PITTSBURGH (AP)Albert Pujols hit his 703rd home run Monday night, breaking a tie with Babe Ruth for second place in career RBIs, but the St. Louis Cardinals lost to Pittsburgh 3-2 when the Pirates drew four consecutive walks in the ninth inning to force home the winning run.
The 42-year-old slugger connected off right-hander Mitch Keller, pulling a two-run shot into the left-field stands to snap a scoreless tie in the sixth inning. It was Pujols’ 35th career home run at PNC Park, his most at any visiting ballpark. The drive gave Pujols 2,216 RBIs, passing Ruth on the all-time list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,297.
With the score tied 2-all in the ninth inning, the Pirates loaded the bases when Ke’Bryan Hayes, Miguel Andujar and Rodolfo Castro drew consecutive walks from Giovanny Gallegos (3-6). JoJo Romero relieved and walked rookie Oneil Cruz to end the game.
Yohan Ramirez (4-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.
YANKEES 3, RANGERS 1
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Aaron Judge remained at 61 home runs with three games remaining, and Luis Severino pitched seven no-hit innings before Texas broke through against New York’s bullpen.
Judge went 1 for 4 with a checked-swing infield single, a groundout, a strikeout and a liner into a double play. He is 2 for 12 with five walks and a hit by pitch since his 61st homer Wednesday in Toronto that tied Roger Maris’ American League record. That is his only homer in 12 games.
Judge has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012. He leads the AL with 130 RBIs trails Minnesota’s Luis Arraez .315 to 311 in the batting race.
Severino (7-3) struck out seven and walked one in his third start since missing two months with a right lat strain. Scott Effross worked the ninth for his his third save with the Yankees.
Marwin Gonzalez and Giancarlo Stanton homered in the eighth for New York.
Martin Perez (12-8) allowed only one run over six innings while give up five hits and walking five.
PHILLIES 3, ASTROS 0
HOUSTON (AP) – Aaron Nola took a perfect game into the seventh inning and Kyle Schwarber homered twice as Philadelphia clinched its first playoff berth in 11 years.
The Phillies clinched at the same ballpark where they secured their last postseason trip on Sept. 14, 2011. That game was a 1-0 victory over the Astros highlighted by a shutout by Hall of Famer Roy Halladay. Philadelphia’s postseason drought was the longest active one in the majors after the Seattle Mariners clinched their first playoff berth in 21 years Friday night.
Nola (11-13) struck out nine and didn’t allow a baserunner until Yordan Alvarez singled with two outs in the seventh. David Hensley followed with a single and Nola was replaced by Jose Alvarado, who struck out Kyle Tucker to end the inning.
Zach Eflin pitched a scoreless ninth to complete the shutout and get his first save in 11 years of pro ball.
Schwarber got things going for the Phillies in their first visit to Houston since Sept. 16, 2012, with a leadoff homer off Lance McCullers (4-2).
BLUE JAYS 5, ORIOLES 1
BALTIMORE (AP) – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his 32nd homer and Toronto earned the top seed for an American League wild card series with a rain-shortened victory over Baltimore.
Play was halted by rain with Toronto batting with two outs in the eighth and called after a wait of 55 minutes.
Toronto clinched the right to host a best-of-three playoff series against Seattle or Tampa Bay starting Friday when the Mariners lost to Detroit later Monday.
Whit Merrifield went 3 for 3 with an RBI for the Blue Jays, who have won for straight.
Jose Berrios (12-7) allowed one run and three hits with five strikeouts and three walks over six innings. Tim Mayza earned his second save.
Dean Kremer (8-7) allowed four runs and six hits with four strikeouts and one walk over six innings.
MARLINS 4, BRAVES 0
MIAMI (AP) – Jesus Luzardo struck out 12 in six innings, Bryan De La Cruz hit a two-run homer and Miami prevented Atlanta from clinching its fifth straight NL East title.
After sweeping the rival Mets at home over the weekend, Atlanta arrived in Miami needing one win or a New York loss to wrap up the division crown and a first-round playoff bye.
But the Braves were unable to solve Luzardo or slow De La Cruz – and the Mets were rained out at home against Washington. New York is 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta heading into Tuesday’s doubleheader versus the last-place Nationals, while the Braves will play the second of three games at fourth-place Miami.
Dansby Swanson had two of Atlanta’s four hits, all off Luzardo (4-7). Braves sluggers Austin Riley and Matt Olson struck out three times each against the left-hander, who walked one in his first win since Aug. 7.
De La Cruz also doubled and singled for the Marlins. Jesus Sanchez doubled twice and singled as Miami snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Braves.
WHITE SOX 3, TWINS 2
CHICAGO (AP) – The White Sox watched manager Tony La Russa announce he was leaving his position, and then beat Minnesota behind Johnny Cueto’s seven effective innings.
La Russa stepped down because of a pair of health issues, punctuating a disappointing season for the Hall of Famer in the same spot where he got his first job as a big league skipper. The White Sox are 80-80 after beginning the year with championship aspirations.
La Russa met with his team before announcing the move, and the players joined their former manager for his press conference about the decision.
Josh Harrison hit a two-run homer in Chicago’s fourth win in five games. Cueto (8-10) stopped a personal four-game slide, and Liam Hendriks got three outs for his 37th save.
Gio Urshela hit a two-run homer for Minnesota. The game was tied at 2 before Carlos Perez drove in AJ Pollock with a two-out RBI single against Griffin Jax (7-4) in the seventh.
RED SOX 4, RAYS 3
BOSTON (AP) – Tyler Glasnow gave playoff-bound Tampa Bay a short but strong start in his second outing since Tommy John surgery last year, but the Boston Red Sox rallied against the bullpen to hand the Rays their fourth straight loss.
Boston pushed Tampa Bay closer to the No. 6 playoff seed in the AL. The Rays entered the night trailing Seattle by 1 1/2 games for the fifth seed. Tampa Bay will either face AL East rival Toronto, which occupies the top wild-card spot, or AL Central champion Cleveland in the opening round.
Glasnow struck out seven and held the Red Sox to two hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Christian Arroyo hit a two-run double and Kike Hernandez added a tying RBI double during a three-run sixth inning for last-place Boston, which ended a three-game skid. Rafael Devers drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Kevin Herget (0-1) relieved Glasnow and pitched the rest of the game, allowing four runs and seven hits.
John Screiber (4-4) worked a scoreless seventh.
BREWERS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 5, 10 INNINGS
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Hunter Renfroe homered in a ninth-inning comeback and singled home the winning run in the 10th but Milwaukee was eliminated from postseason contention despite a victory.
The Brewers knew at the start of the night they could earn the NL’s final wild-card spot only if they won their last three games while Philadelphia lost three straight. Milwaukee’s chances ended nine minutes after their walk-off when the Phillies (87-73) beat Houston to clinch the National League’s third and final wild card.
Milwaukee (85-75) trailed 4-1 before tying the game in the ninth with help from an Arizona fielding miscue. Renfroe led off the ninth with a homer off Joe Mantiply and Victor Caratini hit a hard grounder that got past first baseman Christian Walker, scoring Christian Yelich and Kolten Wong on the error.
Sergio Alcantara had a homer and three RBIs for Arizona, and Cooper Hummel also homered. Yelich went deep for the Brewers.
Daulton Varsho’s one-out single off Brad Boxberger (4-3) brought home automatic runner Cooper Hummel to help Arizona regain the lead in the top of the 10th.
Milwaukee responded in the bottom half of the inning. After Omar Narvaez drew a leadoff walk from Moronta (2-2), Willy Adames lined a single to right that scored Peterson from second and advanced Narvaez to third. Renfroe then lined a single to left to end the game.
REDS 3, CUBS 1
CINCINNATI (AP) – Hunter Greene pitched six scoreless innings and Cincinnati remained at 99 losses.
The Reds (61-99) snapped a six-game skid and can avoid losing at least 100 games for the second time in franchise history if they sweep the three-game series. Cincinnati finished 61-101 in 1982.
Greene (5-13) and relievers Derek Law, Buck Farmer and Alexis Diaz combined on a two-hitter to stop the Cubs’ winning streak at seven games. Chicago only got one runner past second base before scoring under odd circumstances in the ninth against Diaz, who picked up his 10th save.
The Cubs scored in the ninth on a game-ending double play that wasn’t completed until Esteban Quiroz wandered off second base and was tagged.
Cubs rookie right-hander Hayden Wesneski (3-2) worked six innings, allowing four hits and two runs – one earned – with one walk and six strikeouts. He hit Jonathan India twice with pitches.
ROYALS 5, GUARDIANS 2, 10 INNINGS
CLEVELAND (AP) – Rookie Drew Waters belted a three-run homer off Kirk McCarty in the 10th inning, sending Kansas City past Cleveland.
Waters’ third home run in four games landed on the porch in left field, scoring automatic runner Nicky Lopez and Michael A. Taylor. The 23-year-old outfielder went 2 for 4 with four RBIs as Kansas City won for the second time in seven games.
Cleveland has won 11 of 14 and is an MLB-best 22-6 since Sept. 5. The Guardians will host either Tampa Bay or Seattle in a best-of-three wild-card series beginning Friday.
Closer Scott Barlow (7-4) pitched a scoreless ninth and Taylor Clarke worked the 10th, earning his third save. McCarty (4-3) allowed three runs, two earned, in two innings.
Bobby Witt Jr. singled and stole his AL rookie-best 30th base for Kansas City, but also committed a fielding error in the sixth that permitted Cleveland to tie the score.
TIGERS 4, MARINERS 3
SEATTLE (AP) – The Seattle Mariners will start their first playoff trip in two decades on the road after a costly loss at home to Detroit, which got a two-run homer from Javier Baez.
Sam Haggerty singled with two outs in the ninth and hurt his left groin while sliding into second base successfully. He needed assistance to leave the field, an arm draped over manager Scott Servais and an athletic trainer. Haggerty is to have an MRI Tuesday.
Andrew Chafin struck out Carlos Santana for his third save.
Seattle, assured of a postseason trip for the first time since 2001, will open a best-of-three series at Tampa Bay or Cleveland on Friday, with all three games on the road.
Bryan Garcia (2-0), making his fourth start of the season after being recalled from Triple-A Toledo before the game, struck out six over 6 2/3 innings with two walks.
Seattle rookie George Kirby (8-5), bidding for a postseason start, allowed four runs, six hits and three walks in four innings.
PADRES 7, GIANTS 4
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Joe Musgrove pitched six shutout innings in a potential postseason tune-up and Wil Myers homered to cap a seven-run eighth that carried San Diego past San Francisco.
One night after clinching a wild card, the Padres remained a game ahead of the Phillies for the No. 5 seed in the National League playoffs. Philadelphia secured its first postseason berth in 11 years with a 3-0 win at Houston.
The fifth seed will play a best-of-three series on the road this weekend against the Mets or Braves – whichever one does not win the NL East. The sixth seed will play its best-of-three set at NL Central champion St. Louis.
If the Padres and Phillies finish with identical records, Philadelphia holds the season-series tiebreaker and would get the No. 5 seed.
Musgrove gave up only two hits and struck out seven. Adrian Morejon (5-1) worked two scoreless innings in relief and Josh Hader got two outs for his 36th save, halting a four-run rally by the Giants in the ninth.
Shelby Miller (0-1) allowed five runs in 1 1/3 innings.
ROCKIES 2, DODGERS 1
LOS ANGELES (AP) – All-Star pitcher Tony Gonsolin tossed two innings in his return from the injured list, an encouraging sign for playoff-bound Los Angeles in its loss to Colorado.
Trayce Thompson homered for the NL West champions, who have already clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Michael Toglia singled home the tiebreaking run for the Rockies in the ninth off Brusdar Graterol (2-4), scoring Sean Bouchard.
Jake Bird (2-4) worked two hitless innings and Justin Lawrence got three outs for his first career save.
ATHLETICS 5, ANGELS 4, 10 INNINGS
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Pinch hitter Tony Kemp had an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning, capping a spirited comeback that sent Oakland past Los Angeles.
Cristian Bride’s sacrifice bunt leading off the inning against Angels reliever Zack Weiss (0-1) advanced automatic runner Jonah Bride to third, and Kemp punched a single through the right side of the infield to drive in the winning run.
The A’s trailed 4-2 going into the bottom of the ninth and were down to their last out when Seth Brown’s two-run single off Aaron Loup tied it. Loup blew his fifth save in six attempts.
Domingo Acevedo (4-4) pitched a scoreless 10th inning for the win.