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MLB roundup: Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros clinch division titles

The Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros kept alive their division dominance with clinching victories Thursday.

The Braves got six strong innings from starter Ian Anderson and home runs from Jorge Soler and Austin Riley to beat the visiting Philadelphia Phillies 5-3, clinching their fourth consecutive National League East championship.

The Astros used a 3-2 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays to win the American League West for the fourth time in five seasons.

Houston’s Carlos Correa set a career high with his 25th home run, and Lance McCullers Jr. worked six solid innings for Houston, which had lost five of the previous six games. McCullers carried a no-hitter into the sixth. He allowed two runs on three hits and one walk, with four strikeouts.

The Braves have won six straight and 10 of their last 11, and they are 42-27 since the All-Star Game. In sweeping the three-game series, Atlanta’s three starters combined to allow only four runs, three earned, in 20 innings. The Phillies never had a lead in the series and have lost four straight.

Yankees 6, Blue Jays 2

Gleyber Torres hit a two-run home run to cap a three-homer barrage in a four-run sixth inning and visiting New York defeated Toronto.

Aaron Judge hit his second of two home runs and Anthony Rizzo also hit a solo shot in the sixth inning as the Yankees won the rubber match of an important three-game series. With the win, the Yankees upped their lead for the American League’s first wild card to two games over the Boston Red Sox and idle Seattle Mariners.

The Blue Jays fell three games behind the Yankees, but remained one game back of Boston and Seattle for the AL’s final playoff spot. Toronto left-hander Robbie Ray (13-7) allowed five runs, four hits (all home runs) and three walks with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

Cardinals 4, Brewers 3

Dylan Carlson hit homers from both sides of the plate and drove in three runs to rally St. Louis past visiting Milwaukee.

The Cardinals won for the 18th time in their last 19 games while the Brewers lost for the seventh time in their last 11 games.

Cardinals starting pitcher J.A. Happ (10-8) allowed three runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out seven. Brewers starting pitcher Brett Anderson allowed two runs on three hits in five innings.

Orioles 6, Red Sox 2

Rookie Alex Wells pitched six innings of one-run ball and Boston missed another chance to move closer to an AL wild-card berth in a loss at Baltimore.

Wells (2-3) allowed three hits while throwing 52 of his 80 pitches for strikes against Boston, which entered Thursday holding the second wild-card spot with a half-game lead on Seattle and a one-game lead over Toronto.

Rookie Ryan Mountcastle clubbed his 33rd home run, a three-run shot off Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta (9-8), who failed to complete five frames for the eighth time in his last 15 starts. Baltimore won its final home series while handing Boston its fifth loss in six games.

Tigers 10, Twins 7

Niko Goodrum hit two home runs and drove in four runs as Detroit beat Minnesota to snap a four-game losing streak.

Jonathan Schoop went 3-for-4 with a homer, three runs and two RBIs and Harold Castro had two doubles and two RBIs for Detroit.

Byron Buxton hit two homers and also doubled, and Josh Donaldson and Brent Rooker also homered for Minnesota in its final home game of the season.

Rangers 7, Angels 6

Brock Holt delivered a two-run double in the eighth inning to lift Texas over Los Angeles in the rubber game of the three-game series in Arlington, Tex.

DJ Peters doubled and hit a three-run homer while Adolis Garcia had a two-run shot, his 31st of the season, to help the Rangers rally from an early 5-0 deficit.

Jared Walsh had three hits, Shohei Ohtani doubled and tripled, and Taylor Ward had a two-run double in the first inning before departing with right abductor tightness for Los Angeles. Angels starter Alex Cobb allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings.

Cubs 9, Pirates 0

Sergio Alcantara homered and drove in three runs to back Justin Steele’s seven scoreless innings as visiting Chicago sent Pittsburgh to its 100th loss of the season.

Steele (4-4), a rookie who reached a career high in innings, allowed four hits, walked one and struck out seven. The left-hander combined with relievers Rex Brothers and Jason Adam, who pitched an inning each, on a six-hit shutout.

Rafael Ortega homered and stole home, Willson Contreras added an RBI double while Matt Duffy and David Bote hit RBI singles for the Cubs. The Pirates fell to 59-100.

Mets 12, Marlins 3

Rich Hill finally earned his first win with New York, when the 41-year-old left-hander tossed five solid innings in a victory over visiting Miami.

The Mets took three of four from the Marlins in their final home series of the season. Hill, who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays when the Mets were atop the National League East on July 23, entered Thursday 0-4 in 12 games (11 starts) for New York despite a 3.86 ERA.

Marlins starter Edward Cabrera allowed two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out six over three innings.

Indians 6, Royals 1

Bradley Zimmer recorded a double, two sacrifice flies and three RBIs as Cleveland salvaged the finale of a three-game series with a victory at Kansas City.

Logan Allen (2-7) picked up the win with three scoreless innings in relief. Indians starter Shane Bieber, who was making his second start since spending more than three months on the injured list, yielded one run in three innings.

Cleveland spoiled the major league debut of Royals starter Angel Zerpa (0-1), who allowed two unearned runs on three hits in five innings.

–Field Level Media