chapman (2-0) got two outs for the win.
Curtis Granderson hit his 20th homer for the Mets, already assured their sixth straight losing season since moving into Citi Field.
CUBS 6, BREWERS 4
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Chris Coghlan hit a leadoff homer in the first and Javier Baez had his second career three-hit game, leading the Cubs to a victory over the Brewers.
The Brewers lost for the 24th time in 34 games on a day the team said it would retire uniform No. 1 to honor retiring Commissioner Bud Selig, who bought the Seattle Pilots out of bankruptcy and moved them to Milwaukee in 1970.
Coghlan homered on a pitch from Jimmy Nelson (2-9) second pitch of the game. He also doubled in the third and scored three times.
Neil Ramirez (3-3) pitched a perfect inning for the win and Hector Rondon got three outs for his 28th save in 32 chances.