NEW YORK (AP) The New York Yankees clinched an AL wild-card spot Thursday night, ending a two-year absence from the postseason by beating the Boston Red Sox 4-1.
Carlos Beltran and rookies Greg Bird and Rob Refsnyder all homered for the Yankees in the franchise’s 10,000th regular-season win.
Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees open the playoffs with a winner-take-all game on Tuesday. Houston leads the race for the second AL wild-card spot.
New York had failed to reach the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since its 1982-93 drought, just before the start of a golden age that included five World Series titles and seven AL pennants from 1996-2009 for the now-retired Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
CC Sabathia (6-10) won for the second time since the All-Star break. Dellin Betances got three outs for his ninth save in 13 chances.
Rich Hill (2-1) wound up with the loss.
RANGERS 5, ANGELS 3
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – The Texas Rangers clinched a wild-card spot and moved to the cusp of the AL West title, with Adrian Beltre’s three-run double backing Derek Holland in a win over Los Angeles.
The Rangers (87-72), in the playoffs for the first time since 2012 after a 95-loss season, are a win or a Houston loss away from their first division title since winning two straight and going to the World Series in 2010-11.
The Angels are a game behind the Astros and tied with Minnesota for the second wild-card slot.
Holland (4-3) allowed three hits and three runs in 6 1-3 innings for his first win since Sept. 5. Shawn Tolleson got his 35th save in 37 chances.
Beltre broke a 1-all tie with a bases-clearing double off Andrew Heaney (6-4) in the fifth.
ORIOLES 6, BLUE JAYS 4
BALTIMORE (AP) – The AL East champion Toronto Blue Jays rested their regulars a day after clinching the division title, and Manny Machado homered twice for Baltimore.
The game was delayed by rain for nearly 3 1/2 hours.
Blue Jays ace David Price was scratched from his scheduled start. Drew Hutchison (13-5) took the loss.
Todd McFarland (1-2) got the win and Zach Britton posted his 35th save.
TWINS 4, INDIANS 2
CLEVELAND (AP) – Pinch-runner Eduardo Nunez scored from third base on a wild pitch and Torii Hunter hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning as Minnesota beat the Indians and moved a little closer to an AL wild-card spot.
Facing a crushing loss, the Twins scored a run in the eighth to tie it and then two unearned runs in the ninth off Cody Allen (2-5). They’re tied with the Angels, one game behind Houston for the second wild-card berth with three games left.
Glen Perkins (3-5) pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Kevin Jepsen worked the ninth for 15th save.
PHILLIES 3, METS 0
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Jerad Eickhoff struck out 10 in seven innings and Darin Ruf hit a two-run homer as the Phillies beat the NL East champions to complete a three-game sweep.
The Mets have a one-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage in their division series next week.
Eickhoff (3-3) gave up two infield singles, two doubles and no walks. Luis Garcia got for his second save in four tries.
Rookie Sean Gilmartin (3-2) made his first career start for the Mets after 49 relief appearances. He allowed two runs and three hits in five innings.
CUBS 5, REDS 3
CINCINNATI (AP) – Austin Jackson hit a three-run homer, Anthony Rizzo added an RBI double and Chicago kept alive its slim hopes for home-field advantage in the NL wild-card game.
The Reds lost their 12th in a row.
The Cubs moved within two games of idle Pittsburgh in the race for home field in Wednesday’s NL wild-card playoff game.
Joey Votto singled to reach base for the 47th straight game, the longest since Kevin Millar’s 52-game stretch in 2007. Pete Rose holds the record with a 48-game string in 1978.
Jason Hammel (10-7) threw five shutout innings to match his career high in wins. Hector Rondon got his 29th save.
John Lamb (1-5) took the loss.
DODGERS 3, GIANTS 2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Brett Anderson gave up four hits in 7 2-3 innings as the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers wrapped up their road schedule.
Anderson (10-9) retired 14 straight batters at one stretch.
Tim Hudson (8-9) allowed three runs and three hits in 2 1-3 innings in the final start of his 17-year major league career.
Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his 35th save.
ROYALS 6, WHITE SOX 4
CHICAGO (AP) – Jonny Gomes drove in three runs and banged-up Kansas City moved into a tie with Toronto for the AL’s best record.
The Royals were minus outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Rios, and designated hitter Kendrys Morales (left quad tightness) and catcher Salvador Perez (swelling in right thumb) each departed during the game. Cain was sidelined by a sore right knee, and Rios was scratched because of a stiff back.
Kris Medlen (6-2) pitched six innings of two-run ball, and Ryan Madson tossed a perfect ninth for his third save.
Chicago’s John Danks (7-15) lost his third straight start.
RAYS 4, MARLINS 1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Jake Odorizzi allowed one run over seven innings as Tampa Bay beat Jose Fernandez and Miami for a three-game sweep.
Odorizzi (9-9) scattered four hits, walked two and struck out seven. Brad Boxberger pitched the ninth for his 41st save.
Fernandez (6-1) gave up two runs, 11 hits and fanned nine in six innings.
The Rays said it was the first regular-season game ever between AL and NL teams during October. Houston and Arizona will start a three-game interleague series Friday night.
NATIONALS 3, BRAVES 0
ATLANTA (AP) – Stephen Strasburg continued his strong September to help Washington beat Atlanta.
Strasburg (11-7) gave up six hits and struck out seven in six innings. In his final four starts of the season, he finished 3-0 with an 0.62 ERA. He struck out 44 in 29 innings.
Rookie Felipe Rivero retired all six batters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings for his first save. It was the first save opportunity for the Nationals since closer Jonathan Papelbon was suspended for the final week of the season.
Braves rookie Ryan Weber (0-3) struck out a career-high 10 in seven innings.
PADRES 3, BREWERS 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Ian Kennedy struck out 11 in what was likely his final start with San Diego.
The Padres underachieved this year, extending their postseason drought to nine seasons despite a roster overhaul that included adding stars such as Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris and James Shields. San Diego will finish with a losing record for the fifth straight season.
Kennedy (9-15) is eligible to become a free agent. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 39th save.
Milwaukee starter Taylor Jungmann (9-8) took the loss.
DIAMONDBACKS 8, ROCKIES 6
PHOENIX (AP) – Welington Castillo had a go-ahead two-run double with two outs during Arizona’s four-run seventh inning.
Phil Gosselin hit an inside-the-park home run for Arizona with two outs in the seventh to start Arizona’s rally. Replays appeared to show the ball clearing the yellow line on top of the wall in left field and then bouncing back onto the field. By the time left fielder Rafael Ynoa retrieved the ball and threw it back toward the infield, Gosselin was headed for home.
Castillo had his double off reliever Justin Miller (3-3) and scored on two wild pitches by Boone Logan.
Enrique Burgos (2-2) got the win in relief for the Diamondbacks despite allowing a run and two hits with two wild pitches in the seventh. Silvino Bracho pitched a scoreless ninth for his first major league save.