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Baseball Capsules

Wednesday's Baseball Capsules

Baseball Capsules

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Jason Heyward hit a third-inning grand slam to power the Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-1 in the second game of a doubleheader, giving St. Louis its third NL Central title and 11th since 1994.

This one may be among the most impressive. The Cardinals assured themselves of the best record in the majors this season despite losing several stars to injury for long stretches.

The Pirates will play in the NL wild-card game against the Chicago Cubs next week.

Heyward's shot off Bobby LaFromboise, who replaced an ineffective Charlie Morton (9-9), gave St. Louis an early six-run lead. Tyler Lyons (3-1) had little trouble making it hold up as the Cardinals reached the 100-win plateau for the ninth time.

St. Louis players jogged out of their dugout to the infield in a businesslike celebration of their fifth straight postseason berth. Their season-long run atop baseball's most competitive division -- and the ease in which the team did it -- is all the more stunning considering the obstacles it had to overcome.

In Game 1, Francisco Cervelli's grand slam off Michael Wacha (17-7) provided Gerrit Cole (19-8) all the offense he would need to improve to 12-2 in September during his young career. Neil Walker also homered for the Pirates.



BALTIMORE (AP) -- With its rout of Baltimore in the first game of a doubleheader, Toronto clinched its first AL East title in 22 years, bringing an appropriate conclusion to its unstoppable, two-month run.

Toronto entered the doubleheader needing only one victory to eliminate the New York Yankees and claim its first title since 1993. The suspense ended quickly as the Blue Jays built a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning of the opener before adding four unearned runs in the fifth.

The remaining innings were a mere prelude to a celebration more than two decades in the making. There were several hundred blue-clad Toronto fans in the small crowd that gathered for the makeup of a game washed out by rain on Tuesday.



CLEVELAND (AP) -- Cody Anderson pitched seven shutout innings and Jose Ramirez hit a three-run homer, leading the Cleveland Indians a split doubleheader, keeping them alive in the AL wild-card race.

Minnesota won the first game and pulled to one game behind the Angels for the second wild-card spot -- Los Angeles lost to Oakland.

Cleveland is five games behind L.A. and still faced potential elimination if the Astros beat the Mariners later.

Anderson (7-3) held the Twins to two hits and won his fifth straight start.

Cleveland scored four runs in the second off Mike Pelfrey (6-11), who lasted 1 2-3 innings, and Francisco Lindor, continuing his case for rookie of the year, belted a two-run homer in the fourth.


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Stephen Vogt hit a tiebreaking, two-run single during Oakland's four-run rally in the seventh inning, and the Athletics hung on to stop Los Angeles' seven-game winning streak.

Sean Doolittle got pinch-hitter Collin Cowgill to ground out with Mike Trout on third base to end it, completing a five-out save in a wild regular-season home finale for the Angels (83-75).

Eric Sogard had an early three-run double for the last-place A's, whose second win in 11 games further complicated the AL playoff race.

One day after the Angels completed a two-month chase by passing Houston for the second wild-card spot, Los Angeles committed four errors and gave up seven unearned runs while dropping back into a tie with the Astros, who played at Seattle later.


NEW YORK (AP) -- New York's normally steady bullpen wasted a chance to clinch its first playoff berth in three years when Dellin Betances gave up a tying homer and Andrew Bailey allowed the go-ahead hit.

After losses in the first two games of the four-game series and with the chance to wrap up a wild-card berth, the Yankees rallied from a 3-0 deficit. Alex Rodriguez's first homer in two weeks gave them a 5-4 lead in the sixth.

But on a night when Masahiro Tanaka struggled early in his return from a hamstring injury, the Yankees stumbled again. Still, they need just one win in their final four games to earn the playoff spot.

Bailey (0-1) gave up an RBI single to Deven Marrero with one out in the 11th. Chasen Shreve yielded a run-scoring sacrifice to Jackie Bradley Jr. and a two-run homer to Betts.


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Adrian Beltre hit the first of three Texas home runs as the AL West leaders moved closer to a postseason berth by beating Detroit.

Robinson Chirinos and Mike Napoli also homered for the Rangers.

Yovani Gallardo (13-11) won despite giving up nine hits in 5 1-3 innings. Matt Boyd (1-6) allowed all three homers in 2 2-3 innings.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- New York Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes was bruised on two fingers of his left hand after he was hit by a pitch in a testy loss to Philadelphia.

X-rays were negative on Cespedes, struck on the ring and middle fingers. He exited in the third inning, then returned to the dugout in the sixth when the benches started to empty following a high-and-tight pitch.

Daniel Murphy and Michael Conforto homered for the NL East champion Mets.

Ken Roberts (1-1) retired one batter and Ken Giles got his 15th save in 19 chances. Bobby Parnell (2-4) lost in relief.


CINCINNATI (AP) -- Austin Jackson drove in a career-high five runs, Jon Lester set a team for strikeouts in a season by a left-handed pitcher and the playoff-bound Chicago Cubs beat Cincinnati for their fourth straight win. The Reds lost their 11th in a row.

The Cubs will play the Pirates in next week's NL wild-card game.

Lester's strikeout of Ivan De Jesus Jr. in the fifth inning was his 203rd of the season, snapping the franchise record for a left-hander set by Ken Holtzman in 1970. Lester (11-12) finished with nine strikeouts and retired the last 20 batters he faced.

Anthony DeSclafani (9-13) took the loss.

ROYALS 5, WHITE SOX 3, 10 innings

CHICAGO (AP) -- Eric Hosmer hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning, and Kansas City clinched home-field advantage in an AL Division Series.

Ben Zobrist singled with one out, and Hosmer drove a pitch from David Robertson (6-5) into the bullpen in right field to give the Royals the lead. It was Hosmer's 18th homer of the season.

Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas also homered for Kansas City, which had already clinched the AL Central title. They will host the first two games of their ALDS, and a Game 5 if necessary.

Edinson Volquez went six innings, allowed one run and nine hits while striking out five but couldn't pick up his first win since Sept. 8. Franklin Morales (4-2) pitched a scoreless inning in relief and Wade Davis got his 15th save in 16 tries.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Drew Smyly won his fifth straight decision and Grady Sizemore had a three-run double for Tampa Bay.

Smyly (5-2) allowed one run, three hits, three walks and had eight strikeouts over six innings. After losing his first start on Aug. 16 following a three-month absence due to a torn left labrum, the left-hander has gone 5-0 over an eight-start stretch.

Nick Franklin had a two-out solo homer in the fifth off Jarred Cosart (2-5) before Sizemore put the Rays up 5-1 with his bases-loaded opposite-field double down the left-field line.


ATLANTA (AP) -- Rookie Williams Perez threw six innings and Atlanta's bullpen did the rest to record the Braves' first shutout since June 21.

Jordan Zimmermann (13-10), a fixture in the Nationals' rotation since 2011, took the loss in what will likely be his final appearance for the team that drafted him in 2007. Zimmermann, a free agent at the end of the season, gave up two runs and six hits in six innings in his career-high 33rd start.

Perez (7-6) is auditioning for a spot in an uncertain rotation for the Braves in 2016.

Updated : 2021-09-17 21:45 GMT+08:00