Here are the rest of Saturday’s scores and highlights:
Red Sox 6, Astros 3: It’s been a fierce race for the AL East title, but the Red Sox were finally declared champs after taking a decisive win over the Astros on Saturday. The win was a true group effort: Drew Pomeranz tossed six innings of one-run, three-strikeout ball, David Price stepped in to help the Sox work out of a nasty jam in the seventh, Mookie Betts clobbered his 24th home run of the season, and Brock Holt singlehandedly speared a potential extra-base hit to preserve the lead.
Not only did the Red Sox keep the Astros from their coveted 102-win record, but they guaranteed a rematch between the two in the ALDS. The Yankees are set to go head-to-head against the Twins in a tie-breaker on Tuesday.
Yankees 2, Blue Jays 1: Aaron Judge’s incredible rookie run came to a fitting end on Saturday, when the slugger cranked out his 52nd home run with a 484-foot blast off of Marcus Stroman in the fourth inning.
With the wild card berth clinched and the division title safely in the Red Sox’ hands, the Yankees will bench their slugger during Sunday’s season finale so that he’ll be ready to go for Tuesday’s AL wild card game. He finished the season with a staggering .284/.422/.627 batting line, 1.049 OPS and 8.2 fWAR through 678 PA.
Padres 3, Giants 2: Matt Cain left it all on the field on Saturday. He topped off a 13-year career in San Francisco with five scoreless innings, whiffing four of 18 batters to bring his lifetime strikeout total to 1,694 with a five-pitch strikeout against Austin Hedges in the fifth.
The Giants honored their former ace with everything but a win, trying and failing to edge past the Padres after Wil Myers tied it with a solo home run in the sixth and Hedges took the lead on a go-ahead double in the ninth. They’ll try to avoid their 99th loss of the year on Sunday.
Cardinals 7, Brewers 6: It can be fun to root for postseason chaos and Game 163 tie-breakers and convoluted playoff scenarios, but the Cardinals had a simpler solution in mind. They resolved the NL Wild card race by staging a massive comeback against the Brewers on Saturday, topping off their 83rd win of the year with a shutdown effort from the bullpen, a stunning seven-run rally and Harrison Bader’s eighth-inning game-winning single to eliminate their division rivals from postseason contention. The win also cemented the Rockies’ status as the fourth and final wild card holders in the league.
Rays 4, Orioles 3: The Rays are going out on a high note. They took their third consecutive win with a one-run squeaker over the Orioles on Saturday, coasting on five scoreless frames from Chris Archer and maintaining the edge over Baltimore with Brad Miller’s mammoth three-run homer and a sac fly from Wilson Ramos.
The real drama came in the ninth, when Alex Colome promptly gave up back-to-back hits to put runners on second and third. He settled down to strike out Seth Smith, but Anthony Santander lofted a first-pitch sac fly in the next at-bat to bring the Orioles within a run of tying the game. Luckily for Colome, Jonathan Schoop was just as eager, biting on a first-pitch changeup and lining into the last out of the inning to secure the right-hander’s league-best 47th save of the season.
Mets 7, Phillies 4 (11 innings): For the last time, if the ball isn’t yours, don’t touch it.
The Mets took the win anyway, forcing the game to 11 innings before Asdrubal Cabrera broke through with a two-out, three-run homer off of Adam Morgan. Rhys Hoskins, meanwhile, collected his 23rd RBI of the month with a run-scoring single in the seventh. He finished September with 20 hits, 23 walks and 23 RBI — more than any Phillies’ rookie has managed in a single month since 1957.
Pirates 4, Nationals 1: Here’s what you want to see from your playoff-contending lineup:
And here’s what you don’t want to see:
Barring unforeseen complications, Max Scherzer should be fine to start Game 1 of the NLDS next Thursday. He has a hamstring cramp and underwent a precautionary MRI following the incident.
Marlins 10, Braves 2: Giancarlo Stanton may finish his 2017 run at 59 home runs. He failed to notch No. 60 again on Saturday, going 1-for-5 with an RBI single while the Marlins racked up their first double-digit win of the week. Stanton wasn’t the only slugger in the spotlight, however, as Dee Gordon stepped up with three hits (including his career 200th hit, a fifth-inning single off of Luke Jackson) and 60th stolen base of the season.
White Sox 2, Indians 1: Corey Kluber continued to pad his Cy Young bid on Saturday, polishing off his seventh major league season with six hits, a run and three strikeouts over five airtight innings.
While the righty came just two wins shy of the 20-win mark, he’ll enter the ballot with a ridiculous 18-4 record, 2.25 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 11.7 SO/9 over 203 2/3 innings.
Tigers 3, Twins 2: Andrew Romine brought a whole new meaning to the phrase “one-man show” during Saturday’s nail-biter over the Twins. Just for reference, this is what manager Brad Ausmus’ game plan looked like at the start of the evening:
Everything went according to plan, minus one or two little bumps in the road. Romine made his first career appearance behind the plate in the seventh inning, where he allowed his first passed ball and relied on Bryan Holaday to relay signs to Tigers’ reliever Blaine Hardy. The rest of the team, meanwhile, stayed on course to defeat the Twins with Jeimer Candelario’s RBI single and a pair of productive outs from Holaday and Alex Presley.
Cubs 9, Reds 0: Javier Baez showed off his glove work during the Cubs’ shutout on Saturday, pocketing a strong throw from Wilson Contreras and laying down a perfect tag to catch Jose Peraza on a stolen base attempt. Well, make that an almost-perfect tag:
Most of the credit for the shutout, of course, goes to Jon Lester. He tossed five solid innings of four-hit, seven strikeout ball, while Kyle Schwarber kicked in his 30th home run of the year to give the club an early lead.
Royals 4, Diamondbacks 3: The Royals haven’t pulled off a winning season since 2015, and they’re in line to repeat their .500 finish with a win on Sunday. They improved to 80 wins on Saturday with a sharp performance from rookie right-hander Jakob Junis, who flummoxed the D-backs with six innings of two-run, five-strikeout ball and improved to a rookie-best nine wins on the year.
Rangers 8, Athletics 4: Entering the 2017 season, Rangers’ infielder/outfielder Joey Gallo carried a lifetime .173/.281/.368 batting line and seven home runs across two major league seasons. Exiting the season (pending the results of Sunday’s finale, that is), the 23-year-old touts a .201/.321/.498 slash line with 48 career home runs.
He smashed his 40th and 41st home runs against the A’s on Saturday, taking Daniel Gossett deep with a 434-footer in the second inning and returning for another solo bomb in the third.
Whatever he’s doing this year, it appears to be working.
Dodgers 5, Rockies 3: It’s probably for the best that the Rockies weren’t forced to clinch their wild card spot against the Dodgers on Saturday. They collected three runs off of Clayton Kershaw in the second inning, but were held to just five hits over the remaining seven innings as Kershaw settled down and the bullpen strung five scoreless frames for the win. Chris Taylor put up the winning run in the seventh, plating Yasiel Puig with a run-scoring groundout to cement the Dodgers’ best win-loss record since 1974.
Mariners 6, Angels 4: Mike Trout can do more than hit 200 career home runs, you know.
Despite his exemplary defense, the Mariners had all the power on Saturday, mounting a five-run rally in the eighth and mashing three home runs from rookie Jacob Hannemann (1), Kyle Seager (27) and Yonder Alonso (28) to take their 78th win of the season.