LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw tied a career high with his 21st victory, Yasiel Puig homered to highlight a four-run sixth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers won the NL West title with a 9-1 victory over the second-place San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
Fittingly, the Dodgers claimed their second straight division title behind Kershaw (21-3), the probable NL Cy Young Award winner and MVP candidate who has been the catalyst behind their success this season.
He didn’t pitch lights out — getting called for a balk and wild pitch — and he committed a throwing error in the seventh but he did a little bit of everything, including hitting and fielding to ensure the Dodgers’ celebrated in front of their longtime rivals.
ORIOLES 9, YANKEES 5
NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Jeter and the Yankees were eliminated from postseason contention, beaten by Nelson Cruz and the AL East champion Orioles.
Jeter went 0 for 4 as the designated hitter in his next-to-last game at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees missed the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since 1992 and ’93. The only other time New York missed the playoffs during the retiring captain’s 20-season big league career was in 2008.
Cruz had four hits as the Baltimore remained 2 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Angels for the best record in the AL.
CUBS 3, CARDINALS 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Jake Arrieta struck out 10, leading the Chicago Cubs over St. Louis.
The Cardinals kept their 1½-game lead over Pittsburgh in the NL Central. The loss assured NL East champion Washington will open a division series at home.
Arrieta (10-5), coming off a one-hit shutout against Cincinnati last week, pitched two-hit ball for seven innings. He also had a two-run triple off John Lackey (3-3).
Hector Rondon got his 27th save.
PIRATES 6, BRAVES 2
ATLANTA (AP) — Andrew McCutchen homered for Pittsburgh’s only runs, and the Pirates missed a chance to move up in the NL Central race, falling to Atlanta.
The Pirates, who clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday night, stayed 1½ games behind division-leading St. Louis. Pittsburgh lost for only the fourth time in its last 19 games.
Pirates catcher Russell Martin left in the fifth inning with tightness in his left hamstring.
Jeff Locke (7-6) allowed six runs and 13 baserunners — eight hits and five walks — in only four innings.
Julio Teheran (14-13) hit a two-run single as Atlanta ended a five-game losing streak. Craig Kimbrel struck out McCutchen and Travis Snider with two on for his 45th save.
TIGERS 6, WHITE SOX 1
DETROIT (AP) — Justin Verlander pitched eight impressive innings and the Detroit Tigers clinched a postseason spot, rallying after benches cleared in the sixth inning to beat the White Sox.
The Tigers lead the AL Central by two games over Kansas City. Detroit was assured of at least a wild-card spot when Seattle lost.
White Sox ace Chris Sale was breezing along with a shutout when he hit Victor Martinez with a pitch in the sixth. The two exchanged words and the benches and bullpens emptied.
Ian Kinsler gave Detroit the lead with an RBI double in the seventh off Javy Guerra (2-4).
Verlander (15-12) allowed a run and seven hits.
INDIANS 6, ROYALS 4
CLEVELAND (AP) — Yan Gomes hit a three-run homer, Michael Brantley got three more hits and the Cleveland Indians stayed in the AL wild-card chase for at least one more day by beating Kansas City.
A loss would have eliminated the Indians, but after blowing a 3-0 lead, they rallied and moved within 3½ games of Kansas City and Oakland in the wild-card standings. There are four days left in the regular season.
The Royals, who haven’t made the playoffs since 1985, fell two games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central.
Zach McAllister (4-7) pitched 2 1-3 scoreless innings and Cody Allen worked the ninth for his 23rd save.
The Indians took the lead in the fifth off rookie Brandon Finnegan (0-1).
BLUE JAYS 1, MARINERS 0
TORONTO (AP) — Mark Buehrle pitched eight shutout innings to reach 200 innings for the 14th consecutive season, Ryan Goins drove in the only run and the Toronto Blue Jays pushed Seattle closer to playoff elimination.
Buehrle (13-10) allowed three hits, walked one and struck out 10, one shy of his season high. He left to his second standing ovation of the night after Chris Taylor’s leadoff single in the ninth. He finished the season with 202 innings.
Aaron Sanchez came on and picked off pinch-runner James Jones, then got the final two outs for his third save in as many chances. The game was played in a brisk 1 hour, 59 minutes.
The Mariners lost their fifth straight and have dropped nine of 12. Rookie Taijuan Walker (2-3) pitched his first career complete game, giving up four hits.
ANGELS 5, ATHLETICS 4
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Howie Kendrick doubled and drove in three runs, and the AL West champion Los Angeles Angels held off the playoff-hopeful Oakland Athletics.
The A’s and Kansas City are tied for the AL wild-card spot.
Angels star Mike Trout left the game before the top of the fifth with a stomach illness.
Hector Santiago (6-9) worked 5 1-3 innings for his first outing longer than two innings in three starts. Huston Street, the seventh Los Angeles pitcher, finished for his 17th save with the Angels and 41st overall.
A’s starter Jon Lester (16-11) gave up five runs in seven innings. He was winless in three starts against the Angels this year.
BREWERS 5, REDS 0
CINCINNATI (AP) — Kyle Lohse pitched a two-hitter and drove in a run as the Milwaukee Brewers forestalled elimination from the playoffs with a win over Cincinnati.
Lohse (13-9) gave up a pair of singles by Jack Hannahan in his second shutout of the season.
Rickie Weeks had a pair of singles and drove in a run, and Carlos Gomez had an RBI double off Daniel Corcino (0-2).
PHILLIES 2, MARLINS 1
MIAMI (AP) — Kyle Kendrick pitched seven innings, had three hits and drove in a run, Jonathan Papelbon closed in his first appearance since being suspended and the Philadelphia Phillies beat Miami.
Papelbon, who completed a seven-game suspension Sunday, earned his 38th save in 42 chances with a scoreless ninth. Major League Baseball penalized Papelbon because he made a lewd gesture and then bumped an umpire after blowing a save against the Marlins on Sept. 14.
Kendrick (10-13) broke a scoreless tie with two outs in the seventh when he doubled home Darin Ruf. Kendrick also singled twice and hiked his average from .095 to .136.
Marlon Byrd put the Phillies ahead to stay when he hit a one-out RBI single in the eighth off Chris Hatcher (0-3).
RED SOX 11, RAYS 3
BOSTON (AP) — Anthony Ranaudo pitched seven strong innings, and Garin Cecchini hit his first major league home run to help the fifth-place Boston Red Sox beat the fourth-place Tampa Bay.
Ranaudo (4-3) allowed two runs on six hits and a walk, striking out two to snap a three-game losing streak. The victory was the 69th of the season for the defending AL East and World Series champions, who need one more win to beat their total from 2012 — their only season under Bobby Valentine.
Jake Odorizzi (11-13) allowed five runs in three-plus innings.
RANGERS 5, ASTROS 1
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Lisalverto Bonilla became the first pitcher in Rangers history to win his first three career starts with a victory over the Astros.
Bonilla (3-0), promoted Sept. 2 from Triple-A Round Rock, allowed four hits and struck out seven in six scoreless innings.
His wins all have come during a stretch when the Rangers have won 11 of 12 games, including their last four. Their sweep of Houston was the Astros’ third loss in a row and seventh in nine games.
Houston starter Scott Feldman (8-12) allowed only one hit through 4 1/3 innings. With one out in the fifth, Leonys Martin bunted for a single and scored on Andrus’ double down the left field line.
Andrus has driven in six runs in his last nine games after a stretch of 11 games without an RBI.
PADRES 4, ROCKIES 3
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Joe Wieland earned his first big league win, and Tommy Medica hit a three-run home run and a replay-aided double to lead the Padres to a victory against Colorado in their home finale.
The Padres notched their 76th win with four games to go, matching their victory total from each of the last two seasons.
It was San Diego’s 48th home win, setting the franchise single-season record at Petco Park, which opened in 2004.
Colorado’s Justin Morneau went 0 for 3 to see his NL-leading average drop two percentage points to .317. Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison went 1 for 5 to drop to .316.
Wieland (1-0) was making his second start and fourth appearance since May 6, 2012. He underwent reconstructive surgery on his right elbow in July 2012, forcing him to miss all of 2013 and part of this season.