Riley homers again as Braves beat Giants 5-4 in 13 innings

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SAN FRANCISCO — Austin Riley hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning then drove in the go-ahead run in the 13th with a two-out single off Reyes Moronta, lifting the Atlanta Braves past the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Thursday.

Riley and Ozzie Albies both had three hits for Atlanta and Tyler Flowers homered. The Braves have won 10 of 13.

Luke Jackson (3-1), who blew his fourth save on Tuesday, retired six batters to win.

Atlanta hit eight home runs in the four games with San Francisco, the most the Braves have hit in one series at the Giants’ waterfront ballpark. They hit seven in a four-game series at Oracle Park in 2012.

Tyler Austin hit his first career pinch-hit home run, and Brandon Belt scored on a wild pitch for San Francisco.

Riley already had one hit before his two-run homer off Tony Watson with two outs in the eighth. It was the 22-year-old’s third home run of the series and fifth overall.

The Braves had only one baserunner over the next four innings before Dansby Swanson singled against Moronta (1-4) leading off the 13th. After Freddie Freeman flew out, Swanson stole second base. One out later, Riley lashed a single to right field and Swanson scored easily.

San Francisco got the tying run on base with one out in the bottom of the 13th but Jackson struck out Mac Williamson and Atlanta third baseman Josh Donaldson made a barehanded grab on Donovan Solano‘s short chopper, throwing to first for the final out.

Atlanta’s win overshadowed a strong outing by Giants starter Madison Bumgarner. The big lefty allowed two runs on six hits, walked two and left with a 4-2 lead. Bumgarner has a 2.12 ERA in nine games against the Braves since his last loss to them on Aug. 25, 2012.

Braves starter Kevin Gausman allowed three runs in six innings. Gausman has one win in his last nine starts.

CONSECUTIVE K’S

Will Smith‘s swinging strikeout of Charlie Culberson leading off the ninth was the left-handed reliever’s 11th consecutive out to come via strikeout, a San Francisco record.

TRAINERS ROOM

Giants: Brandon Crawford was held out of the lineup because of conjunctivitis (pink eye). The three-time Gold Glove shortstop is likely to sit out Friday as well, although manager Bruce Bochy said Crawford is available to pinch-hit.

UP NEXT

Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (0-3, 6.91 ERA) will start Friday in St. Louis. Foltynewicz is winless in six outings and has allowed two or more home runs in five of them.

Giants: LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-4, 5.66) faces Arizona on Friday in his second start since coming off the injured list. Pomeranz is winless in nine career games (six starts) against the Diamondbacks.

Blue Jays clinch 1st playoff spot since 2016, beat Yanks 4-1

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven shutout innings and the Toronto Blue Jays clinched their first postseason spot since 2016, beating the Yankees 4-1 Thursday night and further damaging New York’s chances of hosting a first-round playoff series.

New York lost for the fourth time in five games and remained two games behind the slumping White Sox for the fourth seed. Chicago lost 5-4 at Cleveland, its fifth straight defeat.

Toronto secured at least an AL wild-card spot and ensured its eighth trip overall to the postseason.

Blue Jays players embraced on the diamond at their temporary home of Sahlen Field in Buffalo after Rafael Dolis struck out Aaron Hicks to end it.

The Blue Jays trail the Yankees by two games for second place in the AL East. Both teams have three games remaining. Toronto hosts Baltimore in Buffalo while the Yankees host the Marlins.

New York failed to hit a homer for the fourth straight game, matching its longest streak since June 2016. It’s the first time the Yankees have failed to homer in a four-game series since doing so at Texas in July 2013.

New York loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but pinch-hitter Gary Sanchez flied out to deep center, where Randal Grichuk made a leaping catch at the wall.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered for Toronto.

Ryu (5-2) scattered five hits, walked two and struck out four. Luke Voit and Hicks hit back-to-back singles to begin the sixth but Ryu struck out Giancarlo Stanton, got Gleyber Torres to fly out and retired Gio Urshela on a groundball.

Dolis got four outs for his fifth save in six chances.

Ryu became the first Blue Jays starting pitcher since Aug. 22, 2019, to pitch into the seventh, pitching around Clint Frazier‘s leadoff single by setting down the next three, including pinch-hitter Aaron Judge. The left-hander lowered his ERA from 3.00 to 2.69.

Guerrero opened the scoring with a solo homer off left-hander Jordan Montgomery (2-3) in the second, his eighth.

The Blue Jays extended their lead when Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette hit back-to-back, two-out doubles in the third.

Toronto made it 4-0 in the sixth. Grichuk chased Montgomery with a single and Guerrero singled off Adam Ottavino before rookie Alejandro Kirk hit a two-out, two-run double.

Montgomery lost for the first time in four starts. He allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

The Blue Jays finished 5-5 in their 10-game regular season series against the Yankees.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson (elbow) was activated off the injured list and RHP Wilmer Font was designated for assignment. . RHP Jordan Romano (strained right middle finger) will throw a second bullpen session Friday.

Yankees: Judge is expected to start all three remaining regular season games, manager Aaron Boone said.

BIG HIT

New York infielder D.J. LeMaheiu went 1 for 5, dropping his MLB-best average to .355. A former NL batting champ seeing his first AL title, LeMahieu is well ahead of White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson. The Chicago star went 0 for 4 in Thursday’s loss to Cleveland, dropping his average to .338.

SHARED DUTY

Boone said he expects to use both Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka at catcher in the postseason. Higashioka has hit well while working with ace Gerrit Cole, while Sanchez has struggled with both offense and his defense down the stretch.

UP NEXT

Yankees: LHP J.A. Happ (2-2, 3.25) starts Friday as New York returns home to begin a three-game series against Miami. RHP Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.12) starts for the Marlins.

Blue Jays: RHP Taijuan Walker (4-3, 2.86) starts Friday in the opener of a three-game series against Baltimore. The Orioles have not named a starter.