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MLB roundup: Yordan Alvarez belts 3 HRs as Astros seal playoff spot

Sep 16, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Yordan Alvarez (44) is greeted after hitting a home run to center field against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Yordan Alvarez recorded his second career three-homer game and Justin Verlander threw five hitless innings in his return from the injured list as the Houston Astros clinched a postseason berth by defeating the visiting Oakland Athletics 5-0 on Friday.

Alvarez produced the 15th three-homer game in club history. He joins Jeff Bagwell (three times) and Glenn Davis (twice) as the only players to accomplish the feat at least two times for Houston.

The left fielder tagged Oakland rookie right-hander Adrian Martinez (4-5) for solo homers in the first, third and fifth innings. He upped his season total to 36 homers to become the first Houston player with three home runs in a game since George Springer did so against the Los Angeles Angels on Sept. 22, 2019.

Verlander (17-3) struck out nine and walked one. He had been sidelined since sustaining a calf injury on Aug. 28.

Cardinals 6, Reds 5

Albert Pujols hit his 698th career homer as St. Louis edged visiting Cincinnati. Nolan Arenado went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run and Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs for the Cardinals.

Chris Stratton (9-4) earned the win in relief. Ryan Helsley struck out the side in the ninth inning on nine pitches for his 18th save — the Cardinals’ first immaculate inning since Jason Isringhausen accomplished the feat in 2002.

Jake Fraley hit a two-run double and Kyle Farmer hit a solo homer for the Reds.

Braves 7, Phillies 2

Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a go-ahead two-run home run off Seranthony Dominguez as part of a six-run eighth inning that lifted host Atlanta past Philadelphia.

William Contreras also homered, singled twice and knocked in two runs for the Braves, who remain one game behind the first-place New York Mets in the National League East. Ozzie Albies contributed a two-run double in the eighth.

Braves starter Max Fried tossed six innings and allowed two runs on four hits. Jesse Chavez (4-1) retired the only batter he faced to earn the win. Kyle Schwarber hit his NL-leading 39th homer for the Phillies.

Mets 4, Pirates 3

Taijuan Walker pitched into the eighth inning for the second time this season and Daniel Vogelbach homered against his former team as host New York beat Pittsburgh.

Tomas Nido, Pete Alonso and Brandon Nimmo also had RBIs for the Mets, who have won the first two games of the four-game series. Walker (12-4) yielded three runs, two earned, on five hits in 7 1/3 innings.

Oneil Cruz homered and Mitch Keller (5-11) tossed six innings of three-run ball for the Pirates, who fell to 6-9 this month.

Dodgers 5, Giants 0

Dustin May threw five no-hit innings and Los Angeles recorded its 99th win of the season by beating host San Francisco.

Chris Taylor, Cody Bellinger and Trea Turner stroked RBI singles in a three-run fourth inning, helping the Dodgers open the three-game series by defeating the 2021 NL West champs for a 13th time in 17 meetings this season.

In just his fifth start since returning from Tommy John surgery, May (2-2) faced the minimum 15 batters. He walked one and struck out four. The Giants finished with two hits and three baserunners.

Red Sox 2, Royals 1

J.D. Martinez’s two-out RBI single in the eighth inning propelled Boston to a win over visiting Kansas City.

With Kansas City ahead 1-0, Boston’s Enrique Hernandez and pinch hitter Abraham Almonte drew back-to-back walks to begin the eighth before Royals closer Scott Barlow replaced Dylan Coleman (4-2) with one out.

After Rafael Devers walked to load the bases and Xander Bogaerts struck out, Alex Verdugo worked a four-pitch free pass to bring in the tying run. Martinez then lined the go-ahead single past diving Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. on the first pitch he saw from Barlow.

Nationals 5, Marlins 4

Joey Meneses hit an inside-the-park homer and Ildemaro Vargas stroked the go-ahead RBI double as host Washington rallied to beat Miami.

Washington trailed 4-0 until Meneses’ homer in the seventh sparked the team. Later in the seventh, CJ Abrams’ two-run triple tied the score, and Vargas put Washington on top with his ground-rule double in the eighth.

Perhaps the game’s most spectacular defensive play came in the top of the eighth, when Nationals right fielder Lane Thomas’ no-hop throw nailed Miguel Rojas trying to reach third base.

Blue Jays 6, Orioles 3

Matt Chapman hit two home runs and had three RBIs and George Springer hit a three-run homer, leading host Toronto over Baltimore.

The loss dropped Baltimore 4 1/2 games out of the final American League wild-card spot. Toronto leads the AL wild-card race.

Chapman had three hits and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had a first-inning single for Toronto to extend his hitting streak to 10 games in the opener of a three-game series. Adley Rutschman hit a two-run home run for Baltimore, and Gunnar Henderson added a solo shot.

Guardians 4, Twins 3

Pinch runner Ernie Clement scored from second base on a wild pitch to score the winning run in the eighth inning as Cleveland rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat visiting Minnesota in the opener of a five-game series.

Trevor Stephan (6-4), who tossed a hitless eighth, picked up the win. Emmanuel Clase allowed just an infield single while retiring the Twins in the ninth for his major-league-leading 36th save.

Jhoan Duran (2-4) took the loss, capping a poor performance by the Twins’ bullpen. Jake Cave homered for Minnesota, which now trails Cleveland by five games in the American League Central.

Brewers 7, Yankees 6

Rookie Garrett Mitchell hit a game-ending single with two outs in the ninth inning as Milwaukee rallied from an early five-run deficit, blew a late lead and earned a victory over visiting New York.

The Brewers won for the sixth time in eight games and got their ninth walk-off win. Milwaukee closer Taylor Rogers (4-7) allowed Josh Donaldson’s tying homer to open the top of the ninth, but he stranded Oswaldo Cabrera at third to set it up for Mitchell’s game-winner.

Aaron Judge remained at 57 homers for the Yankees but went 2-for-4 with a walk to extend his on-base streak to 16 games. New York went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and saw a four-game winning streak end.

Padres 12, Diamondbacks 3

Brandon Drury homered twice and Blake Snell threw a season-high seven innings as San Diego routed Arizona in Phoenix.

Snell (7-9) allowed one run — the first of two home runs by Christian Walker — on four hits and no walks with seven strikeouts. Ten players contributed to San Diego’s total of 17 hits.

Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner (6-15), who has yet to post a win against the Padres in three seasons with the Diamondbacks, gave up five runs on eight hits in five innings.

Tigers 3, White Sox 2 (10 innings)

Victor Reyes hit a walk-off sacrifice fly in the 10th inning as host Detroit edged Chicago to snap a four-game losing streak.

Javier Baez reached base four times and scored a run for the Tigers, while Jonathan Schoop contributed a solo homer. Detroit starter Matt Manning tossed seven scoreless innings, giving up just three hits.

Jose Abreu drove in both White Sox runs, while Elvis Andrus had three hits and scored a run. Chicago starter Lucas Giolito allowed one run and four hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Rangers 4, Rays 3

Nathaniel Lowe’s career-high 25th home run highlighted a four-run third inning as Texas earned a series-opening win over Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Corey Seager doubled, had two RBIs and scored a run and Marcus Semien was 2-for-4 with a run for Texas. Over 5 1/3 innings, Martin Perez (12-6) allowed three runs and nine hits to earn the win.

Tampa Bay’s Francisco Mejia went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs. After his shortest outing of the season in New York against the Yankees, Rays starter Corey Kluber (10-9) yielded nine hits over 5 2/3 innings, allowing all four of the runs against him in the third.

Cubs 2, Rockies 1

Marcus Stroman didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning and recorded his first home win of the season as Chicago won its fourth in a row, beating Colorado.

Stroman (4-7) gave up his first hit of the day after Ryan McMahon drove the ball into the left-center field bleachers with two outs in the sixth. The veteran right-hander yielded just two other hits and two walks while striking out five in seven innings.

Colorado starter German Marquez (8-11) also lasted seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Yonathan Daza had two of the four hits for the Rockies, who have dropped three of four.

Angels 8, Mariners 7

Luis Rengifo homered from both sides of the plate, singled, drove in four runs and scored three during Los Angeles’ victory over Seattle in Anaheim, Calif.

The teams combined for seven home runs in the game, Mike Trout hitting No. 36 of the season for Los Angeles while Seattle got two homers from Carlos Santana and one each from Julio Rodriguez and Ty France.

Angels starter Michael Lorenzen (7-6) earned the victory after pitching five innings. He allowed three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six. Mariners starter Robbie Ray (12-10) gave up five runs on eight hits in five innings.

–Field Level Media