Relief pitcher Adam Ottavino sailed a 30-foot throw home on Albert Pujols' tiebreaking chopper, and the sloppy New York Yankees lost to the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Wednesday night with a chance to clinch the AL East.
New York could still lock up the division title if Tampa Bay loses to the Los Angeles Dodgers later Wednesday. The Yankees would have been assured a playoff spot if Cleveland had lost, but the Indians beat Detroit 3-2 in 10 innings.
Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton stung the ball in his return from injury and CC Sabathia got an emotional send-off in his final regular-season start in the Bronx, yet New York dropped to 99-54 after entering the night tied with Houston for the majors' best record.
New York hasn't won the AL East since 2012, the third-longest drought for the club since divisions were formed in 1969.
Angels right-hander Luke Bard (2-2) struck out five over three perfect innings of relief. David Fletcher had three hits and Pujols added two hits, an RBI and a stolen base. Los Angeles left 13 on base.
Defensive whiz Andrelton Simmons dived to his backhand at shortstop to rob Luke Voit of a hit in the ninth, helping Hansel Robles complete his 22nd save
Aaron Judge hit 24th homer during an injury-shortened season. Ottavino (6-5) took the loss.
CARDINALS 5, NATIONALS 1
Adam Wainwright outpitched Max Scherzer, Dexter Fowler made a sensational catch and NL Central-leading St. Louis beat Washington.
Wainwright (13-9) limited the Nationals to an unearned run in seven innings. He gave up eight hits, struck out three and walked one.
Trailing by four, and with two on with one out in the eighth. The Nats' Asdrúbal Cabrera hit a drive off Andrew Miller that had the distance to leave the park, but Fowler jumped and reached far over the wall to make the grab.
Tommy Edman and Matt Wieters homered for St. Louis, which began the day with a two-game division lead over Chicago and Milwaukee.
The Nationals started the day with a 1 ½-game lead over the Cubs and Brewers in the NL wild-card race. Washington has lost nine of its last 14.
Scherzer (10-7) gave up five runs in 6 2/3 innings and struck out 11.
Carlos Martínez got four outs for his 21st save in 24 chances.
METS 7, ROCKIES 4
Pete Alonso hit his major league-leading 49th homer and drew a bases-loaded walk during a four-run rally in the ninth inning that sent New York over Colorado.
The Mets began the day tied with Philadelphia, four games behind the Cubs and Milwaukee for the second NL wild-card spot.
Jeff McNeil also went deep for the Mets, who set a franchise record with 225 home runs this season.
Jairo Diaz (5-4) took the loss. Seth Lugo (7-4) earned the win.
Rookie Sam Hilliard hit two home runs for the Rockies, connecting both times off Noah Syndergaard.
Syndergaard went 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits and striking out six.
MARINERS 4, PIRATES 1
Kyle Lewis hit his fifth home run since debuting Sept. 10, Tom Murphy homered and Seattle beat Pittsburgh for its fourth straight win.
Dario Agrazal (4-5) allowed the four runs and six hits while striking out six in five innings.
Tommy Milone (4-9) relieved Justin Dunn to start the third inning for Seattle before allowing two hits and using just 51 pitches to get through five shutout innings. Matt Magill earned his fifth save.
The Pirates lost a fifth straight game since winning three of four from Sept. 9-12. They have been outscored 57-16 during the losing streak, including 10-1 in the first two games of this series.
ATHLETICS 1, ROYALS 0, 11 INNINGS
Mark Canha hit an RBI double with two outs in the 11th inning and Oakland edged Kansas City to hold its lead atop the AL wild-card race.
The Athletics, who have won seven of eight, began the day two games ahead of Tampa Bay for the top wild-card spot. Cleveland was a half-game behind the Rays.
Starters Homer Bailey of the A's and Danny Duffy of the Royals each pitched seven sharp innings. Bailey allowed three hits and struck out 11, while Duffy gave up two hits and fanned six.
Jurickson Profar drew a leadoff walk from Jesse Hahn (0-1) in the 11th and stole second. After striking out Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman, Hahn intentionally walked Matt Olson to face Canha.
J.B. Wendelken (3-1) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win.
DIAMONDBACKS 5, MARLINS 4
Mike Leake worked effectively into the seventh inning, Domingo Leyba had two RBIs and Arizona beat Miami.
Arizona opened play Wednesday to 5 ½ games back in the NL wild-card race.
The Diamondbacks bounced back by jumping on Sandy Alcantara (5-14) early to keep their slim playoff chances alive with nine games to go.
Abraham Almonte hit his first career leadoff home run and Christian Walker added a solo shot for Arizona.
Leake (12-11) gave up solo homers to Austin Dean and Starlin Castro, but limited the rest of the damage in 6 2/3 innings. Archie Bradley retired the final four batters for his 15th save.
Leake gave up three runs on eight hits and struck out four.
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