News and Notes from Around the Majors

baseballHere is what’s happening in Major League Baseball:

— The St. Louis Cardinals clinched their third straight NL Central title by routing second-place Pittsburgh 11-1 in the second game of a twin bill. Jason Heyward had a grand slam in the Cardinals’ 100th victory. St. Louis has won 11 division titles since 1994. The Pirates won the first game 8-2. Pittsburgh ace Gerrit Cole allowed two runs in seven innings of work to pick up his 19th win.

— The Chicago Cubs routed Cincinnati 10-3 behind a 16-hit assault. Austin Jackson drove in five runs. Starlin Castro went four for five and hit his 11th home run. Jon Lester broke Ken Holtzman’s club record of 202 strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher by fanning nine. The Reds have lost 11 straight.

— Adrian Beltre hit the first of three Texas home runs as the AL West-leading Rangers moved closer to a postseason berth with a 6-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers. The Rangers start a four-game series against the L.A. Angels tonight at home. They need to win just one to earn a playoff spot.

— Eric Hosmer hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3 to clinch home-field advantage in an AL Division Series. The Royals are one back of Toronto for home-field edge throughout the AL playoffs.

— Houston improved its playoff chances by holding off Seattle 7-6. The Astros and Yankees currently own the two AL wild cars. They are a half-game ahead of the L.A. Angels.

— Kyle Gibson pitched six shutout innings and Torii Hunter had a three-run double as the Minnesota Twins split a doubleheader in Cleveland, winning 7-1 and losing 10-2. The Twins are one-and-a-half games out in the wild card chase.

— Stephen Vogt hit a tiebreaking, two-run single during Oakland’s four-run rally in the seventh inning, and the Athletics hung on to stop the Los Angeles Angels’ seven-game winning streak, 8-7.

— Drew Smyly won his fifth straight decision, Grady Sizemore had a three-run double and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Miami 6-4.

— Boston beat the New York Yankees for the third straight night, 9-5 in 11 innings. Dellin Betances gave up a tying homer, and Andrew Bailey allowed the go-ahead hit.

— Mike Leake pitched a two-hitter for his first career shutout, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0. The NL West champion Dodgers remain one game back of the Mets for No. 2 seed in the NL playoffs.

— Philadelphia dumped NL East champion New York Mets 7-5. Freddy Galvis drove in two runs for the Phillies and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth on a wild pitch.

— Atlanta blanked Washington 2-0. Rookie Williams Perez and three relievers combined on a six-hit shutout.

— Zach Davies pitched seven innings and the Milwaukee Brewers shut out the San Diego Padres 5-0.

— The Arizona Diamondbacks scratched out a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rockies. Chase Anderson and three relievers combined on a five-hitter.

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