Big Papi powers Red Sox to key 5-2 win at Orioles
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 21, 2016 03:48 PM
Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz (34) watches his three-run home run in front of Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters and home plate umpire Mike Everitt in the seventh inning of a baseball game in Baltimore, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The Associated Press
BALTIMORE (AP) — Boston's David Ortiz broke open a tight game with a three-run homer in the seventh inning to lift the Red Sox to a 5-2 win at Baltimore on Tuesday to move a step closer to sealing the American League East division.
A sixth straight win has the Red Sox four games clear in the AL East with 11 to play, while Baltimore trails by five games and its grip on the last wildcard spot is also shaky; 1-1/2 games ahead of Detroit.
Cleveland also edged toward sealing a division, as victory over Kansas City maintained the Indians' seven-game lead in the AL Central.
In the National League, San Francisco shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers to close the gap in the NL West to five games and move into a three-way tie for the two wildcard berths.
Washington's staggers continued as the Nationals lost a fourth straight game, but they remained eight games clear atop the NL East.
Boston's Jackie Bradley Jr. also homered for the Red Sox, who have won the first two of the pivotal series at Baltimore after having swept the New York Yankees in four games.
The Orioles trail Toronto by a game for the first AL wild card.
Cleveland's Brandon Guyer drove in the game-ending run to give the Indians a 2-1 win against Kansas City.
Guyer's two-out hit landed just fair in the right-field corner and scored Coco Crisp.
The Indians closed in on their first AL Central title in nine years while the Royals, the reigning World Series champions, will be eliminated from contention in the division if they lose to Cleveland on Wednesday.
San Francisco pitcher Johnny Cueto held Los Angeles scoreless until he departed with a groin strain in the sixth inning, setting the Giants up for a 2-0 win against the Dodgers.
Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Belt homered for San Francisco, which is tied with St. Louis and the New York Mets for the two wildcard berths.
The Giants also lost shortstop Brandon Crawford to injury, as he dislocated the little finger on his left hand in the second inning.
Miami's Jose Fernandez pitched eight scoreless innings to steer the Marlins to a 1-0 win against Washington.
Fernandez struck out 12 and issued no walks in nothing his 16th win of the season.
The only run of the game came from Giancarlo Stanton's homer in the sixth inning.
Toronto moved into first place in the AL wildcard race by winning 10-2 at Seattle, led by J.A. Happ, who became the major leagues' second 20-game winner.
Toronto took the lead with an eight-run fourth inning, powered by two-run homers from Russell Martin and Michael Saunders. The Blue Jays cruised to a win that moved them a game ahead of Baltimore.
Seattle has lost four of five and the Mariners are now three games off the wildcard spots.
Happ (20-4) allowed two runs and one walk over five innings, striking out eight while winning for the 14th time in his past 15 decisions. He's the first Toronto pitcher to reach 20 wins since Roy Halladay in 2008.
Chicago's Jon Lester overcame an injury scare to pitch seven strong innings as the Cubs beat Cincinnati 6-1 to move closer to securing the NL's best record.
Lester extended his scoreless streak to 21 innings before giving up a run in the fifth. He stayed in the game after a comebacker in the sixth left him with a welt on the wrist of his non-pitching hand.
The Cubs' 96th win reduced their magic number — the combination of their wins and/or Washington's losses — to three over the Nationals for clinching home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs.
Texas edged the Los Angeles Angels 5-4 in a testy game with multiple ejections, and moved closer to sealing back-to-back AL West titles.
Rookie Nomar Mazara hit his 20th homer of the season with a two-run shot in the fourth that put the Rangers ahead 4-3.
Texas cut its magic number to two over Houston to clinch the seventh division title in franchise history.
St. Louis' Adam Wainwright made up for a shaky pitching performance by driving in a career-high four runs, helping the Cardinals defeat Colorado 10-5 to move into a three-way tie for the NL wildcards.
The free-swinging Wainwright lined a two-run double in the second inning and brought in two more in the fifth.
On the mound, Wainwright gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Houston's George Springer drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning as the Astros edged Oakland 2-1.
Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen, Jody Mercer and Josh Bell each drove in two runs as the Pirates kept their faint playoff hopes alive with a 6-3 win against Milwaukee.
New York's rookie slugger Gary Sanchez hit his 17th homer in 42 games this season, a three-run shot in the seventh inning that powered the Yankees past Tampa Bay 5-3.
Atlanta blunted the New York Mets' wildcard bid with a 5-4 win as Julio Teheran continued his recent dominance of the Mets by pitching seven sparkling innings.
Philadelphia's Odubel Herrera homered and drove in three runs as the Phillies edged the Chicago White Sox 7-6.
Detroit's Matt Boyd breezed through eight innings as the Tigers defeated Minnesota 8-1 to stay in the thick of the AL wildcard race.
San Diego's Adam Rosales homered and drove in four runs and rookie Ryan Schimpf scored three times to lead the Padres past Arizona 5-2.