CHICAGO (AP) — Shortly after their playoff spot was assured, the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-6 on Albert Almora Jr.’s single with two outs in the 10th inning Wednesday night.
The NL Central-leading Cubs clinched their fourth straight postseason appearance when Milwaukee beat St. Louis. The Brewers, who sealed a playoff slot with their win, are a half-game behind Chicago. One of them will win the NL Central, the other will play in the NL wild-card game.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Milwaukee clinched its first playoff spot since 2011 by ensuring at least a spot in the NL wild-card game, helped when a rookie St. Louis pinch-runner fell on his way to the plate.
The Cardinals missed a big chance to tie it in the eighth inning. Matt Carpenter walked and was lifted for pinch-runner Adolis Garcia. Jose Martinez then hit a slow roller to third baseman Mike Moustakas, who threw wildly to first. Garcia was waved home but fell halfway to the plate, allowing second baseman Hernan Perez to easily throw him out to end the inning.
ROCKIES 14, PHILLIES 0
DENVER (AP) — Hard-throwing German Marquez started with eight straight strikeouts to match a modern-era big league record, and Colorado routed Philadelphia to take over the NL West lead.
Marquez (14-10) allowed three hits in seven innings and struck out 11 to set a Rockies record with 221 for the season, seven more than Ubaldo Jimenez’s total in 2010. By striking out his first eight batters, he tied a post-1900 mark set by Houston’s Jim Deshaies in 1986, and equaled by the New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom in 2014.
DIAMONDBACKS 7, DODGERS 2
PHOENIX (AP) — A.J. Pollock hit a three-run homer and Arizona dropped Los Angeles to second place in the NL West.
Zack Greinke (15-11) overcame a shaky start to allow two runs and strike out six in six innings. Socrates Brito hit his first big league homer in two years and David Peralta hit his 30th of the season in Arizona’s final home game.
RAYS 8, YANKEES 7
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Masahiro Tanaka gave up four runs and six hits over four-plus innings in his final start before the playoffs in New York’s loss to Tampa Bay.
New York started play with a 2 1/2-game lead over Oakland to host the AL wild-card game and has the tiebreaker. The Athletics played at Seattle later Wednesday night. Yankees manager Aaron Boone hasn’t decided if Tanaka, JA Happ or Luis Severino will start against Oakland.
RED SOX 19, ORIOLES 3, 1ST GAME
ORIOLES 10, RED SOX 3, 2ND GAME
BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s Chris Sale struck out eight over 4 2/3 innings in his final tuneup for an expected start in the AL Division Series opener before Baltimore salvaged a split of the day-night doubleheader.
In the opener, Boston handed the Orioles a franchise-record 112th loss. A major league-best 107-52, Boston opens the Division Series at home Oct. 5 against the New York Yankees or Oakland.
Sale left after giving up Adam Jones’ go-ahead, RBI double that made it 3-2 in the fifth. He threw 92 pitches, allowing three runs and four hits.
MARLINS 3, 7 INNINGS
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in the rain-shortened game that many expect was his last at Nationals Park as a Washington player.
Harper can become a free agent at season’s end. The storm arrived as Harper stood in the on-deck circle while the last out of the seventh was recorded.
ANGELS 3, RANGERS 2
ANAHEIM (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning, sending the Los Angeles Angels to a three-game sweep.
Ohtani had an early RBI single before he connected off Texas reliever Chris Martin (1-5), his former teammate in Japan with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. The two-way rookie went the opposite way for his 22nd homer of the season, bouncing it off the top of the left-field wall.
BLUE JAYS 3, ASTROS 1
TORONTO (AP) — Toronto gave outgoing manager John Gibbons a winning home sendoff against celebrating Houston.
The World Series champion Astros clinched the AL West title when Oakland lost in extra innings at Seattle well past midnight Tuesday. Several of the Astros partied at a hotel meeting room, but they held a more traditional clubhouse celebration despite the loss. Houston will open the best-of-five Division Series matchup against Cleveland at home on Oct. 5.
METS 3, BRAVES 0
NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom was dominant in what likely was his final pitch for the NL Cy Young Award, throwing eight stellar innings for New York and leaving with a major league-best 1.70 ERA.
DeGrom (10-9) made his final regular-season start, striking out 10 and allowing just two singles against NL East champion Atlanta. He retired the final 20 hitters after allowing a single to Johan Camargo. DeGrom gave up no more than three runs in his last 29 starts to extend his own single-season record. The All-Star ace also matched the overall mark set by Jake Arrieta in 2015-16.
WHITE SOX 2
CHICAGO (AP) — Shane Bieber remained perfect on the road with six scoreless innings, Francisco Lindor led off the game with a home run and Cleveland beat up Chicago.
Bieber (11-5) improved to 7-0 on the road, setting a single-season record with most road wins without a loss by a Cleveland pitcher. The 23-year-old rookie has yet to lose a road game in 11 career starts.
Edwin Encarnacion was 3 for 4 with a three-run homer and drove in four runs for the AL Central champs.
ROYALS 6, REDS 1
CINCINNATI (AP) — Rookie Heath Fillmyer struck out a career-high nine, Adalberto Mondesi tripled, stole two bases and scored twice, and Kansas City beat Cincinnati to wrap up its road schedule.
The only run Fillmyer allowed was Jose Peraza’s 14th homer in the first inning. Fillmyer (4-2) allowed four hits and two walks while tying his career high with 7 1/3 innings. Fillmyer also had his first major league hit and RBI with a sixth-inning double. Cody Reed (1-3) was the loser.
TWINS 11, TIGERS 4
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Johnny Field homered twice, Jorge Polanco hit a bases-loaded triple and Minnesota beat Detroit.
Tyler Austin also homered and Willians Astudillo had three hits for the Twins. Christin Stewart tripled and drove in two runs for the Tigers.
Tyler Duffey (2-2) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Detroit starter Matthew Boyd (9-13) gave up six runs in 3 2/3 innings.