Nelson Velazquez produced his second career multi-homer game and the Kansas City Royals capped a stunning three-game road series sweep of the reeling Houston Astros with a 6-5 victory on Sunday.
The Royals notched their sixth consecutive win and 10th in 11 games, with five of those victories coming against the stumbling Astros, who have dropped nine of 12 games since taking a 2 1/2-game lead in the American League West on Sept. 10. Houston lost 18 of its last 23 home games and finished their home season 39-42.
The Royals clubbed four homers off Astros rookie right-hander Hunter Brown (11-13). Brown allowed six runs on six hits and one walk with four strikeouts over six innings.
Bulk pitcher Alex Marsh (3-8) picked up the win. He went 5 1/3 innings following opener Seven Cruz. Marsh allowed four runs, three earned, on three hits and two walks with six strikeouts. James McArthur worked a scoreless ninth for his third save.
Blue Jays 9, Rays 5
George Springer’s three-run inside-the-park homer in a five-run second inning headlined Toronto’s win over Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla. The right fielder also had an assist and saved a run with a diving catch in the third inning for the Blue Jays, who hit four home runs.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered twice and Bo Bichette went deep, while reliever Trevor Richards (2-1) pitched one-hit ball over two scoreless frames.
Isaac Paredes was 2-for-4 with his 30th homer, a walk and three RBIs. Harold Ramirez went 3-for-5 and scored as the Rays closed out their regular-season home schedule with a 53-28 record.
Orioles 5, Guardians 1
Kyle Gibson pitched into the eighth inning and Baltimore moved a step closer to the American League East title by beating host Cleveland.
Gibson (15-9) allowed one run on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Danny Coulombe and DL Hall combined to record the final six outs in Baltimore’s final road game of the season.
The Orioles earned a split of the four-game series and moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. The win reduced Baltimore’s magic number to win the division to three.
Marlins 6, Brewers 1
The red-hot Jon Berti homered twice and Josh Bell went deep and reached base four times as postseason-seeking Miami bashed visiting Milwaukee.
Bryan De La Cruz singled in two runs and Jazz Chisholm Jr. finished with two hits and two runs as the Marlins kept the pressure on the Chicago Cubs, whom they are chasing for the third wild-card spot in the National League. Miami remains one game behind Chicago, which beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 on Sunday.
The Brewers missed a chance to clinch the NL Central after entering with a magic number of one. William Contreras and Carlos Santana each had two of Milwaukee’s eight hits, and Tyrone Taylor singled home the Brewers’ only run.
Rangers 9, Mariners 8
Marcus Semien hit a pair of solo home runs and Texas hit six overall to close out a series sweep of Seattle in Arlington, Texas.
Texas built a five-run cushion with a four-run fourth inning, all on home runs. Adolis Garcia led off with a solo shot, Leody Taveras drove in Mitch Garver with a two-run blast and Semien hit the second of his homers to cap the inning. The Rangers maintained their lead the rest of the way, but not without Seattle pushing Texas throughout.
The Mariners — looking to avoid losing ground on the Rangers and pull ahead of Houston, which suffered a weekend sweep against Kansas City — totaled 13 hits.
Phillies 5, Mets 2
Nick Castellanos hit a two-run homer to cap a four-run fourth inning for host Philadelphia, which reduced its magic number for clinching a National League playoff spot to one by beating New York.
The Phillies completed a four-game sweep of the Mets. Philadelphia leads the Miami Marlins, the fourth-place team in the race for three NL wild-card spots, by six games with six left to play, but the Marlins hold the tiebreaker.
J.T. Realmuto had a two-run single in the fourth for the Phillies, one batter before Castellanos homered, and Bryce Harper added an RBI single in the fifth. Cristopher Sanchez (3-5) allowed two runs on three hits and one walk while striking out 10 — tying a career high — over seven innings.
Padres 12, Cardinals 2
Juan Soto hit a 461-foot, three-run homer in the first, added an RBI double in the fourth and made three excellent catches in left as San Diego closed out its home season with a rout of St. Louis in the rubber match of a three-game series.
The Padres, who have won nine of their last 10 games, scored at least one run in each of the first six innings and finished with nine extra-base hits in a season-high-tying 18-hit attack. Padres right-hander Michael Wacha (13-4) gave up two runs on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts in seven innings.
Cardinals left-hander Drew Rom (1-4) gave up eight runs (six earned) on 11 hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings.
White Sox 3, Red Sox 2 (6 innings)
Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger allowed two runs in six innings to help visiting Chicago defeat Boston in a game that ended after six innings because of rain.
Clevinger (9-8) gave up five hits and didn’t walk or strike out a batter as the White Sox won a series for the first time since Aug. 7-9 against the Yankees. Elvis Andrus hit a two-run double.
Wilyer Abreu and Adam Duvall homered for the Red Sox.
Reds 4, Pirates 2
TJ Friedl homered in the sixth inning and hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh as Cincinnati topped Pittsburgh to avoid a series sweep.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand also homered for the Reds, who snapped a four-game losing streak in their final regular-season home game.
Jack Suwinski homered and Jason Delay added an RBI single for the Pirates, who had won four in a row. Pittsburgh rookie Quinn Priester pitched five no-hit innings before allowing two runs and two hits over six innings, with four strikeouts and five walks.
Diamondbacks 7, Yankees 1
Zac Gallen pitched six strong innings and withstood heavy rain as visiting Arizona beat New York. Gallen (17-8) allowed three hits, struck out eight and walked two. He joined the Atlanta Braves’ Spencer Strider as 17-game winners.
The Diamondbacks won for the sixth time in seven games and remained a half-game ahead of the Chicago Cubs for the National League’s second wild-card spot. Arizona also secured its first winning season since 2019.
The Yankees were officially eliminated from the AL playoff race with seven games remaining. They can win no more than 85 games and will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Twins 9, Angels 3
Ryan Jeffers homered, tripled and drove in three runs and Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler also went deep as Minnesota cruised past Los Angeles in Minneapolis.
Matt Wallner had two hits and two runs and Trevor Larnach and Kepler also had two RBIs for the Twins, who won for the fourth time in the last five games. Joe Ryan (11-10), vying for a starting spot in Minnesota’s playoff rotation, struck out 10 while picking up his second win since July 21. He allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings and didn’t walk a batter.
Brandon Drury had a two-run double, Zach Neto went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run, and Randal Grichuk had a double and scored twice for the Angels.
Tigers 2, Athletics 0
Eduardo Rodriguez threw seven shutout innings, Spencer Torkelson delivered the game’s only runs with a third-inning single and Detroit celebrated Miguel Cabrera’s last road game with a shutout of Oakland.
Cabrera, who will retire after the Tigers’ season-ending homestand, went 0-for-4 with a walk in his 44th and final regular-season performance in Oakland. Rodriguez (12-9) teamed with Jason Foley and Alex Lange on a seven-hitter, with the veteran left-hander allowing five hits and four walks in his seven innings. He struck out five.
A’s starter JP Sears (5-13) was pulled after five innings, having allowed two runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Shea Langeliers had a pair of doubles.
Cubs 4, Rockies 3
Patrick Wisdom hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning and Chicago held on to win to complete a three-game sweep of visiting Colorado.
Chicago trailed 3-1 after 5 1/2 innings, but Seiya Suzuki led off the bottom of the sixth with a double against Rockies starter Ty Blach (3-3). He went to third on Dansby Swanson’s single and scored on Yan Gomes’ sacrifice fly.
Wisdom then sent a drive well up into the left-field bleachers for his 22nd home run, which gave the Cubs a one-run lead and ended the day for Blach, who allowed four runs, six hits, three walks and hit two batters over 5 1/3 innings.
Nationals 3, Braves 2
Jacob Young drove in two runs and Jackson Rutledge earned his first career victory as Washington defeated visiting Atlanta in the opening game of a doubleheader.
Rutledge (1-1) gave up one run and three hits in five innings of his third major league start. He struck out four and walked two. Young stretched the lead to 3-1 with a sixth-inning double. He joined teammates Jake Alu and Joey Meneses with two hits apiece.
Atlanta starter Allan Winans (1-2) surrendered two runs in five innings while striking out six. He issued two walks and allowed seven hits. Sean Murphy provided the final run when the Atlanta catcher homered with two outs in the ninth inning. It was his 21st homer of the season.
Braves 8, Nationals 5 (Game 2)
Kevin Pillar and Forrest Wall homered from the bottom of Atlanta’s batting order as the Braves secured their 100th victory of the season by defeating host Washington in the second game of the doubleheader.
Braves starter Spencer Strider (19-5) picked up the win. He allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Atlanta has back-to-back seasons with at least 100 wins for the first time since 2002 and 2003.
It marked the home finale for the Nationals, who finished 34-47 at Nationals Park.
Dodgers 3, Giants 2 (10 innings)
Chris Taylor lined a walk-off single to right field with one out in the 10th inning, allowing Los Angeles to wrap up its regular-season home schedule with a victory over San Francisco.
It took just three pitches in the inning for the Dodgers to send the crowd home happy. Amed Rosario was pinch running for the designated runner, and he took third on Kolten Wong’s infield out on the first pitch he saw. Taylor then fell behind 0-1 before finding open space in right field with his game-winner off Giants closer Camilo Doval (6-6).
The loss, which left San Francisco five games out of the final National League wild-card spot with just six games to play, came where the Giants had been at their best this season. They had been 11-3 in extra-inning games, whereas the Dodgers had been 5-6.