Yankees beat Blue Jays to inch closer to AL East title

Yankees beat Blue Jays 6-4 to inch closer to AL East division title; Pirates, Cubs win in NL

Yankees beat Blue Jays to inch closer to AL East title

TORONTO (AP) -- Greg Bird hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning as the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 Tuesday to move closer in the American League-East division pennant race.

Bird connected off reliever Mark Lowe (1-3) for the rookie's 10th home run in 34 games and third in the past three nights.

Brian McCann led off the 10th with a bunt single and was replaced by pinch-runner Rico Noel. Slade Heathcott reached on catcher's interference before Bird drove a 2-2 pitch into the right-field bullpen. Six of his 10 homers have given the Yankees a lead.

New York closed within 2 1/2 games of first-place Toronto. The teams meet for the final time this season Wednesday.

In other games with postseason implications, Pittsburgh and Chicago closed in on playoff wild cards in the National League with victories, while Minnesota and the Los Angeles Angels got important wins to stay in contention in the AL wild card chase.

Pittsburgh's Starling Marte drove in two runs as the Pirates closed in on their third straight playoff berth with a 6-3 win over Colorado.

A win Wednesday against the Rockies would clinch at least a wild card in the NL, though the Pirates also kept pace with NL Central leader St. Louis. The Cardinals beat Cincinnati 3-1 to maintain a four-game lead over the second-place Pirates.

The Chicago Cubs also moved closer to clinching the second NL wild card with a 4-0 win over Milwaukee.

Jake Arrieta (20-6) threw a three-hitter and struck out 11 to become the first pitcher in MLB to reach 20 wins and Kris Bryant set the Cubs rookie record for home runs with his 26th of the season, besting Billy Williams' mark in 1961.

Chicago has a 9?-game lead over defending World Series champs San Francisco in the NL wild-card race. The Giants beat the Padres 4-2 but are running out of time to make up ground.

Chicago is looking for its first postseason in seven years.

In the American League, meanwhile, the Angels topped Houston 4-3 and Minnesota beat Cleveland 3-1 to keep pace in the wild chase for the second wild card.

The Twins (77-73) moved within two games of Houston (80-72) for the final postseason position. The Indians (74-75) are two slots behind the Twins, with Los Angeles (77-75) in between.

In Minneapolis, Ervin Santana pitched strong into the eighth inning and Aaron Hicks and Brian Dozier each had two hits and an RBI from the top two spots in Minnesota's lineup.

Santana (6-4) turned in his fifth straight stellar start, surrendering five hits, one run and one walk while striking out seven.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, got back-to-back homers from Mike Trout and Albert Pujols and held on for the win over the Astros.

There was one on in the first when Trout launched his 40th homer into left-center to make it 2-0. The 36th home run this season by Pujols extended the lead to 3-0.

Elsewhere, Delino DeShields hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the sixth inning after Mitch Moreland connected for a tying two-run homer as Texas beat Oakland 8-6 to increase its lead in the AL West division.

Chi Chi Gonzalez (4-5) pitched two scoreless innings for the win in relief of starter Martin Perez as the Rangers moved two games ahead of Houston.

Atlanta rookie right-hander Matt Wisler stopped his nine-start winless drought as the Braves stalled the Mets' push toward the NL East title with a 6-2 victory.

David Wright homered as the Mets lost for the fifth time in seven games. They held their 6 1/2-game lead over Washington.

In Washington, Ubaldo Jimenez pitched six gritty innings to earn his 100th career win and added an RBI single as Baltimore beat the Nationals 4-1.

Also, Arizona defeated the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers 8-0, Detroit topped the Chicago White Sox 2-1 in 10 innings, Tampa Bay beat Boston 5-2, Seattle defeated the slumping Kansas City Royals 11-2, and Philadelphia outlasted Miami 6-2.

Updated : 2021-02-26 18:48 GMT+08:00