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Baseball-Highlights of Thursday's Major League Baseball games

Reuters

(Adds more games)

Sept 19 (The Sports Exchange) - Highlights of Thursday's Major League Baseball games

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Red Sox 3, Orioles 1

John Lackey fired a two-hitter, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park to clinch a playoff berth.

Boston are assured of at least a wild card and are all but certain to clinch the American League East, nine games clear at the top.

The Red Sox, who avoided a sweep in the three-game series, will be in the postseason for the first time since 2009.

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Rangers 8, Rays 2

The Texas Rangers tied up the race for the top American League wild card spot with Tampa Bay again when they pounded the Rays, outhitting the home team 16-7.

Texas starter Yu Darvish (13-9) was wild but good enough after losing consecutive 1-0 decisions. Texas (83-69), which had lost seven straight before the four-game series began, earned a split.

The Rangers are locked in a playoff battle with the Rays (83-69), Cleveland Indians (83-70) and Baltimore Orioles (81-71).

The top wild card team will host a one-game playoff with the second wild card team.

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Indians 2, Astros 1

Matt Carson's bases-loaded single with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning gave Cleveland a win over the Houston Astros and kept the Indians in the race for a wild card berth.

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Blue Jays 6, Yankees 2

Todd Redmond pitched seven strong innings as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the New York Yankees 6-2.

Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda (11-12) allowed eight hits, four walks and three runs while striking out seven in six innings to take his fifth loss without a win in his past seven starts.

The Yankees (80-73) finished their road trip at 4-6, all but ending their playoff hopes.

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Athletics 8, Twins 6

The Oakland Athletics remained on track to win the American League West when they scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to stave off a Minnesota Twins comeback.

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Nationals 3, Marlins 2

Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and starter Gio Gonzalez and the bullpen made it stand up as the Washington Nationals edged the Miami Marlins, keeping alive their faint playoff hopes.

They are five games out of a wild card spot in the National League with only nine games remaining.

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Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 6

The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the National League West title with a narrow win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, becoming only the fourth team in MLB history to finish a season in first place after being in last position on July 1 or later.

The Dodgers were 38-43 and in fifth place, 3 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks on July 1, but took command of the division with a 53-13 run that began the final week of June.

The only other teams to pull off a midseason worst to first are Seattle (1995), the New York Mets(1973) and the Boston Braves (1914, according to Elias).

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Rockies 7, Cardinals 6

The Colorado Rockies beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the bottom of the 15th inning when Corey Dickerson tripled home the winning run.

Each team used 10 pitchers in the longest game of the season for the Rockies by innings and time (5 hours, 9 minutes).

The victory gave the Rockies a split of the four-game series and cut the St Louis lead in the National League Central to one game over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Pirates 10, Padres 1

Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker both hit a home run during a five-run fourth inning to back a dominant Gerrit Cole as the Pittsburgh Pirates whipped the San Diego Padres to avoid being swept in the four-game series.

The Pirates, who had been held to four runs in their three losses in the series, moved within one game of National League Central leader St. Louis. And Pittsburgh also edged one game ahead of the idle Cincinnati Reds in the division and wild card races.

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Tigers 5, Mariners 4

Victor Martinez drove in the go-ahead run with the second of his two run-scoring doubles to lift the Detroit Tigers to victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Prince Fielder had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run while Torii Hunter homered and also scored twice for Detroit. The Tigers reduced their magic number to clinch the American League Central to four.

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Giants 2, Mets 1

Madison Bumgarner threw seven solid innings and Juan Perez and Ehire Adrianza each had an RBI in the fourth inning to lift the San Francisco Giants to a 2-1 win over the New York Mets.

The Giants (70-82) won for the fifth time in six games and ensured remaining at least 1 1/2 games ahead of last-place Colorado in the National League West.

San Francisco is trying to avoid becoming just the second defending World Series champion to finish last in its division.

The Florida Marlins finished last in the NL East in 1998.

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Cubs 5, Brewers 1

Home runs by Luis Valbuena, Nate Schierholtz and Brian Bogusevic, and seven strong innings from right-hander Jake Arrieta helped the Chicago Cubs avoid a four-game sweep against the Milwaukee Brewers.

- - - (Editing by Ian Ransom and Amlan Chakraborty)

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