LOS ANGELES (AP)St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 700th home run on Friday night, connecting for his second drive of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and becoming the fourth player to reach the milestone in major league history.
With the drive in the final days of his last big league season, the 42-year-old Pujols joined Barry Bonds (762 homers), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) in one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs.
The Cardinals routed the NL West champion Dodgers 11-0.
Showing the pop from his younger, dominant days, the 42-year-old Pujols hit No. 699 against Andrew Heaney (3-3) in the third inning, then launched No. 700 in the fourth against Phil Bickford to give the Cardinals a 5-0 lead.
It’s been a remarkable and resurgent run for Pujols. This was his 14th home run since the start of August for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, and his 21st of the season.
The Cardinals extended their lead to 8-0 in the fifth on Dylan Carlson’s RBI double and Lars Nootbaar’s two-run homer. They added two more runs in the seventh on Juan Yepez’s solo shot and Nootbaar’s RBI single.
Pujols struck out swinging in his first at-bat against Heaney and grounded out to short in the sixth. He was replaced in the eighth by pinch-hitter Alec Burleson, who homered.
Jose Quintana (6-6) got the victory. He scattered five hits over 6 2/3 innings and struck out six.
YANKEES 5, RED SOX 4
NEW YORK (AP) – Aaron Judge was held without a homer for the third straight game, keeping him at 60 for the season and one shy of Roger Maris’ American League record, and New York beat Boston.
Jose Trevino singled home the tiebreaking run against Matt Strahm (3-4) with two outs in the eighth inning, and the first-place Yankees reduced their magic number to five for clinching the AL East title.
Judge went 1 for 4 with a sharp single. He struck out twice and lofted a high fly to left field that excited the sellout crowd of 47,346 for a second or two. The slugger has two games left to match Maris on New York’s current homestand – Saturday afternoon and Sunday night versus the rival Red Sox. After that, the Yankees head to Toronto and have just three home games remaining, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 against Baltimore.
Yankees ace Gerrit Cole and manager Aaron Boone were ejected in a sixth-inning spat with plate umpire Brian Knight.
Jonathan Loaisiga (2-3) pitched two scoreless innings for the win, working around a pair of one-out singles in the ninth.
Alex Verdugo tied it for Boston with a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Tommy Pham also went deep against Cole.
ROCKIES 4, PADRES 3, 10 INNINGS
DENVER (AP) – Rookie Alan Trejo singled in the winning run in the 10th inning, highly touted prospect Ezequiel Tovar picked up hits on the first two pitches he saw in the big leagues, and Colorado stalled San Diego’s playoff progress.
Randal Grichuk homered and Yoanathan Daza added a two-run triple for the last-place Rockies, who started six rookies. They improved to 7-1 against the Padres at Coors Field and have won 14 of the past 15 meetings in Denver over the past two seasons.
Adrian Morejon (4-1) walked Charlie Blackmon intentionally to put two on with one out. Trejo then pulled a 94 mph pitch to left that scored automatic runner Garrett Hampson easily.
Juan Soto tied it with a solo home run in the eighth inning. Soto added an RBI groundout and Manny Machado had an RBI single for San Diego, which fell a half-game behind Philadelphia for the second wild card. The Padres’ lead over Milwaukee for the final wild card was sliced to two games.
Daniel Bard (6-4) worked around a walk in the ninth, then got Soto to ground out with a runner on third to end the 10th.
CUBS 6, PIRATES 5
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Esteban Quiroz hit a go-ahead single in the eighth, his second in three innings, and Chicago got its fourth straight win.
Quiroz lined a two-out hit against Yohan Ramirez (1-1) to left in the eighth, driving in Jared Young. Two innings earlier, he chopped an infield single to cap a three-run sixth for the Cubs, who have won eight of 11.
The Pirates (55-96) have lost eight straight, and must win at least eight of their final 11 to avoid reaching 100 losses for the 10th time.
Manuel Rodriguez (2-0) allowed one run, coming on a tying home run from Bryan Reynolds in the seventh, in two innings for Chicago. Erich Uelmen struck out Cal Mitchell with the bases loaded in the ninth for his first save in the majors.
Reynolds and Patrick Wisdom homered for the Cubs.
GIANTS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 5
PHOENIX (AP) – J.D. Davis had the go-ahead RBI double in the ninth, Shelby Miller pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in his season debut and San Francisco beat Arizona.
The Giants rallied with two outs in the ninth off reliever Caleb Smith (1-3), who gave up the unearned run. Mike Yastrzemski started with a line-drive single and Evan Longoria reached on a fielder’s choice after Arizona third baseman Sergio Alcantara made a bad throw to second that bounced and ended up in the outfield.
Davis followed with a double down the left field line, scoring Yastrzemski. Camilo Doval worked the ninth for his 25th save in 28 opportunities.
The Diamondbacks fell to 70-82, which guarantees a losing season for the third straight year.
Alex Young (1-1) got the win in relief.
METS 9, ATHLETICS 2
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Chris Bassitt pitched eight sharp innings in his return to Oakland, Eduardo Escobar hit a grand slam and New York extended its lead in the NL East.
Brandon Nimmo and Mark Vientos each added a pair of RBIs to move the Mets 2 1/2 games ahead of Atlanta in the division.
New York has won seven of eight games to open a little cushion in the tight division race before traveling to Atlanta for three games next weekend. The Mets are also assured of the top wild-card spot if they lose the division, guaranteeing they would host the best-of-three wild-card round if they finish behind the Braves.
Bassitt (15-8), traded by Oakland to the Mets before the season, shut down his old team, allowing two runs and six hits.
Bassitt got all the support he needed in a three-run second thanks to an RBI single by Vientos and a two-run single by Nimmo against Cole Irvin (9-12).
ORIOLES 6, ASTROS 0
BALTIMORE (AP) – Dean Kremer pitched a four-hitter, Adley Rutschman homered and Baltimore remained in the playoff hunt.
Baltimore started the day trailing Seattle by four games in the race for the third and final AL wild-card spot, trying to reach the postseason for the first time since 2016.
Kremer (8-5) walked two, struck out six and did not allow a runner past second base in his first career complete game. Baltimore has 15 shutouts this season – its most since 1992 – including three against the Astros.
Rutschman’s 12th home run staked the Orioles to a 1-0 lead against Jose Urquidy (13-8). Baltimore pulled away with a five-run seventh against the Houston bullpen.
MARLINS 5, NATIONALS 2
MIAMI (AP) – Braxton Garrett pitched six effective innings in his first major league start in a month to lead Miami.
Garrett (3-6) allowed one run – Lane Thomas’ leadoff homer in the first – and five hits. The left-hander struck out six and walked none. Garrett was recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville earlier in the day. It was his first appearance with Miami since he threw six scoreless innings against Atlanta on Aug. 14.
Garrett Cooper and Jon Berti each doubled and singled for the Marlins. Berti also stole his NL-leading 37th base.
Nationals starter Josiah Gray (7-10) plunked Bryan De La Cruz with the bases loaded, snapping a 1-1 tie in the sixth. Charles Leblanc followed with an RBI single, and Miguel Rojas grounded into a double play that scored JJ Bleday from third.
Dylan Floro handled the ninth for his sixth save.
BREWERS 5, REDS 3
CINCINNATI (AP) – Andrew McCutchen drove in three runs, passing 1,000 RBIs for his career, and Milwaukee beat Cincinnati.
McCutchen put the Brewers ahead to stay when he drove in Rowdy Tellez with a fielder’s choice in the fifth inning. The five-time All-Star made it 5-2 with a two-run double in the seventh, running his total to 1,002 RBIs.
Milwaukee (81-70) earned its third consecutive win. Heading into the day, the Brewers trailed Philadelphia by 2 1/2 games for the third NL wild card.
Luis Perdomo (3-0), Milwaukee’s second pitcher, tossed 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball. Matt Bush surrendered an unearned run in the eighth before Devin Williams got four outs for his 14th save.
Cincinnati lost for the 12th time in 15 games. Kyle Farmer hit a two-run double, and Stuart Fairchild had two of the Reds’ seven hits.
Cincinnati right-hander Luis Cessa (4-4) pitched 4 2/3 innings in an emergency start after Mike Minor was placed on IL with left shoulder soreness. He was charged with three runs, two earned, and six hits. He also tied a career high with four walks.
PHILLIES 9, BRAVES 1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Rhys Hoskins homered and drove in four runs, Aaron Nola pitched six shutout innings and Philadelphia won its third straight.
Alec Bohm had three hits for the Phillies, who maintained their 2+-game lead over Milwaukee for the third NL wild card.
Dansby Swanson and Eddie Rosario doubled for the Braves, who dropped their third in a row. Atlanta hasn’t lost four straight all season, and it’s just the fourth three-game slide this year for the reigning World Series champions.
The Braves, who trailed the NL East-leading Mets by 1+ games coming into the day, are on top of the NL wild-card standings.
Philadelphia jumped on Jake Odorizzi (5-6) for four runs in the second inning and tacked on four more runs in the fourth, highlighted by Hoskins’ two-run shot to left for his 29th of the season.
Nola (10-12) allowed four hits, struck out eight and walked three.
ROYALS 5, MARINERS 1
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Brady Singer pitched seven strong innings to lead the Kansas City.
The Mariners, playing without All-Star rookie center fielder Julio Rodriguez, lost for the sixth time in eight games and had their lead for the final AL wild-card spot cut to three games. Rodriguez was placed on the 10-day IL with a lower back strain shortly before the game.
With the Orioles’ 6-0 win over Houston, Seattle’s lead over Baltimore for the third wild-card spot shrank. Both clubs have 12 games remaining in the regular season.
The Mariners managed their lone run on Cal Raleigh’s 24th homer in the second. They have scored exactly one run in five of their last seven games, all losses.
Singer (10-4) allowed five hits and struck out eight to win his sixth straight decision. Kansas City has won each of his last nine starts dating to Aug. 9.
Marco Gonzales (10-15) allowed four runs, three earned, and eight hits over five innings.
RAYS 10, BLUE JAYS 6
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Randy Arozarena hit his 20th homer and drove in six runs as the Tampa Bay tied Toronto at the top of the AL wild-card standings.
The win clinched the season series – and the tiebreaker – for the Rays, who have won 10 of 17 against the Blue Jays.
Arozarena’s three-run homer gave Tampa Bay a 6-4 lead in the fifth inning. He hit a two-out, two-run single in the eighth off Yimi Garcia (4-5).
Javy Guerra (1-0) won in relief.
Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit RBI singles during a four-run fifth off Jeffrey Springs that put the Blue Jays ahead 4-3. After Arozarena put Tampa Bay ahead, Toronto tied it at 6 in the sixth on George Springer’s sacrifice fly.
TIGERS 5, WHITE SOX 3
CHICAGO (AP) – Riley Greene’s sacrifice fly drove in a tiebreaking run in the seventh inning and Detroit handed Chicago its fourth straight loss.
Akil Baddoo singled off reliever Reynaldo Lopez (5-4) to lead off the seventh, then advanced to third when he stole second and catcher Yasmani Grandal’s throw sailed into center field. Baddoo trotted home on Greene’s fly to center to put the Tigers ahead 4-3.
Spencer Torkelson’s ground-rule double in the eighth scored an insurance run and Detroit went on to win for the third time in four games. Jonathan Schoop had a solo shot and Eric Haase added two hits and an RBI to help the last-place Tigers improve to 5-12 against the White Sox.
A.J. Pollock’s two-run homer in the sixth tied it 3-3 after Detroit grabbed an early three-run lead against Lucas Giolito. Defending AL Central champion Chicago entered Friday a season-high seven games behind first-place Cleveland.
Detroit starter Eduardo Rodriguez (4-5) gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings to improve his career mark against the White Sox to 3-0. Gregory Soto pitched a perfect ninth for his 27th save.
ANGELS 4, TWINS 2
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Taylor Ward homered twice and Shohei Ohtani took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, helping Los Angeles beat Minnesota.
Ohtani seemed to have trouble adjusting to the weather conditions, tying his career high with six walks. He also hit a batter in the first, when Minnesota scored without a hit, but he managed his way through five-plus innings to earn his fourth straight win.
Ohtani (14-8) allowed two runs and struck out seven to reach 203 Ks on the season, reaching 200 for the first time in his career. He’s the first player in MLB history to have 200 strikeouts and hit at least eight home runs in the same season.
Ohtani added an RBI single in the seventh for Los Angeles. Ryan Tepera got three outs for his fourth save.
Rookie Louie Varland (0-2), a Minnesota native making his first MLB start in his home state, gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings in his third career start for the Twins.
GUARDIANS 6, RANGERS 3
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Josh Naylor’s tying RBI double was among five consecutive hits for Cleveland in the sixth inning, rookie right-hander Cody Morris got his first big league victory, and the Guardians moved closer to the AL Central title.
With their 16th win in 19 games, and Chicago’s 5-3 loss at home to Detroit, the Guardians (84-67) can wrap up the division as early as Sunday. They arrived in Texas after a three-game series sweep in Chicago and now have an eight-game lead over the White Sox with 11 games to play.
The Guardians trailed 2-1 before six hits and five runs off Taylor Hearn (6-8), who faced only seven batters after taking over to start the sixth.
Morris (1-2), a seventh-round pick by Cleveland in the 2018 draft, threw the last of his 80 pitches in his fifth career start just before the Guardians’ decisive frame. The right-hander allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits in his five innings.
All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase loaded the bases after getting the first two outs in the ninth, allowing two singles and hitting Adolis Garcia on his left wrist with a 100-mph pitch, before wrapping up his MLB-best 38th save in 42 opportunities.