Red Sox eliminate NY from AL East race
BOSTON — Clay Buchholz pitched six innings of two-hit ball to improve to 11-0 and Daniel Nava had four hits to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 9-2 victory over New York on Sunday night and eliminate the Yankees from the AL East race.
Boston leads second-place Tampa Bay by 9½ games with a magic number of four to clinch its second division title since 1995. The Yankees trail the Rays and Texas Rangers by three in the wild-card standings, with Cleveland and Baltimore also ahead of them in the race.
The Yankees had won the last two division titles and 13 of the last 17.
In his second start since coming off the disabled list, Buchholz walked four and struck out three and allowed only one unearned run.
Shortly after a pregame ceremony to honor Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in his last scheduled trip to Fenway Park, Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer off Ivan Nova (8-5) to make it 3-1 in the first inning.
TWINS 6, RAYS 4
MINNEAPOLIS — Joel Peralta gave up a solo homer to Ryan Doumit in the eighth inning and a three-run drive to Josmil Pinto, and Tampa Bay stumbled again in the AL wild-card race with a loss to Minnesota.
Tampa Bay, which had won its previous three games, wasted a 3-0 lead and dropped to 7-14 from Aug. 25 on. The Rays remained tied with Texas for the two AL wild-card spots, a half-game ahead of Cleveland.
INDIANS 7, WHITE SOX 1
CHICAGO — Nick Swisher homered from both sides of the plate for the 13th time, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run homer and Cleveland beat Chicago to pull within a half-game of Tampa Bay and Texas in the AL wild-card race.
In a game that started after a rain delay of 4 hours, 28 minutes, the Indians achieved a franchise first by sweeping a four-game series from the White Sox for the third time in a season.
Zach McAllister (8-9) allowed one run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings with five strikeouts and a walk.
Chris Sale (11-13) gave up six runs and nine hits — including three homers — in 5 2-3 innings and dropped to 6-11 following a 5-2 start. He has an 8.61
TIGERS 3, ROYALS 2
DETROIT — Alex Avila homered twice, including a tiebreaking solo shot in the eighth inning that lifted Detroit over Kansas City.
Detroit’s Max Scherzer struck out 12 in seven innings, but he was denied his 20th victory when Kansas City tied it off Drew Smyly (6-0) in the eighth. Avila answered in the bottom half with a homer to right-center.
Joaquin Benoit pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 20 chances for the AL Central-leading Tigers.
Jeremy Guthrie (14-11) pitched all eight innings for the Royals, who remained 3½ games back in the AL wild-card race.
ATHLETICS 5, RANGERS 1
ARLINGTON, Texas — Josh Donaldson, Chris Young and Josh Reddick all homered and AL West-leading Oakland completed a three-game sweep of chasing and slumping Texas.
Oakland took a commanding 6½-game division lead with two weeks left after the final regular-season series between the AL West’s top two teams. The A’s have won five in a row and 13 of 16 overall.
Texas is 2-11 in September after beginning the month with a two-game division lead.
The Rangers lost their sixth in row, all at home — this was their first winless homestand of at least six games since moving to Texas in 1972.
The Rangers and Tampa Bay are tied for the two AL wild-card spots in a rapidly tightening race.
Texas starts a four-game series at Tropicana Field on Monday.
ANGELS 2, ASTROS 1
HOUSTON — Jerome Williams won a third straight start for the first time since April 2004, and Los Angeles sent Houston to its 98th loss of the season.
Houston, a big league-worst 51-98, is on the verge of becoming the first major league team to reach triple figures in losses in three consecutive seasons since Kansas City from 2004-06.
ORIOLES 3, BLUE JAYS 1
TORONTO — Miguel Gonzalez pitched 5 1-3 innings before leaving with a strained right groin, Danny Valencia hit a two-run double and Baltimore beat Toronto.
The Orioles, who came in 3½ games behind Tampa Bay and Texas in the AL wild-card race, won their first road series since taking two of three at San Francisco on Aug. 9-11.
Pirates 3, Cubs 2
PITTSBURGH — Francisco Liriano took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning before faltering in his first no-decision this season, and pinch-hitter Justin Morneau singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth to lead Pittsburgh over the Chicago Cubs.
Pittsburgh remained tied with St. Louis for the NL Central lead after taking three of four from the last-place Cubs and winning for the sixth time in seven games.
Morneau, acquired from Minnesota on Aug. 31, drove in his first run for the Pirates. The 2006 AL MVP is batting .279 (12 for 43) with Pittsburgh.
With the score 2-2 in the eighth, Andrew McCutchen was hit by a pitch from Pedro Strop (2-2), took second on Marlon Byrd’s bloop single to center and scored on Morneau’s single.
Kyle Farnsworth (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Mark Melancon completed a three-hitter with a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 18 chances.
CARDINALS 12, MARINERS 2
ST. LOUIS — Yadier Molina broke out of a slump with a home run and three singles as Shelby Miller and St. Louis remained tied for first place in the NL Central by beating Seattle in an interleague matchup.
Matt Adams also homered as St. Louis won for the seventh time in nine games and kept pace with Pittsburgh. Both teams are 87-62 with 13 games remaining.
Miller (14-9) gave up one earned run and three hits in five innings. He became the first St. Louis rookie to reach 14 wins in a season since Dick Hughes won 16 in 1967.
BREWERS 6, REDS 5
MILWAUKEE — Sean Halton hit a solo homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Milwaukee to the comeback victory over Cincinnati.
Halton’s home run came off reliever Zach Duke (1-2), the fifth Cincinnati pitcher. It was Halton’s third homer of the season and first career walk-off.
NATIONALS 11, PHILLIES 2
WASHINGTON — Wilson Ramos had four hits and five RBIs, Jordan Zimmermann pitched seven innings for his NL-best 18th win and Washington kept up its late playoff push by routing Philadelphia.
Denard Span extended his hitting streak to 26 games, Bryce Harper hit a pair of doubles and a single and scored three times, and every player in the Nationals’ starting lineup had at least one hit.
Zimmerman (18-8) scattered seven hits and single runs in the second and third innings with seven strikeouts.
GIANTS, 4, DODGERS 2
LOS ANGELES — Hunter Pence hit two more home runs, pinch-hitter Brett Pill connected for a tiebreaking shot leading off the eighth inning, and San Francisco beat Los Angeles.
Pinch-hitter Yasiel Puig grounded out with the bases loaded to end the game. The NL West-leading Dodgers lost three of four to San Francisco, and the magic number to clinch their first division title since 2009 remained at four after second-place Arizona won.
Pence has 19 RBIs in six games. He drove in three a day after his grand slam and career-high seven RBIs led the Giants to a 19-3 rout at Dodger Stadium.
D-BACKS 8, ROCKIES 2
PHOENIX — Paul Goldschmidt homered and went 4 for 4, driving in career high-tying five runs to lead Arizona past Colorado.
Colorado star Todd Helton did not play, a day after announcing he would retire at the end of this season. The crowd at Chase Field cheered him early in the game and he waved his cap in appreciation.
PADRES 4, BRAVES 0
ATLANTA — Burch Smith struck out 10 in seven innings to earn his first major league victory, Chase Headley and Tommy Medica homered, and San Diego beat Atlanta.
The Braves lead the NL East by 10 games over Washington. Atlanta opens a three-game series at Nationals Park on Monday night, and can clinch the division by winning twice there.
Smith (1-1) held the Braves hitless until pitcher Julio Teheran singled to lead off the sixth.
METS 1, MARLINS 0 (12)
NEW YORK — Slumping rookie Travis d’Arnaud hit a winning single with two outs in the 12th inning, lifting New York over Florida.