- Associated Press - Saturday, September 16, 2017

CLEVELAND (AP) - For the second year in a row, the Cleveland Indians are AL Central champions.

The Indians clinched their title on Saturday night when second-place Minnesota lost to Toronto. Earlier, the Indians bounced back after having their league record winning streak ended at 22 games by beating the Kansas City Royals 8-4.

This is the first time the Indians have won consecutive division titles since 1999, when they finished a run of five straight first-place finishes. All of their fans were long gone from Progressive Field when this clinch became official.

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Francisco Lindor’s RBI double in the sixth off Jason Hammel (8-12) gave the All-Star shortstop an extra-base hit in a club-record 10 straight games. The major league record is 14 straight, shared by Chipper Jones (2006) and Paul Waner (1927).

Carlos Carrasco (16-6) pitched into the seventh as the Indians improved to 32-5 in their last 37 games.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Marco Estrada pitched eight efficient innings, Josh Donaldson homered twice among his four hits and Toronto topped Minnesota Twins.

The Twins’ loss clinched the AL Central for Cleveland. Minnesota is one game ahead of the Angels for the second wild-card spot.

Estrada (9-8) gave up two runs.

Donaldson gave the Blue Jays a lead in the first by sending a first-pitch shot off Adalberto Mejia (4-6) into the second deck in left-center.


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Justin Upton hit two home runs, Parker Bridwell outpitched Cole Hamels and the Los Angeles Angels moved up in the AL wild-card race by beating Texas.

The Angels closed within one game of Minnesota for the second wild-card spot.

Upton connected in the first inning and again in the eighth. He has 31 home runs and a career-high 103 RBIs this year with Detroit and the Angels - it’s his second straight season with at least 30 homers.

The 30-year-old Upton had just one homer in his first 13 games for the Angels before twice tagging Hamels (10-4).

Bridwell (8-2) retired the first 13 batters he faced and left after a leadoff walk in the seventh. Yusmeiro Petit retired the side in the ninth for his third save, completing a combined three-hitter.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Zack Greinke pitched eight innings of two-hit ball and Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer as Arizona defeated San Francisco.

The Diamondbacks reduced their magic number for clinching a playoff berth to six as they won for the 20th time in 25 games and for the ninth straight time on the road.

The Giants have dropped four straight.

Greinke (17-6) struck out eight and gave up one walk as he moved into a three-way tie for the major league lead in victories with Clayton Kershaw and Zach Davies.

Greinke also hit two doubles.

Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless ninth for his 38th save.

Goldschmidt homered with two outs in the top of the first with David Peralta aboard on a leadoff single. His 34th homer came on the first pitch he saw Madison Bumgarner (3-9).


DENVER (AP) - Tyler Anderson pitched six innings in his first start since returning from knee surgery, Charlie Blackmon set an NL season record for RBIs by a leadoff man and Colorado won a testy game against San Diego.

Blackmon homered and doubled to drive in four runs, pushing his season RBI total from the leadoff position to 92 and surpassing Craig Biggio, who had 88 in 1998.

Pat Valaika had a pinch-hit grand slam during a six-run seventh and Carlos Gonzalez also homered for the Rockies, who stretched their lead for the second NL wild-card card berth to 3 1/2 games over Milwaukee. Colorado has won eight of its last 10 games and extended its winning streak against San Diego to seven.

The Padres lost their fifth straight overall.

Immediately after giving up Blackmon’s three-run drive in the sixth that made it 10-0, reliever Miguel Diaz plunked DJ LeMahieu in the back. LeMahieu was restrained from heading to the mound and players from both dugouts and bullpens streamed onto the field but no punches were thrown, and Diaz was ejected.

Anderson (5-5) didn’t give up a hit until Manuel Margot beat out an infield single with two outs in the sixth. Jordan Lyles (1-3) took the loss.


WASHINGTON (AP) - Cody Bellinger hit his 38th homer to match the National League single-season record for rookies, and the Dodgers moved closer to the NL West title.

Chase Utley had two doubles and scored twice to help Los Angeles reduce its magic number to win the division to five. Rich Hill (10-8) and five relievers combined on a four-hitter.

Los Angeles also moved seven games ahead of Washington in the race to secure home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. The Dodgers have won four straight since dropping 11 in a row.

Anthony Rendon homered for the Nationals, who have lost four of five since clinching the NL East last Sunday. A.J. Cole (2-5) allowed three runs in five-plus innings.

Kenley Jansen worked a perfect ninth for his 38th save.


NEW YORK (AP) - Didi Gregorius and Greg Bird homered for the second straight game, rookie Jordan Montgomery pitched six shutout innings and the Yankees won their fourth straight game.

The Yankees (82-66) extended their stretch of winning seasons to 25, the second-longest such streak in major league history behind their own 39 straight from 1926-64. They also stayed three games behind AL East-leading Boston.

Todd Frazier added a two-run homer shot as the Yankees won for the seventh time in eight games. Montgomery (8-7) allowed four hits and walked one.

Jeremy Hellickson (8-10) took the loss.


HOUSTON (AP) - Dallas Keuchel threw six solid innings, Carlos Beltran had three hits and two RBIs and the Astros lowered their magic number for clinching the AL West title to one.

The Astros (90-58), who reached 90 wins for the first time since 2004, can secure the franchise’s seventh division title with one more win or a loss by the Los Angeles Angels.

Keuchel (13-4) allowed one run - Jean Segura’s 11th homer in the sixth - and four hits. Joe Musgrove worked two innings for his first save.

Seattle right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (5-6) was charged with six runs and eight hits in four-plus innings.


CHICAGO (AP) - Kyle Hendricks pitched six-hit ball into the eighth inning, Addison Russell homered and the Cubs earned their fifth straight victory.

Albert Almora Jr. had three hits and two RBIs for Chicago, which increased its NL Central lead to 3 1/2 games over Milwaukee and five better than St. Louis. The Brewers were playing Miami on Saturday night.

Russell was activated before the game after being sidelined by a foot injury. He pinch-hit in the eighth and connected for a solo shot against Tyler Lyons.

Hendricks (7-5) allowed one run in a season-high 7 2/3 innings. Wade Davis got three outs for his 30th save.

Matt Carpenter homered for St. Louis. Michael Wacha (12-8) allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings.


MILWAUKEE (AP) - Derek Dietrich hit a two-run homer, Adam Conley pitched into the sixth inning and Miami beat Milwaukee to stop a six-game slide.

Conley (7-7) allowed three runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings in the second game of a series relocated from Miami to Milwaukee because of the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Milwaukee dropped four games back of NL Central-leading Chicago, which beat St. Louis 4-1 earlier in the day. The Brewers had won three straight and six of seven.

Zach Davies (17-9) took the loss.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Rick Porcello took a shutout into the eighth inning, Mookie Betts hit his 22nd home run and the Red Sox won for the eighth time in 10 games.

The win reduced Boston’s magic number for clinching a playoff spot to six and kept its AL East lead over the New York Yankees at three games.

Porcello (10-17) gave up one unearned run in 7 1/3 innings. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 33rd save.

Tampa Bay’s Alex Cobb allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.


ATLANTA (AP) - Jacob deGrom set a career high in wins, Dominic Smith and Gavin Cecchini each drove in two runs and the Mets snapped a five-game skid with a victory over Atlanta.

DeGrom (15-9) allowed five hits, one run and two walks in seven innings. He struck out seven while topping his personal mark of 14 victories in 2015.

The Mets had lost eight straight on the road.

Freddie Freeman hit his 27th homer for Atlanta. R.A. Dickey (9-10). The 42-year-old knuckleballer is 0-2 with a 10.05 ERA in his last three starts.


DETROIT (AP) - Matt Davidson and Nicky Delmonico homered, Tim Anderson had four hits and the White Sox captured their season series with the Tigers for the first time since 2008.

The White Sox have won 10 of 18 against Detroit this year. The teams have one meeting remaining Sunday.

Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera left at the start of the fifth with back tightness. Myles Jaye (1-2) lasted just 1 2/3 innings.

Chicago has won six of eight, outscoring its opponents 69-26. Reynaldo Lopez (2-3) allowed four runs in seven innings.


CINCINNATI (AP) - Sal Romano pitched a career-high eight shutout innings and Jesse Winker homered, leading Cincinnati to the victory.

Romano (5-6) allowed five hits, struck out six and walked none while improving to 3-1 over his last six starts.

Pittsburgh avoided a shutout when Andrew McCutchen hit his 26th homer in the ninth. But Cody Reed came in with a runner on first and retired Gregory Polanco on a grounder to second for his first career save.

The Pirates wasted a solid start by Ivan Nova (11-14) in their fourth consecutive loss. McCutchen and Elias Diaz each had two hits.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Jorge Alfaro homered and Philadelphia’s relievers pitched six strong innings after a rain delay in a win over Oakland.

J.P. Crawford had two RBIs and Cesar Hernandez also drove in a run for the Phillies, who improved to 5-14 against the AL.

Matt Olson and Jed Lowrie homered for Oakland, which lost for just the third time in its last 10.

The game was delayed 1 hour, 46 minutes by rain during the third inning.

Victor Arano (1-0) pitched two innings to earn his first major league victory. Simon Castro (1-3) gave up two runs in two innings.


More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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