MLB roundup: Astros clinch AL West title

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[September 18, 2017]  The Sports Xchange

HOUSTON -- Justin Verlander delivered another strong start, and the Houston Astros bashed four home runs in their 7-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, a victory that secured the first American League West pennant in franchise history.

Houston won its first division championship since 2001, when it claimed the National League Central title. This marks the first division title since the club moved to the AL in 2013 and the seventh division crown overall. It is the Astros' second playoff berth in three seasons with manager A.J. Hinch.

Verlander (13-8) allowed one run on three hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts over seven innings. In three starts with the Astros since his acquisition from the Detroit Tigers at the waiver trade deadline, Verlander is 3-0 with an 0.86 ERA and 26 strikeouts over 21 innings.

Derek Fisher and Marwin Gonzalez belted two-run home runs in the fifth inning to help the Astros erase a 1-0 deficit. George Springer and Carlos Correa went deep for Houston in the seventh.

Tigers 12, White Sox 0

DETROIT -- Matthew Boyd fell one out short of pitching Detroit's first no-hitter since 2011.

Boyd yielded a two-out double to right-center in the ninth by Tim Anderson. He also got home run support from Nicholas Castellanos, Mikie Mahtook and rookie Jeimer Candelario.

Boyd (6-10) retired the first eight batters he faced, walked Rob Brantly on a 3-1 pitch and then set down 18 in a row until Anderson went the other way on a 2-0 pitch for his double off the right-center field wall. He struck out five.

Indians 3, Royals 2

CLEVELAND -- Corey Kluber pitched seven scoreless innings and Edwin Encarnacion belted his 36th home run as Cleveland defeated Kansas City.

Kluber (17-4), who struck out nine and did not walk a batter, has pitched 22 consecutive scoreless innings over his last three starts. Cody Allen pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up his 28th save.

Brandon Moss hit a two-run single for the Royals in the eighth inning.

Nationals 7, Dodgers 1

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Zimmerman hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the sixth inning and added a solo shot in the eighth, and Stephen Strasburg won his fourth start in a row as Washington beat Los Angeles.

The Nationals salvaged the finale of the three-game series between first-place teams.

Zimmerman (3-for-4, four RBIs) lined a three-run shot off Ross Stripling with no outs in the sixth to give the Nationals a 3-1 lead. He added his 33rd homer of the season in the eighth off Josh Ravin.

Athletics 6, Phillies 3

PHILADELPHIA -- Joey Wendle's grand slam in the top of the sixth inning was the difference as Oakland topped Philadelphia.

Returning to the majors after an 849-day absence, Phillies starter Henderson Alvarez stifled the Athletics lineup early in the game, scattering just four hits over five innings, but the wheels fell off for Alvarez the second time through the lineup.

Chad Pinder knocked the first pitch he saw from Alvarez in the top of the fourth out of the park, and Matt Olson followed with a solo shot of his own, his 21st of the season.

Mets 5, Braves 1

ATLANTA -- Robert Gsellman allowed only three hits over seven strong innings and pitched New York past Atlanta.

Gsellman (7-7) gave up one unearned run and struck out three in his longest stint since May 29. He has allowed only one unearned run and six hits his last 13 2/3 innings against the Braves.

Atlanta starter Julio Teheran (11-12) allowed just three hits and two in six innings but suffered at loss that snapped his four-game winning streak.

Reds 5, Pirates 2

CINCINNATI -- Robert Stephenson allowed one hit, walked three and struck out eight while pitching six scoreless innings in Cincinnati's victory over Pittsburgh.

He got out of a jam in the third inning, when the Pirates had runners at second and third with no outs, and cruised from there.

Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett each hit two-run homers helping the Reds complete a three-game sweep.

Orioles 6, Yankees 4

NEW YORK -- Ubaldo Jimenez struck out 10 in five innings, and Tim Beckham hit a long three-run homer as Baltimore salvaged one victory in the series against New York.

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Jimenez (6-10) recorded his 19th career double-digit strikeout game, striking out every Yankee except Todd Frazier. Beckham hit his 22nd homer and 10th since being acquired from Tampa Bay in the fourth off New York starter Sonny Gray, who is 3-6 since joining the Yankees.

Gregorius hit his 24th homer, which ties the record for homers by a Yankee shortstop set by Derek Jeter in 1999.

Brewers 10, Marlins 3

MILWAUKEE -- Brandon Woodruff struck out six and the Milwaukee Brewers' offense produced an eight-run inning for the second time in three games in its rout of Miami.

Woodruff (2-2) went six innings, limiting Miami to three runs on eight hits and didn't walk a batter.

Domingo Santana three-run double was the big blow in the Brewers' eight-run second inning.

Twins 13, Blue Jays 7

MINNEAPOLIS -- Eddie Rosario homered twice and Joe Mauer hit the fourth career grand slam as Minnesota scored seven runs in the second inning and six in the fifth to erase a 5-0 second-inning deficit against Toronto.

Toronto's Josh Donaldson homered in each of the first two innings to help stake starter Joe Biagini (3-11) to the early five-run lead. However, Rosario and Byron Buxton hit back-to-back homers to lead off the second and spark the Twins' rally.

Mauer, Rosario and Buxton finished with three hits apiece.

Rays 3, Red Sox 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria had two RBIs and Jesus Sucre hit a solo home run to help Tampa Bay salvage the final game of the three-game set against Boston, which had its three-game win streak snapped.

Sucre put the Rays ahead again in sixth when he hit a solo shot off Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez to make the score 3-2.

Alex Colome closed out the game for his 45th save, which leads the major leagues.

Cubs 4, Cardinals 3

CHICAGO -- Jason Heyward hit a go-ahead RBI single with two outs in the seventh to help Chicago complete a sweep of St. Louis.

Heyward finished with three hits for the Cubs, who have won six straight and climbed 17 games above .500. They also moved to six games ahead of third-place St. Louis in the National League Central.

Pedro Stop (5-4) earned the victory after throwing a scoreless inning, and Wade Davis secured his 31st save in as many chances.

Rangers 4, Angels 2

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Adrian Beltre had a two-run double and Joey Gallo hit the third-longest home run in the majors this season to lift Texas.

The loss dropped the Angels two games behind the Twins for the second American League wild-card spot with 13 games remaining. The Rangers remain five games back.

Texas starter Miguel Gonzalez (8-11) lasted five innings, giving up one run and two hits, striking out two and walking five.

Giants 7, Diamondbacks 2

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval hit his first right-handed home run since 2014 as part of a two-hit, three-RBI day, helping San Francisco avoid a series sweep.

Chris Stratton pitched six strong innings and combined with four relievers on a six-hitter as the Giants bounced back from narrow defeats to Diamondbacks pitching standouts Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke on Friday and Saturday.

The loss snapped Arizona's franchise-record-tying, nine-game road winning streak.

Padres 4, Rockies 3

DENVER -- After offering little resistance in two losses, San Diego struck late to beat Colorado to avoid a sweep in the three-game series.

The Padres tied the score with two runs in the eighth inning and won it in the ninth on Austin Hedges' squeeze bunt off Rockies closer Greg Holland (3-6).

After Kirby Yates (4-5) pitched the eighth, Brad Hand worked the ninth for his 18th save.


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