Tzu-Wei Lin delivered the tie-breaking RBI infield single in the seventh inning Friday night and hit his first major league homer in the ninth as the Boston Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians, 7-5, in the opener of a three-game series between division champions at Progressive Field.
The Red Sox, who clinched the American League East on Thursday, improved to 105-49 despite fielding a lineup that included only two regulars — third baseman Rafael Devers and AL MVP candidate J.D. Martinez. Boston needs just one win to clinch the best record in MLB for the season.
The Red Sox’s 105th victory tied the franchise record for wins, set by the 1912 team.
The Indians, who will be locked into a first-round postseason date with either the Astros or Oakland Athletics as soon as the Red Sox win the top seed, have lost three of five since clinching their third straight AL Central title last Saturday.
Yankees 10, Orioles 8
Aaron Hicks became the fifth Yankee to reach 25 homers, CC Sabathia rebounded from his shortest outing in over three years by pitching six effective innings, and New York moved closer to clinching a wild-card spot by holding on for a victory over visiting Baltimore.
The Yankees lowered their magic number to clinch a wild-card spot to two after nearly blowing a 6-0 lead.
Hicks extended the Yankees’ lead to 6-0 lead with two outs in the fourth when he reached the second deck in right field by hitting a 3-1 fastball from Yefry Ramirez (1-7). The switch-hitting outfielder hit New York’s 249th homer, putting them 14 away from the major league record set by Seattle in 1997.
A’s 7, Twins 6 (10 innings)
Khris Davis led off the bottom of the 10th inning with his second home run of the game, delivering Oakland a walk-off victory over visiting Minnesota.
A ninth walk-off win of the season kept Oakland 6 1/2 games ahead of Tampa Bay in their battle for the second wild-card spot in the American League. The A’s remain 3 1/2 games back of the Astros for the AL West lead.
Davis’ game-winner, his 45th homer of the season, came on the third pitch of the 10th inning by Matt Magill (3-3), who had stranded the potential winning run at third base to end the ninth. A’s closer Blake Treinen (8-2), who worked two perfect innings, was credited with the win.
Astros 11, Angels 3
Yuli Gurriel slugged a pair of home runs, including a first-inning grand slam, and drove in seven, and Gerrit Cole worked seven strong innings as reigning World Series champion Houston clinched a postseason berth with a win over visiting Los Angeles.
The Astros secured their 12th postseason appearance in club history and shaved their magic number to six to win the American League West for a second consecutive season.
Houston (96-57) reached 96 victories for just the fifth time in franchise annals. The Astros finished 96-66 in 1986 before winning a club-record 102 games in 1998, 97 in 1999, and 101 last season.
Cardinals 5, Giants 3
Pinch hitter Matt Adams stroked a tie-breaking, two-run double with two outs in the eighth inning, sending St. Louis to a victory over visiting San Francisco.
The win kept the Cardinals 1 1/2 games ahead of Colorado in the race for the second wild-card spot in the National League. St. Louis also made up a game on the Cubs for the division lead, but remain three games back of the Brewers.
After the Giants had scored twice in the seventh to forge a 3-3 tie, Harrison Bader drew a two-out walk from San Francisco’s fourth pitcher, Mark Melancon (0-2), in the eighth. After Yairo Munoz singled Bader into scoring position, left-hander Tony Watson replaced Melancon and served up Adams’ difference-making double to left field.
Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 2
First baseman Ian Desmond drove in three runs, two on a single to cap a four-run eighth inning, and visiting Colorado received seven strong innings from right-hander German Marquez for a victory over Arizona.
DJ LeMahieu had two hits, and Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest active streak in the majors, as the Rockies broke a three-game losing streak to remain 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot. Colorado also moved within 1 1/2 games of the Dodgers for the NL West lead after L.A. lost to San Diego.
Marquez (13-10) gave up a two-run homer to David Peralta in the first inning but did not permit another runner past second base while extending his streak of quality starts to 11.
Padres 5, Dodgers 3
Hunter Renfroe and Freddy Galvis hit home runs, while left-hander Eric Lauer went five strong innings as San Diego won at Los Angeles.
The Dodgers entered with seven victories in their last eight games to take over first place in the National League West, but the last-place Padres held off a late rally.
Lauer (6-7) was in control against the Dodgers for a third time this season. The rookie gave up one run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He has now given up just two runs over 19 2/3 innings against the Dodgers this season. Kirby Yates picked up his 10th save.
Brewers 8, Pirates 3
Travis Shaw, Mike Moustakas and Erik Kratz hit homers in a six-run sixth inning for Milwaukee in a win at Pittsburgh.
Keon Broxton also homered, and Jesus Aguilar added an RBI double for the Brewers, who moved to within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Cubs in the National League Central. The Brewers kept a three-game lead for the first NL wild-card spot.
Josh Bell and Corey Dickerson hit homers for Pittsburgh (77-75), which had its five-game winning streak squashed.
White Sox 10, Cubs 4
Daniel Palka and Kevan Smith hit home runs to highlight a 19-hit attack as the White Sox cruised to a victory over the visiting Cubs.
Palka’s two-run homer in the sixth off reliever Dillon Maples was his fifth in five games and 27th of the season, tops for any rookie in the majors. It also was his team-record fourth pinch-hit home run this season.
Ryan LaMarre, Yoan Moncada and Welington Castillo each had three hits, and LaMarre and Smith each drove in three runs for the White Sox. Reynaldo Lopez (7-9) allowed one run and five hits over seven innings to pick up the win. He struck out eight and didn’t allow a walk.
Braves 6, Phillies 5
Johan Camargo’s two-run two-out single in the seventh inning capped a five-run rally and helped boost Atlanta to a come-from-behind win over visiting Philadelphia.
The win allowed the Braves to extend their lead in the National League East to 7 1/2 games over the Phillies. Atlanta lowered its magic number to two.
The Phillies broke open a 1-1 tie by scoring three runs in the top of the seventh, but Atlanta surged back for its 35th comeback victory.
Rays 11, Blue Jays 3
September callup Austin Meadows had three hits and three RBIs, Tommy Pham added two RBIs and Tampa Bay overcame two home runs by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to win at Toronto.
The Rays (86-67) have split the first two games of a four-game series with the Blue Jays (70-84) as they try to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive.
Randal Grichuk also homered for Toronto.
Diego Castillo allowed one run on the first Gurriel homer in the first inning as the Rays’ opening pitcher. Jalen Beeks (5-1) allowed two hits and two runs over the next three innings.
Rangers 8, Mariners 3 (six-plus innings)
Adrian Beltre homered and drove in five runs as Texas defeated visiting Seattle in the rain-shortened debut for interim manager Don Wakamatsu.
The Rangers fired Jeff Banister, the 2015 American League Manager of the Year, earlier in the day. Banister was replaced for the rest of the season by Wakamatsu, who managed the Mariners in 2009-10.
Beltre, a former Mariner, hit a three-run homer in the first inning and a two-run single in the third, both off right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, to give the Rangers a 5-0 lead. The home run was the 14th of the season for Beltre and the 476th of his career, moving him past Stan Musial and Willie Stargell for 30th place in major league history.
Mets 4, Nationals 2
New York ace Jacob deGrom continued his record-breaking season — and his push for the National League Cy Young Award — by beating Washington on the road.
DeGrom (9-9) yielded one run on three hits and one walk, while striking out eight over seven innings. The right-hander lowered his MLB-leading ERA to 1.77 and extended his major league single-season record of allowing three runs or fewer to 28 consecutive starts.
With one more expected start, deGrom will look to earn a 10th victory and finish above .500. The fewest wins by any starting pitcher to win the Cy Young is 14 by Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners in 2010.
Marlins 1, Reds 0 (10 innings)
Rookie Isaac Galloway hit a one-out, walk-off double to the right field corner in the 10th inning to lead Miami over visiting Cincinnati.
Another rookie, Brian Anderson, started the rally with a one-out double. He scored the winning run when Galloway pounced on a 3-2 slider from reliever David Hernandez (5-2).
Reliever Kyle Barraclough (1-6) earned the win after pitching two-thirds of an inning.
Royals 4, Tigers, 3
Ian Kennedy recorded his second straight victory after going winless in 17 consecutive appearances and Alex Gordon supplied three hits and drove in a run, leading visiting Kansas City to a win over sloppy Detroit.
Kennedy (3-8) lasted seven innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits while striking out six. Wily Peralta escaped a ninth-inning jam for his 12th save.
Rosell Herrera doubled, tripled, scored a run and added an RBI for Kansas City.