Matt Chapman homers twice, Blue Jays beat Orioles 6-3

Oakland Athletics v Toronto Blue Jays
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TORONTO – Matt Chapman hit two home runs, George Springer added a three-run shot and the Toronto Blue Jays maintained their position in the AL wild-card race, beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 on Friday night.

Chapman went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and three runs to help the Blue Jays (82-63) earn their AL-leading 39th comeback win.

“We’ve got our most important baseball left to play,” Chapman said. “For me to be able to take good at bats and help this team is huge.”

Adley Rutschman hit a two-run home run and Gunnar Henderson added a solo shot for Baltimore (75-68). The Orioles finished with five hits and were unable to gain ground on the three leading wild-card contenders, Toronto, Tampa Bay and Seattle.

“We didn’t have our best night offensively,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.

The Blue Jays moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Rays after Tampa Bay (80-64) lost 4-3 at home to Texas.

“Obviously, every game is crucial,” Chapman said of the tight AL playoff race. “You’re playing against your own division but not only that, the calendar. There’s only so many games left. It’s hard to make up games. Any opportunity we can get to gain a game, whether it’s separating ourselves from Baltimore or putting the pressure on the teams that are right in the mix with us, every game is huge.”

Toronto improved to 34-17 when hitting two or more home runs, bouncing back from an 11-0 loss to the Rays on Thursday. The Blue Jays won for the fifth time in six meetings with the Orioles.

Chapman opened the scoring with a solo homer off Jordan Lyles in the second inning, his first since Aug. 20, ending a season-long 25-game drought.

“He’s always a threat to hit it hard,” interim manager John Schneider said.

Chapman made it 6-2 with a two-run shot off Joey Krehbiel in the sixth. The homers were his 25th and 26th. It was the 10th multi-homer game of his career.

“They’re a great offense,” Hyde said about Toronto. “They’ve got a bunch of guys that can go deep.”

Julian Merryweather pitched two shutout innings in relief of Trevor Richards, who struck out the side in the first. Yusei Kikuchi (5-7) followed by allowing two runs in two innings.

Lyles (10-11) allowed four runs and five hits in five innings, his second straight losing decision.

“This is just one loss,” Lyles said. “Obviously, the end of the season is upon us and each game means just that much more, but we’ve got a chance to win the series.”

Rutschman gave his team a 2-1 edge by homering off Yusei Kikuchi in the fourth, his 11th. The homer was Rutschman’s first off a left-handed pitcher.

“He’s struggled a little bit right-handed,” Hyde said of the switch-hitting Rutschman. “Good to see him get his first home run.”

Springer restored Toronto’s lead with a two-out, full-count blast into the second deck in the fifth, his 21st.

“That was huge,” Chapman said.

Chapman drove in Bo Bichette‘s leadoff single with another two-out homer in the sixth.

After Kikuchi, Tim Mayza, Adam Cimber and Anthony Bass each worked one scoreless inning before Yimi Garcia allowed Henderson’s homer in the ninth. The homer was Henderson’s second.


Blue Jays: C Alejandro Kirk (left hip) did not play for the third consecutive day.


Orioles: LHP Alex Wells was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.


Toronto is 12-4 in September.


The Orioles and Blue Jays have split 14 meetings so far this season. Toronto concludes the regular season with three games at Baltimore.


The Orioles are 26-52 when their opponent scores first.


RHP Kyle Bradish (3-6, 5.01 ERA) starts Saturday for the Orioles. RHP Jose Berrios (10-5, 5.07) starts for the Blue Jays. Berrios is 7-0 in 10 career starts against Baltimore.

Pujols has 2 more RBIs, Cardinals beat Pirates 8-7 in 10

Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals
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PITTSBURGH – Albert Pujols drove in two more runs and the St. Louis Cardinals went on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 in 10 innings Tuesday night.

Pujols hit a two-run single in the third inning to push his career total to 2,218 RBIs. That came a night after he broke a tie with Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,287.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol then removed the 42-year-old Pujols at the end of the inning. St. Louis opens postseason play Friday when it hosts a best-of-three National League wild-card series.

Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals the win when he hit a tiebreaking single with one in the 10th inning off Chase De Jong (6-3) to score automatic runner Ben Deluzio.

“Tonight was interesting because you’re fairly scripted in who you want to use and who you don’t want to use and what you want tomorrow to look like so you can get ready for Friday,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It was a good one to still figure out a way to come out on top.”

The Cardinals threw out the potential tying run at home in the bottom of the 10th when automatic runner Kevin Newman tried to score from second base on Oneil Cruz‘s line single off the glove of first baseman Alec Burleson. The ball deflected to second baseman Brendon Donovan, who threw home to catcher Andrew Knizner.

The Pirates challenged the call, but it was upheld on video review.

“I thought we were going to get it overturned,” Newman said. “I just thought he didn’t tag me until he got higher up on the body.”

It was the Pirates’ 100th loss, the second year in a row they have reached that mark.

The Cardinals got two hits each from Donovan, Corey Dickerson, Knizner and Paul DeJong.

Cruz had three hits for the Pirates and Bryan Reynolds, Rodolfo Castro, Jack Suwinski, Ke'Bryan Hayes and Ji-Hwan Bae added two apiece. Miguel Andujar drove in two runs.

Chris Stratton (10-4) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

“They weren’t the prettiest two innings I’ve ever pitched but I got a great play from the defense in the 10th inning to help me out,” Stratton said. “It was a good play all the way around.’

Pujols’ hit put the Cardinals ahead 3-1 but the Pirates answered with six runs in the bottom of the third. Andujar’s run-scoring double highlighted an inning that includes RBI singles by Castro, Suwinski, Ben Gamel and Bae.

The Cardinals then scored four runs in the seventh inning to tie the score at 7-all. Donovan hit an RBI single, Dickerson drove in two runs with a double and the tying run scored on a throwing error by Cruz, the rookie shortstop.

Both starting pitchers lasted just 2 2/3 innings. The Cardinals’ Dakota Hudson was rocked for seven runs and nine hits while the Pirates’ JT Brubaker allowed three runs on four hits.

Brubaker was activated from the injured list before the game. He had been out since Sept. 16 with right lat discomfort.


Reliever Ryan Helsley, the Cardinals’ closer, left in the eighth inning with a jammed right middle finger. Helsley was injured after catching a line drive by Bae and using his hands to brace himself while dodging a piece of a broken bat.

Helsley said he expects to be ready to pitch Friday.

“I don’t think there was anything super wrong with it,” Helsley said. `Just give it some rest and let it resolve itself.”


The Pirates optioned right-hander Roansy Contreras to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear a roster spot for Brubaker. They also recalled infielder/outfielder Tucapita Marcano from Indianapolis and optioned catcher Jose Godoy to the same club.


Center fielder Bryan Reynolds was voted the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, emblematic of the Pirates’ MVP, by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Mitch Keller won the Steve Blass Award for best pitcher. Former infielder Michael Chavis was voted the Chuck Tanner Good Guy Award.


Cardinals: OF Tyler O'Neill (strained right hamstring) has been ruled out for the wild-card series but St. Louis is hopeful he can play in the NLDS round if it advances. . 3B Nolan Arenado (left quadriceps tightness) missed his second straight game but could play Wednesday.


Cardinals: Have not decided on a starter for Wednesday, though Marmol said LHP Matthew Liberatore (2-1, 5.46) and RHP Jake Woodford (4-0, 2.33) are possibilities.

Pirates: RHP Johan Oviedo (4-3, 3.12), who was acquired from the Cardinals on Aug. 1, gets the start.