MLB roundup sees Cubs, Brewers clinch NL playoff spots
CHICAGO (AP) — Shortly after their playoff spot was assured, the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-6 on Albert Almora Jr.’s single with two outs in the 10th inning Wednesday night.
The NL Central-leading Cubs clinched their fourth straight postseason appearance when Milwaukee beat St. Louis. The Brewers, who sealed a playoff slot with their win, are a half-game behind Chicago. One of them will win the NL Central, the other will play in the NL wild-card game.
After Pittsburgh tied it in the ninth on a two-out, two-run double by Starling Marte, the Cubs bounced back to win. Ian Happ led off the 10th with a walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Terrance Gore. Mike Freeman’s sacrifice moved up Gore, and he took third on a groundout. Almora singled to left on an 0-2 pitch from Richard Rodriguez (4-3).
Jason Heyward homered and drove in three runs for the Cubs. Javier Baez singled for his NL-leading 111th RBI as the Cubs won after blowing a five-run lead. Star third baseman Kris Bryant didn’t play because of a bruised left wrist. Jose Osuna and Corey Dickerson homered for Pittsburgh.
Brandon Kintzler (3-3) got the only batter he faced in the top of the 10th to hit into a double play.
BREWERS 2, CARDINALS 1
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Milwaukee clinched its first playoff spot since 2011 by ensuring at least a spot in the NL wild-card game, helped when a rookie St. Louis pinch-runner fell on his way to the plate.
Jhoulys Chacin pitched five shutout innings and Travis Shaw hit a pair of RBI singles to help the Brewers completed a three-game sweep.
The Cardinals missed a big chance to tie it in the eighth inning. Matt Carpenter walked and was lifted for pinch-runner Adolis Garcia. Jose Martinez then hit a slow roller to third baseman Mike Moustakas, who threw wildly to first. Garcia was waved home but fell halfway to the plate, allowing second baseman Hernan Perez to easily throw him out to end the inning.
Chacin (15-8), who had lost his last three decisions, gave up one run on just one hit over five innings. Xavier Cedeno, Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress combined for four shutout innings as the Brewers held the Cardinals to a season-low two hits. Jeffress earned his 13th save in 18 chances.
Chasen Shreve (3-4) took the loss.
RED SOX 19, ORIOLES 3, 1ST GAME
ORIOLES 10, RED SOX 3, 2ND GAME
BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s Chris Sale struck out eight over 4 2/3 innings in his final tuneup for an expected start in the AL Division Series opener before Baltimore salvaged a split of the day-night doubleheader.
In the opener, Boston handed the Orioles a franchise-record 112th loss. A major league-best 107-52, Boston opens the Division Series at home Oct. 5 against the New York Yankees or Oakland.
Sale left after giving up Adam Jones’ go-ahead, RBI double that made it 3-2 in the fifth. He threw 92 pitches, allowing three runs and four hits.
Trey Mancini had a tiebreaking two-run single off Matt Barnes (6-4) in a three-run seventh and drove in three runs. Tanner Scott (3-2) worked 2 2/3 innings of one-run relief, and Paul Fry pitched three hitless innings for his second save.
In the opener, J.D. Martinez had three of Boston’s season-high 22 hits, including a three-run homer that brought his major league-leading RBIs total to 127. The Orioles (46-112) broke the franchise loss mark set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns went 43-111.
David Price (16-7) settled down after an early stumble in his final tuneup before the playoffs. He allowed three runs — all in the second inning — six hits and three walks, striking out six before leaving with a 10-3 lead after five. Price is expected to start Game 2 of the AL Division Series against the New York Yankees or Oakland.
Rafael Devers had four hits and six RBIs, including two homers, and Mookie Betts had two hits to raise his major league-best batting average to .346. Xander Bogaerts and Blake Swihart also homered for Boston.
Renato Nunez and Trey Mancini homered for Baltimore. Ryan Meisinger (2-1) was the loser.
RAYS 8, YANKEES 7
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Masahiro Tanaka gave up four runs and six hits over four-plus innings in his final start before the playoffs in New York’s loss to Tampa.
New York started play with a 2 1/2-game lead over Oakland to host the AL wild-card game and has the tiebreaker. The Athletics played at Seattle later Wednesday night. Yankees manager Aaron Boone hasn’t decided if Tanaka, JA Happ or Luis Severino will start against Oakland.
A four-run, ninth-inning rally by the Yankees came up just short against Sergio Romo, who got the final four outs for his 24th save.
Tanaka (12-6) was coming off a four-inning start last Thursday in which he allowed five runs and eight hits as the Yankees lost 11-6 to Boston.
Tampa Bay center fielder Kevin Kiermaier was hit by Tanaka’s pitch in the first and left two innings later with what X-rays determined was a hairline fracture of the right foot.
Reliever Yonny Chirinos (5-5) went four scoreless innings.
Neil Walker hit a three-run homer for New York.
NATIONALS 9, MARLINS 3, 7 INNINGS
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in the rain-shortened game that many expect was his last at Nationals Park as a Washington player.
Harper can become a free agent at season’s end. The storm arrived as Harper stood in the on-deck circle while the last out of the seventh was recorded.
Nationals rookie Victor Robles had a career-high four hits, including a three-run homer and a two-run double, and also stole a base. Brian Anderson homered for the Marlins.
Wander Suero (4-1) got the win with an inning of scoreless relief. Wei-Yin Chen (6-12) was the loser.
ROCKIES 14, PHILLIES 0
DENVER (AP) — Hard-throwing German Marquez started with eight straight strikeouts to match a modern-era big league record, and Colorado routed Philadelphia to pad its lead for final NL final wild-card spot.
David Dahl homered for the third straight game, and the Rockies went deep four times in all as they extending their winning streak to six.
Colorado opened a 1 1/2-game advantage over St. Louis for the last NL playoff berth and remained in contention to win its first NL West title.
Marquez (14-10) allowed three hits in seven innings and struck out 11 to set a Rockies record with 221 for the season, seven more than Ubaldo Jimenez’s total in 2010. By striking out his first eight batters, he tied a post-1900 mark set by Houston’s Jim Deshaies in 1986, and equaled by the New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom in 2014. The overall record of nine was set by New York’s Mickey Welch in an NL game in 1884.
Nick Pivetta (7-14) was the loser.
BLUE JAYS 3, ASTROS 1
TORONTO (AP) — Toronto gave outgoing manager John Gibbons a winning home sendoff against celebrating Houston.
Before the game, Toronto general manager Ross Atkins announced that Gibbons will not return next season. After getting the final out, closer Ken Giles gave the ball to Gibbons and the crowd rose for a standing ovation.
The World Series champion Astros clinched the AL West title when Oakland lost in extra innings at Seattle well past midnight Tuesday. Several of the Astros partied at a hotel meeting room, but they held a more traditional clubhouse celebration despite the loss. Houston will open the best-of-five Division Series matchup against Cleveland at home on Oct. 5.
Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer and rookie Reese McGuire added a solo shot for Toronto. Grichuk connected off right-hander Chris Devenski in the first, his career-best 25th home run. McGuire led off the fifth with a blast to right, the first of his big league career.
Joe Biagini (4-7) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win and Giles, the seventh Toronto pitcher, needed just five pitches to wrap it up in the ninth, earning his 25th save in 25 opportunities. Devenski (2-3) allowed two runs and one hit in two innings.
METS 3, BRAVES 0
NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom was dominant in what likely was his final pitch for the NL Cy Young Award, throwing eight stellar innings for New York and leaving with a major league-best 1.70 ERA.
DeGrom (10-9) made his final regular-season start, striking out 10 and allowing just two singles against NL East champion Atlanta. He retired the final 20 hitters after allowing a single to Johan Camargo. DeGrom gave up no more than three runs in his last 29 starts to extend his own single-season record. The All-Star ace also matched the overall mark set by Jake Arrieta in 2015-16.
Seth Lugo threw a scoreless ninth for his third save.
Luke Jackson (1-2) was the loser. Atlanta had won six straight.
INDIANS 10, WHITE SOX 2
CHICAGO (AP) — Shane Bieber remained perfect on the road with six scoreless innings, Francisco Lindor led off the game with a home run and Cleveland beat up Chicago.
Bieber (11-5) improved to 7-0 on the road, setting a single-season record with most road wins without a loss by a Cleveland pitcher. The 23-year-old rookie has yet to lose a road game in 11 career starts.
Edwin Encarnacion was 3 for 4 with a three-run homer and drove in four runs for the AL Central champs.
Kevan Smith broke up the shutout with an RBI single with one out in the ninth off reliever Oliver Perez. Adam Engel also added an RBI single off Adam Cimber.
Jace Fry (2-3) was the loser.
ROYALS 6, REDS 1
CINCINNATI (AP) — Rookie Heath Fillmyer struck out a career-high nine, Adalberto Mondesi tripled, stole two bases and scored twice, and Kansas City beat Cincinnati to wrap up its road schedule.
Whit Merrifield, who went into the game tied for the American League lead in hits and leading in stolen bases, extended his season-high hitting streak to 16 games with a third-inning single. He also stole two bases. Alex Gordon tacked on a solo home run.
The only run Fillmyer allowed was Jose Peraza’s 14th homer in the first inning. Fillmyer (4-2) allowed four hits and two walks while tying his career high with 7 1/3 innings. Fillmyer also had his first major league hit and RBI with a sixth-inning double. Cody Reed (1-3) was the loser.
TWINS 11, TIGERS 4
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Johnny Field homered twice, Jorge Polanco hit a bases-loaded triple and Minnesota beat Detroit.
Tyler Austin also homered and Willians Astudillo had three hits for the Twins. Christin Stewart tripled and drove in two runs for the Tigers.
Tyler Duffey (2-2) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Detroit starter Matthew Boyd (9-13) gave up six runs in 3 2/3 innings.
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