Blue Jays top Yanks, back in playoffs for 1st time since ’16

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Hyun Jin Ryu (5-2) pitched seven shutout innings and the Toronto Blue Jays clinched their first postseason spot since 2016, beating the Yankees 4-1 Thursday night and further damaging New York’s chances of hosting a first-round playoff series.

New York lost for the fourth time in five games and remained two games behind the slumping White Sox for the fourth seed. Chicago lost 5-4 at Cleveland, its fifth straight defeat.

Toronto secured at least an AL wild-card spot and ensured its eighth trip overall to the postseason.

Blue Jays players embraced on the diamond at their temporary home of Sahlen Field in Buffalo after Rafael Dolis struck out Aaron Hicks to end it.

The Blue Jays trail the Yankees by two games for second place in the AL East. Both teams have three games remaining. Toronto hosts Baltimore in Buffalo while the Yankees host the Marlins.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. opened the scoring with a solo homer off left-hander Jordan Montgomery (2-3) in the second, his eighth.

ROCKIES 5, GIANTS 4

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Raimel Tapia hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 11th inning, and Colorado rallied to keep contending San Francisco from gaining ground in the NL wild-card race.

Jairo Díaz earned his fourth save by getting Austin Slater to ground into a game-ending double play. Several cheering Rockies jumped over the dugout rail celebrating.

The Giants (28-28), winners of three of their last five, dropped behind idle Cincinnati for the first NL wild card. The Reds (29-28) visit Minnesota over the final weekend as the playoff-bound Padres come to San Francisco.

Trevor Cahill (1-2) took the loss after San Francisco had a chance in the 10th.

Brandon Belt — who homered in the eighth inning to tie the game on his 1,000th career hit — and Brandon Crawford were intentionally walked by Daniel Bard (4-2). Shortstop Trevor Story fielded Evan Longoria’s grounder and threw Alex Dickerson out at home as San Francisco couldn’t capitalize.

INDIANS 5, WHITE SOX 4

CLEVELAND (AP) — José Ramírez delivered a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning and Cleveland beat Chicago for a four-game sweep in a matchup of playoff-bound teams.

The victory pulled the Indians within one game of Chicago for the fourth seed and home-field advantage in the first round of the postseason. Idle Minnesota leads the White Sox by one game in the AL Central with three to play.

The Indians have won five straight and the White Sox have lost five in a row.

Chicago scored three times in the top of the seventh to take a 4-1 lead, but Cleveland answered with four in the bottom half. Ramírez’s two-out double to center off Carlos Rodón (0-2) drove in César Hernández and Delino DeShields.

Cam Hill (2-0) worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win and Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his AL-high 15th save in 15 chances.

CARDINALS 4, BREWERS 2

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yadier Molina singled twice to reach 2,000 career hits and St. Louis began a five-game series between playoff contenders by beating Milwaukee.

Rookie Dylan Carlson homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the Cardinals (28-26) kept their slim lead over Cincinnati (29-28) for second place in the NL Central.

Milwaukee (27-29) missed a chance to move up in the wild-card standings. The Brewers and Cardinals play four more times this weekend, including a doubleheader Friday.

St. Louis starter Kwang Hyun Kim (3-0) went five innings to pick up the win. He allowed five hits and just one run in his seventh career start. Andrew Miller got the final two outs — both on strikeouts — to record his fourth save.

Corbin Burnes (4-1), who began the day with a 1.77 ERA, left the game with lower back discomfort in the fourth inning. He pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits.

MARLINS 4, BRAVES 2

ATLANTA (AP) — Jon Berti had three hits, including a two-run double, Pablo López (6-4) allowed only two hits in five scoreless innings and Miami beat Atlanta to boost their playoff hopes.

Miami snapped a four-game losing streak. The Marlins (29-28) are competing for a wild-card spot as they try to reach the playoffs for the first time since winning the World Series in 2003.

The Braves ended their four-game winning streak and were denied a chance to clinch the NL’s No. 2 seed in the playoffs.

Dansby Swanson’s bases-loaded single off Brandon Kintzler in the eighth drove in two runs. Kintzler worked around a one-out walk to Freddie Freeman in the ninth to earn his sixth save.

Braves rookie right-hander Ian Anderson (3-2) threw five scoreless innings before giving up three unearned runs in the sixth.

PIRATES 7, CUBS 0

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chad Kuhl pitched seven sharp innings and Colin Moran and Bryan Reynolds had home runs among their three hits each in Pittsburgh’s victory over slumping Chicago.

Kuhl (2-3) retired his first nine batters and had a no-hitter until Anthony Rizzo doubled to the wall in right-center with one out in the sixth inning.

The Cubs, who clinched a postseason berth Tuesday, are stumbling toward the playoffs with five losses in six games. They have scored two or fewer runs in each of the five defeats. Chicago’s number for clinching the NL Central remained two. The Cubs’ only other hit was Jason Kipnis’ double in the seventh.

Moran connected in the first inning to open the scoring and Reynolds homered in the second off Alec Mills (5-5). The Pirates got a third solo homer in the third inning from Adam Frazier to move in front 3-0 and Josh Bell hit a two-run blast in the fifth off Kyle Ryan that pushed the lead to 6-0.

METS 3, NATIONALS 2

WASHINGTON (AP) — Robinson Chirinos homered and drove in three runs, and New York beat Washington to keep its flickering postseason hopes alive.

The Mets (26-31) moved within 2 1/2 games of Miami (28-28) for second place in the NL East and within 2 1/2 games of San Francisco (28-28) for the NL’s second wild card.

David Peterson (6-2) closed his rookie season with his longest outing, going seven innings and allowing four hits and one run while striking out four. Justin Wilson worked the eighth, and Edwin Diaz gave up a two-out, RBI single to Yadiel Hernandez in the ninth but escaped further trouble for his sixth save.

Chirinos, acquired from Texas on Aug. 31, began the day hitting .149 with no homers and four RBIs in 67 at-bats between his two stops this season. But he belted a two-run homer off Washington starter Patrick Corbin (2-7) in the fifth, then legged out a two-out, RBI infield single an inning later to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.

DODGERS 5, ATHLETICS 1

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Walker Buehler proved he and his fickle right index finger are playoff ready, Corey Seager homered and Los Angeles beat Oakland to earn its major league-leading 40th victory of the shortened 60-game season.

Buehler allowed one hit in four innings, struck out six and walked one in his first career appearance against the A’s. The right-hander returned earlier in the day after missing 12 games with a blister on his finger that landed him on the injured list twice in the last 4 1/2 weeks.

Dylan Floro (3-0) got the victory, pitching one inning of relief and striking out one.

Seager went deep — the Dodgers’ 108th homer of the season — on the first pitch from Mike Fiers (6-3) leading off the third for a 2-0 lead. Will Smith snapped an 0-for-10 skid with a RBI single in the first.

ASTROS 12, RANGERS 4

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Alex Bregman’s three extra-base hits included one of Houston’s four home runs, and the Astros trimmed their magic number to one for clinching the American League’s last playoff spot.

George Springer and Jose Altuve also went deep with runners on base, and like Bregman finished with three hits and three RBIs. Houston had a 10-0 lead against Lance Lynn (6-3) before its rookie starter Cristian Javier (5-2) gave up his only runs in the sixth.

Josh Reddick also had three hits, capped by a two-run homer in the ninth.

The Astros (29-28) have to win only one of their three remaining games against Texas to secure second place in the AL West, and a spot in baseball’s expanded playoff during the pandemic-shortened season. They also get in if the Angels (26-31) lose any in their final three-game series against the NL-best Dodgers.

ORIOLES 13, RED SOX 1

BOSTON (AP) — José Iglesias, Pat Valaika and Austin Hays homered to lead Baltimore past Boston in a struggle for last place in the AL East.

Hays, Valaika, Rio Ruiz and Ramón Urías — the Nos. 5-8 hitters — each had three of Baltimore’s 18 hits as the Orioles won for just the second time in eight games.

The Red Sox had won three in a row, with a chance to tie Baltimore for fourth place in the division had they swept the series. Instead, Boston trails by two games with three games to play in the pandemic-shortened season and has clinched its worst winning percentage since the 1965 team lost 100 games.

Alex Cobb (2-5) gave up one run and six hits in seven innings for his first win since July 25 — the second game of the season. He had lost five straight decisions over eight starts.

Martin Perez (3-5) allowed six runs on nine hits and a walk in four innings.

ROYALS 8, TIGERS 7

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Salvador Perez hit a three-run home run, Maikel Franco hit a go-ahead homer in the sixth inning and Kansas City beat Detroit.

Miguel Cabrera continued his hot streak with a two-run homer in the fifth to tie the game at 4. He has four home runs and 12 RBIs in the past four games.

Tigers starter Michael Fulmer was pulled after 2 1/3 innings having given up four runs and seven hits on just 42 pitches. Tyler Alexander (2-3) got the loss, allowing a run and two hits over 2 2/3.

Royals starter Kris Bubic allowed four runs, eight hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings, striking out five. Jesse Hahn (1-0) got four outs and his first major league win since 2017, and Jake Newberry completed his first career save.

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