(Adds later games)
Sept 28 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Saturday's Major League Baseball games.
Rangers 7, Angels 4
Texas (90-71) came into the day one game behind both Tampa Bay and Cleveland in the race for the American League's two wild-card spots and joined the Rays with the win after Tampa fell to Toronto.
Blue Jays 7, Rays 2
Adam Lind drove in three runs and J.A. Happ pitched into the eighth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays beat Tampa Bay 7-2 to place pressure on the Rays wild card aspirations.
The Rays (90-71) are still trying to lock up one of the two American League wild-card spots with one game left in their regular-season schedule.
Cleveland jumped into the leading wildcard spot with a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins while Texas joined the Rays tied for the other spot with their win over the Angels.
Rookies Ryan Goins and Kevin Pillar each hit two-run homers in the fifth inning for the Blue Jays (74-87), who surpassed last year's win total with one game left in their season.
Indians 5, Twins 1
Cleveland's 5-1 victory over the Twins guaranteed themselves at least a spot in a playoff for a wild-card berth.
Behind six strong innings from Scott Kazmir and some timely two-out hitting, the Indians moved a step closer to reaching the postseason for the first time since 2007.
With Cleveland's victory and Tampa Bay's loss at Toronto, the Indians will enter the final day of the regular season in the first American League wild-card spot, a game ahead of the Rays and Texas.
Cleveland will clinch a wild-card berth with either a victory Sunday against the Twins or a loss by either Tampa Bay or Texas.
If Cleveland loses and both the Rays and the Rangers win, the three teams would enter a three-team, two-game playoff to determine the two wild-card participants.
Kazmir (10-9) allowed one run on six hits over six innings while striking out 11.
Pirates 8, Reds 3
The victory assures Pittsburgh (93-68) will host the Reds in Tuesday's National League wild-card game in their first post-season game at home since 1992.
Cincinnati (90-71) is limping down the stretch, having lost four straight games.
Walker teamed up with Andrew McCutchen for back-to-back homers in the third and Andrew Lambo hit his first major league home run in the sixth.
Pittsburgh's six homers tied a single-game record for an opponent at Great American Ball Park.
Padres 9, Giants 3
The Padres broke open a tight game with a four-run ninth inning that included Jedd Gyorko's 22nd home run of the season, a two-run shot off Giants left-hander Mike Kickham.
Cardinals 6, Cubs 1
Adam Wainwright's final tune-up before the National League Division Series couldn't have gone much better as the St. Louis ace worked five and a third shutout innings as the Cardinals dumped the Chicago Cubs 6-1.
Wainwright (19-9) allowed just two hits and a walk, striking out five in a 72-pitch outing.
St. Louis (95-66) won for the seventh time in eight games and moved a half-game ahead of Atlanta for overall home-field advantage in the NL playoffs.
Mariners 7, A's 5
Parker (12-8) lasted just four and a third innings, having allowed seven earned runs off seven hits before exiting the game with the A's trailing 7-1.
Brewers 4, Mets 2
Gomez also singled and stole second and third in the second, homered in the fourth, struck out in the sixth and singled in the eighth for the Brewers, who have won four in a row and six of their last seven.
Yankees 2, Astros 1
New York Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte tossed his 26th complete game, and his first since returning to the Bronx in 2007, pitching brilliantly in his career finale and earning a 2-1 win over his hometown Houston Astros.
Pettitte (11-11) last produced a complete game in 2006, while pitching for the Astros in a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
He retired nine consecutive batters and had 105 pitches on his ledger entering the ninth inning and, after allowing a two-out single to Astros first baseman Chris Carter, got J.D. Martinez to ground out to third base.
Pettitte matched Whitey Ford for the franchise record with his 438th start and improved to 256-153 in his career, which included a 219-127 record with the Yankees.
He allowed one run on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts, improving that career total to a franchise-best 2,020.
White Sox 6, Royals 5
All 11 runs on the night were scored via the long ball as the teams combined to hit seven home runs.
Orioles 6, Red Sox 5
The Red Sox (97-64) will not be too upset over the loss after they clinched home-field advantage all the way through the playoffs when Oakland lost to Seattle earlier in the day.
Nationals 2, Diamondbacks 0
Haren (10-14) struck out five, walked one and permitted only two runners as far as second base. He has won at least 10 games in each of the last nine seasons.
Denard Span tripled and scored off Brandon McCarthy (5-11) to break a scoreless tie in the sixth inning, and Tracy hit his fourth home run of the season with one out in the seventh.
Marlins 2, Tigers 1 (10)
Justin Ruggiano scored the winning run after leading off the 10th with a walk and advancing to second on Juan Pierre's sacrifice bunt before Giancarlo Stanton hit a one-out single to center to win the game.
Sanchez and three relievers had combined to hold the Marlins to just two hits, both singles, through eight innings. No Marlins runner had gotten past second base.
Phillies 5, Braves 4
The Philadelphia Phillies withstood a ninth-inning rally when closer Jonathan Papelbon surrendered a three-run homer to Justin Upton to defeat the Atlanta Braves 5-4.
Freddie Freeman followed with a single and Papelbon walked Evan Gattis before Chris Johnson was retired on a game-ending grounder to shortstop.
(Editing by Ben Everill)
- Sports & Recreation
- American League
- Major League Baseball
- Texas Rangers
- Blue Jays
- Los Angeles Angels