Baseball / MLB

Anthony Alford slugs walk-off homer in 15th inning to lead Blue Jays past Orioles

AP, Reuters

Anthony Alford hit a game-ending drive in the 15th inning for his first career homer, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-10 on Monday night.

Alford connected against rookie right-hander Ryan Eades (0-1), who was trying to close out a third consecutive scoreless inning.

“I was trying to hold my smile as best I could but it was pretty tough,” said Alford, who made his big league debut in 2017. “That’s my first ever walk-off so it felt pretty good.”

Toronto won in its final at-bat for the eighth time, while the Orioles lost in its opponent’s final at-bat for the ninth time.

“Another tough loss,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “We’ve had our fair share and then some.”

The Orioles’ Chris Davis homered against Jordan Romano in the 12th, but the Blue Jays tied it in the bottom half on Jonathan Davis’ sacrifice fly.

Toronto scored twice in the ninth against Shawn Armstrong, making it 9-9. Cavan Biggio hit a sacrifice fly and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in pinch runner Alford with an RBI single, sending it to extra innings.

Jason Adam (3-0) worked one inning for the win.

Austin Hays homered twice and drove in five runs for Baltimore, who also got homers from Jonathan Villar and Rio Ruiz.

Davis has 21 career homers in 69 games at Rogers Centre, his highest total at any road ballpark.

The Orioles have homered in 17 consecutive games. It’s the second-longest active streak in the majors, according to STATS.

Each team used 10 pitchers.

Cardinals 9, Diamondbacks 7

In Phoenix, Paul Goldschmidt had two hits, including his 32nd homer, in his return to Arizona, and Yadier Molina homered and drove in four runs in St. Louis’ victory over the hosts.

Tommy Edman had two hits, including a home run, and Harrison Bader also hit a solo shots off reliever Yoshihisa Harino for the Cardinals (90-67), who moved 3½ games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central with five games remaining. The loss eliminated Arizona from wild-card contention.

Christian Walker had three hits, including his 27th homer, Josh Rojas had two hits, and Nick Ahmed homered for the Diamondbacks (80-77). Walker took over at first base this season for Goldschmidt, who was a fixture there in his eight seasons with Arizona.

The Diamondbacks played a video tribute of Goldschmidt before the game, his first at Chase Field after being traded last winter, and he received a standing ovation before his first plate appearance.

St. Louis right-hander Adam Wainwright (14-9) won his fifth straight September start, giving up eight hits and five runs in five innings with six strikeouts and two walks. He had given up only one earned run total in four previous September starts, and his ERA for the month is 1.69.

Rays 7, Red Sox 4

In St. Petersburg, Florida, Choi Ji-man, Brandon Lowe and Willy Adames homered during Tampa Bay’s six-run fourth inning, and the Rays moved into sole possession of the second AL wild card by beating Boston.

The Rays hold a half-game lead over Cleveland, which had the day off.

The announced attendance was 8,779.

Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez drove in a run to become the ninth player in franchise history to have at least 35 homers and 100 RBIs in multiple seasons. The list also includes David Ortiz, Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski and Ted Williams.

Nationals 7, Phillies 2

In Washington, Patrick Corbin pitched six effective innings, and the Nationals strengthened their playoff positioning.

Adam Eaton, Yan Gomes and Trea Turner homered for Washington, which moved a half-game ahead of idle Milwaukee for the top spot in the wild-card standings. The Nationals reduced their magic number to clinch a playoff berth to three.

Marlins 8, Mets 4

In New York, Steven Matz allowed two homers to Jorge Alfaro, including a grand slam, and the Mets lost to Miami to dim their fading postseason hopes.

Amed Rosario cut into the Marlins’ big lead with his own slam, but the Mets dropped five games behind idle Milwaukee for the final NL playoff spot with six games remaining. They also trail Washington by 5½ games for the top wild card.