BOSTON (AP) David Ortiz hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Friday night.
The AL East champion Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak and stayed a half-game ahead of Cleveland in the race for home-field advantage when their playoff series begins next week.
The Blue Jays fell one game behind Baltimore in the wild-card race and are now within range of Detroit and Seattle in the fight for the AL's final postseason berth.
With his image mowed into the grass in center for the final regular-season series of his career, Ortiz hit his 38th homer of the year – and No. 541 of his career – to help Boston rally from a 3-1 deficit with four runs in the seventh.
Dustin Pedroia had three hits for Boston, and Brad Ziegler (2-3) picked up the win with one inning of scoreless relief. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 31st save.
Devon Travis had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and Jose Bautista homered for Toronto. Joe Biagini (4-3) got the loss.
RANGERS 3, RAYS 1
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Yu Darvish looked playoff-ready with a season-high 12 strikeouts in six innings, and Texas clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
The Rangers have the tiebreakers over fellow contenders Boston and Cleveland. The AL owns home-field advantage in the World Series thanks to its win in the All-Star Game.
Darvish (7-5) allowed one run and three hits.
Shin-Soo Choo returned to Texas' lineup after missing 39 games with a fractured left forearm. Choo pulled a single to right in his first plate appearance since Aug. 15 and went 1 for 4.
Matt Andriese (8-8) gave up three runs and seven hits, including solo home runs to Carlos Beltran and Rougned Odor.
ORIOLES 8, YANKEES 1
NEW YORK (AP) – Baltimore's Mark Trumbo hit his major league-leading 47th home run, and Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones also went deep in a six-run fifth inning.
The Orioles opened a one-game lead over the Blue Jays and remain 1 1/2 games in front of Detroit for the AL's two wild cards. Two games are left, and the Orioles' magic number for a postseason berth is two.
Trumbo and Jones homered off Michael Pineda (6-12), who started with 3 2/3 hitless innings and suddenly became ineffective.
Schoop tied his career high with five RBIs. Yovani Gallardo (6-8) won for just the second time in nine starts since Aug. 5, allowing two hits, three walks and Mark Teixeira's sacrifice fly in six innings.
Eliminated on Thursday, New York rested two regulars and pulled four others by the sixth inning.
CARDINALS 7, PIRATES 0
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Carlos Martinez pitched seven sharp innings, Matt Holliday hit an emotional home run and St. Louis stayed in the middle of the NL wild-card race.
The Cardinals began the day trailing San Francisco by one game for the second wild card. The Giants hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers later Thursday night.
Martinez (16-9) gave up five singles, walked one and struck out nine.
Holliday, who broke his left thumb when he was hit by a pitch Aug. 11, asked the club to activate him Friday to make what could be his farewell appearance in a Cardinals uniform. The Cardinals are not planning to pick up their $17 million option on his contract for 2017.
Holliday received a standing ovation before he pinch-hit in the seventh and responded with his 20th home run, and then came out for a curtain call.
Pittsburgh's Tyler Glasnow (0-2) pitched five innings of one-run ball.
MARLINS 7, NATIONALS 4
WASHINGTON (AP) – Christian Yelich homered for Miami, and Dee Gordon's infield single in the sixth inning scored the go-ahead run.
The game began following a 1 hour, 43 minute rain delay. The series opener came a day after a memorial service in Florida for Jose Fernandez. The Marlins ace died in a boating accident Sunday.
Mike Dunn (6-1) got the win and A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth for his 40th save.
Anthony Rendon and Stephen Drew hit back-to-back home runs for Washington in a four-run fourth. Sammy Solis (2-4) got the loss.
Bryce Harper went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts in his return to the Nationals lineup after sitting out the previous four days with a left thumb injury.
WHITE SOX 7, TWINS 3
CHICAGO (AP) – Carlos Rodon tied an AL record by striking out the first seven batters and Tim Anderson had three hits to help the White Sox hand the Twins their 103rd loss – the most since the franchise moved to Minnesota.
Rodon (9-10) finished with 10 strikeouts in six innings and was charged with three runs and three hits. Anderson also drove in two runs in Chicago's sixth win in seven games.
Tyler Duffey (9-12) gave up five runs in two-plus innings to ensure Minnesota won't have a 10-game winner while reaching the most losses since the Washington Senators went 50-104 in 1949. The 57-103 Twins have two games left.
INDIANS 7, ROYALS 2
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Ryan Merritt retired his final 13 batters while pitching five strong innings in his first big league start and Francisco Lindor hit a three-run homer for Cleveland.
Merritt (1-0) gave up a run on three hits in the first, but nothing after that. Merritt, who had made three relief appearances after being promoted Sept. 11 from Triple-A Columbus, threw 62 pitches, striking out four and walking none.
Lindor, who snapped an 0-for-29 drought with a double in a four-run third, homered off the left-field foul pole in the seventh.
Kansas City's Yordano Ventura (11-12) gave up four runs and six hits in six innings.
ROCKIES 4, BREWERS 1
DENVER (AP) – Nolan Arenado hit his NL-leading 41st homer for Colorado, and Chad Bettis pitched effectively into the seventh inning.
Bettis (14-8) allowed one run and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings while extending a career high in wins this season. He struck out five in the Rockies' first win in four games against Milwaukee this season.
Carlos Estevez got four outs before Adam Ottavino worked the ninth for his seventh save.
Chris Carter connected in the fourth inning, becoming the sixth player in Brewers history to reach 40 home runs in a season. Brent Suter (2-2) got the loss.