BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles moved to the brink of claiming their first AL East title in 17 years, using a resilient pitching performance by Wei-Yin Chen to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 Monday night.
Baltimore can clinch the division crown with a win over Toronto on Tuesday. That would assure the Orioles their second playoff berth in three years following a run of 14 consecutive losing seasons.
Chen (16-4) allowed two runs on nine hits over 5 2-3 innings to become the first Orioles lefty to win 16 games since Jimmy Key in 1997 — the year Baltimore last won the AL East.
Ryan Flaherty homered and Adam Jones had three hits and an RBI as the Orioles secured their eighth win in nine games.
Blue Jays rookie Marcus Stroman (10-6) gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings.
NATIONALS 4, BRAVES 2
ATLANTA (AP) — Stephen Strasburg threw seven scoreless innings to end a long run of frustration against Atlanta, and the Nationals beat the struggling Braves on to move to the verge of the NL East title.
The Nationals can clinch the division by beating the defending champion Braves on Tuesday night.
Strasburg (12-11) ended a streak of eight winless starts against Atlanta since 2012.
Wilson Ramos hit his 11th homer in the fifth.
The Braves (75-75) have lost four straight to fall to .500 for the first time since they were 1-1. They trail Pittsburgh by 4 1-2 games for the second NL wild-card spot.
Ervin Santana (14-9) allowed two runs and only three hits.
DIAMONDBACKS 6, GIANTS 2
PHOENIX (AP) — The Giants lost their third consecutive game when Mark Trumbo hit a grand slam to lead the Diamondbacks to a victory.
Trumbo had five RBIs, and Wade Miley (8-11) bounced back from his shortest outing of the season by pitching seven innings of one-run ball.
San Francisco’s NL West chances took a hit with consecutive losses to the Dodgers over the weekend, but the Giants are still in control of the wild-card race, beginning the day with a three-game lead over Pittsburgh for the top spot.
Trumbo hit his ninth homer off Ryan Vogelsong (8-11) in the third inning and a run-scoring single off Juan Gutierrez in the seventh. Trumbo has six hits and nine RBIs the past three games.
TIGERS 8, TWINS 6
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning to help the Detroit Tigers tighten their grip on the AL Central by winning their fourth straight game.
The Tigers blew a 6-0 lead they built by the fifth, but after Joe Mauer’s second two-run single tied the game for the Twins in the eighth inning, Hunter hit the first pitch of the ninth from Casey Fien (5-6) into the bullpen behind left-center field.
Kyle Ryan (2-0) earned the victory by recording the last out of the eighth.
ROYALS 4, WHITE SOX 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Pinch-runners Jarrod Dyson and Terrance Gore scored in the ninth inning as the Royals rallied for a victory over the White Sox to remain 1 1-2 games behind Detroit in the AL Central.
Mike Moustakas doubled with one out in the ninth. Dyson ran for him and stole third and came around to score as Jake Petricka (1-5) threw a wild pitch.
After Nori Aoki, who had four hits, doubled with two outs, Gore ran for him and scored from second on Lorenzo Cain’s infield single.
Wade Davis (9-2) worked a scoreless ninth to pick up the victory, extending his scoreless streak to 31 2-3 innings.
RAYS 1, YANKEES 0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Ben Zobrist hit a game-ending single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Rays over the Yankees.
With the Baltimore Orioles’ 5-2 win over Toronto, the Yankees were eliminated from AL East title contention in Derek Jeter’s final season. Mired in an 0-for-24 slump, Jeter was given the night off.
Logan Forsythe got the Rays’ third hit of the game, a one-out single in the ninth off Shawn Kelley (3-6) and went to second on James Loney’s single. After pinch-hitter David DeJesus struck out and pinch-hitter Matt Joyce walked, Zobrist lined his hit to right.
Joel Peralta (3-4) walked one while pitching the ninth to help Tampa Bay get its 21st shutout of the season.
DODGERS 11, ROCKIES 3
DENVER (AP) — Pinch-hitter Justin Turner ignited an eight-run sixth inning with a tiebreaking two-run double, and the surging Dodgers beat the Rockies.
Los Angeles showed no signs of a letdown after a big series win in San Francisco, where the Dodgers took two of three to extend their lead in the NL West.
Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer. and Adrian Gonzalez had three RBIs. Yasiel Puig showed more signs of getting back on track with two hits.
Jamey Wright (5-4) earned the win.
The Dodgers broke out in the sixth against Christian Bergman (2-4) and two relievers.
ASTROS 3, INDIANS 1
HOUSTON (AP) — Jose Altuve had three hits to give him 209 this season and drove in two runs, leading the Astros over Cleveland.
The major league hits leader is just one hit shy of tying the franchise record of 210, set by Craig Biggio in 1998.
Cleveland’s wild-card hopes continue to fade with a fourth straight loss. They entered the night five games back for the second AL wild card.
Houston starter Collin McHugh (10-9) allowed five hits and one run — none earned — in 6 2-3 innings.
Indians starter Zach McAllister (3-7) allowed seven hits and two runs in six innings in his first major league start since July 31.
PADRES 1, PHILLIES 0
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Andrew Cashner pitched a two-hitter for his third career shutout and the Padres scored on Cody Asche’s fielding error in the second inning to beat the Phillies.
Casher (4-7) allowed two hits, struck out seven and walked one in winning for the second straight time after going winless since April 16 against Colorado.
Jerome Williams (3-2) limited the Padres to an unearned run, three hits and two walks in 7 2-3 innings.
CUBS 1, REDS 0
CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Rizzo capped his return to the Cubs lineup with a walkoff home run in the ninth inning that gave Chicago a win over the Reds.
Rizzo had missed the last 18 games due to a back problem but drove a pitch from Pedro Villarreal (0-1) over the wall in center field. Rizzo’s homer was his 31st of the season and gave Hector Rondon (4-4) the win after he tossed a scoreless inning of relief.
MARLINS 6, METS 5
NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom struck out his first eight batters to match a major league record before the Miami Marlins finally started making contact and rallied late for a victory over the Mets.
Adeiny Hechavarria hit a two-run single and Jeff Mathis put Miami in front with an RBI single that capped a three-run eighth inning.
DeGrom whiffed eight consecutive Marlins to begin the game, tying a mark set by Jim Deshaies of the Houston Astros against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 23, 1986.
Casey McGehee got the comeback started with a one-out single and Hechavarria tied it 5-all with a two-run single off rookie Jeurys Familia (2-5).
With the bases loaded, Sam Dyson (3-1) threw a called third strike past Dilson Herrera to end the seventh.