LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers are chasing the San Francisco Giants in the NL West. They caught their rival in one big way by becoming the second team in the majors to clinch a postseason berth.
Max Muncy, Trea Turner and Will Smith homered in an 8-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night that was their fifth in a row.
The Giants had locked up a playoff spot a night earlier. The Dodgers secured their ninth consecutive postseason appearance with their eighth straight home win and help from Cincinnati and San Diego, which both lost. The defending World Series champions got it done at home, where their 51-23 record leads the majors.
“It’s definitely something that shouldn’t be taken for granted,” third baseman Justin Turner said. “At the same time, our focus is on us and taking care of what’s in front of us. That’s probably why I didn’t even realize we had a chance to clinch tonight.”
The Giants partied after making the postseason for the first time in five years. The Dodgers kept things low key.
“We did a little Champagne toast, said a few words and acknowledged the fact that it’s a big accomplishment,” said manager Dave Roberts, wearing a blue “Built for October” T-shirt. “We got a lot of work to do and this is just the beginning.”
The Dodgers finally have their full rotation — led by Cy Young Award contenders Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer and Julio Urías — in place after numerous injuries.
“You win with starting pitching and I believe we have the best starting pitching in baseball,” Roberts said. “I love where we’re at.”
Tony Gonsolin (3-1) scattered two hits over five scoreless innings, struck out six and walked two.
“I’ve been kind of grinding with the team the whole year,” Gonsolin said, “but being able to contribute makes me feel a lot better.”
Using teammate Albert Pujols’ bat, Muncy blasted his 33rd homer, a two-run shot, off Luke Weaver (3-5) in the third, when the D-backs had two errors. Mookie Betts singled leading off and scored, making it 3-0. Will Smith grounded into a fielder’s choice to Weaver, who botched the throw, allowing Corey Seager to score after reaching on a fielding error by Ketel Marte. Weaver bent over and stomped his feet in frustration as the Dodgers led 4-0.
The Dodgers made Weaver work. He needed 72 pitches to get through three innings. The right-hander gave up four runs and five hits in four innings, struck out four and walked one.
“We didn’t help him out on defense, he didn’t help himself out,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo. “The long innings added to the equation of what I see is unacceptable defensive play.”
Smith’s 24th homer in the sixth extended the lead to 6-1. Trea Turner’s RBI double in the first scored Muncy, who doubled. Turner hit his 22nd homer in the fifth.
After Arizona closed to 6-4 in the seventh, the Dodgers answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Muncy and Trea Turner drew consecutive walks by Brett de Geus. Seager singled and Justin Turner and Smith had sacrifice flies.
The D-backs closed to 6-4 in the seventh on a three-run shot by Marte, who went 3 for 4 with a strikeout.
Arizona trailed 5-1 in the sixth on David Peralta’s RBI double off David Price. Pitching for the first time since Sept. 5, the former AL Cy Young Award winner gave up back-to-back singles to Josh Rojas and Marte that set up Peralta.
The Dodgers improved to 13-2 against Arizona this season, including 8-1 at home.
RAYS 2, BLUE JAYS 0
TORONTO — Drew Rasmussen combined with four relievers on a three-hitter, Brandon Lowe and Ji-Man Choi homered and Tampa Bay became the first AL team to reach 90 wins.
After losing four of their previous five, the East-leading Rays (0-55) hit the 90-win mark for the eighth time — all in the past 14 seasons.
Toronto was tied with the New York Yankees — with Boston percentage points behind — for the AL wild card lead.
Rasmussen (3-1) allowed two hits in five innings. Andrew Kittredge pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.
Choi’s leadoff drive in the second, his 10th home run this season, was the only run allowed by José Berríos (11-8), who lost for the first time in four starts despite scattering four hits over seven innings.
Lowe hit his 34th home run of the season in the eighth on the first pitch he saw from left-hander Tim Mayza.
GIANTS 6, PADRES 1
SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey homered in the first inning and scored the go-ahead run on an error in the third, and San Francisco beat San Diego for its ninth straight victory a day after becoming the first team in the big leagues to clinch a playoff berth.
Brandon Belt and Darin Ruf each hit run-scoring doubles and Tommy La Stella added an RBI single to back Anthony DeSclafani (12-6).
With nine straight wins, the Giants have their longest winning streak since a 10-game unbeaten run from May 20-31, 2004.
DeSclafani allowed one run on three hits, struck out three and walked one over 6 2/3 innings.
Jake Arrieta (5-13) lasted just 3 2/3 innings for San Diego, which lost its fifth straight.
YANKEES 7, ORIOLES 2
BALTIMORE — Aaron Judge started a five-homer barrage that backed Gerrit Cole, and New York beat Baltimore, winning consecutive games for the first time since Sept. 1 and 3.
Cole (15-7) returned from left hamstring tightness that cut short his Sept. 7 start against Toronto. He stranded the bases loaded in a 29-pitch first inning when he struck out Ramón Uris and allowed one run and four hits in five innings with seven strikeouts and three walks.
Judge hit a two-run homer in the first off a changeup from Alexander Wells (1-3), his 34th homer of the season. Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer in the third and Luke Voit followed for back-to-back homers. Joey Gallo added his 34th homer in the eighth and DJ LeMahieu homered in the ninth.
New York won for the third time in 11 games and was tied with Toronto — with Boston percentage points behind — for the AL-wild card lead with 17 games left.
Ryan Mountcastle had an RBI double in the fifth for the Orioles, who at a major league-worst 46-98 are headed to 100 losses for the third straight full season.
RED SOX 8, MARINERS 4
SEATTLE — Pinch-hitter Kyle Schwarber hit a tiebreaking three-run double in the eighth inning and Boston beat Seattle to keep pace in the competitive AL wild-card race.
Schwarber’s double to right with the bases loaded in the eighth ended a tense standoff with the Mariners.
Alex Verdugo had a two-run home run, and J.D. Martinez and Bobby Dalbec added solo shots for Boston, which notched its 42nd come-from-behind win this year.
The victory kept the Red Sox percentage points behind the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays for the AL’s two wild-card spots. Seattle dropped to three games back.
Adam Ottavino (6-3) recorded the last out of the seventh inning for the win. Starter Nathan Eovaldi struck out nine in five innings.
Joe Smith (2-4) took the loss for Seattle.
ROCKIES 5, BRAVES 4
ATLANTA — Brendan Rodgers hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the fifth inning, Trevor Story went deep in the second and Colorado held on to beat Atlanta.
Jon Gray pitched five innings as the Rockies moved to 22-51 on the road coming off a four-game series win at Philadelphia. Carlos Estévez earned his eighth save in 13 chances.
NL East-leading Atlanta maintained its 4 1/2 game lead over Philadelphia. The Braves had won five of seven.
Adam Duvall, the NL RBI leader with 101, hit his 35th homer in the eighth.
Gray (8-10) allowed two runs and five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Toussaint (3-3) was charged with four runs and five hits with three walks and five strikeouts in four-plus innings.
WHITE SOX 9, ANGELS 3
CHICAGO — Rookie Gavin Sheets hit a long three-run homer and had four RBIs in his first three-hit game, and the White Sox beat Los Angeles in Joe Maddon’s first game back in Chicago.
Sheets hit a go-ahead single in the second inning off Packy Naughton (0-2) and made it 6-1 with a three-run homer in the third. He narrowly missed a second home run when he doubled to the right-field wall in the fifth.
Maddon managed the Cubs for five years, leading them to the playoffs four times and a World Series title in 2016 that ended the team’s 108-year championship drought. He left the Cubs after the 2019 season and was hired by the Angels.
Luis Robert had a solo homer and a double as the AL Central-leading White Sox expanded their margin over second-place Cleveland to 12 1/2 games.
PIRATES 6, REDS 5
PITTSBURGH — Wade Miley surrendered six runs on 10 hits and Cincinnati lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Miley (12-6) gave up three runs in the first and three more in the fifth before being pulled with one out. Chris Stratton earned his fifth save.
Pirates starter Dillon Peters (1-2) worked five shutout innings, surrendering five hits with five strikeouts to help Pittsburgh to its fifth win in seven games. Yoshi Tsutsugo and Jacob Stallings drove in two runs apiece.
Tucker Barnhart drove in two runs for the Reds. Nick Castellanos hit his 29th homer of the season in the ninth inning.
RANGERS 8, ASTROS 1
ARLINGTON, Texas — All-Star slugger Adolis García tied the Rangers’ single-season rookie record with his 30th homer, one of three long balls allowed by Zack Greinke in his return after testing positive for COVID-19.
Rangers starter Jordan Lyles (9-11) struck out seven, walked one and hit one while allowing only three singles over seven scoreless innings.
The Astros’ only run came in the ninth inning on an RBI single by Carlos Correa off Josh Sborz.
Greinke (11-6) allowed eight runs on five hits and three walks while pitching into the sixth inning of his first start in 16 days.
Nathaniel Lowe hit a two-run homer that went 440 feet in the first inning. DJ Peters chased Greinke when he lined a three-run shot 421 feet into the Astros bullpen in left-center in the sixth.
CARDINALS 7, METS 6, 11 INNINGS
NEW YORK — Edmundo Sosa hit the go-ahead single in a three-run 11th inning and St. Louis climbed all the way back into playoff position with a win over New York.
New York scored twice in the bottom of the 11th and had two runners on when Kwang Hyun Kim retired pinch-hitter Albert Almora Jr. on a grounder for his second career save.
Pinch-hitter Andrew Knizner added a two-run single in the top half to give the Cardinals needed breathing room as they shook off Javier Báez’s tying homer in the ninth.
Tyler O’Neill homered and drove in three runs for the Cardinals. They’ve won four straight and six of seven to vault into the second NL wild-card slot by a half-game over Cincinnati, which lost 6-5 in Pittsburgh.
TIGERS 1, BREWERS 0, 11 INNINGS
DETROIT — Derek Hill hit a leadoff RBI double in the 11th inning as Detroit ended Milwaukee’s five-game win streak.
The Brewers loaded the bases with one out against Bryan Garcia (2-1) in the 11th before Christian Yelich grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Hill fell behind 0-2 while trying to bunt Victor Reyes to third, then lined the next pitch from Hunter Strickland (3-2) into right-center for a game-winning double.
ROYALS 10, ATHLETICS 7
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Salvador Perez hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth inning, the Kansas City bullpen bailed out starter Jackson Kowar and the Royals rallied from an early six-run hole to beat Oakland.
Kyle Isbel hit his first career homer and Hunter Dozier also went deep, helping the Royals continue Oakland’s late-season slide. The A’s have lost three straight and seven of 10 to fall farther out of AL wild-card contention.
Perez finished with four RBIs, most coming on his towering homer off Yusmeiro Petit (8-2) over the visiting bullpen in left field.
Ervin Santana, Joel Payamps, Jake Brentz (5-2), Domingo Tapia, Josh Staumont and Scott Barlow surrendered just one run over the final eight innings. Barlow walked the first two in the ninth before finishing for his 13th save.
INDIANS 3, TWINS 1, 1ST GAME
TWINS 6, INDIANS 3, 2ND GAME
MINNEAPOLIS — Cleveland’s Triston McKenzie cruised through six innings of the first game of a doubleheader to beat Minnesota when a comebacker off the wrist of Twins rookie Joe Ryan shortened the pitching duel.
Ryan Jeffers had four RBIs in the nightcap as the Twins gained a split.
McKenzie (5-6) had seven strikeouts, including Byron Buxton three times, with just three hits, one run and one walk allowed.
Bradley Zimmer homered in the fifth, and Austin Hedges hit a go-ahead RBI double in a two-run seventh against Danny Coulombe (3-2), before Emmanuel Clase closed it out with a perfect seventh for his 23rd save in 27 chances.
Kyle Barraclough (1-0) picked up the win in the nightcap. Alex Colomé earned his 14th save. Logan Allen (1-7) took the loss.
CUBS 6, PHILLIES 3
PHILADELPHIA — Patrick Wisdom and Alfonso Rivas hit back-to-back homers for Chicago in a win over a Philadelphia team running out of time to make a serious run in the NL playoff race.
The Phillies remained 4½ games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East and 2½ games behind Cincinnati in the wild-card race. San Diego and St. Louis are ahead of the Phillies for the second wild card.
The Phillies fell to .500 at 72-72 and have lost six of seven games.
NATIONALS 8, MARLINS 2
WASHINGTON — Ryan Zimmerman homered, Erick Fedde pitched five solid innings and Washington pounded out 14 hits in winning for the second time in three games.
Fedde (7-9) allowed a run on three hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.