MLB Roundup: Ottavino botches throw, Yankees miss chance to clinch

NEW YORK (AP) — An hour after the Yankees missed a chance to clinch the AL East, reliever Adam Ottavino was back on the field with a ball and glove, standing solemnly halfway between the mound and the plate.

It may still be unofficial, but the Yankees are preparing for October baseball, and New York’s mad scientist in the bullpen has work to do.

“It’s a do-or-don’t league, and I didn’t do it today,” he said.

Ottavino sailed a 30-foot throw home on Albert Pujols’ tiebreaking chopper, and the sloppy Yankees lost to the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Wednesday night with an opportunity to wrap up the AL East race.

New York still would have won the division title with a Tampa Bay loss at Dodger Stadium later. But with the Yankees waiting around to celebrate with bubbly, the Rays rallied for an 8-7 victory in 11 innings that ended nearly three hours after New York’s game finished.

The Yankees had plastic-wrapped the home clubhouse anticipating a Dodgers win before Tampa Bay came back in the ninth. Manager Aaron Boone joked that he was ready to spend the night on the cot in his office waiting for the West Coast game to finish.

“We got pretty close there,” Boone said. “We were all ready to go.”

The Yankees would have been assured a playoff spot if Cleveland had lost, but the Indians beat Detroit 2-1 in 10 innings.

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton stung the ball in his return from injury and CC Sabathia got an emotional send-off in his final regular-season start in the Bronx, yet New York dropped to 99-54 after entering the night tied with Houston for the majors’ best record.

New York hasn’t won the AL East since 2012, the third-longest drought for the club since divisions were formed in 1969.

Angels right-hander Luke Bard (2-2) struck out five over three perfect innings of relief. David Fletcher had three hits and Pujols added two hits, an RBI and a stolen base. Los Angeles had traffic all night and left 13 on base.

Defensive whiz Andrelton Simmons dived to his backhand at shortstop to rob Luke Voit of a hit in the ninth, helping Hansel Robles complete his 22nd save.

“I’m sure they’ll get their celebration soon enough,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “But I’d rather not be here.”

Astros 3, Rangers 2

HOUSTON — Gerrit Cole struck out 10 batters, including his 300th of the season, in eight strong innings, Yuli Gurriel and Jose Altuve homered and Houston beat Texas to lock up a postseason berth.

Houston won its fifth straight and 100th game of the season, becoming one of six teams in major league history to win at least 100 games in three straight seasons.

The Astros (100-53) have the best record in the majors and can clinch the AL West as early as Friday with a win and loss by Oakland.

Cole (18-5) allowed two runs on six hits in earning his 14th straight win. He became the third Astros pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts in a season, joining J.R. Richard, who had 313 in 1979 and 303 in 1978, and Mike Scott, who struck out 306 in 1986.

Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 35th save.

Willie Calhoun scored on a throwing error and Ronald Guzman hit a solo homer for Texas.

Kolby Allard (4-1) allowed two runs on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts in five innings. The Rangers have lost five straight.

Indians 2, Tigers 1, 10 innings

CLEVELAND — Yasiel Puig hit an RBI single off the top of the right field wall with two outs in the 10th inning and Cleveland kept up its playoff push, beating Detroit.

The Indians are four games behind the Twins in the AL Central and remained one-half game behind Tampa Bay for the second AL wild-card spot. Cleveland is 2 ¢ games behind wild-card leader Oakland.

Cleveland beat the Tigers for the 16th straight time this season. The Tigers, with the worst record in the majors at 45-106, matched their longest losing streak against an opponent. They also dropped 16 in a row to Minnesota in 2002-03.

Puig’s bases-loaded drive off Jose Cisnero (0-4) came after an intentional walk to Carlos Santana. It was the fourth hit of the game and the fifth career walkoff plate appearance by Puig.

Adam Cimber (6-3) earned the win for Cleveland, which did not allow a hit after the fourth inning.

White Sox 3, Twins 1

MINNEAPOLIS — Held without a hit until the sixth inning, Minnesota managed only three in the loss to Chicago.

In the AL Central, Minnesota is four games ahead of Cleveland after the Indians beat Detroit 2-1 in 10 innings. The surprising Twins still have a magic number of seven to clinch their first division title since 2010.

Zack Collins homered and Yoan Moncada doubled twice for the White Sox. A trio of Chicago pitchers combined to take a no-hitter into the sixth.

Eddie Rosario had an RBI single for Minnesota. Jake Odorizzi (14-7) struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings but lost for the second time in nine starts. He allowed two earned runs and seven hits.

Jace Fry (3-4) pitched 1 2/3 innings to get the win for Chicago. Alex Colome earned his 28th save in 30 chances with a perfect ninth.

Athletics 1, Royals 0, 11 innings

OAKLAND, Calif. — Mark Canha hit an RBI double with two outs in the 11th inning and Oakland edged Kansas City to hold its lead atop the AL wild-card race.

The Athletics, who have won seven of eight, began the day two games ahead of Tampa Bay for the top wild-card spot. Cleveland was a half-game behind the Rays.

Starters Homer Bailey of the A’s and Danny Duffy of the Royals each pitched seven sharp innings. Bailey allowed three hits and struck out 11, while Duffy gave up two hits and fanned six.

Blue Jays 11, Orioles 10

BALTIMORE — Randal Grichuk hit a grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning, and Toronto rebounded from an ineffective start by Clay Buchholz to rally past Baltimore.

Grichuk’s 30th home run highlighted a six-run ninth that began with Toronto trailing 9-5. The shot came off Miguel Castro (1-3), who was charged with all six runs.

Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. left in the ninth after being shaken up making a hard slide into second base.

Brock Stewart (4-0) worked the eighth and Derek Law finished for his fifth save.

Jonathan Villar and Anthony Santander homered to give Baltimore an early lead.

It was another disappointing outing by Buchholz. He allowed 10 hits, seven for extra bases, in 3 2/3 innings and left with a 6.48 ERA.


Cardinals 5, Nationals 1

ST. LOUIS — Adam Wainwright outpitched Max Scherzer, Dexter Fowler made a sensational catch and NL Central-leading St. Louis beat Washington.

Wainwright (13-9) limited the Nationals to an unearned run in seven innings. He gave up eight hits, struck out three and walked one.

Trailing by four, and with two on with one out in the eighth. The Nats’ Asdrubal Cabrera hit a drive off Andrew Miller that had the distance to leave the park, but Fowler jumped and reached far over the wall to make the grab.

Tommy Edman and Matt Wieters homered for St. Louis, which began the day with a two-game division lead over Chicago and Milwaukee.

The Nationals started the day with a 1 ¢-game lead over the Cubs and Brewers in the NL wild-card race. Washington has lost nine of its last 14.

Scherzer (10-7) gave up five runs in 6 2/3 innings and struck out 11.

Carlos Martinez got four outs for his 21st save in 24 chances.

Padres 2, Brewers 1

MILWAUKEE — Dinelson Lamet struck out a career-high 14 and Kirby Yates fanned pinch-hitter Ryan Braun with a runner on second base to close out San Diego’s win over playoff-contending Milwaukee.

The Brewers, who had won four in a row, began the day tied with the Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot.

Rookie Seth Mejias-Brean hit his first career home run as the Padres ended a six-game losing streak.

Lamet (3-5) pitched six innings, giving up three hits.

Keston Hiura connected off Lamet in the sixth for his 17th home run of the season.

Phillies 4, Braves 1

ATLANTA — Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer, Zach Eflin pitched seven solid innings and Philadelphia won its second straight game over Atlanta.

Atlanta has lost three in a row for the first time since July 16-18, but still leads the division by nine games. With nine games left in the regular season, the Braves can clinch their second consecutive NL East title with either two wins, two Washington losses or a combination of one each.

The Phillies, eliminated from the division race, are three games behind the Cubs and Brewers in the race for the second wild card.

Eflin (9-12) gave up just an unearned run and five hits.

Julio Teheran (10-10) allowed three hits and four runs — three earned — in five-plus innings.

Hector Neris earned his second save of the series and 28th in 34 chances with a perfect ninth.

Diamondbacks 5, Marlins 4

PHOENIX — Mike Leake worked effectively into the seventh inning, Domingo Leyba had two RBIs and Arizona beat Miami.

Arizona is 4 ¢ games behind the Cubs abd Brewers in the race for the NL’s second wild card.

The Diamondbacks bounced back by jumping on Sandy Alcantara (5-14) early to keep their slim playoff chances alive with nine games to go.

Abraham Almonte hit his first career leadoff home run and Christian Walker added a solo shot for Arizona.

Leake (12-11) gave up solo homers to Austin Dean and Starlin Castro, but limited the rest of the damage in 6 2/3 innings. Archie Bradley retired the final four batters for his 15th save.

Leake gave up three runs on eight hits and struck out four.

Reds 3, Cubs 2, 10 innings

CHICAGO — Jose Iglesias had an RBI double in the 10th inning and five Cincinnati pitchers combined for a four-hitter as the Reds recorded their second straight win over the playoff-contending Chicago.

The Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers trail the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals by three games. Chicago and Milwaukee are tied for the second NL wild-card spot, 1¢ games behind the Washington Nationals, who hold the first wild card.

Chicago opens a four-game series against St. Louis tonight at Wrigley Field.

Cincinnati slugger Eugenio Suarez hit his 48th homer, one behind Pete Alonso of the New York Mets for the major league


Rays 8, Dodgers 7, 11 innings

LOS ANGELES — Austin Meadows homered leading off the 11th inning, sending Tampa Bay to a victory over Los Angeles that helped the Rays keep pace in the AL wild-card race and prevented the New York Yankees from clinching the AL East title.

Tampa Bay remained two games behind Oakland for the top wild card and a half-game ahead of Cleveland for the second spot.

Meadows slugged his 32nd homer off Josh Sborz (0-1), and Ji-Man Choi’s sacrifice fly tacked on an insurance run after the Rays had rallied for two runs off closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth.

Tommy Pham had a career-high five hits for the Rays, who ended a two-game skid.

The teams combined to use 18 pitchers, two more than on Tuesday.

Colin Poche (5-5) got the win. Pete Fairbanks earned his second save.

Cody Bellinger slugged his 45th homer in the eighth for the Dodgers.

Giants 11, Red Sox 3

BOSTON — Stephen Vogt hit a two-run homer and San Francisco gave Bruce Bochy his 2,000th career victory as a manager in the majors.

Bochy became just the 11th manager to achieve 2,000 wins, reaching the milestone with just 10 games remaining for the Giants before their skipper retires at the end of the season.

He won 951 games while managing the San Diego Padres over 12 seasons and is 1,049-1,047 in 13 years with San Francisco, which won three World Series titles with Bochy at the helm.

Jeff Samardzija didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning and the Giants gave him plenty of offense, tagging eight Boston pitchers for 15 hits while winning for the second straight night at Fenway Park.

Rafael Devers hit his 30th home run and Jackie Bradley Jr. homered for the second straight night for the Red Sox.

Vogt finished with four RBIs for the Giants. Samardzija (11-12) pitched six innings, holding Boston to one run on two hits and four walks. He struck out two.

Mariners 4, Pirates 1

PITTSBURGH — Kyle Lewis hit his fifth home run since debuting Sept. 10, Tom Murphy homered and Seattle beat Pittsburgh for its fourth straight win.

Dario Agrazal (4-5) allowed the four runs and six hits while striking out six in five innings.

Tommy Milone (4-9) relieved Justin Dunn to start the third inning for Seattle before allowing two hits and using just 51 pitches to get through five shutout innings. Matt Magill earned his fifth save.

The Pirates lost a fifth straight game since winning three of four from Sept. 9-12. They have been outscored 57-16 during the losing streak, including 10-1 in the first two games of this series.

By Paul Wager

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