BOSTON (AP) The Boston Red Sox became the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season, rallying on pinch-hitter Brock Holts go-ahead home run in the seventh inning to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Tuesday night.
The Red Sox assured themselves at least a spot in the AL wild-card game while reaching the postseason for the third straight year. The AL East leaders began the night with an eight-game lead over the New York Yankees.
Boston starter Chris Sale came off the disabled list and pitched one scoreless inning, striking out two and throwing 26 pitches. Sale has been slowed by inflammation in his left shoulder, and the Red Sox had said they would ease their ace back into action.
Ryan Brasier (2-0) got the win with 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief as Boston used seven relievers after limiting Sale in his return.
Ryan Tepera (5-5) took the loss.
ANGELS 1, RANGERS 0
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Blake Parker gave up Isiah Kiner-Falefas single to right with one out in the eighth inning to end Los Angeles no-hit bid by relievers in victory over Texas.
Jose Fernandez hit his first career home run for the Angels in the second inning, adding another milestone to the 30-year-old Cubans rookie season after making his major league debut June 8.
The Angels starting rotation was decimated by injuries this season, paving the way for what was the fifth bullpen game of the season. Jim Johnson made his second career start and pitched 1 1/3 innings. He was followed by Noe Ramirez, Hansel Robles, Cam Bedrosian, Justin Anderson and Jose Alvarez, who combined to get through seven innings without giving up a hit.
ASTROS 5, TIGERS 4
DETROIT (AP) Jose Altuve homered on the games first pitch, and Houston powered past Detroit.
The Astros maintained a three-game lead over Oakland in the AL West.
NATIONALS 3, PHILLIES 1,
NATIONALS 7, PHILLIES 6, 10 innings,
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Juan Soto hit a solo home run in the 10th inning, his second of the game, to lead the Washington Nationals to a 7-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies and a doubleheader sweep.
The Nationals rallied for three runs in the ninth inning off Seranthony Dominguez to tie the game at 6-all. Soto, who hit a two-run shot in the fourth, connected off Yacksel Rios (3-2) with one out in the 10th for the winner.
Greg Holland retired the first batters in the 10th before he walked the next two. Holland got Cesar Hernandez to fly out to end the game for his third save. Wander Suero (3-0) got the win.
In the first game, Spencer Kieboom hit his first major league home run after losing a tooth earlier in the day, Erick Fedde (2-3) pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning and the Nationals beat the Phillies 3-1.
The Phillies, who were 15 games over .500 in early August and in the thick of NL playoff race, have lost four straight games and are 6-16 since Aug. 18.
PADRES 2, MARINERS 1
SEATTLE (AP) Wil Myers lined an RBI double off major league saves leader Edwin Diaz with one out in the ninth inning to lift San Diego.
Diaz entered with the game tied at 1 and struggled without having a chance at his 55th save. Diaz (0-4) gave up singles to Hunter Renfroe and Eric Hosmer leading off the inning. After a strikeout of Franmil Reyes, Myers jumped on the first pitch and pulled it into the left field corner, letting pinch-runner Travis Jankowski score easily from second.
BRAVES 4, GIANTS 1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Mike Foltynewicz pitched a six-hitter to win for the first time in nearly a month, Charlie Culberson hit a two-run homer after entering as an injury replacement and Atlanta sent San Francisco to its 10th straight defeat.
DIAMONDBACKS 6, ROCKIES 3
DENVER (AP) Ketel Marte drove in four runs, including a two-out, two-run triple to break a sixth-inning tie, reliever Yoshihisa Hirano helped Arizona weather a ninth-inning scare for his first big league save and the Diamondbacks pulled closer in the NL West standings by beating the first-place Colorado.
The Diamondbacks cut their deficit in the division to 2½ games. The Rockies maintained a 1½ -game advantage over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost for a second straight day in Cincinnati. Colorado is chasing after its first NL West crown in franchise history.
INDIANS 2, RAYS 0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Josh Donaldson went hitless in his Cleveland debut, Edwin Encarnacion reached 30 homers for the seventh straight season and the Indians beat Tampa Bay.
Cleveland lowered its magic number to three for a third straight AL Central title.
REDS 3, DODGERS 1
CINCINNATI (AP) Former Dodgers prospects Brandon Dixon and Scott Schebler homered, and Los Angeles stumbled for the second straight night in a loss to lowly Cincinnati.
Defending NL champion Los Angeles is 0-6 against Cincinnati this season. After losing Mondays series opener 10-6 to the last-place Reds, the Dodgers began the day 1½ games behind NL West-leading Colorado and two games back of St. Louis for the second NL wild card.
Dixon homered in the second inning and Schebler in the third for a 2-0 lead against Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-3). Jose Peraza, another former Los Angeles prospect, had two hits.
Scooter Gennett had two hits, including a run-scoring single in the fifth inning, and lifted his league-leading average to .321. Gennett is hitting .727 (16 for 22) against the Dodgers this season.
Luis Castillo (9-12) allowed one run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings with nine strikeouts. Raisel Iglesias pitched a hitless ninth for his 26th save in 30 chances, completing a five-hitter.
Ryu (4-3) gave up eight hits in five innings.
ATHLETICS 3, ORIOLES 2
BALTIMORE (AP) Mike Fiers remained unbeaten in an Oakland uniform, working six solid innings against Baltimore.
The Athletics won their fifth straight to improve to 33-15 since the All-Star break, the best mark in the majors during that span. Oakland holds the second AL wild-card spot behind the Yankees.
Fiers (12-6), who was acquired from the Tigers on Aug. 6, allowed one run and four hits with seven strikeouts and a walk. He is 5-0 in seven starts with the As and has won a career-best six straight decisions overall.
Jeurys Familia worked a perfect ninth for his 18th save since being acquired from the Mets on July 21.
Stephen Piscotty went 3 for 4 including an RBI single in a three-run third inning for Oakland. He extended his hitting streak to 12 games and has driven in a run in six straight.
Jonathan Villar drove in both Orioles runs with a homer off Fiers in the sixth and a single in the eighth.
Mike Wright (3-2) replaced Alex Cobb in the third and was hit in the left foot by a sharp grounder from Ramon Laureano, the second batter he faced. Matt Chapman followed with an RBI double, and Khris Davis and Piscotty drove in runs with singles.
CUBS 3, BREWERS 0
CHICAGO (AP) Jose Quintana pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning, Victor Caratini drove in two runs and Chicago regained its two-game lead in the NL Central.
Quintana continued his mastery of Milwaukee in a huge spot for Chicago (84-60), improving to 6-2 with a 1.60 ERA in 10 career starts against the Brewers. The veteran left-hander struck out seven and walked two in 6 2/3 innings in his second straight victory over Jhoulys Chacin, also winning at Milwaukee last Wednesday.
Quintana (13-9) received a standing ovation from the crowd of 37,017 when he departed with the bases loaded after a replay review awarded an infield single to pinch-hitter Hernan Perez. Justin Wilson then struck out pinch-hitter Manny Pina on three pitches, preserving Chicagos 2-0 lead and drawing another loud roar at Wrigley Field.
Jorge De La Rosa pitched a perfect eighth and Pedro Strop finished the three-hitter for his 13th save in 17 chances.
Milwaukee (83-63) had won seven of eight, including a 3-2 victory in the series opener that trimmed Chicagos division lead to one game. Chacin (14-7) pitched five innings of one-hit ball, but some sloppy play in the second proved costly for the wild card-leading Brewers.
TWINS 10, YANKEES 5
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Joe Mauer hit a grand slam to highlight a six-run fifth inning, and Minnesota beat New York for the first time in 10 meetings.
Didi Gregorious answered Mauers big bop with his own grand slam in the sixth. That was the only bright spot for the Yankees, who dropped nine games behind Boston in the AL East race and had their lead over Oakland for the first wild card spot cut to two games. The major league leaders in home runs with 234, the Yankees fell to 80-36 in games when they go deep.
Sonny Gray (10-9) lasted three innings and allowed three runs two earned four hits and three walks. Gregorius tripled and scored on Gary Sanchezs sacrifice fly for a second-inning lead, but Gray gave it back in a three-run third.
Jonathan Loaisiga fared even worse, forcing in a run with a bases-loaded walk to Max Kepler in the fifth. Three batters later, Mauer crushed a full-count fastball to center field.
Kohl Stewart (1-1) earned his first major league victory after following reliever Tyler Duffey, who served as a bullpen opener for the third time this month.
ROYALS 6, WHITE SOX 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Brad Keller pitched seven strong innings to win for the fourth time in six starts, leading Kansas City past Chicago.
Whit Merrifield had two hits, two RBIs, and scored two runs for the Royals. He also stole two bases to increase his American League lead to 33 steals, including a league-best 12 of third base.
Keller (8-6) gave up one run and four hits and two walks while striking out six. He is 4-1 with a 1.62 ERA in his last six starts, lowering his ERA to 3.04 leading all AL rookies.
Wily Peralta picked up his 10th save in 10 chances, despite walking two in 1/3 of an inning.
The Royals have won a season-high seven straight at home and 10 of 11.
Dylan Covey (5-13) allowed six runs five earned and six hits in 4 1/3 innings for the White Sox.
CARDINALS 11, PIRATES 5
ST. LOUIS (AP) Cardinals rookie Tyler ONeill hit a three-run homer during a six-run eighth inning, Marcell Ozuna drove in three and Miles Mikolas pitched seven solid innings to lift the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-5 on Tuesday night.
Mikolas (15-5) gave up a run, five hits and a walk while striking out seven. He dropped his ERA to 2.99, and he got his first victory in five starts against the Pirates this season. Mikolas struck out five straight in one stretch, and the Cardinals improved to 21-8 in his starts.
Ozuna is hitting .352 this season against Pittsburgh. He has 13 RBIs against the Pirates and 79 on the season.
Joe Musgrove (6-9) went six innings. He allowed four hits, four runs and two walks while striking out eight.