Padres 7, Mariners 4 (11 innings)
After 14 long years, the San Diego Padres are back in the playoffs, this time with a cast of stars who never flinch when they get down.
The Padres beat Seattle on Sunday with a three-run rally in the 11th inning that included a go-ahead double by newcomer Mitch Moreland.
In one of many bizarre twists to 2020, the clincher came in the finale of a series that was moved from Seattle because of poor air quality due to wildfires, so the Mariners were considered the home team and batted last.
After closer Trevor Rosenthal (1-0), another newcomer, struck out Phillip Ervin for the final out, the Padres had a brief but joyous celebration in the infield. Then they gathered near the dugouts to get playoff caps and T-shirts before moving to the clubhouse.
Budding superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who is warming back up after struggling for several games, said the moment was huge for the team and the city.
“I just feel so happy for the city of San Diego," said Tatis, 21, the son of the former big leaguer. “I know it’s been so many years since they went to the playoffs and bringing playoff baseball back to San Diego, I just get emotional.”
As for the players, “Oh man, just happiness,” said Tatis, who along with teammate Manny Machado is a contender for NL MVP. "It's been a quick but hard year. Everybody has struggled, everybody has put their good work and now we have each other's back and we find a way to win games.”
Although Petco Park was devoid of spectators, a handful of fans watched from a rooftop bar just beyond left-center field and several others watched from balconies on an office building high above right field.
The loss by Seattle also locked up an American League playoff berth for the New York Yankees.
Each team scored in the 10th inning and the Padres started the 11th with Machado on second base. Moreland, obtained in a trade with Boston on Aug. 30, lifted an opposite-field fly down the left-field line off Casey Sadler (1-1) and it dropped just in front of Tim Lopes. Machado, who held up halfway to third, hustled around and scored for a 5-4 lead.
The Padres, who made six trades right before the Aug. 31 deadline to add to the core built by general manager A.J. Preller, added on with Jurickson Profar's RBI single and an error by second baseman Dylan Moore.
The Padres last reached the playoffs in 2006, when they won the NL West for the second straight season and were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals for the second consecutive year.
It’s been so long since the Padres played in the postseason that two members of that team, closer Trevor Hoffman and catcher Mike Piazza, are in the Hall of Fame. One of the outfielders, Dave Roberts, is in his fifth season managing the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Padres are 0-3 in the postseason at Petco Park, where they'll host a wild-card series. They haven't won a playoff series since beating Atlanta in the 1998 NLCS before being swept by the New York Yankees in the World Series.
San Diego took a 3-1 lead on a 430-foot, three-run homer by Wil Myers, their longest-tenured player, into the shrubs in front of the batter’s eye in straightaway center field.
The Mariners tied it when Moore, who struck out three times against starter Dinelson Lamet, hit a two-run homer to left off Emilio Pagán in the eighth.
Lamet held Seattle to one run and two hits while striking out 10 and walking two in six innings.
Tatis hit a go-ahead single in the 10th before J.P. Crawford hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning.
“This is baby step one,” rookie manager Jayce Tingler said. “Now we know we’re in, which is huge. But I’ve said it before, for the organization and for the people who have quite frankly had to take the shots on the chin and the black eyes to build this, and for our players that have maybe been charcoaled a little bit and been questioned with some things, to throw a punch and land one back, feels good.
“But again, we’re not complete. This is not the final goal. This was not playoffs and we’re done. We believe, and we know, we’re capable of making a run at this thing.”
Seattle starter Justin Dunn shut down the Padres until the sixth. Eric Hosmer, who was with Kansas City when it won the 2015 World Series, drew a one-out walk and Moreland hit a ground-rule double with two outs before Myers homered on a 2-2 pitch to put the Padres ahead 3-1. It was his 14th.
Myers knew it was gone, and center fielder Kyle Lewis retreated to the warning track before turning and watching the ball sail well over his head.
Dunn called it "kind of a must-win game in my head, playing for something down here down the stretch and wanted to do everything I could to give my team a chance to win. ... My main goal was I wanted to be mentally exhausted leaving this game from just overemphasizing execution, like I said, from pitch 1 to the last one.”
Twins 4, Cubs 0
Max Kepler homered, José Berríos threw six shutout innings to outduel Yu Darvish and Minnesota beat the Cubs.
Kepler had three hits and Josh Donaldson added two for the Twins, who took two of three from the NL Central-leading Cubs. After winning the AL Central last year, Minnesota clinched its second straight postseason berth on Saturday and trails the Chicago White Sox by two games in the division.
The Cubs scored just two runs in the series and maintain a 3 1/2-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central. Chicago had won five of six.
Berríos (5-3) and three relievers combined to limit the Cubs to four hits. The Cubs loaded the bases in the ninth on a passed ball, a hit batter and a walk against Sergio Romo, who struck out Nico Hoerner to end the game.
Berríos struck out four and walked one to improve to 4-0 in his last six starts.
Darvish (7-3), an NL Cy Young candidate, allowed a season-high four runs and nine hits in his quest to become the NL’s first eight-game winner. He struck out nine and walked one, ending a streak of nine consecutive quality starts. Darvish was 5-2 with a 2.16 ERA in his previous eight starts at Wrigley.
Kepler chased Darvish with a two-run home run — his eighth of the season — in the seventh.
Darvish encountered trouble early, allowing three singles and a walk in the first. Eddie Rosario singled to put the Twins ahead before Darvish struck out the side.
Kepler’s groundout extended the lead to 2-0 after Jake Cave tripled to lead off the second inning.
Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2
George Springer homered twice, including an inside-the-park shot, to lead Houston over Arizona.
Carlos Correa drove in the go-ahead run for Houston with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
Springer’s first of the day was an inside-the-park homer off Taylor Widener in the sixth inning on a fly ball to center field that bounced off the wall, over the head of a leaping Daulton Varsho. It was his second career inside-the-park homer.
Springer’s second homer came in the seventh off Hector Rondon. Springer pumped his first after the ball narrowly cleared the fence and a leaping Kole Calhoun to tie the game at 2.
Junior Guerra (1-2) that scored Alex Bregman.
Ryan Pressley pitched a scoreless ninth for his 12th save. Blake Taylor (2-1) retired Arizona in the eighth.
Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner frequently expressed frustration with plate umpire Adam Hamari’s strike zone, becoming especially demonstrative in the third. After the inning, Bumgarner had a long conversation with Hamari before heading to the dugout.
Bumgarner allowed two hits and struck out seven in five innings. The veteran lefty, who entered 0-4 with an ERA of 8.53, extended his winless streak to 13 starts, including eight since signing with Arizona in the offseason.
The Diamondbacks loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth but scored just one run on a double play.
Nick Ahmed homered off Astros starter Jose Urquidy to left-center, putting Arizona up 2-1 in the fifth.
Urquidy permitted two runs on six hits and two walks in six innings, his third straight start allowing two runs or less in six innings or more.
Giants 14, Athletics 2
Brandon Crawford hit a grand slam, Chadwick Tromp and Darin Ruf added two-run homers, and San Francisco prevented Oakland from clinching the AL West title at home.
The Giants earned their first win in six tries during this year’s Bay Bridge Series.
Oakland, already into the playoffs for a third straight season, needed a win or a loss by the rival Astros to secure their first division crown since 2013. Houston won at home against the Diamondbacks.
Tyler Anderson (3-3) — ejected in the third inning Thursday against the Mariners — struck out four over 5 2/3 innings.
Tromp connected in the third for the Giants’ first runs of the series, then Ruf the next inning against Mike Minor (1-6), who was coming off a victory in his first start with Oakland. Tromp also had an RBI single during his three-hit day.
Blue Jays 6, Phillies 3
Teoscar Hernandez hit a two-run homer and Taijuan Walker tossed six sharp innings to help Toronto snap a six-game losing streak with a win over Philadelphia.
Phillies slugger Bryce Harper exited with lower back stiffness after he struck out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. Harper took a slow walk in the dugout toward the clubhouse and signaled to manager Joe Girardi he was done for the day. Harper has 11 homers and 28 RBIs for the Phillies, who are trying to hang on over the final week and secure their first playoff berth since 2011.
The Blue Jays (27-26) held onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the American League. They return home to Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, for the final seven games to try and earn a trip to the postseason.
Walker (4-3) allowed four hits and struck out eight on a chilly, breezy day at the ballpark. Walker, acquired last month from Seattle to help Toronto’s playoff push, allowed only Did Gregorius’ RBI double off the right-field scoreboard in the second.
Trailing 6-1 in the seventh, the Phillies loaded the bases with no outs with Harper up against righty Thomas Hatch. Harper struck out swinging. Alex Bohm’s grounder up the middle was thrown away by second baseman Joe Panik, making it a 6-3 game.
Toronto’s bullpen handled it the rest of the way. Anthony Bass earned his sixth save.
Adonis Medina (0-1) allowed two runs in four innings in his big league debut for the Phillies. Heath Hembree gave up Jonathan Davis’ two-run double in the sixth and Hernandez’s two-run shot in the seventh for a 6-1 lead.
Reds 7, White Sox 3
Mike Moustakas hit a two-run single as Cincinnati scored five times in the fourth inning on just one hit.
Aristides Aquino hit a two-run homer as the surging Reds stayed in contention for a playoff spot, taking two out of three from the AL Central leaders for their seventh win in eight games.
Cincinnati broke away by turning six walks, a hit batter and Moustakas’ single into a big inning. Playoff-bound Chicago issued a season-high 11 walks and hit three batters overall.
Lucas Sims (3-0) pitched 2 1-3 innings for the win. Dylan Cease (5-3) walked a career-worst seven in three-plus innings.
Brewers 5, Royals 3
Daniel Vogelbach hit two homers and drove in all five runs as Milwaukee swept the three-game series.
Vogelbach, claimed by the Brewers off waivers earlier this month, hit a two-run drive in the first inning off Brad Keller (4-3). He hit a three-run drive in the sixth.
Josh Lindblom (2-3), who was reinstated from the bereavement list prior to the start of the game, held Kansas City to one run and three hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Josh Hader retired the lone batter he faced to notch his 10th save in 12 tries as Milwaukee won its fourth in a row.
Orioles 2, Rays 1
John Means struck out a career-high 12 in a pitching duel with Ryan Yarbrough, and Baltimore stalled Tampa Bay's push toward the AL East title.
Means (2-3) allowed three hits and a run in 5 2/3 innings. The left-hander tied a team record with seven consecutive strikeouts, matching the mark set by Sammy Stewart in 1978.
Renato Núñez hit a two-run single in the first for the Orioles, who made the best of five hits in averting a five-game sweep by the soaring Rays.
Yarbrough (1-4) gave up two runs and five hits with eight strikeouts over seven-plus innings.
Tampa Bay had won seven of nine.
Indians 7, Tigers 4
Carlos Carrasco allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings, and Jose Ramirez homered twice to lift Cleveland.
Carrasco (3-4) struck out 11. The Indians took three of four in this series after entering on an eight-game losing streak and are closing in on a postseason berth.
Matthew Boyd (2-7) was perfect through four innings for Detroit, but the Indians scored three runs in the fifth. Then Ramirez added two-run homers in the sixth and seventh to make it 7-0.
Miguel Cabrera hit his 484th career home run for Detroit in the eighth.
Rangers 7, Angels 2
Kyle Cody earned his first major league win as Texas hit a season-high five home runs.
Joey Gallo, Anderson Tejada, Sam Huff, Rougned Odor and Derek Dietrich homered for the Rangers.
Cody (1-1) allowed just three hits and one run in a career-high five innings, striking out five without a walk.
Los Angeles starter Julio Teheran (0-4) was chased in the second inning for the second straight game.
Marlins 2, Nationals 1, first game
Nationals 15, Marlins 0, second game
Kurt Suzuki homered and doubled to bounce back from a game-ending strikeout in the opener, and Washington routed playoff-contending Miami to split a doubleheader.
In the opener, Marlins reliever Brandon Kintzler fanned Suzuki with the bases loaded to preserve the win.
The split kept Miami a game ahead of Philadelphia for second place in the NL East. The top two teams in each division make the playoffs, along with two wild-card clubs in each league.
Ben Braymer (1-0) pitched one-hit ball for five innings. Braxton Garrett (1-1) took the loss.
In the first game, The Marlins scored an unearned run off Max Scherzer (4-4) in the sixth on a two-out error by first baseman Eric Thames.
Sandy Alcantara (3-2) got the win and Kintzler earned his 10th save.
Cardinals 2, Pirates 1
Yadier Molina hit a two-run homer and Jack Flaherty struck out 11 as St. Louis kept its hold on a postseason spot.
Molina’s home run to the bleachers in left field came in the seventh inning off Pittsburgh reliever Derek Holland (1-3) and extended the Cardinals’ winning streak to a season-high four games.
Flaherty (4-2) allowed only one run and two hits in six innings while walking two. Andrew Miller closed for his third save.
Rockies 6, Dodgers 3
Antonio Senzatela pitched efficiently into the seventh inning as Colorado avoided a sweep and delayed the Dodgers from clinching their eighth straight NL West title.
Senzatela (5-2) carried over his command from his last start when he turned in his first career complete game. He allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings.
Mychal Givens got one out for his first save.
Tony Gonsolin (1-2) struck out a career-best 10, including the first six he faced, over five innings.
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