MLB Roundup: Braves clinch NL East title with win over Marlins

Atlanta Braves players celebrate in the club house after they clinched their fifth consecutive NL East title by defeating the Miami Marlins 2-1, in a baseball game, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Miami. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

MIAMI (AP) — William Contreras drove in the go-ahead run with an infield single in the fifth, and the Atlanta Braves clinched their fifth consecutive NL East title Tuesday night by beating the Miami Marlins 2-1.

Atlanta earned a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed in the NL, behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Braves were 10 1/2 games behind the New York Mets at the start of June and lost four of five to New York in early August. After sweeping the Mets over the weekend to take the division lead, Atlanta entered the series needing a win or a Mets loss to clinch the division crown.

Starter Jake Odorizzi (6-6) pitched five innings, struck out six, allowed two hits, and one home run to Jesús Sánchez in the fourth. Kenley Jansen recorded his 41st save, working a perfect ninth.

Miami starter Braxton Garrett (3-7) was pulled in the fifth after Contreras’ two-out grounder to third scored Travis d’Arnaud and allowed Atlanta to retake the lead. Contreras had two hits and an RBI.


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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Aaron Judge went 1 for 5 with a single and scored the decisive run to lead New York past Texas in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

Judge remained at 61 home runs with two games remaining to break the AL record. He grounded out on the first pitch of the game, and again when he lofted a routine flyout to right in the third. In the fifth, he had an infield popup. Judge singled in the eighth and got another at-bat in the ninth, grounding out on the first pitch.

Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza and Kyle Higashioka hit solo homers for the AL East champion Yankees.

Higashioka homered to straightaway center off reliever Brock Burke (7-5) in the eighth to tie it at 4.

Adolis García hit his 27th homer, a two-run shot in the fifth that gave him 100 RBIs for the Rangers, who lost their seventh consecutive game.

Aroldis Chapman (4-4) worked a perfect seventh for the victory. Jonathan Loaisiga worked the ninth for his second save.


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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge led off the nightcap with his American League-record 62nd home run and Gerrit Cole set the franchise single-season strikeouts record even as New York lost 3-2 to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night for a doubleheader split.

Leody Taveras hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning of the second game to put the Rangers ahead to stay, after their 5-4 loss in the opener had extended their losing streak to seven games. The AL East champion Yankees have won 99 games, the Rangers 67.

Judge drove the third pitch of second game, a 1-1 slider from Rangers opener Jesus Tinoco, into the first row of seats in left field to end his long, tiring chase to break Roger Maris’ AL mark that had stood since 1961.

It was the 55th game in a row Judge had played since Aug. 5, and the only homer he had hit in the previous 13 games was No. 61 last Wednesday in Toronto. He went 1 for 5 with a single and scored the decisive run in the opener Tuesday.

Cole (13-8) struck out nine, raising his major league-best total to 257. The right-hander had entered the game tied with the 248 strikeouts Ron Guidry had in 1978, when he was the AL Cy Young Award winner after going 25-3 with a 1.74 ERA. Cole passed Guidry when he struck out Rangers No. 2 batter Nathaniel Lowe in the first inning.


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HOUSTON (AP) — Justin Verlander capped his magnificent comeback season by striking out 10 without allowing a hit in five innings, and Houston’s bullpen kept Philadelphia hitless until the ninth inning.

Verlander, who has pitched three no-hitters in his career, walked one before being pulled after 77 pitches. The AL West champion Astros led the NL wild-card Phillies 8-0 at the point.

Rookie Hunter Brown pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings and Hector Neris got the last two outs of the eighth inning. Will Smith came on for the ninth and Garrett Stubbs singled to center field to break up the no-hitter bid.

Jeremy Peña, Kyle Tucker and Martín Maldonado homered as the Astros jumped on Ranger Suárez (10-7) for six runs in two innings to build a huge lead early in their 1,000th win at Minute Maid Park, which opened in 2000.

Verlander (18-4) collected his American League-leading 18th win, and his MLB-leading 1.75 ERA is the lowest for a qualified pitcher in the AL, excluding the pandemic-shortened season, since Pedro Martinez posted a 1.74 ERA in 2000.


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NEW YORK (AP) — Brandon Nimmo homered and drove in three runs as New York kept its NL East hopes alive by winning the first game of a doubleheader, only to lose the division to Atlanta during the nightcap.

The Braves clinched the division with a 2-1 victory in Miami. The Mets will host a best-of-three wild-card playoff series this weekend and the Braves get a bye.

The playoff-bound Mets led the division for 175 days, held a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 and led by seven games on Aug. 12.

Nimmo hit his 15th homer, a two-run single and a double. Jeff McNeil opened a three-point lead on Dodgers star Freddie Freeman in the NL batting race with two hits to raise his average to .328.

Adam Ottavino (6-3) pitched 1 2/3 innings and Edwin Díaz got four outs for his 32nd save.

Riley Adams hit a two-run homer for Washington. Washington’s Cory Abbott (0-5) allowed four runs and five hits in four innings.


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NEW YORK (AP) — New York was eliminated from the NL East race even as Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeill opened with three straight homers to spark the Mets to a sweep of a doubleheader.

The Braves were batting in the sixth with a 2-1 lead in Miami when the Mets started the second game with three straight homers for the first time in team history.

Atlanta closed out its fifth straight division title with the 2-1 win over the Marlins as the Mets finished batting in the fourth, A few groans could be heard from the crowd, who earlier were chanting “Let’s Go Marlins.”

The Mets will face either the Padres in a best-of-three wild-card series starting Friday at home. The winner of that series will face the NL-best Dodgers in the Division Series starting Tuesday.

Stephen Nogosek (1-1) got six strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings for his first career win in the second game.

Carlos Carrasco allowed two runs on five hits in four-plus innings in the first game. Adam Ottavino (6-3) pitched 1 2/3 innings and Edwin Díaz got four outs for his 32nd save.


CHICAGO (AP) — Luis Arraez had one hit to move closer to his first AL batting championship, one of only two hits Minnesota managed off Chicago’s Lucas Giolito in seven innings.

Elvis Andrus hit his third homer in four games, a three-run shot, as the White Sox cruised to their second straight win after Tony La Russa stepped down as manager on Monday.

The 25-year-old Arraez extended his hitting streak to eight games and held his average at .315 has he tries to become the fifth Twins player to win the league batting title. He was back in the lineup as DH after missing the previous two games with a left hamstring injury.

Arraez is ahead of Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who is hitting .311 in his bid for the AL Triple Crown. Judge hit his AL-record 62nd homer in the second game of New York’s doubleheader at Texas and leads the league with 131 RBIs.

Giolito (11-9) allowed two runs on two hits and two walks and hit two batters as he won for the first time since Aug. 24.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Eric Lauer pitched six innings of no-hit ball before getting removed from the game in Milwaukee’s victory over Arizona.

Jake Cousins and Peter Strzelecki worked the final three innings of the one-hit shutout.

Milwaukee’s no-hit bid provided at least some sense of drama to an otherwise meaningless game. The Brewers were eliminated from playoff contention Monday night when the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Houston Astros 3-0 to clinch their first postseason berth since 2011.

Lauer (11-7) struck out seven, walked four and committed an error while throwing 97 pitches. Lauer’s highest pitch count of the season was 108, in a 2-1 loss at San Francisco on July 16.

Cousins took over for Lauer at the start of the seventh and allowed Josh Rojas’ leadoff single to right center. Cousins retired the next three batters and pitched around a one-out walk in a scoreless eighth inning.


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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Albert Pujols drove in two more runs and St. Louis went on to beat Pittsburgh.

Pujols hit a two-run single in the third inning to push his career total to 2,218 RBIs. That came a night after he broke a tie with Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,287.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol then removed the 42-year-old Pujols at the end of the inning. St. Louis opens postseason play Friday when it hosts a best-of-three National League wild-card series.

Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals the win when he hit a tiebreaking single with one in the 10th inning off Chase De Jong (6-3) to score automatic runner Ben DeLuzio.


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BOSTON (AP) — Xander Bogaerts hit a grand slam and Nathan Eovaldi pitched five scoreless innings in what could be his final appearance in a Red Sox uniform to help Boston beat the playoff-bound Tampa in a rain-shortened game.

Christian Arroyo added an RBI single for Boston (77-84), which won its fifth straight home game.

Boston took a 6-0 lead with two outs in the fifth inning when rain started to fall heavily, prompting a delay. The game was called 52 minutes later.

The Rays (86-75) lost their fourth straight game since clinching a playoff berth. They will be the AL’s No. 6 seed and get a wild-card matchup with AL Central champion Cleveland.

Rays left-hander Jeffrey Springs (9-5) allowed one run off two hits and struck out three over three innings.

Eovaldi (6-3), who will be a free agent at the end of the season, allowed just two hits and struck out four in his second start since returning from the injured list due to right shoulder inflammation.



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SEATTLE (AP) — Abraham Toro homered and drove in four runs, Cal Raleigh hit his 27th home run of the season and Seattle beat Detroit to complete a sweep of their doubleheader.

Seattle won the first game 7-6 in 10 innings as catcher Luis Torrens became the first position player in club history earn a win when the Mariners rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 10th.

Torrens didn’t have any time to rest as he went from pitching to catching and was behind the plate for the second game. Torrens had a single and scored on Toro’s two-run homer in the fourth inning.

Toro added a two-run single in the fifth, an inning that also included Raleigh’s solo shot. It was Raleigh’s first homer since the game-winning shot in the bottom of the ninth last Friday that clinched Seattle’s first postseason berth since 2001.

Spencer Torkelson homered in both games for Detroit and Kody Clemens hit the first grand slam of his career off Seattle starter Justus Sheffield in the second game.

Seattle locked up the No. 5 seed in the American League playoffs and a date with Toronto in the best-of-three wild card series thanks to the victory in the first game and Tampa Bay’s loss in Boston. It put the final touches on the AL playoff bracket.


CLEVELAND (AP) — Cal Quantrill finished the regular season unbeaten at home, improving to 14-0 in his career at Progressive Field after Owen Miller hit a two-run homer in Cleveland’s win over Kansas City.

Quantrill (15-5) was in danger of his unblemished run at home ending before Miller’s shot off Daniel Lynch (4-13) capped Cleveland’s five-run fifth. Quantrill’s 14-game winning streak is the longest in the ballpark’s history. It also matches the longest unbeaten streak for a pitcher in any ballpark since 1901. Vic Raschi went 14-0 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park from 1947-55.

José Ramírez hit a two-run double and Andrés Giménez had an RBI single in the fifth.

Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase gave up a run in the ninth before getting his MLB-leading 42nd save.

Cleveland will host Tampa Bay in the wild-card round beginning Friday.


CINCINNATI (AP) — Spencer Steer doubled off Brandon Hughes in the ninth inning to score Stuart Fairchild and Cincinnati avoided its 100th loss, beating Chicago.

The Reds (62-99) are trying to avoid the second 100-loss season in franchise history. They were 61-101 in 1982 while in the process of dismantling the dominant Big Red Machine clubs.

Chuckie Robinson tied it for Cincinnati in the seventh with a two-run homer in the seventh off Keegan Thompson. Alexis Diaz (7-3) was the winner.

Willson Contreras and Nico Hoerner homered for the Cubs. Hughes (2-3) took the loss.


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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Julio Urias made his final tune-up for the postseason and case for the Cy Young Award a solid one, though Colorado went ahead after he left and beat Los Angeles.

Urias pitched five innings and allowed two runs — both on solo homers. He will finish season as the National League’s ERA leader at 2.16 with a 17-7 record.

Randal Grichuk hit a tiebreaking two-run homer off Andrew Heaney (4-4) in the seventh inning. It was Grichuk’s 19th home run of the season.

Clayton Kershaw pitches the final regular season game Wednesday. The Dodgers have a bye and will be off until the NLDS begins Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers will play the winner of the New York Mets-San Diego Padres wild-card round.

Ryan Feltner (4-9) earned the win after he pitched six innings and allowed two runs on four hits in his final start of the season. He struck out four and walked two.


SAN DIEGO (AP) — Sean Manaea allowed only one hit in six shutout innings and San Diego wrapped up the fifth seed in the NL playoffs, beating San Francisco.

Wil Myers homered and drove in two runs for the Padres. They got the second wild-card spot with the victory and Philadelphia’s 10-0 loss at Houston. San Diego will travel to New York for a best-of-three set at the fourth-seeded Mets, starting Friday night.

Manaea (8-9) stuck out six. San Francisco starter Alex Cobb (7-8) allowed a run on seven hits in five innings.

Myers hit a solo homer in the eighth, his second homer run in the past two games. Ha-Seong Kim added a two-run double and Manny Machado and Austin Nola each had RBI singles. The Padres took command with a four-run sixth inning.

ATHLETICS 2, ANGELS 1, 10 innings

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Shea Langeliers drew a bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning, sending Oakland past Los Angeles.

A.J. Puk (4-3) pitched a scoreless 10th for the victory.

Ryan Tepera (5-4) pitched the ninth before faltering in the 10th. Tony Kemp reached on a grounder and Sean Murphy singled. Tepera intentionally walked Seth Brown to bring up the rookie Langeliers.

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