Pinch runner Monte Harrison scored on a sacrifice fly by Jesus Aguilar in the 10th inning and the Miami Marlins clinched a playoff spot with a 4-3 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
The Marlins had a magic number of one entering the 10th after the Philadelphia Phillies lost to the Tampa Bay Rays earlier in the day.
Harrison was the automatic runner at second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jon Berti off loser Chad Green (3-3). Starling Marte hit a ground ball to shortstop Gleyber Torres and Harrison then got caught in a rundown, but catcher Kyle Higashioka’s throw hit him in the back, allowing Harrison to get to third and Marte to second on the error.
Harrison then scored on Aguilar’s fly ball to the warning track in right field. Brandon Kintzler then nailed down his 12th save despite two walks by getting D.J. LeMahieu on a double play to end the game. Brad Boxberger (1-0) got a double play on Luke Voit in a scoreless ninth before Kintzler’s escape act.
Rangers 5, Astros 4 (10 innings)
Isiah Kiner-Falefa scored on Joey Gallo fielder’s choice grounder and host Texas rallied to stun Houston in 10 innings in Arlington, Texas. By blowing one-run leads in the ninth and 10th innings, the Astros failed to clinch the final American League postseason bid on their own, but they wrapped up the spot later in the evening thanks to the Los Angeles Angels’ 9-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Houston third baseman Alex Bregman lifted the Astros to a 4-3 lead with his sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th, before the Rangers scored twice off Astros right-hander Enoli Paredes (3-3). Gallo delivered the grounder off lefty Brooks Raley.
The Rangers got off the mat with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning when first baseman Ronald Guzman smacked a game-tying home run with two strikes off Astros closer Ryan Pressly. The Astros were one strike away from clinching a postseason berth before Guzman launched a curveball into the right-field seats to tie the game at 3-3 and force extras.
Reds 7, Twins 2
Mike Moustakas hit two home runs and Freddy Galvis drove in two runs as Cincinnati clinched its first postseason berth since 2013 by beating Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Shogo Akiyama went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored for Cincinnati, which continued a blazing September with its 10th victory in the last 12 games. Michael Lorenzen (3-1) picked up the victory in relief, allowing one run on three hits over 3 1/3 innings, walking one while striking out four.
Eddie Rosario and Jorge Polanco each had two hits to lead Minnesota. The Twins, who missed a chance to clinch home field advantage for the wild-card round, lost for just the second time in 12 September home games but still head into Saturday’s action with a one-game lead in the AL Central. Jose Berrios (5-4) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on five hits over five innings.
Dodgers 9, Angels 5
Justin Turner hit two home runs and Will Smith hit a go-ahead two-run shot in the fifth inning as the Dodgers earned a victory and officially eliminated the Angels from playoff contention.
AJ Pollock and Edwin Rios also hit home runs for the Dodgers on a night when Clayton Kershaw was far from his best while giving up two home runs himself in four innings. Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Jared Walsh went deep for the Angels.
The Dodgers wrapped up the best record in baseball (41-17). The Dodgers have won eight of their last 10 games, while the Angels saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. They had won six of their previous seven.
Brewers 3, Cardinals 0 (Game 1)
Brent Suter, Devin Williams and Josh Hader combined for a seven-inning shutout as visiting Milwaukee defeated St. Louis in the first half of their doubleheaders.
The Brewers entered one game back of the NL’s last wild-card playoff spot, while the Cardinals fell to 0-8 this season when trying to move to three games above .500. Jack Flaherty (4-2) took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in five innings.
Suter allowed two hits and three baserunners in the first four innings for Milwaukee. Williams (4-1) earned the win after working the fifth and sixth, inducing double-play grounders in each frame. Hader worked around a lead-off walk in the seventh for his 12th save.
Cardinals 9, Brewers 1 (Game 2)
Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson and Matt Wieters drove in two runs each as St. Louis beat visiting Milwaukee to earn a doubleheader split. Because Game 2 was a makeup game for a COVID-19 postponement in Milwaukee, the Brewers were the designated home team.
Cardinals starting pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon (1-3) yielded just one hit, a solo homer by Orlando Arcia, in his six innings. Ponce de Leon earned his first victory in 20 major league starts. But he has pitched well lately, allowing five runs on eight hits in 17 innings over his last three outings.
Brewers starting pitcher Josh Lindblom (2-4) worked just 2 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on four hits.
Cubs 10, White Sox 0
Willson Contreras homered twice and Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez and Victor Caratini also went deep to back seven shutout innings from Yu Darvish as visiting Chicago routed reeling Chicago.
The Cubs snapped a three-game losing streak and reduced their magic number to clinch the National League Central to one while sending the White Sox to their season-high sixth loss in a row.
Darvish defeated the White Sox for the second time this season, scattering three hits, one walk and five strikeouts in seven innings to improve to 8-3 and finish the regular season with a 2.01 ERA. An early power surge against White Sox righty Dylan Cease (5-4) provided plenty of cushion.
Athletics 3, Mariners 1 (10 innings)
Mark Canha hit a two-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning as Oakland defeated visiting Seattle.
Ramon Laureano preceded Canha with a double down the left-field line, tying the score at 1-1 after neither team tallied through nine innings. The Mariners scored in the top of the 10th as pinch-runner Dee Strange-Gordon advanced from second to third on a flyout to right and scored on a passed ball.
Mariners rookie right-hander Joey Gerber (1-1) was an out away from his first major league save before giving up the extra-base hits to Laureano and Canha. Oakland left-hander Jake Diekman (2-0) got the victory despite allowing the game’s first run in the top of the 10th.
Blue Jays 10, Orioles 5
Travis Shaw had three hits, including a two-run home run, Randal Grichuk added a solo shot and Toronto defeated visiting Baltimore in the opener of a three-game series at Buffalo.
Jonathan Villar and Teoscar Hernandez also had two RBIs each for the Blue Jays, who have won seven of eight meetings between the teams. Ramon Urias, Cedric Mullins and Jose Iglesias homered for Baltimore.
Toronto starter Taijuan Walker pitched three perfect innings with four strikeouts and was removed as he prepares for a start in the postseason. He was replaced by rookie Nate Pearson (1-0), who allowed a walk and a single with two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings to earn his first major league win. Orioles starter Jorge Lopez (2-2) allowed eight runs and nine hits in two-plus innings.
Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 0 (Game 1)
Christian Walker homered among his two hits, Daulton Varsho also had two hits, and Arizona beat Colorado in Phoenix in the first game of a doubleheader as Zac Gallen struck out 10 in six strong innings for the Diamondbacks, who have won three in a row.
Gallen (3-2) scattered five hits and walked just two and finished the season with a 2.75 ERA. Stefan Crichton got the final out for his fifth save.
Raimel Tapia had three hits for the Rockies, who were officially eliminated from the postseason with the loss. Walker has hit Colorado pitching hard this year. Through Friday’s first game he is 15-for-28 with four home runs, three doubles and 11 RBIs against the Rockies.
Diamondbacks 11, Rockies 5 (Game 2)
Josh VanMeter and Pavin Smith homered, and Arizona beat Colorado in Phoenix to sweep a doubleheader.
David Peralta and Tim Locastro had three hits each and Stephen Vogt and Jon Jay had two apiece for Arizona, which has won four in a row.
Ryan McMahon had two hits, including a home run, and Kevin Pillar had three hits and three RBIs for Colorado.
Braves 8, Red Sox 7 (11 innings)
Freddie Freeman led off the bottom of the 11th inning with a two-run homer over the fence in left-center field to give Atlanta a victory over Boston.
Freeman’s blast came on a 1-0 sinker from Red Sox left-hander Jeffrey Springs (0-2) and helped the Braves clinch the No. 2 seed in the National League playoffs. The homer is Freeman’s 13th of the season and his fifth career walk-off blast.
Alex Verdugo hit a sacrifice fly to center in the top of the 11th inning off Braves right-hander Shane Greene (1-0) to give Boston a 7-6 lead. Jackie Bradley Jr. homered earlier in the game for the Red Sox.
Rays 6, Phillies 4
Joey Wendle’s two-out, tiebreaking single in the eighth helped Tampa Bay damage Philadelphia’s playoff hopes in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Wendle’s two-run single broke a 4-4 tie and made a winner of Nick Anderson (2-1), who tossed a scoreless eighth. John Curtiss struck out the side in the ninth for his second save. Brett Phillips had a solo homer for the Rays, and Randy Arozarena had two hits.
Bryce Harper lashed a run-scoring triple and went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run, Scott Kingery was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs, and Alec Bohm had two hits for the Phillies. Reliever Adam Morgan (0-1) took the loss. Starter Vince Velasquez left after giving up six hits and three runs, with six strikeouts, over 4 1/3 innings.
Indians 4, Pirates 3
Cesar Hernandez hit an RBI double to cap a three-run ninth inning and lift host Cleveland to a victory over Pittsburgh for the team’s sixth straight win.
The Indians’ latest walk-off win came on the same night that Pirates rookie Mitch Keller authored his second straight no-hit performance, albeit it with eight walks over five innings. With the Pirates nursing a 3-1 lead in the ninth, Tyler Naquin worked a walk off Chris Stratton (2-1) to begin the ninth inning and came home on Jordan Luplow’s RBI double to left-center field. Delino DeShields, who had a bunt single in the seventh to break up the no-hit bid, added an RBI single to forge a tie at 3. Adam Plutko (2-2) worked a scoreless ninth for the win.
With the win, Cleveland moved to within one game of the AL Central lead behind the Minnesota Twins, and forged a tie for second in the division with the Chicago White Sox. The Indians hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with the White Sox.
Giants 5, Padres 4 (Game 1)
Brandon Crawford, Wilmer Flores and Mike Yastrzemski homered on Friday afternoon and host San Francisco held off a seventh-inning San Diego rally to score the victory in the first game of a doubleheader as all three home runs came off Padres starter Chris Paddack (4-5).
The win kept the Giants alive in the race for one of the final two wild-card berths in the National League playoffs. Although the Padres lost a third straight game and fell to 2-6 over their last eight games, they clinched the No. 4 seed and homefield for all three games of the first round of the playoffs when St. Louis lost the first game of a doubleheader in Milwaukee.
Left-hander Tyler Anderson held the Padres to two runs on five hits over six innings before leaving when Jurickson Profar opened the seventh with a double. Anderson issued four walks and struck out four Padres while improving to 4-3.
Padres 6, Giants 5 (Game 2)
Trent Grisham hit a three-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to give San Diego a split of its doubleheader with San Francisco.
The Padres were the home team in the second game because it was the makeup of a game postponed in San Diego on Sept. 12 due to a false positive COVID-19 test.
Luis Patino (1-0) pitched a scoreless top of the seventh to earn his first major league win for the Padres. Brandon Crawford, Flores and Mike Yastrzemski homered off Padres starter Chris Paddack in the opener, and the Giants turned back a seventh-inning Padres rally to win 5-4.
Royals 3, Tigers 2
Adalberto Mondesi had at least three hits for the third straight game as Kansas City defeated Detroit to pick up its 11th win in its last 16 games.
Brad Keller (5-3) had another stellar outing at home to pick up the win. He threw six shutout innings, allowing four singles, with five strikeouts and no walks. Keller has allowed just one earned run 33 innings this season at Kauffman Stadium for a 0.27 home ERA, the lowest among pitchers with at least five starts since at least 1920.
Spencer Turnbull (4-4) took the loss for Detroit. He allowed three earned runs on six hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked two. Mondesi had a single, double and an RBI triple, and has nine hits in his last 12 at-bats.
Mets at Nationals, postponed
New York and host Washington will play a doubleheader on Saturday after inclement weather forced the postponement of their game on Friday.
Max Scherzer (4-4, 3.67 ERA), the Nationals’ scheduled starter Friday night, will pitch the first game, and Anibal Sanchez (3-5, 6.80 ERA) will pitch the nightcap.
The Mets’ pitchers will be Rick Porcello (1-6, 5.46 ERA), who was slated to pitch Friday, and ace Jacob deGrom (4-2, 2.14 ERA). The team did not indicate which pitcher would pitch in which game.
–Field Level Media