Blue Jays strengthen hold on top AL wild card spot

Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Raimel Tapia watches his three-RBI double in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — Raimel Tapia hit a three-run double, José Berríos pitched six innings to remain unbeaten against Baltimore, and the Toronto Blue Jays strengthened their position atop the AL wild card standings by beating the Orioles 6-3 on Saturday.

George Springer had two hits and two RBIs, and Matt Chapman drove in a run and scored a run as Toronto improved to 13-4 in September. The Blue Jays have won six of their last seven against Baltimore.

The Blue Jays lead the wild card race ahead of Seattle and Tampa Bay. Baltimore is five games back of the Rays, who played later Saturday, for the last wild card.

Berríos (11-5) allowed two runs and seven hits to win his third straight decision. He is 8-0 with a 3.04 ERA in 11 starts against the Orioles. Jordan Romano finished for his 34th save in 38 chances.

Orioles right-hander Kyle Bradish (3-7) allowed five runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, his second straight loss.

GUARDIANS 5, TWINS 1, GAME 1

CLEVELAND (AP) — Shane Bieber allowed one run over eight innings, Amed Rosario had four hits and the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians won their seventh in a row against the Minnesota Twins, 5-1 in a doubleheader opener.

José Ramírez hit a solo homer on his 30th birthday and Owen Miller had a two-run double for Cleveland (78-66), which has won 10 of its last 12 games. The Guardians opened a 4 1/2-game lead over the second-place Chicago White Sox and a six-game margin ahead of the third-place Twins.

Bieber (11-8) won his third straight start, allowing four hits and walking none for the ninth time in 28 starts.

Minnesota's Matt Wallner homered in the eighth and went 1 for 3 with a walk in his big league debut.

Emmanuel Clase pitched a perfect ninth.

CARDINALS 5, REDS 1, GAME 1

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yadier Molina hit a two-run drive while Albert Pujols went hitless in his quest for 700 homers, and the Cardinals beat the Reds 5-1 in the first game of a doubleheader.

The 42-year-old Pujols hit career homer No. 698 during Friday night's 6-5 victory over Cincinnati.

Tommy Edman had three hits for the NL Central-leading Cardinals. Paul Goldschmidt and Brendan Donovan each drove in a run.

TJ Friedl hit an RBI double in the seventh to account for Cincinnati's only run. Mike Minor (4-12) issued five walks in three innings and was charged with five runs and five hits.

St. Louis right-hander Dakota Hudson (8-7) pitched a career-high eight innings of six-hit ball in his first big league start since Aug. 30.

ROYALS 9, RED SOX 0

BOSTON (AP) — Brady Singer pitched out of a bases-loaded, nobody out jam in the third and finished with six shutout innings to lead Kansas City over Boston.

Singer (9-4) won his fifth straight decision, allowing five singles and a walk while striking out five.

MJ Melendez and Vinnie Pasquantino had three hits apiece for the Royals; Melendez scored four runs and Pasquantino drove in three. The first four batters in the Kansas City lineup went 10 for 20 with eight RBIs.

Rich Hill (7-7) gave up four runs on eight hits and a balk, striking out four.

NATIONALS 5, MARLINS 3

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lane Thomas got things started with a leadoff homer for Washington, which ended up with four solo shots in a win over Miami.

The Nationals have the worst record in the majors and entered with an NL-low 122 homers — the AL's Detroit Tigers were at 91.

After Thomas hit his 16th of the season off Marlins starter Trevor Rogers, Luke Voit took Jeff Brigham (0-1) deep in the third for his 21st. Victor Robles then broke a 3-all tie by connecting off Brigham in the fourth for his fifth homer this year, and Alex Call's fourth homer came against Cole Sulser in the fifth.

Rogers faced seven batters and threw 32 pitches before leaving in the second with back muscle discomfort.

Hunter Harvey (2-1) pitched a 1-2-3 fifth and was credited with the win. Kyle Finnegan collected his 10th save in 14 chances.

ROCKIES 3, CUBS 1

CHICAGO (AP) — Charlie Blackmon hit a tiebreaking triple and scored in a two-run ninth, and Colorado earned a rare road win by beating Chicago.

Blackmon drove in pinch runner Garrett Hampson with a triple to the right-field corner against Adbert Alzolay (0-1) after C.J. Cron walked with one out. He scored on a single by Elias Díaz, making it 3-1, and the Rockies came away with the win despite a dominant outing by Cubs rookie Hayden Wesneski in his first major league start.

The Rockies won for just the fifth time time in their past 18 road games. Ureña allowed one run and seven hits. Daniel Bard came on in the ninth for his 31st save in 34 chances.