Will Smith drove in three runs and AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor hit solo homers Wednesday afternoon as the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 7-5 in the rubber match of a three-game series, in the process becoming the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season.
The win increased the 35-15 Dodgers' edge on the Padres (32-19) to 3 1/2 games in the National League West and gave Los Angeles a 6-4 edge in the season series.
The Dodgers scored runs against five of the nine pitchers deployed by the Padres. Adam Kolarek (3-0) earned the win by recording two outs. Dustin May entered the game in the third and held the Padres to three runs (one earned) on three hits over 5 1/3 innings.
Pollock gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead with his 11th homer of the season in the second off San Diego starter Adrian Morejon (2-1). The Padres tied the game in the bottom of the inning before the Dodgers took the lead for good in the third as Max Muncy hit an RBI double off Joey Lucchesi and Smith followed with a RBI infield single to make it 3-1.
Yankees 13, Blue Jays 2
Kyle Higashioka hit three homers and DJ LeMahieu homered twice as New York belted at least six homers in consecutive games for the first time in team history en route to a lopsided win over visiting Toronto.
The Yankees matched a season high with their seventh straight win and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of Toronto for the fifth seed in the American League. New York also moved to within three games of the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the AL East.
Aaron Judge returned from missing all but one game since Aug. 12 due to a right calf strain. Judge finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, but his teammates displayed plenty of firepower, collecting seven homers one day after they hit six.
Cardinals 4, Brewers 2 (Game 1)
Tyler O'Neill and Brad Miller each hit solo homers and Adam Wainwright tossed his second complete game of 2020, albeit over seven innings, as St. Louis took the opener of a doubleheader at Milwaukee.
Miller finished with two hits and Tommy Edman drove home the tiebreaking run with a double in the fifth inning as the Cardinals overcame an early 2-0 deficit. Wainwright (5-1) held the Brewers scoreless after yielding Keston Hiura's two-run homer in the first inning. He gave up four hits and a walk while fanning nine.
Milwaukee's Brandon Woodruff also went the distance, yielding four runs (three earned) on seven hits and no walks with five strikeouts.
Brewers 6, Cardinals 0 (Game 2)
Ryan Braun hit his 350th career homer, a three-run blast in the first inning, and four pitchers held visiting St. Louis to two hits as Milwaukee earned a doubleheader split.
After sitting out the doubleheader opener, Braun had two hits, highlighted by his milestone homer, as the hosts scored four times in the first inning. Braun has hit 29 of those home runs against the Cardinals during his career.
Brent Suter allowed both of St. Louis' hits, both singles, over three innings, and Freddy Peralta (3-1) followed by striking out three in two innings. St. Louis rookie Johan Oviedo (0-3) allowed six runs, five earned, and seven hits while striking out five, walking two and hitting three batters over 5 1/3 innings.
Cubs 3, Indians 2 (10 innings)
Javier Baez had an RBI single with two outs in the 10th inning to lift host Chicago to its second straight walk-off win over reeling Cleveland.
With a runner already on second to begin the 10th inning, Kris Bryant singled to left-center field before Phil Maton (2-2) intentionally walked Anthony Rizzo to load the bases. Maton struck out the next two batters and got ahead in the count before Baez slapped an 0-2 curveball into left field for the win.
The late offense allowed Jason Adam (2-1) to pick up the victory. Jason Heyward and Cameron Maybin each had an RBI single for the Cubs, who have won four in a row overall and all four encounters with Cleveland this season. Oscar Mercado homered and Francisco Lindor scored on a wild pitch for the Indians, whose season-high losing streak reached eight games.
Rangers 1, Astros 0
Joey Gallo delivered a two-out, two-strike RBI double in the ninth inning to support the first career shutout by veteran Kyle Gibson in Texas' win at Houston.
Gallo deposited a curveball on a 1-2 pitch from Astros closer Ryan Pressly (1-3) into right field, with the ball bouncing into the seats down the first base line. Leody Taveras, who reached on a sharp grounder that Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel misplayed into a hit, scored on Gallo's hit.
Texas recorded just its fifth road win this season. The Rangers had lost 10 of 11 to Houston going back to 2019. Gibson (2-5) allowed four hits and three walks while striking out nine.
Nationals 4, Rays 2 (10 innings)
On the first pitch he saw in the 10th inning, rookie Luis Garcia belted a two-run homer to lift Washington past Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla.
With Carter Kieboom placed on second base as part of the 2020 extra-innings rule, Garcia smoked the first offering from reliever Nick Anderson (1-1). Kyle McGowin fanned the side in the bottom of the 10th to earn his first save in relief of closer Daniel Hudson (2-2), who blew his fifth save chance of the season with two outs in the ninth.
The Rays sent the game to extra innings after Lowe's dramatic homer off Hudson, Lowe's third hit of the game.
Athletics 3, Rockies 1
Mike Fiers tossed six strong innings and Tommy La Stella and Jake Lamb had two hits apiece to pace Oakland past Colorado in Denver. Lamb also drove in a run and Liam Hendriks picked up his 13th save for Oakland, which ended a six-game losing streak against the Rockies.
Raimel Tapia and Tony Wolters had two hits apiece for Colorado, which lost vital ground in its push to reach the postseason for the third time in four seasons.
Fiers (6-2) got his first win in three tries against the Rockies, allowing one run on seven hits, striking out four and not walking a batter.
Reds 1, Pirates 0
Luis Castillo allowed only three hits over seven scoreless innings and Shogo Akiyama hit a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning to give Cincinnati all the offense it needed (and received) to complete a four-game series sweep of visiting Pittsburgh.
The Reds have won five straight overall. The Pirates have lost eight in a row.
Castillo (3-5) won his third straight start. He struck out 10 and walked one. It was another dominant performance, as he was coming off his first career complete game, a nine-inning two-hitter Friday at St. Louis.
Orioles 5, Braves 1
Rookie Keegan Akin worked five scoreless innings and picked up his first career win as Baltimore beat visiting Atlanta.
The 25-year-old left-hander allowed three hits, one walk and struck out a career-high nine. It was the third time in four starts that Akin (1-1) has not allowed an earned run.
Cole Hamels (0-1) made his season debut for the Braves. The veteran left-hander worked 3 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on three hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
Royals 4, Tigers 0
Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer and an RBI double, and rookie Brady Singer tossed six dominant innings as Kansas City silenced host Detroit.
Whit Merrifield had two hits, scored two runs and stole two bases for the Royals, who have won seven of their past eight games. Aldaberto Mondesi added two hits and a run. The remainder of the lineup went hitless in 22 at-bats, but the Tigers struggled even more with the Royals' pitchers.
Singer (3-4) gave up just two singles and a walk in six innings while striking out eight. A trio of relievers followed, and Jesse Hahn, Scott Barlow and Greg Holland each pitched a perfect inning. Detroit batters struck out 12 times.
Marlins 8, Red Sox 4
Catcher Jorge Alfaro slugged a pair of two-run homers, leading host Miami past Boston as the Marlins continue their surprising march toward a playoff spot. Alfaro was removed from the game in the seventh inning after a foul ball hit his mask.
Garrett Cooper also hit a two-run homer for the surprising Marlins, who are in second place, one year removed from losing 105 games.
Alex Verdugo led Boston, going 3-for-4 with two runs, one double and one walk. J.D. Martinez, a Miami native, added a home run and three RBIs.
Mets 5, Phillies 4
Andres Gimenez hit an RBI single in the ninth inning, and visiting New York rallied past Philadelphia.
J.D. Davis homered, doubled twice, drove in three runs and scored two runs while Brandon Nimmo added two hits for the Mets, who snapped their three-game losing streak.
Mets starter Jacob deGrom was lifted after only two innings because of a right hamstring injury. deGrom allowed four hits and three runs on 40 pitches.
Twins 5, White Sox 1
Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano hit two-run homers and Eddie Rosario hit a solo shot as Minnesota won at Chicago and closed the gap between the top two teams in the AL Central.
The Twins pulled to within two games of the White Sox. Buxton's homer was his fifth in the last eight games. Reliever Cody Stashak (1-0) go the win for Minnesota, which saw three relievers retire the final 16 Chicago batters in order.
Jose Abreu belted his 16th homer of the season for Chicago, but the White Sox had just two hits. Lucas Giolito (4-3) took the loss after giving up three runs on three hits, including two homers, over six innings.
Giants 9, Mariners 3
Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford hit home runs, and seven Giants pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts in defeating Seattle in what was considered a home game for the Mariners in San Francisco.
The two-game interleague series was originally scheduled to begin Tuesday night in Seattle, but hazardous air conditions from wildfires in the Pacific Northwest forced a day off and a move to the Bay Area.
Right-hander Trevor Cahill (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings of relief as the Giants snapped a three-game losing streak and remained in position for one of the two National League wild-card spots in the expanded postseason.
Diamondbacks 9, Angels 6
Kole Calhoun homered for the third time in two days against his former team, helping Arizona beat Los Angeles in Anaheim, Calif.
David Peralta had three hits, including a home run, and scored three runs for the Diamondbacks. Calhoun and Nick Ahmed each had two hits, two runs and two RBIs. Reliever Taylor Clarke (2-0) tossed five innings and allowed four runs and six hits.
Max Stassi had three hits, including a home run, and two RBIs for the Angels, and Jared Walsh and Justin Upton also homered. Starter Dylan Bundy (5-3) gave up six runs in a season-low 2 2/3 innings.
-Field Level Media