Francisco Lindor had two solo homers and four RBIs, rookie Shane Bieber pitched into the seventh inning to remain unbeaten in nine road starts and the Cleveland Indians beat the Blue Jays 9-4 on Thursday night in Toronto for their third straight win.
Cleveland trimmed its magic number to seven for clinching a third consecutive AL Central championship.
Lindor connected on Sam Gaviglio’s third pitch for his 10th career leadoff homer and seventh this season. He went deep to right off Gaviglio again in the third for his eighth career multihomer game. Lindor has 33 home runs, matching his total from last year. He added a two-run single in the fifth and singled again in the ninth.
Toronto’s Rowdy Tellez doubled in the second and fourth after getting a pinch-hit double in his debut Wednesday, making him the first player in major league history with extra-base hits in each of his first three plate appearances.
Jason Kipnis hit a three-run homer off Blue Jays reliever Mark Leiter Jr. in the ninth.
Bieber (9-3) allowed four runs, three earned, and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. He improved to 5-0 away from home.
Gaviglio (3-8) gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings to lose for the fourth time in five starts.
CUBS 6, NATIONALS 4, 10 INNINGS: At Washington, Pinch-hitter David Bote had an RBI double and scored in the 10th inning as Chicago came back to beat Washington in the opener of a four-game series.
Bote, who hit a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the ninth to give the Cubs a 4-3 win over the Nationals on Aug. 12 in Chicago, knocked a 100 mph fastball from Jimmy Cordero (1-2) into right field to score Albert Almora Jr. Bote came home on a single by pinch-hitter Taylor Davis.
Daniel Murphy went 1 for 5 with a strikeout in his first return to Washington since the Nationals traded him to the Cubs on Aug 21.
Chicago leads the NL Central by 4 1/2 games over Milwaukee. Washington has lost three straight to fall to 69-72.
Pedro Strop (5-1) pitched a scoreless ninth, and Jesse Chavez earned his third save.
Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer for the Nationals. Stephen Strasburg gave up three runs, two earned, in 5 2/3 innings.
PADRES 6, REDS 2: At Cincinnati, Francisco Mejia hit a solo homer and a three-run shot during his first start as the Padres’ up-and-coming catcher, leading San Diego over Cincinnati.
Mejia connected on his first two swings against Luis Castillo (8-12) for his first homers in the majors. The 22-year-old was called up Tuesday as the Padres get him ready for a bigger role next season.
San Diego got Cleveland’s top catching prospect in a July trade for relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber. Mejia hit seven homers at Triple-A after the deal, prompting his September call-up.
Hunter Renfroe also hit a solo homer off Castillo , who gave up three for the first time in his career.
Jose Castillo (2-2) retired the three batters he faced. Scott Schebler and Mason Williams homered off Trey Wingenter in the seventh.
BRAVES 7, DIAMONDBACKS 6, 10 INNINGS: At Phoenix, Dansby Swanson scored the go-ahead run on Yoshihisa Hirano’s wild pitch in the 10th inning, and Atlanta regrouped to beat Arizona after blowing a two-run lead in the ninth.
Coming off a three-game sweep by Boston, the NL East-leading Braves jumped on Zack Greinke with homers by Kurt Suzuki and Johan Camargo to lead 6-4 heading into the ninth. But then A.J. Pollock hit a sacrifice fly and Paul Goldschmidt tied it with a homer off winner Jesse Biddle (5-1).
The Braves loaded the bases against Brad Boxberger (2-6) in the 10th before Hirano uncorked a wild pitch that scored Swanson.
Brad Bach worked around a walk for his first save with Atlanta.
Nick Markakis had four hits and a run-scoring single in the ninth for the Braves, who increased their division lead to 3 1/2 games over Philadelphia.
Arizona has lost five of six to fall 2 1/2 games behind first-place Colorado in the NL West.
Nick Ahmed hit a three-run double for the Diamondbacks.
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