Sox Beat Blue Jays, Become 1st Team To Get Playoff Spot

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox became the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season, rallying on pinch-hitter Brock Holt’s go-ahead home run in the seventh inning to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Tuesday night.

The Red Sox assured themselves at least a spot in the AL wild-card game while reaching the postseason for the third straight year. The AL East leaders began the night with an eight-game lead over the New York Yankees.

Boston starter Chris Sale came off the disabled list and pitched one scoreless inning, striking out two and throwing 26 pitches. Sale has been slowed by inflammation in his left shoulder, and the Red Sox had said they would ease their ace back into action.

ASTROS 5, TIGERS 4

DETROIT (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the game’s first pitch, and Houston powered past Detroit.

The Astros maintained a three-game lead over Oakland in the AL West.

Houston built a 5-0 lead on three homers in the first four innings off Jordan Zimmermann, and then held on with five scoreless innings from their bullpen.

Framber Valdez left with a one-run lead after allowing all four of Detroit’s runs in the fourth inning, including a three-run homer by JaCoby Jones. Will Harris (4-3) got the win by striking out the side in the fifth inning, and three more relievers followed before Roberto Osuna worked the ninth for his 17th save in 18 opportunities.

MARLINS 5, METS 3

NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom took his latest hard-luck loss in a record-setting season, getting outpitched by Miami’s Jose Urena.

DeGrom (8-9) gave up only Lewis Brinson’s two-run double in seven stellar innings. The right-hander allowed three hits and struck out nine, his major league-low ERA climbing just a tick from 1.68 to 1.71. He held his opponent to fewer than four runs for the 26th straight start — breaking a big league mark set by King Cole in 1910 with the Chicago Cubs.

NATIONALS 3, PHILLIES 1, 1st game;

NATIONALS 7, PHILLIES 6, 10 innings, 2nd game

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Juan Soto hit a solo home run in the 10th inning, his second of the game, to lead the Washington Nationals to a 7-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies and a doubleheader sweep.

The Nationals rallied for three runs in the ninth inning off Seranthony Dominguez to tie the game at 6-all. Soto, who hit a two-run shot in the fourth, connected off Yacksel Rios (3-2) with one out in the 10th for the winner.

Greg Holland retired the first batters in the 10th before he walked the next two. Holland got Cesar Hernandez to fly out to end the game for his third save. Wander Suero (3-0) got the win.

In the first game, Spencer Kieboom hit his first major league home run after losing a tooth earlier in the day, Erick Fedde (2-3) pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning and the Nationals beat the Phillies 3-1.

INDIANS 2, RAYS 0

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Josh Donaldson went hitless in his Cleveland debut, Edwin Encarnacion reached 30 homers for the seventh straight season and the Indians beat Tampa Bay.

Cleveland lowered its magic number to three for a third straight AL Central title.

Acquired from Toronto on Aug. 31, Donaldson went 0 for 4 in his first big league game since May 28, a layoff caused by a strained left calf. The 2015 AL MVP flied out to deep center and deep right, struck out and grounded into a forceout. The third baseman made a nifty backhand grab on C.J. Cron’s sixth-inning grounder.

REDS 3, DODGERS 1

CINCINNATI (AP) — Former Dodgers prospects Brandon Dixon and Scott Schebler homered, and Los Angeles stumbled for the second straight night in a loss to lowly Cincinnati.

Defending NL champion Los Angeles is 0-6 against Cincinnati this season. After losing Monday’s series opener 10-6 to the last-place Reds, the Dodgers began the day 1 1/2 games behind NL West-leading Colorado and two games back of St. Louis for the second NL wild card.

Dixon homered in the second inning and Schebler in the third for a 2-0 lead against Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-3). Jose Peraza, another former Los Angeles prospect, had two hits.

ATHLETICS 3, ORIOLES 2

BALTIMORE (AP) — Mike Fiers remained unbeaten in an Oakland uniform, working six solid innings against Baltimore.

The Athletics won their fifth straight to improve to 33-15 since the All-Star break, the best mark in the majors during that span. Oakland holds the second AL wild-card spot behind the Yankees.

Fiers (12-6), who was acquired from the Tigers on Aug. 6, allowed one run and four hits with seven strikeouts and a walk. He is 5-0 in seven starts with the A’s and has won a career-best six straight decisions overall.

Jeurys Familia worked a perfect ninth for his 18th save since being acquired from the Mets on July 21.

CUBS 3, BREWERS 0

CHICAGO (AP) — Jose Quintana pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning, Victor Caratini drove in two runs and Chicago regained its two-game lead in the NL Central.

Quintana continued his mastery of Milwaukee in a huge spot for Chicago (84-60), improving to 6-2 with a 1.60 ERA in 10 career starts against the Brewers. The veteran left-hander struck out seven and walked two in 6 2/3 innings in his second straight victory over Jhoulys Chacin, also winning at Milwaukee last Wednesday.

TWINS 10, YANKEES 5

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joe Mauer hit a grand slam to highlight a six-run fifth inning, and Minnesota beat New York for the first time in 10 meetings.

Didi Gregorious answered Mauer’s big bop with his own grand slam in the sixth. That was the only bright spot for the Yankees, who dropped nine games behind Boston in the AL East race and had their lead over Oakland for the first wild card spot cut to two games. The major league leaders in home runs with 234, the Yankees fell to 80-36 in games when they go deep.

ROYALS 6, WHITE SOX 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Brad Keller pitched seven strong innings to win for the fourth time in six starts, leading Kansas City past Chicago.

Whit Merrifield had two hits, two RBIs, and scored two runs for the Royals. He also stole two bases to increase his American League lead to 33 steals, including a league-best 12 of third base.

CARDINALS 11,

PIRATES 5

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals rookie Tyler O’Neill hit a three-run homer during a six-run eighth inning, Marcell Ozuna drove in three and Miles Mikolas pitched seven solid innings to lift the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-5 on Tuesday night.

Mikolas (15-5) gave up a run, five hits and a walk while striking out seven. He dropped his ERA to 2.99, and he got his first victory in five starts against the Pirates this season. Mikolas struck out five straight in one stretch, and the Cardinals improved to 21-8 in his starts.

Ozuna is hitting .352 this season against Pittsburgh. He has 13 RBIs against the Pirates and 79 on the season.

Joe Musgrove (6-9) went six innings. He allowed four hits, four runs and two walks while striking out eight.