Aaron Judge hit his 44th home run, Aroldis Chapman pitched out of big trouble in the eighth inning and the New York Yankees edged the Minnesota Twins in New York on Monday night to increase their wild-card lead.
Todd Frazier hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the sixth, and Jaime Garcia gave the Yankees a splendid performance against the team that traded him this year after only one start.
New York, still chasing first-place Boston in the East, won the opener of a three-game series that could serve as a potential postseason preview two weeks from now. The Yankees have built a five-game cushion for the league’s top wild card with 12 to play. Minnesota is in the second spot, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels. So if the standings hold, New York will host the Twins in the one-game playoff on Oct. 3.
Judge homered to right-center in the first off hard-luck loser Ervin Santana (15-8), who won his previous four decisions. The All-Star righty gave up seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. David Robertson (9-2) retired all four hitters he faced, improving to 5-0 since the Yankees reacquired him from the Chicago White Sox in July.
Athletics 8, Tigers 3: In Detroit, Matt Olson homered, Jed Lowrie drove in three runs and Oakland beat Detroit.
Olson became the first A’s player to homer in four straight games since Coco Crisp in 2013, and now has 14 home runs in his last 20 games.
Nicholas Castellanos had three hits for the Tigers, extending his career-best hitting streak to 15 games.
Raul Alcantara, who started when Jharel Cotton strained his groin during pregame warmups, pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits. Liam Hendriks (4-2), the third of six Oakland pitchers, got the win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Red Sox 10, Orioles 8 (11): In Baltimore, Andrew Benintendi hit a two-run single in the 11th inning, Mookie Betts had four RBIs and Boston beat Baltimore for its ninth win in 12 games.
Xander Bogaerts homered and scored three runs for the Red Sox, who maintained their three-game lead over the second-place Yankees in the East and reduced to four their magic number for clinching a playoff berth.
Boston erased a five-run deficit with a six-run fifth inning and needed 10 pitchers to beat a skidding Orioles team that has now lost 10 of 12.
Phillies 4, Dodgers 3: In Philadelphia, Aaron Altherr hit a grand slam, the first ever given up by Clayton Kershaw, to lead Philadelphia past Los Angeles.
Chris Taylor and Justin Turner led off the game with consecutive homers and Curtis Granderson also went deep for the Dodgers, who opened play with a magic number of four to clinch the West. At 96-54, Los Angeles still has the best record in baseball.
The Phillies have been a thorn in the side of Kerhshaw (17-4). The Dodgers’ ace left-hander dropped to 3-5 in his career versus Philadelphia, one of just three teams he has a losing record against. The three-time N.L. Cy Young Award winner was cruising until the sixth, when he allowed a bloop single by Freddy Galvis between a pair of walks to load the bases for Altherr. The Phillies outfielder crushed Kershaw’s 1-1 breaking ball 418 feet to left to give Philadelphia a 4-2 advantage.
Brewers 3, Pirates 0: In Pittsburgh, Brent Suter pitched five efficient innings, Ryan Braun homered and Milwaukee beat Pittsburgh to gain ground in the playoff chase.
Milwaukee pulled within 3 1/2 games of the Cubs in the Central and two games behind the Rockies for the final wild card. Chicago and Colorado were both off Monday.
Suter (3-2) allowed five hits and struck out four, throwing just 64 pitches before handing off to the bullpen. Five relievers split the final four innings, with Corey Knebel pitching the ninth for his 36th save in 41 tries.
Braun’s solo shot, his 17th of the season, came in the fourth inning off starter Jameson Taillon (7-7). In the sixth inning, former Pirates infielder Neil Walker added on with an RBI single that ended Taillon’s night.
Marlins 13, Mets 1: In Miami, Giancarlo Stanton hit his 55th homer – and his first in nine days – while driving in four runs to help Miami beat New York.
Batting third for the first time this year, Stanton hit a three-run line drive into the home-run sculpture at Marlins Park in the fourth inning against Matt Harvey (5-6). With that, the MLB home run leader ended a drought of 29 at-bats without one. Stanton’s homer total is the highest since Ryan Howard hit 58 in 2006. Stanton added a run-scoring single in Miami’s seven-run fifth.
The Marlins, back home after a trip extended by three games due to Hurricane Irma, won for only the fourth time in the past 21 games.
Padres 4, Diamondbacks 2: In San Diego, Hunter Renfroe hit a three-run home run in his first game back from Triple-A and Austin Hedges also connected for San Diego in a win over Arizona.
Renfroe drove a 1-1 pitch from lefty Patrick Corbin to straightaway center field with two outs in the first, his 11th. He was demoted to Triple-A El Paso on Aug. 18 to work on his hitting.
Corbin (14-13) retired the first two batters before allowing Wil Myers’ double that bounced over the fence in left-center. The pitcher then walked Yangervis Solarte before Renfroe connected.
Hedges homered to left-center on a 3-1 pitch with one out in the second, his 18th.
The Diamondbacks closed the gap in the third with RBI singles by David Peralta and J.D. Martinez off Luis Perdomo (8-10).
Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his 19th save.
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