MLB Playoffs Watch: Guardians edge Twins, Rays fall to Rangers


CLEVELAND (AP) — Pinch-runner Ernie Clement raced home from second base on a wild pitch in the eighth inning for the go-ahead run and the AL-Central leading Cleveland Guardians rallied past the Minnesota Twins 4-3 Friday night in the opener of a crucial five-game series.

Clement ran for Josh Naylor, who led off the eighth with a single and took second on Oscar Gonzalez’s single. The 2-1 pitch by Jhoan Duran (2-4) to Andres Gimenez bounced in front of catcher Gary Sanchez and went back to the screen on the fly. Sanchez couldn’t find the ball initially and Clement rounded third and slid headfirst, beating Sanchez’s throw.

Trevor Stephan (6-4) struck out two in the eighth while Emmanuel Clase gave up an infield hit in the ninth, but got Gilberto Celestino on a groundout for his 36th save.

Cleveland leads Minnesota by five games and has clinched the season series with a 10-5 edge. The Guardians have won six straight over the Twins and the teams play a day-night doubleheader Saturday followed by games Sunday and Monday.

RANGERS 4, RAYS 3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Nathaniel Lowe hit his 25th home run in a four-run inning and Texas beat Tampa Bay.

Lowe’s two-run homer was the fourth of five straight hits in the third inning off Corey Kluber (10-9).

Rangers starter Martin Perez (12-6) gave up three runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. Three of those were by Rays catcher Francisco Mejia, driving in runs with a single in the second and a double in the sixth.

Jose Leclerq pitched the ninth for his sixth save in seven attempts, retiring Harold Ramirez on a bases-loaded grounder to end the game.

The Rays, who opened a 10-game homestand, left at least one runner on base in every inning except the eighth, losing for the sixth time in eight games.

BLUE JAYS 6, ORIOLES 3

TORONTO (AP) _ Matt Chapman hit two home runs, George Springer added a three-run shot and Toronto maintained its position in the AL wild-card race.

Chapman went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and three runs to help the Blue Jays (82-63) win for the fifth time in six meetings with the Orioles.

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

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.

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

RED SOX 2, ROYALS 1

BOSTON (AP) — J.D. Martinez had an RBI single in the eighth inning and Boston rallied late to beat Kansas City.

Martinez’s single to left was just the third hit for Boston, which had just tied it up when reliever Scott Barlow (4-2) walked Jason Verdugo with the bases loaded after Dylan Coleman issued two walks to start the inning.

Garrett Whitlock (4-2) gave up a hit in the eighth and Matt Strahm got the last three outs for his fourth save.

Boston had lost six of eight, including a two-game sweep by the Yankees at home this week and nearly fell to the struggling Royals. Kansas City has lost four straight and eight of 10.

TIGERS 3, WHITE SOX 2, 10 INNINGS

DETROIT (AP) — Victor Reyes hit a deep flyball to center field in the 10th inning, scoring automatic runner Ryan Kreidler from third base and giving Detroit the win.

Tigers reliever Alex Lange (5-4) struck out the side in the top of the 10th to get the win.

Willi Castro started the bottom half with a bunt. Liam Hendriks (3-4) fielded it, looked at Kreidler going to third and then bounced his throw to first, putting runners on the corners. Riley Greene struck out before Reyes hit his game-ending sacrifice fly. Adam Engel made a running catch but had no chance to throw out Kreidler.

Spencer Torkelson had an RBI single in the first, and Jonathan Schoop put the Tigers up 2-0 with a two-out homer in the sixth. Jose Abreu tied it for Chicago with a two-run double in the eighth.

METS 4, PIRATES 3

NEW YORK (AP) — Taijuan Walker won back-to-back starts for the first time in two months, Daniel Vogelbach homered against his former team and New York beat Pittsburgh.

Pete Alonso had his National League-leading 113th RBI for New York (91-55), which is assured of its most wins since going 97-65 in 2006. The Mets began the night with a one-game lead over second-place Atlanta in the NL East.

Oneil Cruz hit a two-run homer for Pittsburgh (55-90), which has lost 90 or more games for each of the last four fully completed seasons.

Walker (12-4) allowed three runs — two earned — and five hits with five strikeouts in a season-high 7 1/3 innings. Edwin Diaz allowed only a walk in 1 2/3 innings for his 30th save in 33 chances.

Mitch Keller (5-11) gave up three runs and five hits in six innings.

NATIONALS 5, MARLINS 4

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joey Meneses hit an inside-the-park home run, Ildemaro Vargas had a go-ahead double in the eighth inning and Washington rallied to beat Miami.

The Nationals snapped a five-game losing streak, beating the Nationals at home for the first time in eight tries this season. Washington is 2-12 overall against Miami.

Lewin Diaz homered for the Marlins, who have lost six of eight and 15 of 19.

Marlins reliever Cole Sulser (1-4) entered a 4-4 game in the eighth and walked Meneses and allowed Luke Voit’s single with one out. Vargas then lashed a shot to left-center that bounced over the wall and brought in Meneses to give Washington its first lead.

Carl Edwards Jr. (6-3) pitched a scoreless eighth for the Nationals. Kyle Finnegan handled the ninth for his ninth save in 13 attempts.

CUBS 2, ROCKIES 1

CHICAGO (AP) — Marcus Stroman won at Wrigley Field for the first time since signing with the Cubs, pitching no-hit ball into the sixth inning.

Stroman (4-7), gave up three hits in six innings with two walks and five strikeouts. He didn’t allow a hit unti Ryan McMahon homered with two outs in the sixth. After signing a $71 million, four-year contract, Stroman had been 0-5 with a 7.11 ERA in nine previous starts at home this season.

Brandon Hughes followed Stroman, and Manuel Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his second save to complete the four-hitter.

German Marquez (8-11) allowed two runs, six hits and two walks in seven innings for the Rockies, who have lost three of four and dropped to a major league worst 22-48 on the road.

BRAVES 7, PHILLIES 2

ATLANTA (AP) — Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in a six-run eighth inning and Atlanta rallied for the win.

The opposite-field shot off Seranthony Dominguez (6-5) erased a 2-1 deficit and touched off a wild celebration at sold-out Truist Park, helping the Braves stay a game behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.

William Contreras connected off Phillies starter Ranger Suarez to make it 1-all in the fourth and added an RBI single off Dominguez to make it 4-2. Contreras went 3 for 4.

Dominguez walked pinch-hitter Eddie Rosario to begin the eighth and Acuna attacked on the first pitch he saw, sending a 98 mph sinker 383 feet into the seats in right-center for his 12th homer. Austin Riley doubled, advanced on a walk and scored on Contreras’ hit up the middle. Michael Harris II added an RBI single and Ozzie Albies a two-run bloop double to make it 7-2.

Kyle Schwarber hit his NL-leading and career-high 39th homer and Jean Segura also went deep to back Phillies starter Ranger Suarez.

Jesse Chavez (4-1) earned the win after getting the final out of the eighth.

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