BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles won their first AL East crown since 1997, using home runs by Steve Pearce and Jimmy Paredes to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 Tuesday night.
With their ninth win in 10 games, the Orioles clinched their second playoff appearance in three years following a run of 14 consecutive losing seasons. It was Baltimore’s ninth AL East title and only its second since 1983, when the Orioles last won the World Series.
The franchise has enjoyed a rebirth under the guidance of manager Buck Showalter, whose 1,254th victory thrust him past mentor Billy Martin into sole possession of 36th place on the career list.
Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9) survived a rocky start to limit the Blue Jays to two runs and two hits over five innings in his third start since July 5.
Pearce provided the Orioles with the lead for good with a three-run drive off Drew Hutchison (10-12) in the first inning. Pearce has 18 home runs this year, one more than he had in 290 games as a part-timer from 2007-13.
Paredes hit a solo shot in the second to make it 4-2. It was his second homer in 10 games with Baltimore.
NATIONALS 3, BRAVES 0
ATLANTA (AP) — The Washington Nationals are again champions of the NL East, wrapping up their second division title in three years against the team that knocked them out of the top spot last season.
Tanner Roark pitched five-hit ball over seven innings, Ian Desmond’s two-run homer broke a scoreless tie and the Nationals celebrated another trip to the playoffs with a victory over Atlanta.
The clinching victory was especially sweet coming against the Braves, who finished 10 games ahead of the Nationals in 2013. The roles were reserved this season as Washington steadily pulled away down the stretch.
Atlanta (75-76) lost for the 11th time in 14 games, further damaging its hopes of making a third straight playoff appearance as a wild card. The Braves have lost five straight and are under .500 for the first time since losing on opening day.
Roark (14-10) pitched around four leadoff singles by Atlanta, which never got a runner past second base. Tyler Clippard worked a scoreless eighth, and Drew Storen finished for his seventh save.
The Nationals broke through in the sixth off Aaron Harang (11-11).
CUBS 7, REDS 0
CHICAGO (AP) — Jake Arrieta took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning before giving up Brandon Phillips’ one-out double, the only blemish for the Chicago Cubs pitcher in a win over Cincinnati.
Arrieta (9-5) struck out 13 and walked one in his first career complete game. He was five outs from the first no-hitter at Wrigley Field in 42 years when Phillips drove an 0-2 pitch to deep left-center, just beyond the desperate dive of center fielder Matt Szczur on the warning track.
It was the third time this season Arrieta has flirted with a no-hitter.
Chicago gave Arrieta plenty of run support against Reds ace Johnny Cueto (18-9). Chris Coghlan capped a five-run sixth inning with a three-run double, and Jorge Soler homered in the seventh.
Arrieta retired 21 of the first 22 batters he faced before allowing Phillips’ double. He issued a leadoff walk in the fourth to Billy Hamilton, who was caught stealing on the next pitch.
Cueto yielded six runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out eight.
BREWERS 3, CARDINALS 2, 12 innings
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Carlos Gomez walked, stole second and third and scored the go-ahead run on a bloop hit by rookie Hector Gomez in the 12th inning as Milwaukee ended NL Central-leading St. Louis’ three-game winning streak.
Brandon Kintzler (3-3) got the last out in the 11th, and Francisco Rodriguez closed for his 42nd save in 47 chances. The third-place Brewers have won five of six and are four games back of St. Louis, which has a 2 1/2-game lead on Pittsburgh with 11 to go.
Gerardo Parra homered and rookie Matt Clark’s sacrifice fly tied it against Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth. The Cardinals were blanked on four hits over the last 11 innings after jumping on Wily Peralta for two quick runs in the first.
Lance Lynn worked seven strong innings for St. Louis before Rosenthal was saddled with his sixth blown save in 50 chances.
Kevin Siegrist (1-4) took the loss.
ROCKIES 10, DODGERS 4
DENVER (AP) — Corey Dickerson homered, tripled and drove in four runs, Tyler Matzek pitched into the sixth inning by getting out of several tight spots, and Colorado snapped a seven-game skid with a win over the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers had Matzek (6-10) on the ropes, but couldn’t produce the timely hit. They stranded 10 runners to drop 1 1-2 games behind Washington for the best record in the National League.
Matzek allowed two runs and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings. He also had six strikeouts, including Juan Uribe twice to end threats.
Dan Haren (13-11) had a more productive evening at the plate than on the mound, where he struggled to find his rhythm as he allowed five runs in five innings. Haren had two singles off Matzek, and everyone in the lineup had a hit.
It was a rare rough outing for Haren, who entered the game 5-1 with a 1.70 ERA over his previous seven starts.
GIANTS 2, DIAMONDBACKS 1
PHOENIX (AP) — Jake Peavy had another strong outing, Buster Posey homered, and San Francisco gained a game in the NL West race with a victory over Arizona.
The Giants are three games behind first-place Los Angeles with 11 to play. San Francisco snapped a three-game losing streak and remained 2 1/2 games ahead of Pittsburgh for the NL’s top wild-card spot.
Peavy (6-4), acquired from Boston on July 26, allowed a run and five hits in 7 2-3 innings, striking out four and walking one. In his last five starts, he is 3-0 and has allowed a combined four runs.
Santiago Casilla pitched a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 20 opportunities.
Josh Collmenter (10-8) gave up two runs and seven hits in eight innings.
Posey again was a problem for Collmenter. By going 2 for 4, his career average against the Arizona right-hander is .611 (11 for 20) with three home runs. Posey’s 21st home run of the season put the Giants up 1-0 in the fourth.
WHITE SOX 7, ROYALS 5
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis both gave up runs for the first time in nearly three months as Kansas City’s dominant bullpen was touched up in a loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Davis replaced Herrera (3-3) with two on in the seventh inning and walked Jose Abreu to load the bases for Conor Gillaspie, who cleared them with a triple to right-center that gave Chicago a 7-5 lead.
That ended Herrera’s scoreless streak at 30 2-3 innings, dating to June 24. Also snapped was Davis’ shutout streak of 31 2-3 innings, a club record for a reliever, with the first run charged to him since June 25.
The rare bullpen failure prevented Kansas City from gaining ground on AL Central leader Detroit, which lost at Minnesota. The Royals remained 1 1/2 games behind the Tigers, but still lead Seattle for the second wild-card spot.
Eric Surkamp (2-0) earned the victory, and Zach Putnam worked a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
The game lasted 4 hours, 16 minutes, the longest nine-inning game in Royals history.
PIRATES 4, RED SOX 0
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Charlie Morton came off the disabled list to gain his first victory since July 2, and Pittsburgh beat Boston for its ninth win in 11 games.
Sidelined since Aug. 16 because of right hip inflammation and a sports hernia, Morton (6-12) allowed four hits in five innings, struck out six and walked two. He had been 0-3 with a 5.09 ERA in his eight previous starts.
Five relievers combined on three-hit relief, completing the Pirates’ eighth shutout this season. Boston has been blanked 15 times,
Russell Martin hit a two-run homer in the second inning off rookie Anthony Ranaudo (3-3), and Starling Marte added a solo shot in the sixth. Travis Snider added an RBI single in the seventh against Tommy Layne
Ranaudo lost his third straight start, giving up three runs, four hits and three walks in 5 2-3 innings. He has allowed 10 home runs in his first six big league starts.
RAYS 6, YANKEES 1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Derek Jeter was hit on the arm by a Steve Geltz pitch in the eighth inning of a loss to Tampa Bay, the fifth time a New York Yankees batter has been hit by a Rays pitcher in the past week.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi came out of the dugout and was ejected after New York’s captain was hit.
New York’s David Phelps was ejected by plate umpire Rob Drake in the bottom half after throwing a tight pitch to Kevin Kiermaier. Both dugouts and bullpens emptied, but little occurred except for a couple players being restrained by teammates or coaches.
Jeter, who is retiring at the end of the season, was honored in a pregame ceremony and went 0 for 2. He is hitless in 26 at-bats, the second-longest skid of his career, dropping his batting average to .249.
Jake Odorizzi (11-12) allowed one run and five hits over six innings.
Michael Pineda (3-5) gave up two runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings for the Yankees.
INDIANS 4, ASTROS 2
HOUSTON (AP) — Corey Kluber struck out a career-high 14 in seven innings, and Cleveland halted its four-game losing streak by topping Houston.
Kluber (16-9) allowed one run and seven hits to earn his third straight win. His previous high for strikeouts was 13 against the Chicago White Sox on May 4.
Yan Gomes’ two-run homer off Darin Downs in the sixth increased Cleveland’s lead to 4-1.
Cody Allen got the last out in the eighth and pitched the ninth for his 21st save.
Houston’s Jose Altuve broke Craig Biggio’s club record for hits in a season with his 211th, a single up the middle in the seventh.
Nick Tropeano (1-1) gave up two runs — one earned — and four hits with four strikeouts in five innings.
TWINS 4, TIGERS 3
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Aaron Hicks hit a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning, and Minnesota rallied for a win over AL Central-leading Detroit.
After J.D. Martinez hit a three-run home run to give Detroit a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth, Trevor Plouffe drew a one-out walk against Joe Nathan (4-4) and was replaced by pinch-runner Doug Bernier.
Bernier scored when center fielder Ezequiel Carrera dived for a line drive off the bat of Kurt Suzuki and missed it, allowing the ball to roll to the wall.
Chris Herrmann ran for Suzuki and scored when Hicks beat out a bouncer fielded by shortstop Andrew Romine near second base.
After Martinez’s homer off Glen Perkins (4-3), it looked as if the Tigers had another big ninth-inning win. Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera hit back-to-back homers in the ninth to rally the Tigers to a win in Monday’s series opener.
METS 9, MARLINS 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Wilmer Flores homered twice and drove in six runs for the second time this year, Ruben Tejada capped a four-run fourth inning with a two-run double, and the New York Mets routed Miami to end a three-game skid.
The 23-year-old Flores hit a three-run shot in the fifth and a two-run drive in the seventh — both off reliever Brad Penny.
He also had an RBI double in the fourth as the Mets scored their most runs at home since they tallied 11 against the Phillies on July 30. Flores is 8 for 15 with three homers and 10 RBIs in his last four games.
Bartolo Colon (14-12) bounced back from his shortest outing of the year to pitch 7 2-3 innings for New York, allowing one run and a season-high 12 hits. The only extra-base hit was a double to Reed Johnson, who had three hits. He struck out seven without a walk.
Curtis Granderson had an RBI single among his three hits, and the Mets handed Nathan Eovaldi (6-12) his sixth straight losing decision over seven starts dating to Aug. 13. Eovaldi yielded six runs and six hits over 4 2-3 innings.
MARINERS 13, ANGELS 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Zunino’s two-run double keyed a four-run fifth inning, and Seattle climbed within a game of the second AL wild-card spot by routing the Los Angeles Angels.
One night after becoming the first team to secure a playoff berth, the Angels lost for only the fourth time in 21 games. Their magic number for clinching the AL West dropped to two because of Oakland’s loss to Texas.
The Athletics lead the wild-card race by a game over Kansas City.
Carson Smith (1-0) earned his first major league victory with two innings of hitless relief in his fifth appearance. Mariners starter Roenis Elias allowed two runs and five hits in three-plus innings before leaving due to elbow stiffness.
Angels righty Cory Rasmus, making his fourth start since Garrett Richards went down with a season-ending knee injury on Aug. 20, retired 12 of the 13 batters he faced.
The Mariners tied a season high for runs.
Jason Grilli (1-3) took the loss.
RANGERS 6, ATHLETICS 3
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Scott Kazmir allowed a two-run homer to Jake Smolinski, and shortstop Jed Lowrie made an error that led to a pair of unearned runs as Oakland lost to last-place Texas.
After strengthening their AL wild-card lead by beating Seattle in the final two games of a weekend series, the A’s looked sloppy in the opener of a nine-game homestand and failed in their attempt to win three straight for the first time since Aug. 7-9.
Oakland made two errors, threw two wild pitches and got another rough outing from Kazmir (14-9) to lose for the 15th time in 22 games. The A’s remained one game ahead of Kansas City for the top wild-card spot.
Nick Tepesch (5-10) allowed three runs in six innings to beat the A’s for the first time in six career appearances.
Neftali Feliz pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.
Smolinski provided the big offensive blow when he hit his first career home run in his first game against live pitching since breaking a bone in his left foot while fouling off a pitch July 21.
Kazmir allowed six runs — four earned — in 4 1-3 innings and is 0-4 with an 8.22 ERA over his past five starts.
PADRES 5, PHILLIES 4
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Alexi Amarista had three hits, including a go-ahead two-run homer, to lead San Diego over Philadelphia.
Amarista’s two-out homer in the sixth inning off A.J. Burnett (8-17) put the Padres ahead 4-3. Amarista, who doubled in the second and singled in the fourth, fell a triple short of the cycle when he grounded out in the eighth.
San Diego won its second straight game after dropping nine of 11. The Phillies have lost seven of 11.
Ian Kennedy (11-13) pitched six innings for the win. The right-hander allowed three runs and three hits with seven strikeouts and four walks. Kennedy had lost his previous two starts, giving up double-digit hits in both outings.
Freddy Galvis hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Dominic Brown had a solo homer in the second. Philadelphia had five hits overall.
Kevin Quackenbush allowed an RBI single to pinch-hitter Darin Ruf in the ninth before earning his fourth save in five chances.