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MLB roundup: Astros, D-backs punch tickets to postseason

Arizona and Houston each celebrated a postseason berth on Saturday night after the Astros defeated the Diamondbacks 1-0 in Phoenix.

Houston solidified a spot in the American League playoffs with the victory, clinching at least a wild-card spot. Arizona currently owns the third and final National League wild card thanks to the Cincinnati Reds’ 15-6 loss against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Saturday’s contest was a pitchers’ duel between Houston’s Justin Verlander and Arizona’s Merrill Kelly until Verlander was relieved by Phil Maton to start the Diamondbacks’ half of the sixth inning.

Verlander (13-8) allowed two hits in five scoreless innings, while Kelly (12-8) went seven innings and allowed five hits and one run. Jose Abreu provided the game’s lone run with an RBI double.

Marlins 7, Pirates 3

Jazz Chisholm Jr. homered and added an RBI single for visiting Miami, which beat Pittsburgh to clinch an NL wild-card spot.

Josh Bell added a two-run double and sacrifice fly, and Bryan De La Cruz an RBI single for the Marlins.

Endy Rodriguez and Bryan Reynolds each hit an RBI single for the Pirates.

Rangers 6, Mariners 1

Andrew Heaney came out of the bullpen to make a spot start, pitching 4 1/3 scoreless innings as Texas clinched a postseason berth with a victory against host Seattle.

Jonah Heim drove in three runs for the Rangers, who guaranteed themselves at least one of the three AL wild-card spots. Texas is headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Eugenio Suarez homered for the Mariners, who were eliminated from the playoff race when Houston beat Arizona later Saturday night.

Braves 5, Nationals 3

Right-hander Spencer Strider set the franchise record for most strikeouts in a season, Marcell Ozuna hit a go-ahead, three-run homer and the Braves beat visiting Washington.

Strider (20-5), who now has 281 strikeouts on the season, fanned seven batters in five innings to break the Braves’ modern-era, single-season strikeout record of 276 set by John Smoltz in 1996. Strider gave up three runs on six hits with three walks while throwing 94 pitches.

Washington jumped on Strider for three runs on four hits in the first inning. CJ Abrams singled to begin the game, stole second base and scored on Keibert Ruiz’s one-out double. Joey Meneses followed with an RBI single and scored on Luis Garcia’s double.

Tigers 8, Guardians 0

Andy Ibanez, Akil Baddoo and Carson Kelly drove in two runs apiece and host Detroit rolled past Cleveland in the second-to-last game of retiring slugger Miguel Cabrera’s career.

The Tigers, who moved a game ahead of the Guardians into second place in the AL Central, used seven pitchers for their 15th shutout this season. Cabrera went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run.

Beau Brieske (2-3), who pitched 2 1/3 innings, was credited with the victory. Starting pitcher Triston McKenzie (0-3) gave up one run and three hits in 4 1/3 innings for the Guardians.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 5 (10 innings)

Taylor Walls hit a tiebreaking two-run single in a three-run 10th inning and visiting Tampa Bay defeated Toronto.

The Blue Jays could have clinched a playoff spot with a win.

The Rays already clinched the first AL wild-card spot before the three-game series with the Blue Jays. The teams have split the first two games.

Mets 4, Phillies 3 (Game 1)

Tylor Megill carried a shutout into the eighth inning as host New York withstood a late comeback attempt by Philadelphia to earn a victory in the opener of a doubleheader.

Edmundo Sosa had a run-scoring single in the eighth while Brandon Marsh (double) and Weston Wilson (single) each had RBIs in the ninth for the Phillies, who will be the top NL wild card when the playoffs begin next week.

Megill (9-8) surrendered one run on four hits and two walks while striking out seven over 7 1/3 innings. Brooks Raley got the final two outs of the eighth before Adam Ottavino notched his 12th save despite giving up the ninth-inning runs.

Yankees 5, Royals 2

New York rallied for five unanswered runs in beating host Kansas City, giving Frankie Montas a win in his season debut.

Estevan Florial delivered a go-ahead single with two outs in the sixth, breaking a 2-all tie, before Gleyber Torres’ bases-loaded, two-run single capped the decisive three-run inning. Montas (1-0), who had right shoulder surgery at the beginning of spring training, recorded four outs while allowing two hits and a walk with one strikeout.

The Yankees sealed their 31st consecutive winning season, the second-longest stretch in major league history behind their own 39-season winning streak from 1926 to 1964. Kansas City (55-106) matched its franchise record for most losses in a season, set in 2005.

Cubs 10, Brewers 6

Yan Gomes hit a first-inning grand slam and had five RBIs as visiting Chicago overcame blowing an early six-run lead to snap its nine-game road losing streak with a win over Milwaukee.

Gomes’ slam highlighted a six-run first, and he also had an RBI groundout for the Cubs, who lost that 6-0 lead after two innings.

Meanwhile, Willy Adames had three hits and William Contreras added two to extend his hitting streak to 17 games for Milwaukee. Blake Perkins and Carlos Santana homered for the NL Central-champion Brewers, who had won three straight games.

Padres 6, White Sox 1

Michael Wacha pitched seven scoreless innings in his final start of the season and Jurickson Profar notched a season-high four RBIs as San Diego cruised to a win over host Chicago.

Ji Man Choi and Juan Soto added one RBI apiece for San Diego, which won its fourth straight game. Wacha (14-4) scattered three hits, walked one and struck out seven to notch his third victory in a row.

Lenyn Sosa hit a solo homer to provide the lone run for Chicago, which reached triple digits in losses for only the fifth time in franchise history.

Orioles 5, Red Sox 2

Anthony Santander’s two-run single capped a three-run eighth inning and Baltimore beat visiting Boston.

Kyle Gibson blanked Boston for five innings while allowing seven hits. Baltimore led 2-1 going to the bottom of the eighth. Reliever Bruce Zimmermann (2-0) pitched two innings for the win.

Adam Duvall had a triple and a single for the Red Sox. Boston starter Kutter Crawford tossed six innings of one-hit ball, striking out seven batters without a walk.

Cardinals 15, Reds 6

Lars Nootbaar hit a three-run homer and Jose Fermin drove in three runs as host St. Louis routed Cincinnati to eliminate the Reds from the NL wild-card race.

Jordan Walker, Ivan Herrera, Luken Baker and Masyn Winn each drove in two runs for the Cardinals, who snapped a three-game skid.

Noelvi Marte hit a homer and a two-run double for the Reds, who fell short of the third NL wild-card berth by losing six of their past nine games. Cincinnati starter Connor Phillips (1-1) faced just three batters and walked each of them on four pitches.

Mets 11, Phillies 4 (Game 2)

Francisco Alvarez homered twice and finished with six RBIs for host New York, which completed a doubleheader sweep by beating Philadelphia.

The Mets improved to 13-13 this month. The Phillies have lost three straight games since a seven-game winning streak.

Kyle Schwarber, who hit his 47th homer of the season, and Johan Rojas had two hits apiece for Philadelphia.

Twins 14, Rockies 6

Trevor Larnach hit a grand slam, Edouard Julien homered among his three hits and Minnesota clobbered Colorado in Denver.

Matt Wallner homered and doubled, Max Kepler also went deep and Christian Vazquez had two hits for Minnesota. Chris Paddack (1-0) pitched three innings for his first win since May 2, 2022.

Brenton Doyle and Sean Bouchard homered and each had two hits, Elehuris Montero also homered and Nolan Jones and Alan Trejo had two hits apiece for Colorado. Karl Kauffmann (2-5) allowed eight runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Giants 2, Dodgers 1

Rookie Tristan Beck won a pitchers’ duel against Clayton Kershaw, Tyler Fitzgerald homered and San Francisco denied visiting Los Angeles its 100th win of the season for at least one more day.

In presenting interim manager Kai Correa with his first major league win, the Giants scored the go-ahead run on a Max Muncy error in the sixth inning.

Making his final start before the upcoming playoffs, Kershaw (13-5) worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and five hits. He walked two and struck out five.

Athletics 7, Angels 3

Shea Langeliers hit a three-run homer to break a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning and rookie Joe Boyle took a no-hitter into the seventh as Oakland rallied to beat Los Angeles in Anaheim, Calif.

Zack Gelof had three hits and three RBIs for Oakland (50-111), which has the most losses in a single season since the Detroit Tigers recorded 114 in 2019.

Boyle (2-0) faced the minimum through six innings in his third major league start. Brandon Drury broke up the no-hit bid with one out in the seventh with a double to right field before Mike Moustakas tied things at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly.

–Field Level Media

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