Cal Raleigh homered with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Seattle Mariners ended the longest playoff drought in baseball with a 2-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.
Raleigh, pinch-hitting for Luis Torrens, hit a 3-2 pitch from Domingo Acevedo (3-4) just inside the right-field foul pole for a solo homer that sent the Mariners to the postseason for the first time since 2001.
Acevedo struck out Mitch Haniger and Carlos Santana to open the ninth, but Raleigh came through with his 26th home run of the season, the most ever by a Seattle catcher.
Seattle was unable to solve Oakland starter Ken Waldichuk and an assembly line of relievers for eight innings, held only to Ty France’s RBI double that scored Dylan Moore two batters into the game.
Matt Brash (4-4) worked a scoreless ninth in relief of Logan Gilbert, who pitched eight outstanding innings, allowing one run on three hits.
BRAVES 5, METS 2
ATLANTA (AP) — Austin Riley and Matt Olson hit back-to-back homers off Jacob deGrom in the second inning and Dansby Swanson later connected off the Mets ace as Atlanta moved into a tie with New York for the NL East lead.
The defending World Series champion Braves are seeking to keep the Mets from winning one game in the three-game series and earn the tiebreaker between the teams. Atlanta, going for its fifth straight NL East title, has won eight of the 17 games in the season series.
Both teams are 98-59 with five games to go in the regular season.
Riley and Olson became the first players to hit back-to-back homers off deGrom (5-4) since Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson did it for the Braves on June 18, 2019.
Max Fried (14-7) allowed one run on four hits in five innings.
Kenley Jansen hit a batter, gave up a single and issued a walk that loaded the bases one out in the ninth, but struck out the last two batters for his NL-high 38th save in 45 chances.
ORIOLES 2, YANKEES 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge didn’t come close to hitting his 62nd home run, going 1 for 2 with a pair of walks as Baltimore beat New York.
Baltimore (81-76) assured it will stop a streak of four consecutive losing seasons. The Orioles were eliminated from the playoffs later Friday night when Seattle beat Oakland.
Jordan Lyles (12-11) matched his career high for wins, allowing four hits in seven-plus innings. He tied his season high with nine strikeouts and walked one.
Domingo Germán (2-4) walked his first two batters in the sixth and retired Ryan Mountcastle on a groundout. Zack Britton relieved and walked Gunnar Henderson and then threw a pitch to pinch-hitter Jesús Aguilar that went to the backstop, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Rookie DL Hall pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his first save since 2019 at Class A.
DODGERS 10, ROCKIES 1
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw went six scoreless innings in his next-to-last start before the playoffs and Los Angeles had an eight-run fourth inning to rout Colorado.
Cody Bellinger hit a three-run home run, Mookie Betts had a pair of doubles among his three hits and Chris Taylor also had three hits as the Dodgers improved their franchise-best record to 109-48.
Los Angeles wrapped up the best record in baseball earlier Friday when the Houston Astros lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, giving the Dodgers a home game for a potential Game 7 of the World Series.
Kershaw (11-3) cruised along by allowing just five hits with no walks and two strikeouts. He won his fourth consecutive start and has a 1.50 ERA in six starts since returning Sept. 1 from a back injury.
Rockies starter Chad Kuhl (6-11) was roughed up for six runs on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings.
WHITE SOX 3, PADRES 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Eloy Jiménez homered and Chicago jumped on San Diego ace Yu Darvish to slow the Padres’ march toward a playoff spot.
Darvish (16-8) was pushed back a day to give him extra rest with an eye toward pitching in the NL wild-card round, but the Padres lost their third straight game. With Milwaukee’s win over Miami, their magic number remained at three for clinching a wild-card berth.
The Padres’ lead over Philadelphia for the No. 2 wild card was cut to 1 1/2 games and they’re just two games ahead of the Brewers with five to play. The Padres struck out 15 times.
Davis Martin (3-5) held San Diego to one run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, struck out a career-best eight and walked none. Liam Hendricks pitched a perfect ninth for his 35th save.
CARDINALS 2, PIRATES 1
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, Jack Flaherty allowed one run in six innings and St. Louis beat Pittsburgh.
Pujols mashed a slider from Johan Oveido 398 feet to left field in the fourth inning, his 22nd homer of the season. Pujols hadn’t homered in a week since hitting Nos. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday.
Oviedo (4-3) allowed two runs on six hits while striking out four.
Flaherty (2-1) gave up four hits, struck out six and walked two in his fifth start since returning from a right shoulder injury that sidelined him most of the season.
RAYS 7, ASTROS 3
HOUSTON (AP) — Drew Rasmussen pitched seven effective innings and Tampa Bay beat Houston to clinch a playoff spot for the fourth straight season.
Tampa Bay extended the longest postseason streak in franchise history and earned a playoff spot for the eighth time, all since 2008.
Despite the loss, Houston clinched home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs.
Rasmussen (11-7) held Houston to two runs and five hits.
Yandy Díaz doubled and singled twice, driving in two runs and scoring two. Taylor Walls homered and scored twice for the Rays.
Tampa Bay scored three times in the sixth, taking a 6-2 lead and chasing Framber Valdez (16-6).
GUARDIANS 6, ROYALS 3
CLEVELAND (AP) — José Ramírez hit a three-run homer and Emmanuel Clase closed for his major league-leading 40th save as Cleveland beat Kansas City.
Ramírez put AL Central champion Cleveland ahead for good at 4-3 in the sixth inning with his 29th home run of the season, a 404-foot blast off Brady Singer (10-5).
Cleveland has won 10 of 11 and is a major league-best 21-4 since Sept. 5. The Royals dropped their fourth in a row.
Aaron Civale (4-6) threw six innings, allowing three runs — two earned — in winning his second straight start.
PHILLIES 5, NATIONALS 1
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rhys Hoskins hit his 30th home run, Bailey Falter pitched six scoreless innings and Philadelphia beat Washington to stay in position for an NL wild card.
The game was supposed to be the opener of a day-night doubleheader, but the second game was rained out and rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Saturday.
Philadelphia (84-72) snapped a five-game losing streak and leads Milwaukee by one-half game for the final wild card.
Falter (6-4) allowed three hits and two walks while striking out six.
Nationals starter Erick Fedde (6-12) allowed three runs — two earned — on seven hits in five-plus innings.
BREWERS 1, MARLINS 0
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Corbin Burnes outpitched Sandy Alcantara, striking out seven in eight innings to lead Milwaukee past Miami.
The Brewers remained one-half game behind the Phillies for the final NL wild card.
Burnes (12-8) allowed four hits and lowered his ERA to 2.98. Devin Williams struck out three and worked around a pair of walks in the ninth for his 15th save.
Alcantara (14-9) struck out eight over his eight innings of work and held Milwaukee to five hits, two by rookie center fielder Garrett Mitchell, who scored on Rowdy Tellez’s sacrifice fly in the sixth.
BLUE JAYS 9, RED SOX 0
TORONTO (AP) — Vladimir Guerrero Jr., George Springer and Raimel Tapia homered, Alek Manoah pitched six innings and playoff-bound Toronto beat Boston.
The Blue Jays had a clubhouse celebration after the game because they clinched an AL wild-card berth Thursday when the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles.
Guerrero hit a two-run shot off Nick Pivetta (10-12) in the third inning, his 31st.
Manoah (16-7) allowed two hits, struck out four and walked two, his eighth consecutive start allowing two earned runs or fewer.
Left-hander Yusei Kikuchi pitched the final three innings for his first career save.
TWINS 7, TIGERS 0
DETROIT (AP) — Jake Ryan allowed five hits in six innings and Minnesota handed Detroit its 22nd shutout loss of the season.
Detroit had its six-game winning streak snapped and surpassed the 1973 New York Yankees and 1976 Chicago White Sox, whose 21 times shut out were the most in the American League in the DH era.
Ryan (13-8) walked one and struck out eight. Carlos Correa hit a two-run homer for the Twins.
Tigers starter Tyler Alexander (4-11) allowed three runs on five hits and four walks in five innings.
ANGELS 4, RANGERS 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Reid Detmers pitched six innings of four-hit ball in the final start of his rookie season, and Jo Adell and Luis Rengifo hit early solo homers as Los Angeles won its fifth straight.
Shohei Ohtani extended his hitting streak to 15 games a day after the 2021 AL MVP nearly pitched a no-hitter for the Angels, who are on their longest winning streak since April.
Adolis Garcia had an RBI double for the Rangers. They have lost three straight and six of seven.
Detmers (7-6) struck out nine and allowed one run. Jimmy Herget pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
Glenn Otto (6-10) yielded eight hits and three runs while striking out seven over six innings for Texas.
GIANTS 10, DIAMONDBACKS 4
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Evan Longoria homered twice and drove in five runs and San Francisco beat Arizona for its 10th win in 11 games.
Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Wynns also went deep as San Francisco Giants (79-78) moved above .500 for the first time since Aug. 17. The Giants also kept their slim wild-card hopes going with five games remaining, though a loss or a win by Philadelphia will eliminate them.
Merrill Kelly (13-8), who came in 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA against the Giants this season, served up three homers and was tagged for eight runs in 4 2/3 innings. Alex Cobb (7-7) picked up the victory with five innings of four-run ball.
CUBS 6, REDS 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Adrian Sampson threw seven efficient innings, Nico Hoerner drove in three runs and Chicago won its fifth straight.
Sampson (4-5) gave up one run on three hits, struck out six and walked two in his 97-pitch outing.
Reds starter Graham Ashcraft (5-5) gave up six runs, five earned, in 2 2/3 innings. Cincinnati has lost four straight and seven of eight.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism