Rangers clinch AL West title with win at Oakland
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 24, 2016 04:46 PM
Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre walks to the dugout after striking out against the Oakland Athletics in the seventh inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)OAKLAND, California (AP) — Texas became the first team to clinch an American League playoff spot by winning 3-0 at Oakland on Friday, with Adrian Beltre hitting a two-run homer in the seventh inning as the Rangers secured their second straight AL West title.
The Rangers became the second team into the postseason after the Chicago Cubs, who shut out St. Louis to leave the Cardinals half a game off the last National League wildcard.
There were mixed fortunes for the other NL division leaders as Washington missed a chance to clinch the East by losing an extra-innings game at Pittsburgh while the Los Angeles Dodgers moved to the brink of sealing the West title by downing Colorado.
Oakland starter Kendall Graveman was perfect through six innings but gave up three runs in the seventh, led by Beltre's shot.
This is Texas' eighth AL West title and fourth since 2010.
All-Star Cole Hamels pitched the division-clinching game for the second year in a row as Texas claimed its eighth AL West crown.
Chicago's Jake Arrieta struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings to guide the Cubs to a 5-0 win against St. Louis.
Arrieta walked only one as the Cubs won their 98th game of the season; the most since they last played in the World Series in 1945.
Anthony Rizzo had three hits and Ben Zobrist drove in two runs for Chicago.
Pittsburgh rookie Jacob Stallings drove in the winning run in the 11th inning to give the Pirates a 6-5 win against Washington.
Pittsburgh loaded the bases with one out when Francisco Cervelli doubled, Andrew McCutchen was intentionally walked and Pedro Florimon walked. After the second out, Stalling hit a full-count pitch into left field.
While the Pirates stayed on the fringe of the NL wild-card race, Washington's magic number — the aggregate of its wins and/or losses by its nearest rival — is one to clinch a playoff berth and two for the NL East title.
Los Angeles' Joc Pederson and Andre Ethier hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning to power the Dodgers to a 5-2 win against Colorado.
The victory trimmed the Dodgers' magic number for clinching a record fourth consecutive NL West title to two.
Toronto's Francisco Liriano and three relievers combined to shut out the New York Yankees in a 9-0 win and maintain a one-game lead in the AL wildcard race.
Liriano (8-13) escaped a bases-loaded jam by striking out Chase Headley to end a 27-pitch first inning, then left runners at the corners after the first two batters reached in the third. That was the start of a stretch that saw him retire nine straight. Liriano struck out six for his second win with Toronto.
Troy Tulowitzki had four RBIs as the Blue Jays beat the Yankees for the sixth game running.
New York has gone 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position in their past two games and stranded 17 runners.
Cleveland's Jose Ramirez hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs as the Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 10-4 to move a step closer to the AL Central title.
The Indians dropped their magic number to three games for their first division title since 2007.
Chicago has lost six in a row and was eliminated from the AL wild-card race.
Detroit's Michael Fulmer pitched seven sharp innings for his first win in over a month as the Tigers beat Kansas City 8-3 to maintain sole possession of the last AL wildcard.
Fulmer allowed one run and no walks while striking out nine as the Tigers won a fifth straight game.
Boston extended its winning streak to nine by edging Tampa Bay 2-1 thanks to a two-run homer from David Ortiz.
Ortiz's 37th homer raised his season RBIs total to 124, one more than Shoeless Joe Jackson in 1920 to set a record for the most by a player in his final season.
The 40-year-old's 540th homer, his 300th on the road, struck an overhanging catwalk above the right-field seats.
Boston maintained a 5-1/2 game lead over Toronto atop the AL East and lowered its magic number to two for clinching a playoff berth.
The New York Mets stayed in front in the NL wildcard race by beating Philadelphia 10-5, with Michael Conforto hitting a three-run homer that capped a six-run rally in the fifth inning.
The Los Angeles Angels won 10-6 at Houston to drop the Astros 2-1/2 games behind Detroit in the fight for the last AL wildcard.
Baltimore's Mark Trumbo led off the 12th inning with his major league-leading 44th home run to give the Orioles a 3-2 win against Arizona, staying half a game behind Detroit.
San Diego beat San Francisco 7-2 to make it seven wins in eight games against the Giants, who dropped into the second NL wildcard spot.
Atlanta extended its fruitless winning streak to seven with a 3-2 victory at Miami, with Adonis Garcia hitting a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning.
Seattle's Robinson Cano had four hits and drove in two runs to lead the Mariners to a 10-1 win at Minnesota.
Milwaukee turned its second triple play of the season in beating Cincinnati 5-4.