(Photo credit: Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports)
Adley Rutschman scored on Cedric Mullins' sacrifice fly in the 11th inning as the Baltimore Orioles clinched their first playoff appearance since 2016 with a 5-4 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
The Orioles earned a split of the four-game series and increased their lead over the Rays to two games in the American League East. With the Texas Rangers losing to the Cleveland Guardians, the Rays locked up their fifth consecutive playoff berth.
Ryan O'Hearn's sacrifice bunt moved Rutschman to third leading off the 11th against Jake Diekman (0-2). Mullins then followed with a deep fly to center. DL Hall (2-0) pitched a scoreless 11th inning for the Orioles.
With Baltimore trailing 3-2 in the ninth, Austin Hays singled with two outs against Pete Fairbanks. With pinch runner Jorge Mateo moving on the pitch, Adam Frazier doubled down the left field line and Mateo came around with the tying run.
The Rays took a 4-3 lead in the 10th when Manuel Margot scored on a groundout, but the Orioles tied it on Rutschman's two-out single in the bottom half of the frame.
Marlins 16, Braves 2
Jazz Chisholm Jr. became the first player in franchise history to slug grand slams in consecutive games as host Miami swept Atlanta.
The Marlins got more good news as Jorge Soler, who leads the team in homers, returned from an oblique injury. He went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, including his 36th homer of the season. Luis Arraez, who leads the majors with a .353 batting average, went 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
Miami, which remains in contention for a National League wild-card playoff berth, won its third straight game. The Braves lost their third straight game since clinching their sixth consecutive NL East title.
Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 2
Matt Chapman hit an RBI triple with one out in the ninth inning and Toronto defeated visiting Boston.
The Red Sox had tied the game with two outs in the top of the ninth on Rafael Devers' 33rd home run of the season, a drive to left against Erik Swanson (4-2). Boston stranded 12 runners in losing for the fourth straight game.
Daulton Varsho hit a solo home run for the Blue Jays, who swept the three-game series. Garrett Whitlock (5-5) took the loss.
Guardians 9, Rangers 2
Cleveland erupted for nine runs in the fourth inning, more than enough to beat visiting Texas.
Jose Ramirez homered and drove in two runs for Cleveland, which completed a three-game sweep. Andres Gimenez finished 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.
Josh H. Smith and Ezequiel Duran drove in one run apiece for Texas. The Rangers fell 1 1/2 games behind the Astros in the AL West. Texas currently holds the league's third wild-card spot by one game.
Mets 8, Reds 4
Jose Quintana pitched 6 2/3 effective innings, Francisco Alvarez hit a two-run double and Daniel Vogelbach added a late bases-clearing double as host New York beat Cincinnati.
Mark Vientos had three hits and an RBI for New York, which salvaged the finale of the three-game series. The Mets are all but mathematically eliminated from the NL wild-card chase, but they played spoiler. Cincinnati began the day tied for the NL's third wild-card spot with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Nick Senzel and Christian Encarnacion-Strand each homered and had two hits for the Reds, who had won five of their previous six games.
Pirates 3, Yankees 2
Jason Delay hit a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh inning as Pittsburgh topped visiting New York to avoid a three-game series sweep.
Miguel Andujar homered and Liover Peguero hit an RBI single for the Pirates, who have won four of their last six games. David Bednar struck out three in the ninth for his 36th save.
Anthony Volpe hit a solo homer and DJ LeMahieu had an RBI double for the Yankees, who are 6-2 in their last eight games. New York starter Carlos Rodon (3-6) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, with 10 strikeouts and no walks.
Astros 7, Royals 1
Yordan Alvarez and Jake Meyers belted solo home runs and Framber Valdez gave up one unearned run in seven innings as visiting Houston ended Kansas City's four-game winning streak.
The Astros are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Texas Rangers in the AL West. Valdez (12-10) yielded five hits and fanned five.
Royals starter Jordan Lyles (4-17) was tagged for four runs on six hits in six innings. The right-hander struck out six.
Nationals 2, Brewers 1 (11 innings)
Joey Meneses hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the top of the 11th inning to lift Washington to victory over host Milwaukee.
Automatic runner CJ Abrams advanced to third on a flyout by Lane Thomas before scampering home when Meneses lifted a ball to center that allowed Washington to salvage the finale of a three-game series. Luis Garcia had two hits, including a homer, for the Nationals, who snapped a five-game skid.
Brice Turang's sacrifice bunt moved the tying run to third in the last of the 11th, but Robert Garcia (1-2) intentionally walked Willy Adames before getting Rowdy Tellez to ground into a game-ending double play.
Twins 4, White Sox 0
Edouard Julien smacked a three-run home run and Jorge Polanco added a solo shot to back seven shutout innings from Sonny Gray as visiting Minnesota blanked Chicago.
Gray needed just 81 pitches to cover his seven innings. He scattered five hits and six strikeouts to improve to 8-7. Griffin Jax and Emilio Pagan closed the shutout by combining for two innings of one-hit relief with two strikeouts.
Andrew Benintendi had a double among his two hits for the White Sox, who lost for the 12th time in the past 16 games. Chicago stranded seven runners while going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Cardinals 6, Phillies 5
Jordan Walker hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to help St. Louis avoid a three-game sweep by beating visiting Philadelphia in the series finale.
Walker's 16th homer of the season came against reliever Seranthony Dominguez (4-5) and broke a 5-5 tie. Ryan Helsley allowed a single and walked a batter in the ninth but stranded both runners to earn his 11th save. John King (2-1) got the win despite allowing a run on three hits in the eighth inning.
Paul Goldschmidt hit a solo home run and a two-run double for the Cardinals. St. Louis starter Dakota Hudson surrendered three runs and five hits over five innings.
Giants 11, Rockies 10
Brandon Crawford homered, J.D. Davis had two hits and three runs and San Francisco held off Colorado in Denver.
The Giants put up an eight-run sixth inning to take a 9-0 lead, and the Rockies' comeback effort fell short despite four runs in the ninth. Mitch Haniger, Thairo Estrada and Joc Pederson each had two hits for San Francisco, which avoided a four-game sweep.
Hunter Goodman and Brenton Doyle homered for the Rockies. Elias Diaz's two-run single in the ninth pulled Colorado within 11-10, but Taylor Rogers replaced Camilo Doval and got Charlie Blackmon to line out to end it, picking up his second save of the season.
Padres 10, Athletics 1
Juan Soto blew out the candles on Bob Melvin's three-day homecoming party with an eighth-inning grand slam, propelling visiting San Diego to a victory over Oakland and a three-game sweep of an interleague series.
Soto also belted a two-run homer an inning earlier to finish 3-for-5 with six RBIs in the Padres' season-best fourth straight win. The grand slam was the first of his career and the two homers gave him 32 for the season.
The A's avoided a shutout in the last of the eighth when Brent Rooker bombed his 26th home run of the season off the Padres' fourth pitcher, Ray Kerr. Rooker finished with two of Oakland's six hits.
Tigers 5, Angels 3
Jake Rogers hit a pair of home runs and drove in four runs as Detroit completed a three-game series sweep with a victory over Los Angeles in Anaheim, Calif.
Miguel Diaz pitched one scoreless inning to start the game. Winning pitcher Joey Wentz (3-11) tossed 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs and five hits. Alex Lange got the last three outs for his 24th save of the season as the Tigers won their fourth straight game.
Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer for the Angles. Losing pitcher Kenny Rosenberg (1-2) allowed all five runs on seven hits in five innings.
Dodgers 6, Mariners 1
Jason Heyward went 3-for-5 with a home run and a double as Los Angeles shook off any after-effects of clinching the NL West title by defeating host Seattle.
Austin Barnes and James Outman also homered for the Dodgers, whose 6-2 victory in 11 innings Saturday night clinched their 10th division title in 11 seasons.
The Mariners went 2-4 on their homestand against the two Los Angeles teams. Right-hander Logan Gilbert (13-6) took his first loss since June 28, ending a streak of eight consecutive victories.
Diamondbacks 6, Cubs 2
Ketel Marte blasted a two-run homer and Arizona helped its playoff chances with a win against Chicago to complete a three-game sweep in Phoenix.
Marte had two hits and two runs for the Diamondbacks, who took sole possession of the NL's second wild card, one half-game ahead of the Cubs and Miami Marlins, who are each 78-72. Arizona starter Ryne Nelson allowed two runs and four hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Chicago starter Jordan Wicks (3-1) was tagged for three runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings. Ian Happ had three hits and a run for the Cubs, who have lost five games in a row.
--Field Level Media