MLB roundup: Guardians clinch AL Central title for first time since 2018

The Cleveland Guardians completed a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers and clinched the American League Central Division title with a 10-4 victory Sunday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.

The Guardians’ seventh straight win, combined with the Detroit Tigers’ 4-1 defeat of the Chicago White Sox, gave the franchise its first division crown since 2018. Steven Kwan capped a three-hit game with his first career grand slam, and the rookie drove in five runs.

Cleveland collected 10 hits and capitalized on three errors by Texas. Cleveland right-hander Aaron Civale (3-6) gave up two runs on three hits with seven strikeouts in five innings.

In the third inning, the Guardians broke through for four runs thanks in part to a throwing error by Rangers rookie third baseman Josh Jung. Tyler Freeman singled and with one out, Myles Straw singled. Kwan’s RBI single opened the scoring. Amed Rosario reached on a fielder’s choice, and two runs scored on Jung’s error. Oscar Gonzalez added a run-scoring single for a 4-0 lead.

Royals 13, Mariners 12

Michael Massey had a two-run homer and a two-run single in an 11-run sixth inning that propelled Kansas City to a victory over visiting Seattle in the rubber match of their three-game series.

The Royals sent 14 batters to the plate in the sixth, scoring at least 11 runs in an inning for the sixth time in team history. The score was 11-2 when Massey homered to drive in the first two runs of the Royals’ sixth inning. He added his two-run single later in the inning to move the Royals within 11-10. Hunter Dozier capped the Royals’ scoring with an RBI single to make it 13-11 following Ryan O’Hearn’s two-run double.

The Mariners had four walks and two hit batters in the fifth inning and appeared to blow the game open by scoring eight runs to take a 9-2 lead. Mariners starter Luis Castillo was unable to take advantage of the 11-2 lead. He allowed five runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking three. Matt Brash (3-5) was responsible for four runs in the sixth inning and took the loss.

Astros 6, Orioles 3 (11 innings)

Christian Vazquez’s two-run single capped a four-run 11th inning and visiting Houston defeated Baltimore.

Houston loaded the bases on a walk and a single against Keegan Akin (3-3) with no outs in the 11th. Jeremy Pena scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Yordan Alvarez. Alex Bregman was hit by a pitch to reload the bases and Kyle Tucker drew a walk to make it 4-2. Yuli Gurriel struck out, but Vasquez lined a two-run single to center.

Gurriel gave the Astros a 2-1 lead when he scored on a wild pitch in the top of the 10th inning, but Rougned Odor’s single drove home Ryan McKenna for the tying run in the bottom half. Ryan Mountcastle and Odor had two hits each for the Orioles, who are four games behind the Mariners for the final American League wild card.

Braves 8, Phillies 7 (11 innings)

Ronald Acuna Jr. hit the go-ahead RBI single with one out in the 11th inning, and Atlanta went on to beat host Philadelphia in a game delayed by rain for 2 hours, 9 minutes.

Michael Harris II added an RBI single in the 11th to give the Braves an 8-6 lead, and Dansby Swanson had a home run, two singles and drove in three runs for the Braves, who won the final two games in this four-game series.

Kyle Schwarber hit two home runs and Alec Bohm added two hits and two RBIs for the Phillies. J.T. Realmuto hit an RBI single in the 11th to pull the Phillies to 8-7. Nick Maton struck out swinging to end the game. Jackson Stephens (3-2) earned the win.

Blue Jays 7, Rays 1

George Springer slugged two of Toronto’s four homers as it widened the gap in the American League wild-card race with Tampa Bay, beating the division foe in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Springer went 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs and three RBIs. Teoscar Hernandez launched a mammoth two-run shot, and Alejandro Kirk ripped a solo homer as Toronto won its second straight game after dropping a pair to open the four-game series.

Harold Ramirez went 3-for-4 to raise his average to .313, and Wander Franco had a single to stretch his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games. Randy Arozarena doubled and drove in a run. Tampa Bay won the season series 10-9 and owns the wild-card tiebreaker over Toronto.

Cubs 8, Pirates 3

Patrick Wisdom hit a three-run home run to help pace visiting Chicago to a victory over Pittsburgh.

Chicago starter Adrian Sampson (3-5) allowed one run and four hits in six innings, with three strikeouts and no walks. Left-hander Brandon Hughes got the final out with the bases loaded in the ninth for his seventh save.

Bryan Reynolds hit a home run for the Pirates, who have lost nine of 10. Pittsburgh starter Luis Ortiz (0-1), in his third major league start, gave up one run and one hit in 4 2/3 innings, with seven strikeouts and two walks. In the top of the fifth, the Cubs’ Zach McKinstry drew a two-out walk. That put Ortiz at his hard pitch-count limit of 80, and he was replaced by left-hander Manny Banuelos, who allowed Wisdom’s homer.

Reds 2, Brewers 1

Rookie Spencer Steer opened the bottom of the eighth inning with a tiebreaking homer and Cincinnati beat visiting Milwaukee to avoid a four-game sweep.

Cincinnati scored the tying run by piecing together a rally in the fourth. Stuart Fairchild led off with a single against Aaron Ashby. Fairchild was forced on a grounder by Alejo Lopez before Ashby walked Aristides Aquino and Matt Reynolds to load the bases and plunked Austin Romine to force home Lopez.

Hunter Renfroe homered in the second, but the Brewers did little offensively. Brewers starter Freddy Peralta, who was activated from the injured list prior to Sunday’s game, allowed two hits and walked one while striking out three over two innings. Peralta hadn’t started since Sept. 8 due to left shoulder stiffness. Matt Bush (2-3) took the loss.

Nationals 6, Marlins 1

Anibal Sanchez pitched five scoreless innings and Joey Meneses slugged a two-run homer to lead Washington to a win over host Miami.

Shortstop CJ Abrams was dynamic for the Nationals, going 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI. Sanchez (3-6) allowed two hits and two walks, striking out four. He improved to 5-3 against the Marlins, his original major league franchise.

Prior to the game, the Marlins announced that manager Don Mattingly will not return next season. The team called it a mutual decision, ending Mattingly’s seven-year run with Miami. Marlins rookie starter Edward Cabrera (6-4) took the loss, leaving after 3 2/3 innings due an apparent sprained right ankle. Cabrera allowed six hits and three runs, two earned.

Tigers 4, White Sox 1

Jonathan Schoop hit a go-ahead RBI single in a three-run eighth inning and Harold Castro had three hits as visiting Detroit topped skidding Chicago.

The Tigers tied the game on Victor Reyes’ RBI double in the seventh against reliever Reynaldo Lopez. Detroit took the lead in the eighth against Kendall Graveman. Jeimer Candelario followed Schoop’s RBI single with a run-scoring single of his own. Detroit secured its fourth series sweep and first since taking four games from Cleveland from July 4-6.

The White Sox’s loss allowed the Cleveland Guardians to clinch their first American League Central title since 2018. The White Sox lost their sixth straight game, while falling for the seventh time in nine games.

Angels 10, Twins 3

Mike Trout went 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and three runs to lead Los Angeles over Minnesota in the rubber match of a three-game series in Minneapolis.

It was the 37th home run of the season for Trout, who moved into a tie for second place in the American League with Houston’s Yordan Alvarez. Shohei Ohtani went 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Max Stassi and Livan Soto went 2-for-5 with two RBIs for the Angels, who finished with 16 hits.

Caleb Hamilton homered for his first major league hit and Carlos Correa had two doubles for the Twins, who lost for the ninth time in their last 11 games.

Padres 13, Rockies 6

Manny Machado, Brandon Drury and Wil Myers homered and finished with two hits apiece, Ha-Seong Kim had three hits and San Diego beat Colorado in Denver.

The Padres jumped on Colorado starter Kyle Freeland (9-11). Kim led off the game with a double, Machado singled and Freeland hit Drury to load the bases. An errant pickoff throw to third by Elias Diaz scored the first run, Jake Cronenworth hit a sacrifice fly and Myers doubled to make it 3-0.

Ryan McMahon homered, Diaz had three hits and Charlie Blackmon, Alan Trejo and Sean Bouchard had two hits each for the Rockies. Freeland allowed seven runs on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings. Colorado got a run in the fifth when Yonathan Daza hit a leadoff double and scored on Blackmon’s single. The double ended the day for Padres starter Mike Clevinger, who allowed five runs on eight hits in four-plus innings.

Giants 3, Diamondbacks 2

Evan Longoria delivered a two-run single in the eighth inning to help lift San Francisco to a victory over Arizona in a decisive final meeting of their three-game series in Phoenix.

Longoria pinch-hit for Ford Proctor with the bases loaded and one out, and the 15-year veteran lined a single to left to score Brandon Crawford and Jason Vosler for a 2-1 lead.

J.D. Davis had four hits, including a solo homer in the ninth, for San Francisco, which has won six of seven. The Giants used back-to-back relievers to start the game. Pavin Smith drove in both of Arizona’s runs, and Luis Frias (1-1) took the loss after two-thirds of an inning of relief.

Mets 13, Athletics 4

Pete Alonso had four hits, five RBIs and three runs in support of Max Scherzer’s impressive six-inning performance, helping visiting New York crush Oakland to take two of three in the interleague series.

Francisco Lindor nearly matched Alonso with three hits, three RBIs and three runs in a 19-hit attack as the Mets retained a 1 1/2-game lead over the Atlanta Braves atop the National League East. Pitching in Oakland in the regular season for the first time since May 2014, Scherzer coasted, allowing one run and four hits. He walked one and struck out seven.

En route to the eighth win in their last 10 games, the Mets gave Scherzer (11-4) a big early cushion with one run in the second, two in the third and four in the fourth. Eduardo Escobar’s two-run single accounted for the third-inning tallies, before a two-RBI double by Lindor and a two-run home run by Alonso broke the game open at 7-0 in the fourth. Seth Brown homered for the second straight game for the A’s, and Connor Capel also went deep and had three RBIs.

Dodgers 4, Cardinals 1

Freddie Freeman had a first-inning RBI double to spark host Los Angeles over St. Louis, clinching the best record in the National League.

Cody Bellinger added an RBI double for the Dodgers (106-47), and rookie Michael Grove (1-0) gave up one run over five innings in his sixth career appearance and fifth start. The Dodgers matched the record for most wins in a season in franchise history, set in 2019 and tied last season. Los Angeles has nine games remaining to set a new mark.

Yadier Molina had an RBI single for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, who dropped consecutive games to the Dodgers after winning Friday.