AL Playoff Watch: Blue Jays’ magic number drops to 1, Rays don’t gain ground

Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Javy Guerra reacts after giving up the game-winning single to Cleveland Guardians' Amed Rosario during the 10th inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Cleveland. The Guardians defeated the Rays 2-1. (Ron Schwane/AP Photo)

BOSTON (AP) — Anthony Santander and the Baltimore Orioles were shut down by Rich Hill and three relievers in a 3-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night, hurting their chances of rallying in the AL wild-card race.

The result dropped the Toronto Blue Jays‘ magic number to one. Toronto can clinch a playoff spot on an off day on Thursday if the Red Sox beat the Orioles.

Robinson Chirinos accounted for Baltimore’s only run with his fourth homer in the eighth inning. The Orioles (80-75) lost for the fourth time in five games. They were 3 1/2 back of Seattle for the third AL wild card heading into the day.

Santander went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts one night after he homered from both sides of the plate in Baltimore’s 13-9 loss at Fenway Park. The slugger went 8 for 20 with six homers and nine RBIs in his previous four games.

Hill (8-7) struck out nine while pitching six innings of five-hit ball. The 42-year-old left-hander also tossed five scoreless innings in a 1-0 victory at Baltimore on Sept. 11.

Hill became the 21st pitcher in major league history to make at least 25 starts in a season at the age of 42 or older. Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey in 2017 were the last players to accomplish the feat, and Jamie Moyer in 2009 was the last lefty to do it.


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CLEVELAND (AP) — Pinch-hitter Amed Rosario had a base-loaded single in the 10th inning to give Cleveland a win over Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

Rosario, who wasn’t in the starting lineup as manager Terry Francona rests his regulars after wrapping up the the AL Central, batted for Luke Maile. He lined the first pitch over the head of right fielder Manuel Margot to score Oscar Gonzalez from third base.

Gonzalez began the inning as the automatic runner against Javy Guerra (2-1). Andres Gimenez was intentionally walked. After a sacrifice, Will Brennan was also intentionally walked before Rosario hit the winner.

Guardians rookie Gabriel Arias hit his first major league home run in the third. James Karinchak (2-0) struck out the side in the 10th.

The game that was delayed for 1 hour, 3 minutes in the seventh inning by rain wasn’t a total washout for the Rays.

Tampa Bay’s magic number to wrap up a wild-card spot dropped to two with Baltimore losing to Boston. Staff ace Tyler Glasnow allowed one run in three innings in his first appearance in over a year following Tommy John surgery.

The Rays remain 1.5 games back of the Blue Jays for the top wild-card spot.


SEATTLE (AP) — George Kirby allowed one run over six innings, Eugenio Suarez had three hits and an RBI and Seattle beat Texas.

Trying to secure a playoff spot for the first time since 2001, Seattle rebounded after dropping the series opener Tuesday night.

The Mariners are now 4.5 games ahead of the Orioles, half a game back of the Rays and two games behind the Blue Jays.

Kirby (8-4) was coming off his worst start of the season, when he gave up five earned runs in 2 1/3 innings against Oakland. He returned to form against Texas, allowing just one run on five hits with four strikeouts and a walk.

Seattle relievers Eric Swanson, Andres Munoz and Paul Sewald each pitched a perfect inning to close out the game, with Sewald picking up his 20th save.


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TORONTO (AP) — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season with a tiebreaking, two-run drive in the seventh inning that helped New York beat Toronto.

The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza (8-1) over the left-field fence at Rogers Centre. The 117.4 mph drive took just 3.8 seconds to land 394 feet from the plate, and it put the Yankees ahead 5-3.

Judge watched the ball clank off the front of the stands, just below two fans who reached over a railing and tried for a catch. He pumped an arm just before reaching first and exchanged a slap with coach Travis Chapman.

The ball dropped into Toronto’s bullpen and was picked up by Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, who turned it over to the Yankees.

Judge’s mother and Roger Maris Jr. rose and hugged from front-row seats. He appeared to point toward them after rounding second base, then was congratulated by the entire Yankees team, who gave him hugs after he crossed the plate.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota rookie Matt Wallner drove in a career-high three runs, Gio Urshela and Jake Cave each had three hits and the Twins sent Chicago to its eighth straight loss.

Jose Miranda added an RBI double for the Twins, who tied the White Sox for second place in the AL Central at 76-79 after spending the last 19 days in third. Cleveland blew by both of them over the last three weeks to win the division.

Caleb Thielbar (4-2) got four outs in relief for the victory. Johnny Cueto (7-10) was the loser.


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WASHINGTON (AP) — CJ Abrams drove in the winning run in the 10th inning for his third hit to lift Washington past Atlanta.

The Braves dropped a game behind the New York Mets in the NL East, with the teams set to open a three-game series Friday in Atlanta, weather permitting.

Victor Robles bunted leading off the 10th against Jackson Stephens (3-3). Robles was initially called safe, but the call was overturned, with Alex Call moving to third. With the infield in, pinch-hitter Cesar Hernandez walked. Lane Thomas grounded to third, but Abrams singled to right, scoring Call.

Matt Olson had two hits, including his 30th homer of the season, for the Braves.

Kyle Finnegan (6-4) pitched two innings for the win.


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NEW YORK (AP) — Eduardo Escobar homered and drove in five late runs — including the winning single in the 10th inning — to rally New York past Miami and back into sole possession of the NL East lead.

By overcoming a four-run deficit, the Mets moved a game ahead of the Braves heading into a three-game showdown between the teams in Atlanta this weekend. The defending World Series champions lost 3-2 in 10 innings at last-place Washington, one night after pulling even with the Mets.

Of course, Hurricane Ian could affect the schedule in Atlanta, where the teams are set to square off Friday night following a mutual off day. Both clubs have six games remaining in the only division race not decided. One win at Truist Park would give the Mets the season-series tiebreaker over Atlanta.

Escobar hit a two-run homer in the seventh and tied it on a two-run single with two outs in the eighth.

Drew Smith (3-3) struck out two in a perfect inning for the win. Dylan Floro (1-3) was the loser.


SAN DIEGO (AP) — Freddie Freeman singled in Mookie Betts with one out in the 10th inning and Los Angeles beat San Diego to set the franchise season record with its 107th win.

The NL West champion Dodgers kept the Padres’ magic number at four for clinching a wild-card berth in a full season for the first time since 2006. The Dodgers have already clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the NL playoffs.

Betts started as the automatic runner on second base and advanced on a passed ball before scoring on Freeman’s hit to center off Steven Wilson (4-2), his career-high 192nd.

Alex Vesia (5-0), who grew up in the San Diego area, pitched the ninth for the win. Tommy Kahnle pitched the 10th for his first save.


DETROIT (AP) — Miguel Cabrera hit his 507th home run, Detroit got nine innings from its bullpen and the Tigers beat Kansas City for their fifth straight victory.

MJ Melendez led off the game with a home run for Kansas City, and Cabrera hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the inning. He has 1,845 RBIs, moving him past Carl Yastrzemski for 12th place on the career list.

Scheduled Tigers starter Matt Manning was scratched just before game time because of arm fatigue. Will Vest pitched the first inning, allowing Melendez’s homer, and the next six relievers combined for eight shutout innings. Gregory Soto pitched the ninth for his 29th save.

Daniel Lynch (4-12) took the loss.


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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kevin Newman had a two-out single in the 10th inning and Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati after blowing a three-run lead in the ninth.

Kyle Farmer hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Chase De Jong. and Jake Fraley homered five pitches later to tie it.

After Yohan Ramirez (3-1) pitched a perfect 10th, Alexis Diaz (6-3) intentionally walked Ben Gamel, and Newman singled into shallow center to score pinch-runner Rodolfo Castro from second.


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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brandon Woodruff struck out 10 over six scoreless innings and Devin Williams delivered four big outs late to boost Milwaukee’s playoff hopes with a victory over NL Central champion St. Louis.

The victory, Milwaukee’s first since Saturday at Cincinnati, combined with the Phillies’ loss to the Chicago Cubs, moved the Brewers within a game of Philadelphia for the third and final NL wild-card spot with seven to play.

Woodruff (13-4) was only at 98 pitches when Matt Bush took over to start the seventh. The move backfired immediately when Andrew Knizner led off the inning with his second homer in two days.

Cardinals starter Jose Quintana (6-7) struck out seven in five innings.


HOUSTON (AP) — Houston squandered an opportunity to wrap up the top seed in the AL when Christian Walker capped Arizona’s three-run 10th inning with a two-run single, sending the Diamondbacks past the Astros.

With the loss and the New York Yankees’ 8-3 win at Toronto, the Astros’ magic number to clinch the AL’s top seed remained at one.

Carson Kelly started the Arizona 10th on second and advanced when Geraldo Perdomo led off with a bunt single against Will Smith (0-3). Kelly then scored when Daulton Varsho bounced to second for a fielder’s choice.

Arizona ace Zac Gallen pitched seven innings of two-run ball. He struck out six and walked one. Reyes Moronta (2-1) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for the victory. Mark Melancon pitched the 10th for his 18th save.


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CHICAGO (AP) — Aaron Nola surrendered Christopher Morel’s three-run homer in the fifth inning in Philadelphia’s loss to Chicago.

Philadelphia dropped its third consecutive game. The Phillies are trying to hold off Milwaukee for the third NL wild card and earn their first playoff appearance since 2011.

Nola (10-13) was charged with four runs _ all in the fifth _ and five hits in six innings. The right-hander struck out eight and walked none.

Chicago won for the seventh time in eight games. Rookie right-hander Hayden Wesneski (3-1) was the winner and Manuel Rodriguez got two outs for his fourth save.


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout hit his 38th home run, Michael Lorenzen went five strong innings and Los Angeles beat Oakland.

Taylor Ward also homered, while Lorenzen (8-6) gave up an unearned run to lower his ERA to 0.45 against the A’s this season. The Angels extended their winning streak over Oakland to five games.

Lorenzen gave up three hits in five innings with three walks and eight strikeouts. Jimmy Herget pitched the ninth inning for his eighth save.

Adrian Martinez (4-6) was the loser.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Joc Pederson had a two-run triple and San Francisco beat Colorado to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.

Mike Yastrzemski, Brandon Crawford and Ford Proctor also drove in runs to help San Francisco beat Colorado for the seventh straight time. The Giants have won eight of their last nine games and trail Philadelphia by 6 1/2 games for the third and final NL wild-card position with seven games remaining.

Alan Trejo homered for the Rockies. They have lost four in a row and eight of their last nine.

Sean Hjelle (1-2) earned his first major league win after being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento earlier in the day. Jose Urena (3-8) was the loser.

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