(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Saturday’s Major League Baseball games:
Red Sox 6, Astros 3
The Boston Red Sox clinched their second consecutive American League East title with a 6-3 win over the Houston Astros at Fenway Park.
Mitch Moreland had a pair of RBIs, Mookie Betts hit a solo home run, and Hanley Ramirez, Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi each drove in one run for the Red Sox.
Boston’s Drew Pomeranz (17-6) bounced back from a short start last Monday to toss six-plus innings, allowing one run, striking out three and giving up two hits and two walks.
Brian McCann launched a solo home run, his 18th, and Evan Gattis and Yuli Gurriel each had RBI singles for AL West champion Houston (100-61), which will finish with the second-best record in the league behind the Cleveland Indians and is set to face the Red Sox in the AL Division Series.
Game 1 of the series is Thursday in Houston.
Yankees 2, Blue Jays 1
Aaron Judge broke Babe Ruth’s team record for home runs at home, and CC Sabathia pitched effectively into the sixth, but New York was eliminated from the AL East title race shortly after beating Toronto.
The Red Sox secured a 6-3 victory over the Astros 21 minutes after the Yankees closed out their 21st win in 29 games.
New York will host the wild-card game Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins.
Judge extended his rookie record by opening the fourth with his league-leading 52nd homer. He broke Ruth’s record with his 33rd home run at Yankee Stadium.
Ruth set the home record in 1921 when the Yankees played across the Harlem River at Manhattan’s Polo Grounds in the team’s first pennant-winning season.
Dodgers 5, Rockies 3
The celebration began in the clubhouse before Colorado took the field and wound up losing to Los Angeles.
The Rockies erupted with joy at 5:28 p.m. local time after watching former Colorado starter and now St. Louis Cardinals closer Juan Nicasio strike out Milwaukee’s Brett Phillips with the tying run on second base to seal a 7-6 comeback win over the Brewers.
The loss assured the Rockies of the second National League wild card and a berth in the postseason for the first time since 2009 and the fourth time in the 25-year history of the franchise.
The Dodgers were assured of home-field advantage throughout the postseason when the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians lost before Los Angeles won.
Brandon Morrow (6-0), the third of seven Dodgers pitchers, got the win. Closer Kenley Jansen got the final four outs for his 41st save in 42 opportunities.
Cardinals 7, Brewers 6
Milwaukee blew an early six-run lead in a loss to St. Louis that ended its hopes for a National League wild card.
After scoring four times in the third to pull back into contention, the Cardinals delivered the killing blow with three runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Harrison Bader’s two-strike, two-out RBI single to left scored Stephen Piscotty with the winning run.
The Brewers got the tying run to second with two outs in the ninth after Orlando Arcia’s infield single and a stolen base by pinch-runner Quintin Berry.
But Brett Phillips swung through a 2-2 fastball from Juan Nicasio for the last out.
Pirates 4, Nationals 1
Sean Rodriguez tied the game with a single with two outs in the ninth and Max Moroff had a bases-loaded triple later in the inning as Pittsburgh rallied to beat Washington.
Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer left the game in the top of the fourth with a possible injury. A.J. Cole, who has made eight starts this year, came in and did not allow a hit in 3-2/3 innings.
The Pirates had just one hit going into the ninth but erupted against Brandon Kintzler (2-1), who was going for his second save with the Nationals (97-64) and 30th overall this year.
George Kontos (1-1), who pitched a scoreless eighth inning, got the win. Former Washington reliever Felipe Rivero pitched the ninth for the Pirates to get his 21st save.
White Sox 2, Indians 1
Kevan Smith had two hits and two RBIs and six Chicago pitchers combined on a three-hitter as the White Sox snapped Cleveland’s three-game winning streak.
Despite the loss, the Indians, with a record of 101-60, clinched the home-field advantage throughout the American League portion of the postseason, by virtue of Houston’s earlier loss to Boston.
Ace Corey Kluber, in a tuneup for his start on Thursday in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the winner of Tuesday’s wild-card game between Minnesota and the New York Yankees, pitched five innings, allowed one run on six hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
Kluber lowered his AL-leading ERA to 2.25.
Tigers 3, Twins 2
Andrew Romine became the fifth player in major league history and the first since 2000 to play all nine positions in a single game as Detroit beat Minnesota.
Romine became the first player since Detroit’s Shane Halter in 2000 to accomplish the feat.
He also had a hit and a walk in the game as Tigers starter Buck Farmer (5-5) pitched five innings with one run allowed. Shane Greene pitched a scoreless ninth for his ninth save.
Minnesota’s Aaron Slegers (0-1) gave up three runs — two earned — in 4 1/3 innings for his first major league decision.
Marlins 10, Braves 2
Giancarlo Stanton failed to hit his 60th homer in the penultimate game of the season, but Miami still defeated Atlanta.
Stanton, who has 59 homers, went 1-for-5 with one RBI and two strikeouts. In his final at-bat, he struck out looking at a 94-mph fastball on the outside corner from reliever Jim Johnson.
Stanton will get one more game in which to try to reach the mark of 60 homers as Miami hosts Atlanta in its regular-season finale on Sunday.
One player did reach 60 on Saturday — Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, who reached that total in steals.
Gordon went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two steals. He also became only the fifth Marlins player to reach 200 hits in one season.
Royals 4, Diamondbacks 3
Jake Junis logged his ninth victory and Jorge Bonifacio blasted a three-run homer as the rookies rallied Kansas City past Arizona.
Junis shares the American League lead for rookie pitchers. He limited the Diamondbacks to two runs and five hits in six innings. One of the hits was a home run by A.J. Pollock in the sixth.
Bonifacio’s sixth-inning home run was his 17th of the season, the most by a Royals rookie since Eric Hosmer hit 19 in 2011. Hosmer homered on a 2-2 offering off Archie Bradley (3-3).
Cubs 9, Reds 0
Jon Lester threw five scoreless innings and Kyle Schwarber homered and drove in four runs to lead Chicago to a rout of Cincinnati.
Schwarber hit his 30th home run and had a two-run single in the regular season’s penultimate game for the National League Central champions, who have won 15 of their last 18 games.
Padres 3, Giants 2
Austin Hedges lashed a two-strike, two-run double with two outs in the ninth inning, sending San Diego to a victory over San Francisco and ruining right-hander Matt Cain’s on-field retirement party.
Hunter Pence drove in runs with a second-inning fielder’s choice and a seventh-inning single, handing the Giants a 2-1 lead they took into the ninth.
Giants closer Sam Dyson (3-4) retired the first batter he faced, but usually reliable shortstop Brandon Crawford threw wildly to first base on Christian Villanueva’s slow roller, allowing him to reach second.
Villanueva was credited with a hit.
After Cory Spangenberg singled pinch-runner Matt Szczur to third, Dyson struck out Hunter Renfroe before Hedges’ liner to right-center barely eluded right fielder Pence, easily scoring both runners for a 3-2 lead.
Rays 4, Orioles 3
Brad Miller hit a three-run homer and Chris Archer threw five shutout innings, leading Tampa Bay over Baltimore.
Baltimore made it interesting in the ninth off Rays closer Alex Colome while facing a 4-2 deficit, as J.J. Hardy led off with a double and Chance Sisco followed with a single to put the tying run on base.
Anthony Santander’s sacrifice fly pulled the Orioles within a run with two outs, but Colome got Jonathan Schoop to line out to center for his major league-leading 47th save.
Mariners 6, Angels 4
Kyle Seager hit a three-run homer in a five-run eighth inning and visiting Seattle held on to beat Los Angeles.
Seattle right-fielder Mitch Haniger went 5-for-5 with three doubles.
The Angels took a 4-1 lead into the eighth, but the Mariners greeted reliever Cam Bedrosian with three consecutive singles before Seager blasted his 27th home run of the season over the fence in center for a 5-4 lead.
Yonder Alonso then followed with his 28th home run to make it 6-4.
Rangers 8, Athletics 4
Joey Gallo hit two home runs and had three RBIs in Texas’ victory over Oakland.
Gallo hit a two-run homer in Texas’ four-run second off Oakland starter Daniel Gossett and a towering solo shot to right in the third off right-hander Simon Castro.
Mets 7, Phillies 4 (11)
Asdrubal Cabrera hit New York’s 224th home run of the season to extend a franchise record in the top of the 11th inning, lifting the Mets over Philadelphia.
The three-run homer off Phillies reliever Adam Morgan (3-3) capped a four-hit night for Cabrera.