The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to clinch a playoff spot in the pandemic-shortened season, beating the San Diego Padres 7-5 Wednesday behind Dustin May’s gutty effort out of the bullpen and home runs from AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor.
Will Smith drove in three runs for the seven-time defending NL West champion Dodgers, who opened a 3 1/2-game lead in the division by winning two of three in the matchup of the NL’s two best teams.
Mookie Betts tied his career high with three stolen bases, had two hits and scored a run.
At 35-15, the Dodgers breezed into the expanded 16-team postseason field. Los Angeles is seeking its first World Series title since 1988.
San Diego has lost two straight for the first time since mid-August.
Manny Machado hit a solo homer in the eighth, his 14th of the season.
Starter Brusdar Gasterol allowed a hit and a run in 1 1/3 innings before Adam Kolarek (3-0) allowed a hit and two walks in two-thirds of an inning. Pedro Baez got the final two outs for his second save.
Adrian Morejon (2-1) took the loss for San Diego, which used nine pitchers.
NATIONALS 4, RAYS 2, 10 INNINGS
Rookie Luis García hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning and Washington beat the AL East-leading Tampa Bay.
With Carter Kieboom on second base to start extra innings, the 20-year-old García hit a leadoff drive on the first pitch from Nick Anderson (1-1).
Brandon Lowe got the Rays even at 2 when he hit a solo homer off Daniel Hudson (2-2) on a 2-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth.
Kyle McGowin struck out three in the 10th to get his first save.
Asdrúbal Cabrera homered and Austin Voth allowed one run and four hits over five innings for the Nationals.
ATHLETICS 3, ROCKIES 1
Mike Fiers threw six sharp innings before turning it over to a lights-out bullpen and Oakland snapped a six-game skid against Colorado.
Fiers (6-2) picked up the win. Liam Hendriks got the final five outs to pick up his 13th save in 14 chances.
Tony Kemp made an acrobatic move to score the game’s first run. Caught in a rundown heading for home, he somehow swerved around the tag of first baseman Josh Fuentes — who was covering the plate — and touched home with his left hand as he tumbled to the dirt.
Jake Lamb had two hits, including an RBI single as part of a two-run sixth that gave the Athletics a 3-1 lead.
It was another hard-luck loss for Rockies ace Germán Márquez (2-6). He struck out six and issued a season-high four walks.
CARDINALS 4, BREWERS 2, 1st game
BREWERS 6, CARDINALS 0, 2nd game
Brent Suter and three relievers combined on a two-hitter, Ryan Braun hit his 350th career homer and Milwaukee earned a doubleheader split against St. Louis.
The Cardinals took the opener behind Adam Wainwright’s four-hitter.
The Brewers scored four runs in the first inning on just one hit, the three-run homer by Braun.
Suter allowed two hits over three scoreless innings, walking two and striking out three. Freddy Peralta (3-1) followed with two perfect innings, striking out three. Devin Williams struck out two in a perfect sixth, and Eric Yardley retired the side in the seventh.
Jacob Nottingham’s third homer, a two-run shot in the sixth, put the Brewers up 6-0.
Johan Oviedo (0-3), activated off the injured list earlier in the day after passing a rapid test for COVID-19, allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings. He hit three batters with pitches.
In the opener, Wainwright (5-1) shook off an early home run, striking out nine in the seven-inning complete game.
Christian Yelich hit a one-out single in the Milwaukee first and Keston Huira followed with his 13th home run.
Tyler O’Neill hit a solo homer in the second and Brad Miller hit his seventh homer, a solo drive in the sixth.
Brandon Woodruff (2-4), who also went the distance, allowed three earned and seven hits. He struck out five and walked none.
REDS 1, PIRATES 0
Luis Castillo pitched a masterful seven innings, Shogo Akiyama drove in the game’s only run, and Cincinnati extended its winning streak to a season-high five games.
Castillo (3-5) retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced and gave up only three hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts. Archie Bradley pitched a perfect eighth before Raisel Iglesias pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save.
Pittsburgh rookie J.T. Brubaker (1-2) tied his career high with 5 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and the lone run with one walk and four strikeouts.
The Pirates set a season low for hits and couldn’t get a runner past first base on the way to their season-high eighth straight loss.
ROYALS 4, TIGERS 0
Brady Singer was stellar for a second straight start, allowing two hits in six innings, and Kansas City blanked Detroit.
Singer (3-4) struck out the first five Detroit hitters and retired the first 10. He struck out eight with one walk.
Salvador Perez homered and drove in three runs for the Royals, who have won seven of eight.
Tarik Skubal (1-3) allowed two earned runs and four hits in six innings in this matchup of rookie starters. He struck out eight with no walks.
Detroit has lost four of five.
ORIOLES 5, BRAVES 1
Cole Hamels finally got on the mound in an Atlanta uniform, allowing three runs to Baltimore before reaching his predetermined pitch count in the fourth inning, and the Braves struggled offensively in a loss the Orioles.
Rookie Keegan Akin struck out nine over five scoreless innings to earn his first big league victory.
The Braves got only six hits — all of them singles — and their lone run scored on a balk. Atlanta hasn’t won a series in Baltimore since 2004.
Hamels (0-1) gave up a first-inning single and retired the side in order in the second before running into trouble in the third. Austin Hays hit a leadoff double and Hamels got an 0-2 count on No. 9 hitter Andrew Velazquez before issuing a walk. Hanser Alberto followed with an RBI double, José Iglesias hit a run-scoring grounder and Ryan Mountcastle delivered a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead.
Akin (1-1) allowed three hits and a walk in his fourth career start. In his previous outing, the lefty didn’t make it out of the first inning of a 10-1 loss to the Yankees.
YANKEES 13, BLUE JAYS 2
Kyle Higashioka hit a career-high three home runs, DJ LeMahieu connected twice and the resurgent Yankees hit a season-best seven homers in beating Toronto.
Luke Voit lofted a three-run drive for his major league-leading 19th homer and Clint Frazier added a solo shot as the Yankees won their seventh straight game.
Gerrit Cole (6-3) had another overpowering start for New York, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth. The right-hander completed seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out eight and walking two.
New York is the first team in major league history to have their Nos. 1 and 9 hitters connect at least twice in the same game, according to STATS.
Jonathan Villar ended Cole’s no-hit bid with a leadoff double in the sixth. Villar later scored on Cole’s wild pitch. Nick Nelson allowed Joe Panik’s solo homer in the ninth before finishing off the five-hitter.
MARLINS 8, RED SOX 4
Jorge Alfaro homered twice before he took a foul ball to his helmet and Miami beat Boston.
Garrett Cooper also homered and scored twice for Miami, which moved within 2 1/2 games of first-place Atlanta in the NL East.
Alfaro, the Marlins’ catcher, was removed in the seventh inning as a precaution after Christian Vázquez’s foul ball beaned him.
Miami chased Boston starter Michael Kickham with a four-run third.
Yimi Garcia (2-0) pitched a perfect eighth and was credited with the win. Brandon Kintzler worked a scoreless ninth.
Alex Verdugo had three hits, a walk and scored twice for Boston.
METS 5, PHILLIES 4
Jacob deGrom exited early from a rare rough outing because of a right hamstring spasm, but the Mets overcame a four-run deficit and rallied past Philadelphia.
Phillies reliever Hector Neris (2-2) dropped the ball on the mound for a balk that moved the go-ahead run to second base in the ninth inning. Mets rookie Andres Gimenez hit an RBI single to put New York ahead.
The 32-year-old deGrom (4-2) allowed three earned runs in a start for the first time this season, pushing his ERA back over 2.00 at 2.09. The right-hander was pulled after only 40 pitches and one strikeout.
But the Mets became the latest team to strike against the beleaguered Phillies bullpen.
Miguel Castro (2-1) struck out the final two batters of the eighth and left two runners stranded to earn the win. Edwin Diaz worked the ninth for his fourth save.
Jean Segura’ hit his sixth homer in the fourth.
RANGERS 1, ASTROS 0
Kyle Gibson threw a four-hitter and Joey Gallo hit a ground-rule RBI double with two outs in the ninth inning to lift Texas over Houston.
It was the first career shutout for the 32-year-old Gibson and third complete game. Gibson (2-5) walked three and struck out a season-high nine to earn his first win since Aug. 15.
Leody Taveras singled on a sharp grounder that first baseman Yuli Gurriel couldn’t scoop up to start the ninth and advanced to second on a groundout by Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the second out. Gallo had two strikes when he connected off Ryan Pressly (1-3) for a line drive that bounced just inside the right field line to send Taveras home.
TWINS 5, WHITE SOX 1
Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano each hit a two-run homer, and Minnesota denied the White Sox a chance to clinch their first playoff berth in 12 years.
Eddie Rosario also went deep and Minnesota pitchers retired their final 18 batters against the AL Central leaders. Chicago, which had won six straight and nine of 10, had an opportunity to secure its first postseason spot since 2008 with a win and a Mariners loss.
After dropping the first two in the four-game series, the second-place Twins moved within two games of Chicago in the division standings.
Minnesota reliever Cody Stashak (1-0) helped piece together the win for the Twins. Tyler Duffey was perfect in the seventh and the eighth with two strikeouts, and Trevor May struck out the side in the ninth to finish the two-hitter.
José Abreu homered in the fourth for the White Sox, who have lost just six times in 28 games.
Twins pitching got 18 consecutive outs after Abreu’s homer.
CUBS 3, INDIANS 2, 10 INNINGS
Javier Báez’s RBI single in the 10th inning lifted the Cubs to their fourth straight win.
Automatic runner Ian Happ advanced to third when Kris Bryant greeted Phil Maton (2-2) with a groundball single to open the 10th. After Anthony Rizzo was walked intentionally to load the bases, Maton fanned Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber. Then Báez’s liner to left scored Happ and sent the Indians to their eighth straight loss, their longest slide since June 2013.
The Cubs won their fourth straight. Five Cubs relievers followed Lester with a scoreless inning each. Jason Adam (2-1) pitched the 10th.
Oscar Mercado hit a solo shot off Jon Lester in the fifth to tie the game at 2.
DIAMONDBACKS 9, ANGELS 6
Kole Calhoun hit his third homer in two games against his former Angels teammates, and David Peralta homered and drove in two runs in Arizona's win over Los Angeles.
Nick Ahmed had a two-run single during Arizona’s four-run second inning against Dylan Bundy (5-3), who yielded five earned runs on six hits and two walks while getting chased in the third.
Calhoun went 2 for 5, giving him five hits and seven RBIs in two games against his old teammates. Peralta followed with a homer in his second straight game while getting three hits for the Diamondbacks, who have won four of six.
Max Stassi, Jared Walsh and Justin Upton homered for the Angels, who have lost two straight at home after an 8-3 surge briefly invited hopes of playoff contention.
GIANTS 9, MARINERS 3
Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria homered for San Francisco, and the visiting Giants playing at home beat Seattle in a game moved to the Bay Area because of smoky, dangerous air in Western Washington.
Donovan Solano and Mauricio Dubon hit early RBI singles as the Giants snapped a three-game losing streak with a “road” victory at Oracle Park.
Belt hit a two-run homer in the third inning and Longoria connected for a solo drive one out later against right-hander Ljay Newsome (0-1). Crawford contributed a two-out shot in the seventh and Mike Yastrzemski added an RBI double as the Giants pounded out 15 hits.
Trevor Cahill (1-1) struck out four in two scoreless innings of relief.
The Mariners drew a pair of bases-loaded walks in the fourth.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
New Zealand paid tribute to Diego ...
Kaori Sakamoto produced a near-fla ...