Baseball Capsules

DENVER (AP) Neil Walker had a career-high six RBIs, including a three-run homer, and the Pittsburgh Pirates clinched their third straight playoff berth by beating the Colorado Rockies 13-7 on Wednesday night.

The Pirates secured at least an NL wild card as they chase first-place St. Louis in the NL Central. They trail by four games with a home series coming up against the Cardinals.

Walker provided the bulk of the offense with a bloop, two-run single in the first and a towering three-run homer in the third off fill-in starter Christian Bergman (3-1). Walker ended his night with a run-scoring single as part of a six-run ninth to break open a tight game.


TORONTO (AP) – Russell Martin hit a three-run home run, Marcus Stroman pitched seven strong innings to win his third straight start and the Blue Jays beat the Yankees, extending their AL East lead to 3 1/2 games.

Martin, who used to play for the Yankees, connected off Andrew Bailey in the seventh. Martin matched his career high for homers with 21 as Toronto took two of three from New York in a showdown between the division’s top teams.

Stroman (3-0) allowed five hits, walked one and struck out five in his third start since returning from a torn knee ligament suffered in spring training. The outing lowered his ERA to 1.89.

Brett Cecil worked the eighth and Roberto Osuna finished.

Starting in place of Masahiro Tanaka (right hamstring), New York right-hander Ivan Nova (6-9) took the mound for the first time since allowing six runs in 1 2-3 innings of a Sept. 12 loss to Toronto.


NEW YORK (AP) – Freddie Freeman broke a ninth-inning tie with a three-run homer after driving in two as a pinch hitter in the seventh, and the Braves stunned the Mets in the finale of New York’s rough homestand.

David Wright had a tying, two-out single off Brandon Cuniff in the seventh after the Braves scored three times in the top half to take a 3-2 lead. But closer Jeurys Familia failed in the ninth as the NL East leaders finished 3-6 on their penultimate set at Citi Field.

New York stayed 6 1/2 games in front of second-place Washington, whose 4-3 loss to Baltimore trimmed the Mets’ magic number to five for clinching the division title.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Phil Hughes pitched five scoreless innings in his return to the rotation, and the Twins had rare success against Corey Kluber in a victory over the Indians to move within a game of the second AL wild-card spot.

Minnesota trails Houston by a game after the Astros lost to the Angels earlier Wednesday.

Hughes (11-9) allowed four hits and struck out four. Brian Dozier homered and Trevor Plouffe had two doubles, a single and an RBI for the Twins (78-73).

Kluber (8-15) gave up four runs on five hits and struck out six in 3 2-3 innings for the Indians. Cleveland played without star outfielder Michael Brantley, who injured his shoulder while diving for a ball on Tuesday night.

Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the Indians (74-76), who now trail the Astros by 5 1/2 games with 12 left to play.


HOUSTON (AP) – David Freese hit a go-ahead two-run double in a three-run eighth inning to help the Angels rally for a win over the Astros to close in on the second AL wild-card spot.

In the eighth, Mike Trout hit a leadoff double off Will Harris (5-5) before David Murphy drew a walk with one out and Harris was replaced by Pat Neshek.

Freese’s double sailed just beyond left fielder Colby Rasmus on the warning track and made it 5-4. Carlos Perez’s RBI single made it 6-4 and chased Neshek.

Trevor Gott (3-2) induced the last two outs of the seventh for the win and Huston Street allowed one run in the ninth before retiring Jed Lowrie for his 40th save.

ROYALS 4, MARINERS 3, 10 innings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Lorenzo Cain singled home pinch-runner Paulo Orlando in the 10th inning, and the Royals rallied past the Mariners to close in on their first division title in 30 years.

The victory reduced the Royals’ magic number to two for clinching the AL Central crown. They can lock it up Thursday night with another victory over Seattle and a Minnesota loss to Cleveland.

The defending AL champions have not won a division since taking the AL West in 1985 and going on to win the World Series.

Wade Davis (8-1) worked a spotless 10th to pick up the victory. Rollins (0-2) absorbed the loss.


DETROIT (AP) – Justin Verlander hit 99 mph in evading a bases-loaded jam during his final inning, and Victor Martinez hit his 200th career home run as the Tigers beat the White Sox.

Verlander (4-8) threw five straight fastballs 98-99 mph in striking out Geovany Soto to end the seventh inning and exited with a four-run lead. He allowed three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts.

Melky Cabrera’s 100th career home run, a two-run shot in the fourth, accounted for the first two White Sox runs off Verlander.

The Tigers scored six runs off Frankie Montas (0-1) in his first career start. They scored twice in the first on Martinez’s 11th home run, then added four more runs in the third – two of them scoring on J.D. Martinez’s bases-loaded ground-rule double that gave him 98 RBIs for the season.


WASHINGTON (AP) – Manny Machado hit a two-run homer off Max Scherzer with two outs in the seventh inning and the Orioles rallied past the Nationals.

Steve Pearce had a two-run homer and a double for the Orioles, who moved within four games of the final AL wild card spot.

Washington remains 6 1-2 games behind NL-East leading New York, which lost to Atlanta.

J.J. Hardy led off the seventh with a double against Scherzer (12-12), but after Clint Robinson robbed Gerardo Parra with a diving stop at first, the Washington starter had a chance to get out of it.

Machado worked the count to 2-2 before lining Scherzer’s season-high 122nd and final pitch into the seats in left center for his 30th homer.

Baltimore starter Chris Tillman (10-11) allowed three runs over six innings for his first win since Aug. 17.

Darren O’Day pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

MARLINS 4, PHILLIES 3, 11 innings

MIAMI (AP) – Dee Gordon’s RBI double with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning lifted the Miami Marlins to a victory over the Phillies.

Justin Bour hit his 19th home run for the Marlins, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

Miguel Rojas singled and Ichiro Suzuki walked with two outs in the 11th before Gordon doubled to deep right-center field off Jerome Williams (4-12).

Brian Ellington (2-1) earned the win by pitching a scoreless inning.

Both teams scored a run in the 10th as Freddy Galvis hit an RBI single for the Phillies and Suzuki scored for the Marlins on a throwing error by catcher Carlos Ruiz.

The Marlins had a runner in scoring position after Ruiz’s error with no outs, but were unable to drive in the winning run in three straight at-bats.


BOSTON (AP) – Drew Smyly pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, and John Jaso’s two-run double keyed a three-run eighth to carry the Rays to a win over the Red Sox, keeping Tampa Bay out of last place.

Steven Souza Jr. had four hits, Asdrubal Cabrera had three hits and both hit solo homers. The Rays won for the fourth time in 11 games. Tampa Bay lost the opener of the four-game series Monday, falling into the AL East’s basement this late in the season for the first time since 2007.

Smyly (4-2) gave up five hits, struck out seven and walked three in 6 1-3 innings.

Mookie Betts had two singles for Boston, which had won 11 of 17. The Red Sox scored both runs with two outs in the ninth.

Rick Porcello (8-14) allowed three runs – two earned – on 11 hits, striking out eight and walking one in seven-plus innings.


CHICAGO (AP) – Zach Davies allowed two hits over six innings and Martin Maldonado drove in two runs to lead Milwaukee to a victory over Chicago, snapping the Brewers’ nine-game losing streak to the Cubs.

Jorge Soler homered for the Cubs, who lost for the second time in nine games and finished with three hits total.

Davies (2-2) allowed two singles in the second inning, walked one and struck out four.

Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth and picked up his 35th save in 37 opportunities.

Luis Sardinas gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead with an RBI single just out of the reach of a diving Kris Bryant at third base.


ST. LOUIS (AP) – Matt Carpenter hit a pair of two-run homers, Lance Lynn pitched six scoreless innings and the Cardinals routed the Reds.

The win was the fourth straight for the NL Central leaders and it improved their major league-best record to 96-56. Randal Grichuk and Peter Bourjos also homered as the Cardinals hit four for the first time this season.

Matt Holliday returned to the St. Louis lineup for the first time since July 29 and contributed an RBI double.

Both of Carpenter’s homers came off Brandon Finnegan (4-1), who allowed six runs in five innings.


SAN DIEGO (AP) – Jedd Gyorko hit an RBI single to right-center with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Padres a wild win over the Giants, who dropped seven games behind first-place Los Angeles in the NL West with 11 to go.

The Dodgers beat Arizona 4-1. The Giants remained 9 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second wild card.

The Padres won for just the fourth time in 12 games.

San Diego started the winning rally against George Kontos (4-3) with a one-out double by Matt Kemp and an intentional walk to Justin Upton. Brett Wallace popped up before Gyorko singled off Santiago Casilla.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre each hit three-run homers in support of Colby Lewis’ six strong and the Rangers beat the Athletics to take a three-game lead in the AL West Division.

Rougned Odor also homered, Mitch Moreland, Shin-Soo Choo, Will Venable drove in runs and Prince Fielder ended an 0-for-20 streak as the Rangers magic number fell to eight.

Lewis (17-8) became the Rangers’ first 17-game winner since Scott Feldman won 17 in 2009. He’s already set a career high for wins.

Felix Doubront (3-3) gave up seven runs in 4 2-3 innings.


LOS ANGELES (AP) – Chase Utley hit a leadoff homer and added a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth inning, and the Dodgers snapped their four-game losing streak beating the Diamondbacks.

Utley’s double to the wall in right field drove in Jimmy Rollins, whose bunt single leading off the eighth was Los Angeles’ first hit since Utley’s homer on Chase Anderson’s first pitch.

Corey Seager then added a two-run homer for the Dodgers (86-65), who lowered their magic number for clinching a playoff berth and their third straight NL West title to five.

Paul Goldschmidt homered in his fourth straight game at Dodger Stadium for the Diamondbacks, who easily won the first two games of this series against the inconsistent Dodgers.