Braves claim NL East, Cardinals clinch playoff berth


Associated Press

CHICAGO — The Atlanta Braves clinched their first NL East title since 2005, then rode two homers by Andrelton Simmons to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs that touched off a wild party in the cramped visitors’ clubhouse at Wrigley Field.

The game was in the sixth when Washington lost 4-2 to Miami in a doubleheader opener, giving the Braves the division championship. There were a few high-fives in Atlanta’s dugout when the Marlins won, and a couple of Braves fans did the tomahawk chop in the stands.

Simmons hit a solo drive in the fourth and a two-run shot in the eighth, giving him 17 homers on the year.

Julio Teheran (13-8) struck out seven over six innings of one-run ball. Edwin Jackson (8-17), who leads the major leagues in losses, allowed three runs and eight hits in six-plus innings.

Cardinals in playoffs

MILWAUKEE — Norichika Aoki scored three times and doubled home a run, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat sloppy St. Louis 6-4 on Sunday night, hours after the Cardinals clinched a playoff berth.

Wily Peralta (11-15) gave up five hits and walked five in five-plus innings for the Brewers. The Cardinals put the go-ahead run at the plate with two outs in the ninth, but closer Jim Henderson got slugger Matt Adams to strike out to end the game and earn his 26th save.

St. Louis learned earlier Sunday it was assured of at least an NL wild card after Washington lost.

However, the Cardinals weren’t sharp on the field. Starter Joe Kelly (9-5) had one of two errors in the Brewers’ two-run second.

GIANTS 2, YANKEES 1

NEW YORK — After honoring Mariano Rivera in a pregame ceremony and celebrating Andy Pettitte’s last regular-season home start, the Yankees saw their AL wild-card hopes dim.

But Ehire Adrianza tied the score in the sixth with his first career home run. Leaving to standing ovations and a curtain call after Pedro Sandoval’s leadoff double in the eighth, Pettitte (10-11) watched Tony Abreu hit a go-ahead double off David Robertson.

New York is danger of missing the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years. Javier Lopez (4-2) relieved Yusmeiro Petit with two on and one out in the seventh and struck out two, and Sergio Romo pitched a hitless ninth for his 36th save.

REDS 11, PIRATES 3

PITTSBURGH — Rookie Billy Hamilton got three hits and stole two more bases as Cincinnati tied Pittsburgh for the NL wild-card lead at 89-67.

Jay Bruce hit a three-run double and Todd Frazier followed with a homer that capped a five-run burst in the first against Jeff Locke (10-7).

MARLINS 4, NATIONALS 2

WASHINGTON — Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich homered for the Marlins in a doubleheader opener, dropping Washington 5½ games back of wild-card co-leaders Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

The Nationals honored retiring manager Davey Johnson with a 15-minute pregame celebration.

METS 4, PHILLIES 3

PHILADELPHIA — Wilfredo Tovar hit a two-run, seventh-inning single in his major league debut, putting the Mets ahead for good at 3-2.

LaTroy Hawkins earned his 100th career save and 12th this season by striking out Jimmy Rollins to end it. Trying to stop a streak of four straight fourth-place finishes in the NL East, the Mets completed a three-game sweep and tied the Phillies for third.

Before the game, the Phillies said they were removing the interim tag on manager Ryne Sandberg.

DODGERS 1, PADRES 0

SAN DIEGO — Adrian Gonzalez scored an unearned run and Zack Greinke combined with three relievers on a two-hitter for the NL West champions.

Andrew Cashner (10-9) had a two-hitter into the seventh when Gonzalez singled with one out, Matt Kemp struck out and Michael Young doubled off the right-field wall. Will Venable bobbled the ball, and Gonzalez came home after initially being held by third base coach Tim Wallach.

J.P. Howell (4-1) pitched a perfect sixth, and Kenley Jensen struck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save. Los Angeles leads the major leagues with 21 shutouts.

D-BACKS 13, ROCKIES 9

DENVER — Matt Davidson hit a three-run homer for the second straight day, and Arizona hung on after opening leads of 7-1 in the third and 13-5 in the ninth.

Colorado’s Michael Cuddyer was 3 for 5, raising his league-leading average to .334. Todd Helton, who is retiring at the end of the season, had four RBIs to raise his total to 1,402. Each team had 19 hits.

A’s 11, TWINS 7

OAKLAND, Calif. — Coco Crisp hit a three-run homer, Daric Barton and Jed Lowrie each had solo shots and the Oakland Athletics wrapped up their second straight AL West title while overpowering the Minnesota Twins 11-7.

The A’s, who had MLB’s fourth-lowest opening day payroll at about $65 million, clinched their 16th division crown and 25th postseason appearance when Texas lost 4-0 at Kansas City earlier.

RAYS 3, ORIOLES 1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Enny Romero combined with five relievers on a three-hitter in his major league debut, two days watching Tampa Bay’s 18-inning win at home in the Dominican Republic and tweeting he was ready to pitch the following afternoon.

The 22-year-old left-hander allowed one hit and four walks in 4 2-3 shutout innings. Brandon Gomes (3-1) followed and struck out Manny Machado with a runner on second.

INDIANS 9, ASTROS 2

CLEVELAND — Michael Brantley and Michael Bourn had two RBIs apiece as Cleveland became the first team since the 1961 Yankees to sweep six four-game series in the same season.

Carlos Santana homered for the Indians and Corey Kluber (10-5) dodged trouble throughout 5 1-3 innings.

ROYALS 4, RANGERS 0

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Justin Maxwell ended Kansas City’s home season with a two-out grand slam in the 10th off former Royals All-Star closer Joakim Soria.

WHITE SOX 6, TIGERS 3

DETROIT — The Tigers fell short in their effort to clinch the AL Central during their final homestand, and their magic number for the division title remained at two.

Erik Johnson (2-2) allowed two runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings in his fourth career start, and the White Sox held on a day after blowing a six-run, ninth-inning lead in a 7-6 loss in 12.

Anibal Sanchez (14-8) yielded four runs and eight hits in five innings, his first defeat since July 19.

Prince Fielder homered for the Tigers. Detroit was without slugger Miguel Cabrera, who has been bothered by groin soreness.

MARINERS 3, ANGELS 2

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Justin Smoak hit a tiebreaking two-run homer and Felix Hernandez had 10 strikeouts in a four-inning start — a game delayed twice by bees.

Both teams retreated to their dugouts during a 23-minute delay in the third inning when a swarm of bees invaded the outfield at the Big A, hovering over right-centerfield near the wall. Bees briefly delayed the game again in the fourth inning before they dispersed.

RED SOX 5, BLUE JAYS 2

BOSTON — David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. homered and Felix Doubront (11-6) gave up two runs and four hits over seven innings in his last start before moving to the bullpen for the playoffs.

 

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