Jays Snap Rays’ Streak
New York Mets' Daniel Murphy jumps over Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado attempting to score as umpire Dale Scott, left, and batter Travis d'Arnaud, right, look on during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in New York. Murphy was tagged out after he didn't touch the plate. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Toronto Blue Jays' Brett Lawrie flinches before being hit in the mouth by a pitch during seventh-inning baseball game action against the Tampa Bay Rays in Toronto, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)
Toronto — R.A. Dickey slowed Tampa Bay’s stretch run, leading the Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-3 victory Friday night that stopped the Rays’ seven-game winning streak.
Tampa Bay wasted a 2-0 lead and committed a season-high three errors, including a pair by two-time Gold Glove third baseman Evan Longoria. The Rays began the night with a magic number of two over Texas for clinching an AL wild-card berth.
Dickey (14-13) allowed two runs and five hits in 71∕3 innings, retiring 13 of 14 during one stretch. The 38-year-old knuckleballer, acquired from the New York Mets during the offseason after he won the NL Cy Young Award, struggled earlier this season but finished strongly, going 5-1 with a 3.17 ERA in his last seven starts.
Yankees 3, Astros 2
Houston — David Robertson got the save as Mariano Rivera looked on, and the Yankees got a glimpse of their future in a win over Houston othat sent the Astros to their team-record 13th consecutive loss.
David Adams hit a two-run double and Mark Reynolds also drove in a run for the Yankees, who stopped a four-game losing streak.
Houston dropped to 51-109, the most losses for a major league team since the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks went 51-111.
The Astros’ 322 losses over three seasons are the fifth-most in big league history according to STATS, ahead of only the 1962-64 New York Mets (340), the 1963-65 Mets (332), the 1915-17 Philadelphia Athletics (324) and the 1940-42 Philadelphia Phillies (323).
Cardinals 7, Cubs 0
St. Louis — The Cardinals clinched their first NL Central title in four years, beating Chicago behind the strong pitching of Lance Lynn and home runs by David Freese and Matt Holliday.
St. Louis (95-65) has won six of seven and is tied with Atlanta for the best record in the NL. They are assured of home-field advantage when the NL division series starts Thursday.
Adam Wainwright (18-9) was moved up to start today, putting the St. Louis ace on track to start his team’s postseason opener against Cincinnati, Pittsburgh or the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Pirates 4, Reds 1
Cincinnati — Marlon Byrd had three hits, and Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run homer high off the batter’s eye, leading Pittsburgh to a victory over Cincinnati in a series that will decide which could host the NL wild-card game.
Both teams clinched postseason berths this week. Whoever wins the three-game series would be assured of hosting the one-game playoff on Tuesday night.
Braves 1, Phillies 0
Atlanta — Chris Johnson led off the eighth inning with a homer to spoil an otherwise dominant start by Cliff Lee, Kris Medlen allowed only two hits in eight innings and Atlanta beat Philadelphia.
Brewers 4, Mets 2
New York — Norichika Aoki hit a leadoff homer, Khris Davis connected three batters later and Yovani Gallardo pitched Milwaukee over New York.
Marlins 3, Tigers 2
Miami — Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta played in his first game since completing a 50-game suspension, going 1 for 4 with an RBI in the Tigers’ loss to Miami.
Peralta was suspended for his involvement in the Miami-based Biogenesis performance-enhancing lab. His run-scoring double chased Miami starter Tom Koehler in the sixth and cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-2.