Baseball / MLB

Yasiel Puig’s pinch-hit, three-run blast helps Dodgers sweep Rockies

AP, Reuters, Kyodo

Pinch hitter Yasiel Puig slugged a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the seventh inning that sent the Los Angeles Dodgers past the Colorado Rockies 5-2 on Wednesday night to increase their NL West lead to 2½ games.

“We’re going to win the West again,” Puig said.

Walker Buehler struck out a career-high 12 and the Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the second-place Rockies, giving the defending NL champions their largest division lead this season. They outscored Colorado 16-6 in the series, with homers proving to be the difference in each game.

“It’s impressive,” manager Dave Roberts said of the sweep. “I believe our guys can sustain it.”

The Rockies remained 1½ games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card.

“Like I’ve said all along, I think this is going to come down to the end,” manager Bud Black said. “I really do

After falling into a 2-0 hole in a 36-pitch first inning, Buehler settled down and showed why he has become a dependable complement to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. The rookie right-hander allowed three hits and one walk over six innings, and neither run he gave up was earned.

Puig’s second career pinch-hit homer came off Scott Oberg (7-1) and ignited the crowd and his teammates, some of whom came out in front of the dugout to cheer. On a recent tear at the plate, the excitable Puig raised both arms as he circled the bases.

The Dodgers showed off their depth in the seventh. After pinch-hitter Joc Pederson fouled out, Max Muncy drew a pinch-hit walk. Yasmani Grandal doubled to deep right field, moving Muncy to third and setting up Puig.

Reliever Kenta Maeda worked two-thirds of an inning, fanning two batters. He earned his second hold of the seaosn.

Caleb Ferguson (7-2) got two outs to earn the win. Kenley Jansen retired the side in the ninth for his 36th save.

Buehler gave up a two-run single to Ian Desmond in the first after the pitcher made a run-saving throw to the plate when Gerardo Parra grounded into a fielder’s choice.

Matt Kemp homered on the first pitch from Tyler Anderson in the second, giving the Dodgers seven players with 20 or more homers in a season for the first time in franchise history. That left them trailing 2-1.

Brian Dozier’s RBI double tied the game 2-2 in the fifth. Enrique Hernandez singled leading off and made a headfirst slide at the plate, with his feet barely eluding the tag of catcher Chris Iannetta.

Anderson gave up two runs and three hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked two.

Diamondbacks 9, Cubs 0

In Phoenix, Arizona right-hander Yoshihisa Hirano became the third Japanese major leaguer with 73 games pitched in relief in a season when he, along with three others, combined on a one-hit shutout against Chcago.

Hirano worked a scoreless eighth inning at Chase Field, though the first batter he faced, Addison Russell, reached first on a throwing error by third baseman Ildemaro Vargas.

Hirano then got Albert Almora Jr. to ground out into a double play and Kris Bryant to strike out swinging. He was not involved in the decision.

Akinori Otsuka made 73 appearances in 2004 while playing for the San Diego Padres and Koji Uehara matched the mark in 2013 with the Boston Red Sox.

In his rookie year in MLB, the 34-year-old Hirano, who spent 12 seasons with the Orix Buffaloes including a one-year injury layoff in 2008, is 4-3 with a 2.09 ERA and two saves.

Indians 4, White Sox 1

In Cleveland, Jason Kipnis hit a walk-off grand slam with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Indians rallied for a dramatic victory over Chicago.

It was the 17th homer of the season for Kipnis and his second career grand slam. It was also the 1,000th career hit for Kipnis and the 10th grand slam homer hit by Cleveland this season.

Yankees 10, Red Sox 1

In New York, Luke Voit went 4-for-4 with homers in consecutive at-bats off David Price, and the Yankees beat Boston, preventing the Red Sox from clinching the American League East title.

Voit hit a solo homer to right to start the fourth inning and give the Yankees a 4-0 lead. In his next at-bat, the burly first baseman hit a two-run homer into the first row of the right field seats — in nearly the same spot as his first — for a 6-1 edge. After replay confirmed that a fan did not interfere by reaching over, Voit’s second homer knocked out Price (15-7).

New York’s Luis Severino (18-8) won for the first time in four starts by pitching one-run ball for seven innings. The Red Sox maintained a magic number of two to clinch their third straight division title and 10th overall.

Mariners 9, Astros 0

In Houston, Kyle Seager, Mitch Haniger and Guillermo Heredia slugged solo home runs, and Seattle claimed the season series with a victory.

The Mariners took the rubber match of the three-game and season series by jumping to a 3-0 lead on Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel (11-11) in the first inning and never looking back.

Rays 9, Rangers 3

In Arlington, Texas, Tommy Pham had three hits including a pair of solo home runs as part of a 16-hit barrage as Tampa Bay remained the hottest team in baseball with a win over Texas to sweep a three-game series.

The victory was the fifth in a row for the Rays and their 14th in their past 17 games, all in September.

Athletics 10, Angels 0

In Oakland, Brett Anderson combined with three relievers on a four-hit shutout, and Stephen Piscotty matched a career-high with five RBIs as the hosts routed Los Angeles.

Brewers 7, Reds 0

In Milwaukee, Gio Gonzalez pitched six shutout innings, and Jesus Aguilar drove in four runs, three on a third-inning home run, lifting the Brewers over Cincinnati.

Manny Pina also had a three-run homer for the Brewers, who moved three games ahead of St. Louis in the race for the first National League wild card.

Braves 7, Cardinals 3

In Atlanta, Freddie Freeman had three hits, one of them his 23rd homer, to help the Braves snap a four-game losing streak and beat St. Louis.

Phillies 4, Mets 0

In Philadelphia, Zach Eflin struck out nine over five scoreless innings, and Rhys Hoskins and Odubel Herrera each homered as the Phillies kept their flickering playoff hopes alive by beating New York.

Padres 8, Giants 4

In San Diego, Freddy Galvis had a homer and four RBIs, and Wil Myers capped a five-run second inning with a tiebreaking, two-run homer to lead the Padres past San Francisco..

The win snapped San Diego’s six-game losing streak to the Giants and prevented San Francisco from sweeping back-to-back series at Petco Park for the first time since the ballpark opened in 2004.

Twins 8, Tigers 2

In Detroit, Willians Astudillo had three RBIs, Stephen Gonsalves pitched six strong relief innings, and Minnesota completed a three-game sweep against the Tigers.

Gonsalves (1-2) allowed one hit, one walk and struck out four to earn his first career major league win. Robbie Grossman and Ehire Adrianza each had three hits and Tyler Austin added two hits and two RBIs for the Twins, who have won four in a row.

Pirates 2, Royals 1

In Pittsburgh, Adam Frazier hit a go-ahead solo home run in the fifth inning to give the Pirates a win and a three-game series sweep of Kansas City.

Pitsburgh won each game in the series by one run. The Pirates have won five straight games and six of seven in their quest to finish above .500. They also have an eight-game home winning streak.

Orioles 2, Blue Jays 1

In Baltimore, DJ Stewart homered, doubled and scored twice, and Cedric Mullins added an RBI single in the seventh inning as the Orioles defeated Toronto.

Toronto saw its four-game winning streak end.

Jimmy Yacabonis was a last-minute starter for Baltimores. The right-hander went four shutout innings and gave up two hits. Mike Wright Jr. (4-2) then came on for two scoreless innings to get the win.