CINCINNATI – Orlando Arcia doubled with the bases loaded, and the Milwaukee Brewers shook off the fizz from their playoffs-clinching celebration to close on the NL Central lead Thursday, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 for their seventh straight victory.
The Brewers earned at least a wild card with a 9-2 win on Wednesday night, dousing each other with champagne and beer in the clubhouse afterward.
Milwauee moved within one game of the idle Cardinals for the NL Central lead heading into the final weekend, the same status as a year ago when they also were a game out with three to play.
Milwaukee concludes with three games in Colorado against the team it swept in the playoffs before losing to the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series. The Cardinals host the Cubs.
The Reds’ focus was on broadcaster Marty Brennaman’s final game after 46 seasons. The mayor declared Marty Brennaman Day during pregame festivities, and the 77-year-old broadcaster headed to the booth one last time before retirement.
Chase Anderson (8-4) allowed Aristides Aquino’s solo homer in five innings, then turned it over to a bullpen that’s the team’s strength. Josh Hader escaped a bases-loaded threat in the eighth and got the last four outs for his 37th save in 43 chances.
Twins 10, Tigers 4
DETROIT – Jonathan Schoop hit Minnesota’s record 300th home run, Willians Astudillo also went deep and the AL Central champion Twins rallied past Detroit, moving within one victory of giving the major leagues four 100-win teams for the first time.
Minnesota was tied with the New York Yankees for the big league lead with 299 homers coming in. With the Twins ahead 6-4 in the seventh, Schoop lofted Jose Cisnero’s slider to deep left. Astudillo connected off Zac Reininger in the eighth.
Detroit (46-112), already assured of the big leagues’ worst record and next year’s top draft pick, finished 22-59 at Comerica Park and tied the major league record for home losses set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns.
Devin Smeltzer (2-2) allowed three runs and 10 hits in five innings.
Jordan Zimmermann (1-13) lost his fourth straight start, giving up six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
White Sox 8, Indians 0
CHICAGO – Rookie Aaron Civale gave up home runs on consecutive pitches in the fourth inning and Cleveland fell into perilous position in the playoff race, losing to Chicago.
The Indians dropped two games behind idle Tampa Bay for the second AL wild-card spot. Both teams have three games left – Cleveland visits playoff-bound Washington while the Rays are at Toronto, which is 29 games below .500.
Cleveland managed just four hits and lost for just the third time in its last 10 games.
Civale (3-4) didn’t allow a hit until Yoan Moncada lined a single to center with one out in the fourth. The 24-year-old right-hander then walked Zack Collins before James McCann hit his 18th home run for a 3-0 lead.
Tim Anderson, who entered leading the majors with a .339 average, went 1 for 4.
Nationals 6, Phillies 3
WASHINGTON – Stephen Strasburg was dominant in his final regular-season start and Washington held its lead in the NL wild-card chase, sweeping a five-game series against Philadelphia.
The Nationals remained one game ahead of Milwaukee, which topped Cincinnati 5-3, atop the wild-card race.
Strasburg (18-6) allowed one run on four hits in six innings while striking out 10. He fanned Bryce Harper three times on his way to a career-best 251 strikeouts this season.
Michael A. Taylor hit his first homer in over a year for the Nationals, who completed the first five-game sweep in franchise history.
Cesar Hernandez hit his 13th homer and Andrew Knapp also connected as the Phillies lost their sixth straight and fell below .500 for the first time this season at 79-80. Jason Vargas (7-9) took the loss.
Giants 8, Rockies 3
SAN FRANCISCO – Tyler Beede struck out seven in 3 1/3 hitless innings before leaving due to an injury, and San Francisco beat Colorado.
Mike Yastrzemski and Mauricio Dubon homered for the Giants, at 77-82 assured of their third straight losing season.
Beede grabbed his left side after striking out Ryan McMahon leading off the fourth.
Dubon had a tiebreaking single in the bottom half off Jesus Tinoco (0-3), then hit his fourth homer for a two-run lead in the seventh against Sam Howard.
Sam Coonrod (5-1) allowed one hit in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
Dodgers 1, Padres 0
SAN DIEGO – Clayton Kershaw shut down San Diego for six innings and Chris Taylor scored from first base on Max Muncy’s single in the sixth to lead Los Angeles to a three-game sweep.
The Dodgers have won four straight and nine of 12 heading into their final regular-season series at San Francisco.
Kenta Maeda picked up his third save. The Dodgers had five hits and the Padres only three.
Muncy’s hit broke up a duel between Kershaw (16-5) and Joey Lucchesi (10-10).
Kershaw allowed two hits, struck out seven and walked one. Lucchesi allowed one run and three hits in six innings, struck out six and walked two.
Rangers 7, Red Sox 5
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Mike Minor reached 200 strikeouts in a season for the first time after the Rangers purposely let a foul pop drop, Danny Santana hit a grand slam and Texas beat Boston to avoid a three-game sweep.
Willie Calhoun led off the Rangers seventh with his 21st homer to break a 5-5 tie. Rougned Odor added his 29th homer later in the inning.
Minor (14-10) started the day needing nine strikeouts to reach 200, and he struck out six of his first 11 batters. He got another in the fifth but didn’t get his eighth until Sam Travis ending the seventh on his 117th pitch, which matched his career high. In the ninth, Sandy Leon flied out before Chris Owings popped up a 1-1 pitch. First baseman Ronald Guzman was coming in to make the catch but then heard Minor and catcher Jose Trevino shouting at him to let the ball drop to the ground. Owings took a called third strike on the 126th and final pitch by Minor, who finished with a career-high 208 1/3 innings.
Jose Leclerc got the final out for his 14th save in 18 chances.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Owings hit solo homers for Boston.
Pirates 9, Cubs 5
PITTSBURGH – Joe Musgrove pitched three-hit ball through six innings as Pittsburgh beat Chicago and extended the Cubs’ losing streak to nine games.
Musgrove (11-12) was charged with three runs, two earned, while striking eight and walking two as the Pirates recorded a three-game sweep. Musgrove won his final three outings.
The Cubs are in the midst of their longest losing streak since dropping 12 straight in 2012.
Melky Cabrera, Jose Osuna and Pablo Reyes each had three hits for the Pirates, who finished with 15 hits. Reyes also doubled and tripled.
Jose Quintana (13-9) was tagged for seven runs, five earned, on 12 hits in his last start of the year.
Marlins 4, Mets 2
NEW YORK – Curtis Granderson, Tyler Heineman and Austin Dean hit late home runs and Miami rallied against Zack Wheeler to beat New York.
Wheeler (11-8), who helped himself with an RBI single, had allowed only two hits until Harold Ramirez led off the eighth with a double and Heineman connected with one out for his first major league home run, tying it at 2. Granderson followed with his fourth pinch-hit homer of the season.
Wheeler struck out 10 and walked none.
Jeff Brigham (3-2) recorded the final out of the seventh. Jose Urena earned his third save with a one-hit ninth.
Athletics 3, Mariners 1
SEATTLE – Felix Hernandez pitched 5 1/3 innings in likely his final start with Seattle after 15 seasons, but it was Oakland moving to the brink of clinching an AL wild-card berth with the win.
Hernandez walked off the mound as a Mariner probably for the last time with tears in his eyes.
Oakland can clinch one of the two wild-card spots in the AL with a win or Cleveland loss on Friday.
Matt Olson had an RBI single in the first inning and Matt Chapman hit a two-run homer in the second. Sean Manaea (4-1) allowed one run in six innings and Liam Hendriks got his 25th save.
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