DENVER (AP) — Marcus Stroman provided a boost to the New York Mets’ flickering playoff hopes.
Stroman pitched seven shutout innings, Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso all homered in the sixth to break open a scoreless game and the Mets beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 on Tuesday night.
“We show up with the same confidence every day,” Stroman said. “I think we can rattle up some wins here. We can get hot. I think everyone believes that, so it’s just a matter of going out there and doing it.”
New York pulled within four games of Chicago and Milwaukee for the second NL wild-card berth. The Mets have 11 games left in the regular season.
“We’re going to try to grab as many games as we possibly can,” Alonso said. “Every win matters and we’re going to keep trying to play our best baseball coming down the stretch.”
Stroman (9-13) allowed four hits, struck out seven and walked one in helping the Mets bounce back from consecutive losses.
“We couldn’t solve him today,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “Good movement on his pitches in the hitting area, that’s what I saw from the side. Fastball had a little bit of takeoff, had some run. Had a hard cutter. Mixed in some breaking balls. We just didn’t square many balls up.”
Tim Melville (2-3) had put up zeroes right along with Stroman, facing the minimum through five innings with an assist from his defense, which turned three double plays while he was on the mound.
But Todd Frazier singled to start the sixth and Rosario followed by driving a 1-1 offering from Melville into the left field bleachers for his 13th home run and a 2-0 lead.
One out later, Nimmo tagged the first pitch he saw for his seventh of the season. Melville got Jeff McNeil to fly out before Alonso, getting the green light on a 3-0 pitch, connected for his 48th home run. The ball landed among the stand of evergreens beyond the center field fence, and Melville was relieved by Philip Diehl.
“I feel like a lot of us were taking really good swings,” Alonso said. “Unfortunately, in the game of baseball, it’s nine against one and sometimes you hit them right at people. You hit the ball hard and it doesn’t necessarily show up in the results. But I feel like we were having quality at-bats and it all eventually came together. That sixth inning was nice, really nice.”
Alonso, who added an RBI single in the Mets’ eighth, is one homer shy of tying Mark McGwire for the second-most home runs by a rookie in a season. The New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge hit 52 home runs as a rookie in 2017.
Charlie Blackmon homered off Luis Avilan with two outs in the ninth for the Rockies’ lone run.
Stroman, acquired from Toronto in a July 28 trade, improved to 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA in his nine starts for New York. The Mets have gone 6-3 with Stroman on the mound.
Brewers 3, Padres 1
MILWAUKEE — Mike Moustakas hit his 35th homer, and Milwaukee earned its 11th win in 12 games.
Lorenzo Cain also went deep as the Brewers moved into a tie with the Chicago Cubs for the NL’s second wild card. They also pulled within two games of NL Central-leading St. Louis.
Moustakas connected against Matt Strahm (5-9) in the seventh, giving Milwaukee a 2-1 lead. Trent Grisham added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Matt Albers (8-5) got the win, and Drew Pomeranz worked two innings for his second save.
Hunter Renfroe hit his 32nd homer in the seventh for San Diego, which matched a season high with its sixth straight loss.
Nationals 6, Cardinals 2
ST. LOUIS — Patrick Corbin struck out 11 in six innings for Washington, and Howie Kendrick had three hits.
The Nationals increased their lead for the NL’s top wild card to 1 1/2 games over the Cubs and Brewers.
Corbin (13-7) allowed two unearned runs and five hits. Daniel Hudson got six outs for his fourth save.
Miles Mikolas (9-14) pitched six innings before he was lifted for a pinch hitter. He allowed three runs and became the first Cardinals pitcher to lose 14 games in a season since Braden Looper went 12-14 in 2008.
St. Louis leads the NL Central by two games over Chicago and Milwaukee.
Phillies 5, Braves 4
ATLANTA — Rhys Hoskins and Jose Pirela hit two-run homers off Dallas Keuchel in Philadelphia’s five-run fourth inning.
Vince Velasquez (7-7) gave up two runs in the first before recovering with four straight scoreless innings. The right-hander allowed five hits in five innings for the Phillies.
Hector Neris worked a rocky ninth for his 27th save.
The Braves began the night needing a combination of three wins and Washington losses to clinch the division.
Keuchel (8-6) surrendered five runs in five innings. He had won his last five starts.
Reds 4, Cubs 2
CHICAGO — The Cubs were shut down by Sonny Gray and two relievers, hurting their playoff positioning.
Chicago had won five in a row, outscoring its opponents 59-18 during the stretch. But it managed just two runs against Gray (11-7) before Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias closed out the five-hitter for Cincinnati.
The Cubs (82-69) dropped into a tie for the second NL wild card with Milwaukee. They also missed out on an opportunity to gain ground on NL Central-leading St. Louis, which lost 6-2 to Washington.
Rookie Aristides Aquino hit his 16th homer for Cincinnati (71-81).
Gray struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings. Iglesias pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save.
Yu Darvish (6-7) struck out 13 in seven innings for Chicago, but was hurt by a slow start. Kyle Schwarber had three hits and two RBIs.
Marlins 12, Diamondbacks 6
PHOENIX — Miguel Rojas had a career-high six RBIs, including a three-run double, and Miami rallied past Arizona.
The Marlins pounded 17 hits to beat Arizona for the fourth time in six tries this year. The Diamondbacks’ slim playoff hopes took another hit with the loss: They’re 5 ¢ games behind the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers for the second NL wild-card spot with 10 to play.
The Diamondbacks led 4-2 after five innings. Left-hander Alex Young had a solid start, giving up two runs over five innings. Matt Andriese (5-5) came on in relief and gave up three runs — all with two outs in the sixth — when Rojas hit his bases-clearing double that barely stayed inside the left-field line.
Caleb Smith (9-10) got the win, giving up four runs over five innings.
Blue Jays 8, Orioles 5
BALTIMORE — Rookie Cavan Biggio hit for the cycle, leading Toronto to the victory.
Biggio homered in the third inning, singled in the sixth, doubled in the eighth and tripled in the ninth. He drove in four runs and scored three times.
Biggio and his father, Craig, a Hall of Famer with the Houston Astros, are the second father-son duo in major league history to hit for the cycle, joining Daryle and Gary Ward.
It was also the first time an opponent hit for the cycle in the 27-year history of Camden Yards.
Trey Mancini and Jonathan Villar homered for last-place Baltimore, which lost for the third time in four games. Mychal Givens (2-6) got the loss.
Derek Law (1-2) earned the win by throwing a scoreless eighth inning.
Twins 9, White Sox 8, 12 innings
MINNEAPOLIS — Ronald Torreyes was hit by a bases-loaded pitch in Minnesota’s three-run 12th inning, and the Twins maintained their five-game lead in the AL Central.
Marwin Gonzalez hit a tying two-run single off Jose Ruiz (1-4). Torreyes, a September roster addition who has only six plate appearances for the Twins this season, crouched in front of a 2-1 fastball with his bat ready to swing before holding off. The ball grazed his right forearm as he lowered it over the plate, triggering the celebration by the Twins.
The Twins, who improved to 13-5 against the White Sox this season, trimmed their magic number for clinching the division to seven.
Ryan Cordell hit a two-run drive in the top of the 12th off Ryne Harper (4-2), one of four homers allowed by Twins relievers.
Indians 7, Tigers 2
CLEVELAND — Adam Plutko pitched six effective innings, rookie Oscar Mercado homered and Cleveland beat Detroit for the 15th straight time.
Cleveland has won 16 of 17 in the season series, with Detroit’s only win coming on April 10 at Comerica Park.
Plutko (7-4) allowed two runs and four hits in his first win since he beat Detroit on Aug. 27.
Mercado hit a solo drive off Zac Reininger (0-3) in the second for his 12th homer.
Dawel Lugo homered in the fifth for Detroit. Victor Reyes singled in a run in the third.
Astros 4, Rangers 1
HOUSTON — Justin Verlander picked up his major league-leading 19th win, and Yuli Gurriel, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez homered for Houston.
The Astros have a magic number of one to clinch a playoff berth and three to capture their third straight American League West title.
Verlander (19-6) struck out eight in six scoreless innings. Roberto Osuna struck out two in the ninth for his 34th save.
Texas starter Lance Lynn (14-11) was tough early and the Astros had just one hit before Gurriel’s home run to the first row of the seats in right field with one out in the fifth.
Athletics 2, Royals 1
OAKLAND, Calif. — Matt Olson hit a tying homer for Oakland leading off the seventh, and Seth Brown hit a go-ahead double two batters later.
Olson’s drive to center reached the Coliseum’s elevated bleachers in the level above the luxury suites. Jorge Lopez (4-8) then hit Mark Canha with a pitch before Brown doubled.
A.J. Puk (2-0) followed Brett Anderson and struck out two over two shutout innings for his second major league win. Liam Hendriks struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his 23rd save.
The A’s, who hold the top AL wild-card spot, bounced back after their six-game winning streak was snapped by Monday’s 6-5 loss to the Royals.
Kansas City’s Nick Dini hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth for the game’s first run.
Giants 7, Red Sox 6, 15 innings
BOSTON — Mike Yastrzemski, grandson of former Red Sox great and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, homered in his first game in Fenway Park, and Alex Dickerson had a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the 15th inning to lift the San Francisco Giants to a victory over Boston.
The game featured a major league record-tying 24 pitchers — including a team-record 13 by the Giants — and had 50 players overall, lasting 5 hours, 54 minutes. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was played in the middle of the 14th inning.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, who is retiring at the end of the season, moved one win away from becoming the 11th big-league manager to reach 2,000 victories.
Donovan Solano opened the 15th with a ground-rule double against Trevor Kelley (0-2) and advanced on a wild pitch before the Dickerson’s sac fly.
Dereck Rodriguez (6-9) worked two innings for the victory.
Mariners 6, Pirates 0
PITTSBURGH — Marco Gonzales pitched seven innings, helping Seattle beat Pittsburgh after Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez was arrested on multiple felony charges earlier in the day.
Vazquez was charged with statutory sexual assault, soliciting a child and pornography, and placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball.
Vazquez was taken into custody by Pennsylvania State Police on one count of computer pornography/solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors, both felonies, stemming from an investigation in Florida. He was later charged in Westmoreland County, which is located east of Pittsburgh, with felony counts of statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors and a misdemeanor count of indecent assault of a person under 16 years old.
Gonzales (16-11) also doubled and scored in the fifth inning.
Dodgers 7, Rays 5
LOS ANGELES — Corey Seager drove in four runs, including a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh, and Los Angeles rallied to beat Tampa Bay.
Seager’s ground-rule double in the fifth was the Dodgers’ first hit of the game and briefly gave them a 2-1 lead. The Dodgers broke the game open in the seventh with five runs and five hits.
Tampa Bay had its lead for the second AL wild card cut to one-half game over Cleveland.