Randy Arozarena hit a tiebreaking two-run homer with one out in the sixth inning and added another homer in the ninth and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched the American League East Division title with an 8-5 victory over the host New York Mets Wednesday night.
The Rays won their third division title and first since 2010. They took over first place in the division for good on Aug. 22 and are closing in on clinching the top seed in the American League playoffs. The Rays celebrated on the field with confetti near their dugout on the third base side.
Joey Wendle also homered as the Rays won for the ninth time in 13 games. Manuel Margot created a run in the third with a bunt single and then scored on a ground ball to first base when he got his hand in just before catcher Wilson Ramos could apply the tag.
The Mets clinched a losing season for the third time in four seasons and their playoff hopes grew even more unlikely.
Royals 12, Cardinals 3
Salvador Perez and Franchy Cordero each hit two homers and drove in five runs as Kansas City clobbered visiting St. Louis. Perez tied his career high in RBIs on his first two swings and Cordero never previously had more than three RBIs in a game.
The Cardinals fell into a tie with the Cincinnati Reds for second place in the National League Central. In the NL wild-card race, St. Louis, Cincinnati and San Francisco ended the day tied, with Philadelphia and Milwaukee each one game back.
Danny Duffy (4-4) earned the win for the Royals. He allowed one run on six hits with five strikeouts and one walk in 5 2/3 innings. Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez (0-3) allowed eight runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts in five-plus innings.
Indians 3, White Sox 2
Jordan Luplow drilled a walk-off solo home run and four pitchers combined on a four-hitter with 16 strikeouts to lift host Cleveland past Chicago and knock the White Sox out of first place in the American League Central.
The White Sox, who have lost four straight and five of six, fell a half-game behind the Twins. The Indians are 2 1/2 games behind the Twins.
Cleveland starter Shane Bieber limited Chicago to one unearned run on two hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts in five innings in getting a no-decision. It was the third time he registered double-digit strikeouts in four September starts.
Angels 5, Padres 2
Struggling Shohei Ohtani went deep to ignite a three-homer barrage in the second inning to lift visiting Los Angeles to victory over San Diego. Justin Upton and Anthony Bemboom followed with solo shots off Padres left-hander Adrian Morejon.
Mike Clevinger opened the game for the Padres and struck out two batters in the first inning. Clevinger, who hadn't pitched since Sept. 13 due to biceps tenderness, did not start the second, however.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler announced after the game that Clevinger said his biceps "tightened up on him." Clevinger was expected to have an MRI later Wednesday.
Phillies 12, Nationals 3
Bryce Harper homered twice, walked three times, drove in two runs and scored four runs to lift visiting Philadelphia past Washington.
Andrew McCutchen homered and doubled twice and Alec Bohm added two hits for the Phillies, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
Juan Soto homered, singled and drove in two runs while Yan Gomes added two hits for the Nationals.
Reds 6, Brewers 1
Pitching on three days' rest, Trevor Bauer struck out 12 over eight innings, and Cincinnati homered three more times to take two of three from visiting Milwaukee with a lopsided victory.
Bauer (5-4), an NL Cy Young Award candidate, was brilliant over 104 pitches to help the Reds continue their push to the postseason. Joey Votto hit a two-run homer in the first, Jesse Winker deposited a solo shot in the fourth and Eugenio Suarez's three-run blast in the fifth essentially put the game away for Cincinnati.
Avisail Garcia had three of the five hits for Milwaukee.
Pirates 2, Cubs 1
First-inning home runs by Adam Frazier and Ke'Bryan Hayes held up as Pittsburgh won its second straight game over visiting Chicago.
Pittsburgh had lost five straight before the two consecutive wins and now has clinched at least a split in the four-game series with the Cubs.
Anthony Rizzo hit a solo homer for Chicago, which was held to five hits.
Giants 7, Rockies 2
Mauricio Dubon hit a three-run homer in a four-run fifth inning and San Francisco moved into a tie for a National League wild-card spot with four days remaining in the regular season thanks to a victory over visiting Colorado.
Evan Longoria added a homer and five Giants pitchers scattered nine hits as San Francisco, with a second straight win, moved level with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds in the race for the two NL wild cards.
Charlie Blackmon doubled twice for the Rockies, who are on the verge of formal elimination from postseason contention.
A's 6, Dodgers 4
Ramon Laureano hit a two-run home run with two outs in the ninth inning to give Oakland a victory at Los Angeles. The long ball, Laureano's sixth of the season, came off former A's right-hander Blake Treinen (3-3).
Laureano had two hits and drove in three runs while Oakland starter Sean Manaea gave up three runs on six hits over six innings. Manaea walked one and struck out four.
Jake Diekman (1-0) picked up the victory after throwing one inning despite giving up his first run of the season. Liam Hendriks pitched the ninth inning for his 14th save.
Diamondbacks 7, Rangers 3
Wyatt Mathisen ripped the first two home runs of his big league career in back-to-back innings to help host Arizona come back from down three to beat Texas in Phoenix and sweep their two-game series.
The Diamondbacks roared back from a 3-0 deficit when Mathisen, who had just two hits in his first 18 at-bats, blasted a solo homer in the fifth. Arizona then took charge in the sixth as Carson Kelly's two-RBI single tied the game, and Daulton Varsho's run-scoring triple gave the Diamondbacks the lead for good.
Alex Young got the start for the Diamondbacks, allowing three runs on six hits with five strikeouts and a walk in five innings. Keury Mella (2-0) relieved and earned the win, pitching a scoreless sixth inning. Travis Bergen, Yoan Lopez, and Stefan Crichton each pitched one shutout inning to secure the victory.
Braves 9, Marlins 4
Dansby Swanson capped a five-run rally with a three-run homer as Atlanta defeated visiting Miami.
The game was tied at 4 in the fourth inning when the Braves broke it open against reliever Josh A. Smith (1-1). Ozzie Albies and Nick Markakis drove in runs with soft singles before Swanson completed the uprising by launching a homer into the visitor's bullpen in left field.
The winning pitcher was Luke Jackson (2-0), who pitched four innings and allowed two runs on three hits, striking out five. Jackson's effort was needed after starter Max Fried left the game after one inning when he sprained his left ankle while fielding a bunt. Marlins starter Sixto Sanchez pitched three innings and allowed four runs on four hits, four walks and two strikeouts.
Mariners 3, Astros 2
Nick Margevicius pitched six scoreless innings as Seattle kept its faint playoff hopes alive with a victory over visiting Houston.
Ty France and Kyle Seager hit run-scoring doubles for the Mariners, who are three games behind the Astros for second place in the American League West with four games remaining.
Margevicius (2-3) allowed three hits, walked three and struck out four. Yoshihisa Hirano got his fourth save of the season despite giving up two runs in the ninth.
Blue Jays 14, Yankees 1
Danny Jansen was 4-for-4 with two solo homers and three RBIs, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had two hits and three RBIs, and Toronto blitzed New York in Buffalo.
Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette added two hits and two RBIs apiece for the Blue Jays, who put the game away with an eight-run sixth inning. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had three hits. Toronto can clinch a playoff spot on Thursday with a win in the finale of the four-game series.
Starter Masahiro Tanaka (3-3) surrendered five runs (three earned), eight hits and three walks in four innings. He fanned five and took the loss for the Yankees, who also had four errors. Blue Jays reliever A.J. Cole (3-0) walked one in one scoreless inning to pick up the win.
Red Sox 9, Orioles 1
Rafael Devers contributed a three-run double during a six-run third inning as Boston rolled to a lopsided victory over visiting Baltimore.
Kevin Plawecki went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and right-hander Nathan Eovaldi pitched six shutout innings as the Red Sox matched a season high with their third straight win.
Austin Hays went 3-for-4 with a homer for Baltimore, which lost for the 12th time in its past 15 games.
Twins 7, Tigers 6
Jake Cave hit two homers and drove in three runs and Eddie Rosario also went deep as Minnesota held off Detroit, and passed the Chicago White Sox for first place in the American League Central.
The Twins won their fourth straight and took a half-game lead over the White Sox, which lost at Cleveland on Wednesday. Kenta Maeda (6-1) held the Tigers to three runs on four hits and no walks while striking out nine over six innings.
Detroit was nearly carried to the win by Miguel Cabrera, who belted a pair of three-run homers and has 486 in his career. Cabrera's three-run homer in the ninth off Sergio Romo pulled the Tigers to within 7-6, but Romo retired Jeimer Candelario on the next pitch to end it.
--Field Level Media