CLEVELAND (AP)Angels star Mike Trout homered in his seventh consecutive game, one shy of the major league record, but the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians beat Los Angeles 5-4 on Monday night.
Amed Rosario doubled off Aaron Loup (0-5) scored Steven Kwan with the go-ahead run in the seventh for Cleveland, which increased its advantage to three games over the Chicago White Sox and five games over third-place Minnesota.
The game featured a strange sequence in the seventh when Cleveland manager Terry Francona and Angels interim manager Phil Nevin were both ejected without a pitch being thrown in-between the tossings.
Trout’s 35th homer of the season came in the fifth. The three-time AL MVP connected off Konnor Pilkington for a 422-foot drive to dead center at Progressive Field.
Pittsburgh’s Dale Long established the MLB record of eight straight games with a home run in 1956. Don Mattingly of the Yankees matched it in 1987, as did Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. in 1993.
Trout is the first AL player with a seven-game home run streak since Kendrys Morales of Toronto in 2018. Cincinnati’s Joey Votto homered in seven straight last season from July 24-30.
Enyel De Los Santos (4-0) worked a scoreless seventh for the win and Emmanuel Clase pitched a perfect ninth for his MLB-best 34th save.
DODGERS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 0
PHOENIX (AP) – Mookie Betts hit a three-run homer, Cody Bellinger added a two-run double and Los Angeles became the first major league team to clinch a playoff spot this season. For real, this time.
The Dodgers thought they had secured a playoff berth Sunday after beating the Padres, celebrating with a postgame toast and distributing caps with the postseason logo on them. But then MLB acknowledged Monday it had made a mathematical mistake. This time, there shouldn’t be any confusion. The Dodgers won their 97th game of the season and are 54 games over .500.
Tyler Anderson (15-3) and Diamondbacks rookie Ryne Nelson engaged in an impressive pitching duel for the first six innings.
The Dodgers broke through against the D-backs’ bullpen in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs against Kyle Nelson (2-1). Trayce Thompson snapped the scoreless tie with a sacrifice fly off Kevin Ginkel and then Bellinger pushed the Dodgers ahead 3-0 with a double into the right-center gap.
Betts homered in the ninth.
BLUE JAYS 3, RAYS 2
TORONTO (AP) – Bo Bichette launched a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning after being hit by a high fastball in his previous at-bat, leading Toronto past Tampa Bay.
Toronto tied idle Seattle atop the standings for the three wild-card spots. Tampa Bay is a half-game behind.
Bichette connected off Jason Adam (2-3) for his 24th homer. Bichette went 2 for 3 and drove in all three Toronto runs.
In the sixth, Bichette slammed his bat in anger after being hit near his right wrist by a 97 mph fastball from Rays reliever Javy Guerra. After Bichette was hit, Toronto’s Jose Berrios hit Francisco Mejia with his second pitch of the seventh. While the umpires huddled before issuing warnings, interim Blue Jays manager John Schneider and pitching coach Pete Walker were seen yelling back and forth with Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash and pitching coach Kyle Snyder.
Tim Mayza (7-0) got one out for the win and Jordan Romano closed it out in the ninth for his 33rd save in 37 chances.
RANGERS 3, MARLINS 2, 1ST GAME; MARLINS 10, RANGERS 6, 2ND GAME
MIAMI (AP) – Rookie Charles Leblanc hit a pair of RBI doubles during an eight-run burst in the fifth inning and Miami earned a split of a day-night doubleheader.
Texas won the opener as Mark Mathias drew a bases-loaded walk to snap an eighth-inning tie.
The Marlins trailed 3-1 in the nightcap before breaking loose. Leblanc’s double against reliever A.J. Alexy (1-1) got Miami within one before Jon Berti hit a go-ahead, two-run single. Brian Anderson followed with an RBI single and Garrett Cooper hit a two-run double. Nick Fortes added an RBI single and Leblanc capped the outburst with his second double.
Marcus Semien homered, tripled and singled and Corey Seager hit his 30th homer for the Rangers.
The Rangers cut a 10-3 deficit on Semien’s two-out RBI triple and Seager’s two-run drive off Bryan Hoening (1-1) in the seventh.
In the first game, Miami reliever Steven Okert (5-3) walked Corey Seager and Adolis Garcia around Nathaniel Lowe’s two-out infield single before Mathias reached.
Jonathan Hernandez (2-2) pitched 1 2/3 innings to pick up the win. Jose Leclerc closed with a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
That defeat assured the Marlins (27-41) of a losing season at home, a day after clinching their 23rd sub-.500 record in the club’s 30-year history.
CUBS 5, METS 2
NEW YORK (AP) – Chris Bassitt had his shortest start in three months, failing to get through the fourth inning as NL East-leading New York lost to Chicago.
New York maintained its 1 1/2-game edge over Atlanta, which lost later in San Francisco.
Rafael Ortega homered in the second – the first home run surrendered by Bassitt (13-8) since he gave up Manny Machado’s round-tripper July 23, a stretch of 54 1/3 innings – and Zach McKinstry hit a two-run shot in the third before Ortega and Alfonso Rivas each had RBI singles in the fourth.
Bassitt gave up five runs in 3 2/3 innings – his quickest exit since he lasted a season-low 3 1/3 innings against San Diego on July 8.
The Mets stranded 10 runners – including seven over the first six innings against rookie right-hander Javier Assad (1-1), who allowed five hits in earning the first victory of his career. Brandon Hughes got the last five outs for his fifth save.
GIANTS 3, BRAVES 2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Rookie starter Spencer Strider struck out nine over five innings but allowed a season-high nine hits as his winning streak ended at four, and Atlanta Braves missed a chance to gain ground in the NL East.
Dansby Swanson hit a two-run single with none out in the eighth against Zack Littell, who then induced Austin Riley’s double play before Giants manager Gabe Kapler replaced him with Scott Alexander. An angry Littell then had words with the manager, who could be seen shortly after going with the pitcher down the tunnel.
Matt Olson flied out to end the threat.
Strider (10-5) took his first loss in six starts since Aug. 7 at New York. He had won his previous three starts.
Alex Cobb (6-6) struck out seven over seven scoreless innings for the Giants. Alexander finished for his first save.
PIRATES 6, REDS 3
CINCINNATI (AP) – Rodolfo Castro and Diego Castillo homered in a five-run fifth inning to power Pittsburgh.
Castro hit a three-run home run off Mike Minor in the fifth inning for his eighth of the season. Castillo, who was recalled from Indianapolis before the game, hit a two-run shot – his 11th – to cap the inning.
Aristides Aquino broke an 0-for-8 slide with his eighth home run with a man on to put the Reds on top. The line drive off Bryse Wilson was Aquino’s eighth of the season and fourth in his last eight games.
Brian Reynolds started the scoring with his 22nd home run off Minor in the first inning. Minor (4-11) gave up six runs and seven hits in five innings.
Wilson (3-8) left with the bases loaded in the sixth inning with a 6-3 lead. He allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
ASTROS 7, TIGERS 0
DETR0IT (AP) – Framber Valdez pitched his first career shutout to lead Houston.
Valdez (15-5) posted his 24th straight quality start, tying Mets ace Jacob deGrom (2018) for the longest single-season streak. The All-Star left-hander gave up six hits and struck out eight with one walk.
The Tigers were shut out for the second day in a row and club-record 21st time this season, tying them with the 1973 New York Yankees and 1976 Chicago White Sox for most by a team with a designated hitter.
Jeremy Pena had three hits for the Astros and scored twice.
Tigers starter Eduardo Rodriguez (3-5) allowed five runs on 10 hits and a walk in five innings.
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