MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SUNDAY
The Chicago Cubs took another step backward in the NL Central race as they also attempt to play themselves out of a wild-card berth. Tyler Austin drove a pinch-hit, three-run homer in a five-run fourth off Jon Lester as the Brewers dumped the Cubs, 8-5 to win the four-game series. Eric Thames added a solo shot off Lester in the sixth, and pinch-hitter Tyrone Taylor furnished an RBI single off Duane Underwood Jr. for his first major league hit. Winning pitcher Brent Suter worked two innings of relief as the Brewers climbed within two games of the Cubs for the second NL wild card. Chicago is 4 ½ games behind the NL Central-leading Cardinals and just 1 ½ games ahead of Arizona for the second NL wild card.
The Redbirds won for the eighth time in 11 games as Jack Flaherty held the Pirates to five hits over eight innings to lead St. Louis to a 2-0 shutout in Pittsburgh. Paul Goldschmidt had an RBI double and Harrison Bader added a run-scoring single to help Flaherty win for the sixth time in his last eight starts.
The Diamondbacks wasted a chance to get within a half-game of a playoff berth. Pitcher Michael Lorenzen lined a game-ending, pinch-hit double in the ninth inning to give the Reds a 4-3 victory and end Arizona’s five-game winning streak. Eugenio Suarez homered twice and has 44 this season for Cincinnati, one behind Mike Trout and Pete Alonso for the major league lead.
Philadelphia is within two games of the second NL wild card after homers by Maikel Franco, Scott Kingery and Adam Haseley helped the Phillies turn an early 3-0 deficit into a 10-7 win in the rubber match of their three-game set with the Mets. Pinch-hitter Phil Gosselin blooped an RBI single that gave the Phillies a 5-4 lead in the sixth. The Mets lost for the eighth time in their last nine home games to stay four games out of a playoff berth.
The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the NL West is two after Corey Seager and Matt Beaty homered in a 5-0 shutout of the Giants. Beaty delivered a two-run blast and Seager added a three-run shot as the Dodgers increased their NL-record homer total to 255. Kenta Maeda threw four dominant innings in relief as he prepares to work out of the Los Angeles bullpen for the postseason.
Max Scherzer won for the first time in two months and the Nationals avoided a four-game sweep by drubbing the Braves, 9-4. Yan Gomes homered twice, and Adam Eaton and Asdrúbal Cabrera each had three RBIs as Washington ended Atlanta’s nine-game winning streak. The Nats outhit the Braves 17-7 and went ahead when Eaton hit a two-run homer on Mike Siroka's fifth pitch.
The Yankees broke their single-season record for homers and inched closer to an AL East title by doubling up the Red Sox, 10-5. Gleyber Torres and Mike Tauchman hit two-run blasts before Aaron Judge provided a solo shot that gives New York 268 round-trippers, topping the mark they set last year. Torres went 3 for 5 with four RBIs.
The Indians moved back to 5 1/2 games behind the Twins in the AL Central by taking the rubber match of their three-game set in Minnesota, 5-2. Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor homered to help Mike Clevenger win his 10th straight decision. Clevenger is 11-2 after limiting Minnesota to a pair of runs and four hits while fanning seven over six innings.
The Astros rolled to a 21-1 dismantling of the Mariners as Gerrit Cole struck out 15 and held Seattle to one hit over a season-high eight innings. Cole improved to 16-5, winning his 12th straight decision and joining Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in major league history with 14 or more strikeouts in three straight games. Jake Marisnick and George Springer homered, and rookie Yordan Álvarez had six RBIs while hitting three of Houston's team-record 11 doubles.
Tyler Glasnow struck out five over two innings as the Rays whipped the Blue Jays, 8-3 to complete a four-game sweep. Glasnow struck out Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernández and Rowdy Tellez in order on 12 pitches in his return from a four-month layoff caused by a strained right forearm. Austin Meadows and Avisail García homered for Tampa Bay, which remains one game ahead of Oakland for the top AL wild card.
The Athletics beat the Tigers, 3-1 as Sean Manaea matched his career high by striking out 10 in his second start following shoulder surgery. He allowed two hits over seven innings, blanking Detroit until Christian Stewart homered leading off the fifth. Khris Davis had a two-run double for the A’s, who are still 1 ½ games ahead of Cleveland for the second AL wild card.
Danny Mendick hit his first career home run and José Abreu slammed his 31st of the season as the White Sox dumped the Angels, 5-1. Mendick, Matt Skole and James McCann had two hits apiece for Chicago.
The Rangers completed their first four-game sweep in Baltimore since 1982 as rookie Nick Solak had three hits and four RBIs to send Texas past the Orioles, 10-4. Ronald Guzman and Rougned Odor homered as part of the Rangers’ 20-hit attack.
Sandy Alcantara picked up his first victory since the All-Star break by tossing a four-hitter in Miami’s 9-0 rout of the Royals. Starlin Castro hit his 18th home run and drove in two to back Alcantara, who is the first Marlins pitcher since Dontrelle Willis in 2003 to throw two shutouts in his rookie season.
Wil Myers singled home Manny Machado with one out in the 10th inning to give the Padres a 2-1 win against the Rockies. San Diego hurler Eric Lauer held Colorado to a run and four hits over six innings.