Mookie Betts helped the Boston Red Sox clinch their third straight American League East title by collecting four hits, including a towering three-run homer off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of an 11-6 victory over the host New York Yankees on Thursday night.
Betts tied a season high with five RBIs to help the Red Sox win their 10th division crown. Per Elias Sports Bureau, it marks the first time the Red Sox ever clinched a division by beating the Yankees.
“To be able to do it here, obviously, I know the history. It feels great,” Red Sox first-year manager Alex Cora said.
Luke Volt homered and Giancarlo Stanton hit a grand slam for New York, setting a franchise single-season mark with 247 homers this season. The Yankees saw their lead over the Oakland A’s reduced to 1 1/2 games in the race for the top AL wild card.
Blue Jays 9, Rays 8
Justin Smoak hit his third career walk-off home run to complete a seven-run ninth inning, and Toronto came back to stun visiting Tampa Bay after the Rays took an 8-2 lead into the ninth.
Toronto’s winning inning began with consecutive double by Dwight Smith Jr. and Rowdy Tellez, who also had a two-run homer in a three-RBI game, and was capped by back-to-back homers by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Smoak.
C.J. Cron had three RBIs and Tommy Pham had three hits and two RBIs for the Rays, who dropped to 6 1/2 games behind Oakland in the race for the second American League wild-card spot.
Braves 8, Phillies 3
Dansby Swanson and pinch hitter Lucas Duda ripped back-to-back doubles in the seventh inning to put Atlanta ahead and send the Braves to victory over visiting Philadelphia.
The Braves added four runs in the eighth inning to put the game away and lower their magic number to win the National League East to four.
Atlanta leads Philadelphia by 6 1/2 games. The Braves are 8-5 against the Phillies; the two teams meet six more times over the last two weeks.
A’s 21, Angels 3
Stephen Piscotty, Nick Martini and Chad Pinder smacked home runs to highlight a 22-hit assault, powering Oakland to a blowout of visiting Los Angeles.
Marcus Semien collected three hits and five RBIs as the A’s amassed a season-high for runs en route to their second straight win.
Mike Trout hit his 36th homer for the Angels, who were outscored in the series’ last two games 31-3. Los Angeles’ Francisco Arcia became the first player in the modern era (since 1900) to catch, pitch and hit a home run in the same game, per Elias Sports Bureau.
Mets 5, Nationals 4 (12 innings)
Jose Lobaton delivered a sacrifice fly in the top of the 12th inning that gave New York an extra-inning win at Washington.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer broke the team’s record for strikeouts in a season — a mark that he set two years ago. The right-hander fanned 13 in seven innings and now has 290 strikeouts this year. However, Scherzer gave up two homers and three runs and left trailing 3-2.
New York starter Jason Vargas outdueled Scherzer. The veteran gave up two runs on three hits and struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings. Both starters finished with a no-decision.
Reds 4, Marlins 2
Scooter Gennett, bidding for a National League batting title, homered, doubled and drove in four runs to lead Cincinnati to a win at Miami.
Gennett, who is now hitting .318 and trails only Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich (.319), went 2-for-3. He hit a two-run, two-out double that one-hopped the wall in left-center field in the third inning, then hit a two-run, two-out homer that landed in the upper deck in right in the seventh.
Miami was held to seven hits — six singles and one double.
White Sox 5, Indians 4 (11 innings)
Matt Davidson singled home the go-ahead run with two outs in the top of the 11th inning as Chicago defeated host Cleveland.
The White Sox avoided not only a sweep of the three-game series, but also a sweep of the games between the teams played at Progressive Field this season. The White Sox finished 1-8 in Cleveland.
The Indians, who rallied from a 4-0 deficit to eventually tie the score in the eighth, nearly won it in the 10th. With two outs and runners at first and second, Jason Kipnis hit a ball that appeared headed for right field. However, the ball struck runner Brandon Barnes, ending the inning.
Tigers 11, Royals 8
Christin Stewart hit the first two homers of his career during the first two innings and drove in six runs, powering host Detroit to victory over Kansas City.
Stewart hit a two-run shot and a three-run blast and added a bases-loaded walk for Detroit. Nicholas Castellanos tripled, homered and scored twice, while JaCoby Jones had two hits and also scored two runs. Zac Reininger (1-0) collected his first major league win while giving up two runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief.
Jorge Bonifacio, Brian Goodwin, Hunter Dozier and Adalberto Mondesi homered for the Royals. Whit Merrifield supplied three hits and two runs.
—Field Level Media