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Wednesday, December 11, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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MLB roundup: Another Yankee bites the dust in win over Rays

New York Yankees’ Gary Sanchez, left, and Gleyber Torres, center, congratulate Brett Gardner after his leaping catch on the warning track of a fly ball hit by Tampa Bay Rays’ Brandon Lowe to end the sixth inning on Monday. (Steve Nesius / AP)
New York Yankees’ Gary Sanchez, left, and Gleyber Torres, center, congratulate Brett Gardner after his leaping catch on the warning track of a fly ball hit by Tampa Bay Rays’ Brandon Lowe to end the sixth inning on Monday. (Steve Nesius / AP)
Associated Press

Aaron Hicks injured his left hamstring running up the first-base line in the Yankees’ 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night in St. Petersburg, Florida, another concern for New York heading into next week’s American League wild-card game.

Hicks’ 11th-inning double on Saturday drove Didi Gregorius with the run that clinched a postseason berth, and on Sunday the Yankees learned Sunday that Gregorius had torn cartilage in his right wrist during his headfirst slide across the plate.

Hicks, who had fouled a pitch off his left ankle just before the double, left Monday’s game with left hamstring tightness.

New York’s win eliminated the Rays and ensured a postseason berth for Oakland, which is likely to be the wild-card opponent but also is still alive in the A.L. West race. At 96-60, New York is assured of its best record since going 97-65 in 2011.

Gardner had a go-ahead single off Ryan Yarbrough (15-6) in a two-run fifth inning.

New York used eight pitchers and gave its starters extra rest ahead of the postseason, and the Rays managed just two hits – both off Sonny Gray (11-9).

Red Sox 6, Orioles 2: In Boston, the Red Sox broke a 106-year-old franchise record with their 106th victory, clinching home-field advantage through the postseason thanks to a pair of hits from major league batting leader Mookie Betts.

Nathan Eovaldi struck out 10 hapless Baltimore batters to assure the Red Sox of the best record in baseball this season and home-field advantage through the World Series, if they make it that far. For now, they know they will open the Division Series at Fenway Park on Oct. 5 against the winner of the A.L. wild-card game between the New York Yankees and mostly likely Oakland.

The 1912 Red Sox won 105 games in their first season at Fenway Park.

The Orioles (45-111) became the sixth A.L. team and the first since the 2003 Tigers to lose 111 games, falling 60 1/2 games behind Boston (106-51) in the division. It’s the first time since 1939 that teams separated by 60 wins in the standings have played each other.

Six days after throwing six scoreless innings against the Yankees, Eovaldi (6-7) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walking none but uncorking a pair of wild pitches.

Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (8-16) gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in three innings, striking out five.

Pirates 5, Cubs 1: In Chicago, Jameson Taillon outpitched Cole Hamels, Francisco Cervelli hit a two-run homer and Pittsburgh made Chicago wait at least another day to clinch a playoff spot.

The Cubs needed a win plus a loss by Colorado to Philadelphia to assure a franchise-record fourth straight trip to the playoffs, a run that includes a drought-busting World Series championship in 2016.

Taillon (14-9) gave up one run and five hits in seven innings, improving to 5-0 in his past seven starts.

Hamels (4-2) hit his second career homer but he lost his second straight start after going 4-0 in his first nine following a trade from Texas.

Astros 5, Blue Jays 3: In Toronto, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick hit back-to-back home runs, and Houston beat Toronto to move one step closer to its second straight A.L. West title.

The defending World Series champions began the day with a magic number of three over Oakland to clinch the division – which would set up a best-of-five postseason matchup against A.L. Central champion Cleveland.

Dallas Keuchel (12-11) allowed three runs in five innings for his first win since Sept. 3.

Five relievers followed before former Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna came on to a chorus of boos in the ninth, his first appearance in Toronto since being arrested for assault in May. Osuna, who earned his 19th save in 20 opportunities, was traded to the Astros on July 30. Many in the crowd of 23,463 jeered each of Osuna’s pitches.

In the first big league meeting between brothers Yuli Gurriel and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Houston’s Yuli opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first. Younger brother Lourdes grounded into a double play in the bottom of the inning, then exited the game because of a sore left hamstring.

Marco Estrada (7-14) lost his fifth straight decision.

Indians 4, White Sox 0: In Chicago, Corey Kluber struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings and won his 20th game, and Brandon Guyer hit a go-ahead solo homer in the seventh as Cleveland beat Chicago.

Kluber (20-7) reached 20 victories for the first time after recording 19 wins last season and 18 victories the two previous seasons and in 2004. The reigning A.L. CY Young winner is the first 20-game winner for the Central Division champions since Cliff Lee went 22-3 in 2008.

Cleveland is also the first team to have four pitchers with 200 strikeouts in a season. Kluber ran his total to 216, while Carlos Carrasco has 217, Trevor Bauer 215 and Mike Clevinger 202.

The Indians tied the Chicago Cubs for the major league lead with 17 shutouts.

Adam Rosales gave the Indians an insurance run with a home run off reliever Nate Jones to left for his first of the season in the ninth inning. Brandon Barnes and Edwin Encarnacion then added RBI singles. It was Rosales’ first home run since Sept. 4, 2017, when he was with Arizona.

Indians relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen pitched a perfect eighth and ninth, respectively, and combined with Kluber to retire the final 17 batters.

Dylan Covey didn’t allow a run over six innings. Reliever Ian Hamilton (0-2) gave up Guyer’s homer on his third pitch.

Nationals 7, Marlins 3: In Washington, Anthony Rendon homered and drove four runs, Bryce Harper reached 100 RBIs in a season for the first time and Washington beat Miami.

Juan Soto and Matt Wieters also homered for Washington, which broke it open with four runs on three pitches in the fourth inning.

Harper started the big inning, driving in his 100th run with a sacrifice fly that scored Adam Eaton and put Washington ahead 3-1. Harper, a pending free agent who may be playing his final home series at Nationals Park, got a standing ovation from the sparse, rain-soaked crowd. His previous high was 99 RBIs in 2015, when he won the N.L. MVP Award.

Rendon and Soto then homered back-to-back on the next two pitches from Sandy Alcantara (2-2). Justin Miller (7-1) allowed one unearned run in the fifth in relief of Stephen Strasburg, who was pulled after throwing 100 pitches over four innings.

Rockies 10, Phillies 1: In Denver, Jon Gray pitched seven crisp innings and drew a bases-loaded walk as part of a five-run third to lead Colorado over Philadelphia.

Colorado won its fourth straight game since being swept in Los Angeles by the N.L. West-leading Dodgers, who entered the night with a 1 1/2-game advantage over the Rockies in the division. Colorado also began the day trailing St. Louis by 1 1/2 games for the second wild card.

Gray (12-8) got the start when Tyler Anderson was scratched due to shoulder tightness. The right-hander’s one costly mistake was an elevated fastball that Rhys Hoskins hit for a homer in the seventh when the game was out of reach.

David Dahl lined a two-run homer in the fourth, Tony Wolters drew four walks and Charlie Blackmon had a single to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 16 games for Colorado. Nolan Arenado and Gerardo Parra delivered run-scoring singles off Zach Eflin (11-8).

All-Star shortstop Trevor Story returned to the starting lineup after missing a week with inflammation in his right elbow and made an immediate impact. He had two hard-hit doubles to center.

Phillies left fielder Aaron Altherr ran into the fence while trying to catch Dahl’s homer. The side of Altherr’s face slammed into the padded fence, his hat flying off. Altherr eventually limped to a cart and was taken away. He sprained his right big toe and bruised a knee.

Brewers 6, Cardinals 4: In St. Louis, Eric Thames scored on reliever Bud Norris’ throwing error in the eighth inning and Milwaukee improved its playoff positioning by topping St. Louis.

Ryan Braun homered and Christian Yelich drove in two runs as Milwaukee won for the fourth time in five games. The Brewers (90-67) opened a three-game lead over St. Louis for the top spot in the wild-card standings and pulled within 1 1/2 games of the N.L. Central-leading Chicago Cubs.

Corbin Burnes (7-0), the seventh of nine Milwaukee pitchers, got two outs for the win, and Corey Knebel worked the ninth for his 16th save. With a runner on, Jose Martinez fouled off four two-strike pitches before taking a called third strike for the final out.

Padres 5, Giants 0: In San Francisco, Bryan Mitchell struck out seven in 8 2/3 strong innings, Jose Pirela had a homer among his three hits, and San Diego defeated San Francisco.

The Giants lost their fifth straight game hours after the team announced the dismissal of general manager Bobby Evans. The move comes amid a Giants team freefall.

San Francisco is four years removed from winning their fourth World Series championship and in the last week of its second consecutive losing season.

The Giants are 4-17 in September, and 166-225 since the 2016 All-Star break.

Angels 5, Rangers 4 (11): In Anaheim, California, Jose Briceno leading off the bottom of the 11th inning and Los Angels slipped past Texas.

Shohei Ohtani belted his 21st home run for the Angels, while Jefry Marte and Michael Hermosillo also went deep.

Jurickson Profar had a two-run home run for Texas.

Athletics 7, Mariners 3: In Seattle, Oakland clinched its first playoff berth since 2014, then beat the Mariners behind Khris Davis’ major league-leading 46th home run.

Jonathan Lucroy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Chapman also homered for the A’s, assured no worse than a wild-card berth.

Oakland was one out into the game when Tampa Bay was eliminated with a 4-1 loss to the New York Yankees. The A’s went on to win after Chapman broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run drive in the seventh off Shawn Armstrong (0-1).

Robinson Cano and Dee Gordon homered for the Mariners.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 4: In Phoenix, Manny Machado drove in a pair of runs and the Dodgers scored twice in the top of the ninth inning on wild pitches by Yoshihisa Hirano to hold off Arizona.

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