Dodgers down Giants to close in on NL West crown
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 22, 2016 03:13 PM
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, of Japan, throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles' Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer in a five-run first inning that set the Dodgers up for a 9-3 win against San Francisco on Wednesday, widening the gap between the National League West division's top teams to six games with only ten to play in the regular season.
Washington also moved to the brink of clinching a division as it beat Miami to go nine games clear atop the NL East.
Boston too tightened its grip on a playoff berth by beating Baltimore to open a five-game gap at the top of the American League East, while Cleveland edged Kansas City and also seems bound for the postseason.
Puig's three-run shot was among 12 hits for the Dodgers, who took two of the three games in the series and should have the division wrapped up before another three-game series between the rivals next week.
Los Angeles starter Kenta Maeda allowed three hits in five innings while improving to 4-0 against the Giants this season. He struck out six and walked only one to notch his 16th win of the season; one away from tying Rick Sutcliffe's record by a rookie set in 1979.
Washington's Max Scherzer recorded his 18th win of the season — tied for the NL lead — as he steered the Nationals to an 8-3 victory over Miami.
Scherzer struck out eight over 6-2/3 inning to tie Chicago's Jon Lester for the most wins in the NL.
The Nationals ended their four-game losing skid and lowered their magic number — the combined total of their wins and/or losses by their closest rival — to three games to clinch the NL East.
Boston scored five unearned runs in the sixth inning after a throwing error by Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis, and beat the Orioles 5-1.
Andrew Benintendi hit a three-run homer for the Red Sox, who will try to complete a four-game sweep Thursday. Boston pulled five games ahead of Toronto in the AL East and six in front of Baltimore.
Boston's seven-game winning streak, which began with a sweep of the New York Yankees, is its longest since 2014.
Baltimore is a game behind Toronto for the top AL wildcard, and holds the second wildcard, but only a game ahead of Detroit and Houston.
Cleveland's Corey Kluber allowed two runs and struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings to guide the Indians to a 4-3 win against Kansas City.
Kluber notched his 18th win of the season, matching a career high, and has won ten of his past 11 decisions.
The Indians reduced their magic number for clinching the AL Central to five.
The loss officially eliminated Kansas City, the reigning World Series champions, from contention in the AL Central and they are five games off the last wildcard place.
Seattle's Robinson Cano drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning in a key result between two teams fighting for AL wildcard berths.
Guillermo Heredia reached second base on a throwing error to open the 12th. Ben Gamel followed with an attempted sacrifice bunt, and the throw seemed to have Heredia out at third, but the ball popped out of the third baseman's glove in trying to make the tag.
Cano then followed with a run-scoring fly ball to left field.
Chicago's John Lackey pitched seven solid innings for his first win in six weeks, steering the Cubs past Cincinnati 9-2 to complete the sweep.
Lackey allowed two runs and retired his last 14 batters. He had not won any of his previous four starts despite an impressive 2.55 earned run average per nine innings.
Miguel Montero drove in three runs for Chicago, which reached 97 wins — the same total as last season — and lowered their magic number for clinching home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs to two over Washington.
Los Angeles beat Texas 5-4, delaying the Rangers' bid to seal the AL West title.
The magic number for Texas remained at two after the loss and second-place Houston's victory at Oakland.
Mike Trout hit a three-run drive for his 28th homer while Jered Weaver struck out six in his 150th victory in an Angels uniform. He joined Chuck Finley as the pitchers to win 150 games for the Angels.
Colorado's 21-year-old German Marquez pitched five solid innings for his first major league win as the Rockies routed St. Louis 11-1 to slow the Cardinals' playoff chase.
Houston catcher Jason Castro threw out a runner on an attempted steal to end the game, giving the Astros a 6-5 win against Oakland and a boost in their playoff push.
Pittsburgh rookie Chad Kuhl pitched six strong innings to lead the Pirates to a 4-1 win against the Brewers; their sixth straight win at Milwaukee and one that kept them on the fringe of playoff calculations.
New York rookie Gary Sanchez hit two more homers and drove in five runs as the Yankees beat Tampa Bay 11-5 to move within 2-1/2 games of the second AL wildcard spot.
Atlanta center fielder Ender Inciarte robbed Yoenis Cespedes of a winning homer as he tooking a leaping catch at the wall to end the game and preserve a 4-3 victory for the Braves, putting another dent in the New York Mets' playoff ambitions.
Philadelphia's Jerad Eickhoff outpitched Chicago ace Chris Sale to steer the Phillies to an 8-3 win over the White Sox.
Arizona's Zack Greinke pitched six strong innings to lead the Diamondbacks past San Diego 3-2.