|Indians beat Astros 2-1, close within half-game|
|Friday, September 20, 2013 12:30 AM|
CLEVELAND — Matt Carson hit a winning single with two outs in the 11th inning and the Cleveland Indians beat the Houston Astros 2-1 Thursday night to close within a half-game in the AL wild-card race.
Yan Gomes singled with one out off Rhiner Cruz (0-2) and Asdrubal Cabrera reached on an infield single, beating the throw after third baseman Marwin Gonzalez charged and barehanded his slow roller.
Trevor Crowe caught Michael Brantey’s liner to center and nearly doubled Gomes off second and Mike Aviles loaded the bases with a walk.
Carson hit a grounder under the glove of second baseman Jose Altuve for Cleveland’s 10th walkoff win this season.
Tampa Bay and Texas (83-69) are tied for the two wild-card berths.
Cleveland (83-70), trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007, has three more games against the major league-worst Astros (51-102), who have had seven losing streaks of six games or more. The Indians then host the Chicago White Sox for two games and finish with four at Minnesota.
Bryan Shaw (5-3) pitched the 11th.
RED SOX 3, ORIOLES 1
BOSTON — Boston clinched its first postseason berth since 2009, beating Baltimore 3-1 on Thursday night behind John Lackey’s 2-hitter.
Coming off a last-place finish and a 69-93 record — their most losses since 1965, the Red Sox have rebounded under first-year manager John Farrell and ensured at least a wild-card berth in the postseason. They lowered their magic number to two for clinching the AL East.
Boston scored all its runs in the second on Stephen Drew’s 2-run homer and Dustin Pedroia’s RBI single.
Lackey (10-12) held the Orioles hitless until Adam Jones homered with out one in the seventh, his 32nd this season. The right-hander allowed a one-out single to J.J. Hardy in the eighth, striking out eight and walked two in his 16th career complete game.
Chris Tillman (16-7) gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts and two walks.
BLUE JAYS 6, YANKEES 2
TORONTO — New York lost for the fifth time in six games.
Hiroki Kuroda lost his fifth straight decision, allowing two runs in the third inning and a solo home run to Anthony Gose in the sixth. Adam Lind added a 3-run homer in the seventh off Joba Chamberlain.
New York, which began the night 2 1/2 games back for the second AL wild-card berth, lost two out of three in Toronto while scoring just six runs and hitting .198 (19-for-96). The Yankees are in danger of missing the playoffs for only the second time in 19 seasons.
New York won 12 of its first 13 games against Toronto this year but lost four of its final six.
Kuroda allowed three runs and eight hits in six inning with four walks and seven strikeouts.
Rookie Todd Redmond (4-2) gave up one run and four hits in a career-high seven innings with seven strikeouts and a walk. Casey Janssen relieved with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth, then finished for his 32nd save in 34 chances.
TIGERS 5, MARINERS 4
DETROIT — Prince Fielder had three hits and scored the tie-breaking run in the seventh inning on a close play at the plate for Detroit.
The Tigers trailed 4-3 after Seattle’s Dustin Ackley hit a 3-run homer in the fifth but Fielder’s RBI single in the seventh tied it. Then he scored from first when Victor Martinez doubled off Charlie Furbush (2-6).
Torii Hunter homered for the Tigers. Doug Fister (13-9) struck out 10 in 7 2/3 innings. Joaquin Benoit pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 22 chances.
Detroit pushed its AL Central lead to 6 1/2 games.
DODGERS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 6
PHOENIX — The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to clinch a postseason berth, wrapping up their first NL West title since 2009 when they rallied past Arizona 7-6 on Thursday behind two homers from Hanley Ramirez.
Despite an NL-high payroll of $214 million-plus on opening day, the Dodgers got off to a 30-42 start and were last in the division, 9 1/2 games behind the first-place Diamondbacks, before play on June 22. Los Angeles has gone 58-23 since.
The Dodgers trailed 6-3 in the sixth and A.J. Ellis hit a tie-breaking homer off Josh Collmenter (4-4) leading off the eighth.
J.P. Howell (2-1) got two outs for the victory.
Ramirez, who sat out five of the last six games with an irritated nerve in his lower back, hit a 3-run homer in the third inning and a tying solo shot in the seventh. It was his 13th career multi-homer gam.
PIRATES 10, PADRES 1
PITTSBURGH — Neil Walker had four hits, including his 11th homer, and drove in three runs to Pittsburgh in stopping a 3-game losing streak.
Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 34th homer for Pittsburgh. Jose Tabata added two hits and three RBIs as the Pirates moved a game in front of Cincinnati for the top wild card spot in the NL. The rivals begin a 3-game series in Pittsburgh today.
Pittsburgh moved within one game of first-place St. Louis in the NL Central.
Gerrit Cole (9-7) struck out a career-high 12 while allowing one run and four hits in six innings.
Pittsburgh scored four runs total while losing three straight games to the Padres but scored five in the fourth against Ian Kennedy (6-10). Alvarez homered to center with one out to give Pittsburgh the lead.
NATIONALS 3, MARLINS 2
WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper hit a 3-run homer to back an effective pitching performance by Gio Gonzalez and Washington kept alive their slim hope of reaching the playoffs.
Despite winning 11-of-13 in a belated run, the Nationals trail Cincinnati by five games for the final NL wild-card slot with nine games remaining.
Denard Span went 0-for-4 for Washington, ending his hitting streak at 29 games — one short of the Nationals’ record. He was bidding to become the 27th player to have a 30-game hitting streak since Joe DiMaggio had his 56-game run in 1941.
Gonzalez (11-7) allowed two runs and seven hits over six innings to improve to 3-0 against Miami this season. He struck out three, lifting his team-high total to 186.
Rafael Soriano got three outs for his 42nd save.
Harper’s 20th homer of the season came in the first inning off Henderson Alvarez (4-5).
Ed Lucas had three hits for the Marlins, who must go 7-2 in their last nine games to avoid 100 losses.
ROCKIES 7, CARDINALS 6, 15 innings
DENVER — Corey Dickerson’s RBI triple with one out in the bottom of the 15th inning gave Colorado the win.
Charlie Blackmon finished with four hits and Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton homered for the Rockies in tying the second-longest game in Coors Field history.
Matt Holliday had three hits for the Cardinals, who had their NL Central Division lead over Pittsburgh trimmed to one game.
DJ LeMahieu started the winning rally with a 1-out single to right. Dickerson then drilled a line drive into the right-field corner. The relay from second baseman Matt Carpenter beat LeMahieu but catcher Yadier Molina couldn’t control the ball as LeMahieu crawled to touch home.
In the first inning, Helton tagged out Carpenter at first with the hidden-ball trick. After Roy Oswalt threw to first, Helton feigned a throw back to the mound and tagged Carpenter when he stepped off the bag to end the inning.
The Cardinals loaded the bases in the 15th but Pete Kozma hit into a double play to end the inning.
GIANTS 2, METS 1
NEW YORK — San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner struck out 10 in seven innings of 4-hit ball to outpitch Jonathon Niese.
Juan Perez went 3-for-3 with an RBI and the World Series champions won for the eighth time in 11 games.
Bumgarner (13-9) has gone 19 straight starts without yielding more than three earned runs, the longest streak by a San Francisco pitcher since Tim Lincecum’s 19 in a row from 2007-08. The previous Giants hurler to do it during one season was Ed Whitson in 1980, according to STATS.
Niese (7-8) threw seven solid innings for the Mets.
CUBS 5, BREWERS 1
MILWAUKEE — Luis Valbuena, Nate Schierholtz and Brian Bogusevic homered and Chicago stopped a 5-game losing streak.
Jake Arrieta (3-2) didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the fourth when former Cub Aramis Ramirez singled between second and third. Carlos Gomez hit a solo homer in the seventh.
Arrieta allowed three hits, struck out five, walked one and drove in a run.
Valbuena stopped an 0-for-14 slide with his 12th homer, a solo shot off Kyle Lohse (10-10) in the first. Schierholtz hit a 2-run homer in third and Bogusevic added a pinch-homer off Donovan Hand leading off the ninth.
Lohse gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings.