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Toronto Blue Jays' George Springer celebrates after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

NEW YORK (AP) — George Springer celebrated his 34th birthday with his 57th career leadoff homer, Bo Bichette hit a two-run drive and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees 7-1 on Tuesday night.

Toronto stayed one game ahead of Seattle and Texas for the second AL wild card. The Yankees are seven back for the last playoff berth, needing to overcome the Mariners and Rangers.

Yusei Kikuchi (10-6) was pulled one batter into the sixth because of a left upper trap muscle cramp. Kikucki allowed one run in five-plus innings for his first win since Aug. 2.

Springer reached 20 homers for the eighth time when he connected off Clarke Schmidt (9-9). Springer also walked ahead of Bichette's first homer since Aug. 20.

Alejandro Kirk padded the lead with a two-run shot in the ninth.


HOUSTON (AP) — Austin Hays had two homers and four RBIs as Baltimore beat slumping Houston, cutting the Astros' lead in the AL West to a half-game over Seattle and Texas.

Hays hit a three-run shot off starter Hunter Brown (11-12) to put the Orioles up 5-2 in the third inning. He followed with a solo shot in the seventh that made it 8-5.

Houston has lost four of five and six of eight. AL-leading Baltimore has won four straight and has a 2 1/2-game edge over second-place Tampa Bay in the AL East.

Ryan O'Hearn and Heston Kjerstad also homered for the Orioles. DL Hall (3-0) got two outs in relief and Cionel Pérez earned his second save.

Kyle Tucker hit a two-run homer for the Astros. Alex Bregman and Yainer Diaz also went deep.


SAN DIEGO (AP) — Blake Snell lowered his major league-leading ERA to 2.33 and struck out 10 in seven brilliant innings for the San Diego Padres, who took a combined no-hitter into the ninth before beating Colorado.

Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run homer off Tyler Kinley (0-3) with two outs in the ninth to give the Padres their season-high sixth straight win.

Snell, who has never gone eight innings in the majors, threw 104 pitches before making way for Robert Suarez, who worked a perfect eighth. All-Star closer Josh Hader (1-3) came on to start the ninth and promptly allowed Brendan Rodgers' leadoff single. The last-place Rockies finished with two hits.

Snell is trying to become the seventh pitcher to win a Cy Young Award in both leagues. He won the AL prize in 2018 with Tampa Bay.


CINCINNATI (AP) — Willi Castro hit a two-run homer and made two spectacular catches in center field, Kenta Maeda combined with four relievers on a four-hitter and Minnesota beat Cincinnati in another step toward its third AL Central title in five seasons.

Ryan Jeffers added a solo homer for the Twins, who opened an eight-game lead over second-place Cleveland with 10 to play.

Cincinnati, shut out for the 10th time, remained just outside playoff position in the National League.

In his first season after Tommy John surgery, Maeda (6-7) won his third straight start after four no-decisions. He allowed one hit in five innings, retiring his first 11 batters. He struck out eight and walked one.

Fernando Cruz (1-2) took the loss.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Osleivis Basabe hit a tiebreaking two-run double in a four-run eighth inning and playoff-bound Tampa Bay topped Los Angeles.

Tampa Bay loaded the bases against Aaron Loup (2-3) before Basabe lined his double to center field. René Pinto followed with a two-run single.

Randy Arozarena homered for the AL wild card-leading Rays, who remained 2 1/2 games behind first-place Baltimore in the AL East. Yandy Díaz had three hits and Robert Stephenson (3-4) won in relief.

Logan O'Hoppe and Zach Neto homered for the Angels, who have lost six in a row.

Angels star Shohei Ohtani had elbow surgery earlier in the day, and his doctor said he expects the two-way star will be available as a hitter on opening day next season and will return to the mound as a pitcher in 2025.


MIAMI (AP) — Jake Burger hit a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning and Miami beat New York after blowing a late lead.

Josh Bell had an early RBI double and Braxton Garrett did not allow an earned run in six stellar innings for the Marlins, who are a half-game behind the Chicago Cubs for the final NL wild card.

All-Star infielder Luis Arraez, who leads the majors with a .354 batting average, was a late scratch from Miami's lineup because of a left ankle sprain.

Miami took a 3-1 lead into the ninth, but Tanner Scott (9-5) gave up a two-run double to Brandon Nimmo with two outs.

Mets reliever Trevor Gott (0-5) hit Nick Fortes with a pitch leading off the bottom half and gave up Burger's two-out single.


ATLANTA (AP) — Ronald Acuña Jr. homered twice on his bobblehead night and stole his 67th base, leaving him one long ball shy of becoming Major League Baseball's first 40-60 player, and Atlanta beat Philadelphia to stop a four-game losing streak.

Spencer Strider (18-5) increased his major league-leading wins total and struck out 11 to increase his big league-high total 270 with his 17th career double-digit strikeout game, his 11th this season.

Acuña homered on the first pitch of the game from Cristopher Sánchez (2-5) and had another solo homer off Yunior Marte in the sixth. Acuña has a Braves record 33 leadoff homers, including seven this season.

NL East champion Atlanta avoided its first five-game skid since September 2017. Marcell Ozuna drove in three runs with three hits, including a two-run double, as the Braves outhit the Phillies 13-4.

Bryce Harper hit his 19th homer for Philadelphia, which leads the NL wild-card race.


ST. LOUIS (AP) — William Contreras homered and Tyrone Taylor scored twice and drove in a run as Milwaukee downed St. Louis.

The Brewers stopped a two-game skid and reduced their magic number to clinch the NL Central to six.

Richie Palacios homered for the last-place Cardinals, who were eliminated from playoff contention.

Contreras' solo homer in the third snapped a 16-inning scoring drought for Milwaukee. The Brewers opened the fourth with four straight doubles. Willy Adames, Josh Donaldson, Taylor and Sal Frelick all doubled and scored to give Milwaukee a 5-2 lead.

Colin Rea (6-6), recalled Monday from Triple-A Nashville, allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings of relief.

Drew Rom (1-3) gave up five runs in 3 1/3 innings for the Cardinals.


PHOENIX (AP) — Ketel Marte had four hits, Zac Gallen earned his 16th win and Arizona won its fourth straight game by beating San Francisco.

The Diamondbacks remained a half-game in front of the Chicago Cubs for the second of three National League wild-card berths. The Giants, who have dropped four of five, fell three games behind the Cubs for the final playoff spot.

Arizona trailed 2-0 early but took a 5-2 lead in the second inning, partly thanks to a daring double steal by Marte and Corbin Carroll that led to two runs when third baseman Wilmer Flores committed two errors on the play.

Marte and Carroll also had two RBIs apiece. Gallen (16-8) labored through five innings, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks.

Alex Cobb (7-7) exited in the third after apparently aggravating a left hip injury that's bothered him since mid-June. He allowed five runs over the first two innings.


CHICAGO (AP) — Cubs rookie Alexander Canario hit a grand slam for his first major league home run in an eight-run eighth inning, and Chicago ended a five-game losing streak by routing Pittsburgh.

Cody Bellinger hit a three-run homer later in the eighth for the Cubs, who remained a half-game ahead of Miami for the final NL wild card.

Canario, a 23-year-old who debuted on Sept. 6, had five RBIs. He hit an RBI double in the sixth for his first big league hit.

Dansby Swanson and Seiya Suzuki also homered for the Cubs, and Suzuki had three of Chicago's 12 hits. The Cubs are 10-1 against the Pirates this season.

In a game that started after a 1-hour, 25-minute rain delay, Javier Assad (4-3) allowed one run in five innings with eight strikeouts. Pirates batters struck out 16 times, one shy of their season high.

Bailey Falter (2-9) allowed Swanson's 21st homer and was replaced in the second by Quinn Priester. Ke'Bryan Hayes hit a solo homer for Pittsburgh (70-81), which was assured its eighth consecutive season without a winning record.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — J.P. Crawford homered in the ninth inning and Jarred Kelenic hit a pair of RBI singles to support Luis Castillo's eighth consecutive win, leading Seattle over Oakland.

Castillo (14-7) has won three straight starts and is 8-0 over his last 12 since a July 14 loss to Detroit. The Mariners remained tied with Texas for the final AL wild card and closed within a half-game of AL West-leading Houston.

The A's (46-105) lost their sixth in a row and fell 59 games below .500 for the first time since the Philadelphia A's were 47-106 on Oct. 2, 1920.

Oakland manager Mark Kotsay was ejected in the fifth by first base umpire Jansen Visconti for arguing a check-swing.

The game was played under smoky skies from wildfires in Northern California and Oregon.

Crawford and Teoscar Hernandez added RBI doubles for Seattle, which jumped on A's starter Paul Blackburn (4-6) early. The A's are 1-11 against the Mariners this season with one matchup left.


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Josh Jung hit a tiebreaking single in a two-run seventh inning and Texas beat Boston in its bid for a playoff berth.

Adolis García launched his career-best 35th homer for the Rangers, his first since coming off the injured list.

Texas, which ended a four-game losing streak, remained tied with Seattle for the third AL wild card. Both teams closed within a half-game of first-place Houston in the AL West.

The Rangers play the Mariners in seven of their last 10 games.

Aroldis Chapman (6-4) retired five consecutive batters for the win, striking out three. Jose Leclerc pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy was ejected in the seventh by plate umpire Ben May.

Chris Murphy (1-2) took the loss for the Red Sox, who have dropped five of six.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Max Muncy's base hit with two outs in the ninth inning scored Mookie Betts with the winning run, and Los Angeles defeated Detroit for its fifth consecutive victory.

Betts got aboard with a single for his third hit of the night and advanced to second when Will Smith was hit by a pitch. Muncy then lined a curveball from Alex Lange (7-5) into right field, and Betts beat the tag at home plate.

J.D. Martinez homered and Alex Vesia (2-5) worked a scoreless ninth as the NL West champions reduced their magic number to three for a first-round playoff bye and home-field advantage in the Division Series.

Spencer Torkelson and Parker Meadows went deep for the Tigers.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — MJ Melendez homered and drove in three runs, late-season revelation James McArthur struck out three straight batters to end an eighth-inning threat, and Kansas City held off Cleveland.

Maikel Garcia had three hits and Nick Loftin added two RBIs for the last-place Royals, who have won five of six. They ended a five-series losing streak to the Guardians and will go for the sweep of their AL Central rivals on Wednesday.

Alec Marsh (2-8) earned the win despite a shaky showing after opener Steven Cruz, but it was McArthur who stole the show. His three punchouts left two in scoring position in the eighth, setting up Collin Snider to handle the ninth for his first career save.

Logan Allen (7-8) allowed four runs and eight hits in three innings.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Pinch-hitter Joey Meneses launched a three-run homer in the seventh inning and Washington defeated Chicago.

Jackson Rutledge, a 2019 first-round draft pick, allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings in his first home start for Washington. The last-place Nationals had lost six of seven.

Luis Robert Jr. and Yoán Moncada homered for the White Sox, who have lost 13 of 18.

Robert Garcia (2-2) retired both hitters he faced. Kyle Finnegan gave up Moncada's run-scoring single in the ninth but earned his 26th save.

Meneses connected off Bryan Shaw. Aaron Bummer (4-5) took the loss.