Sports AL wild-card leading Red Sox rally past O's 8-6
Chris Sale tests positive for COVID: How long will he out and what does it mean for Boston's playoff chances?
Sale is the latest Red Sox player in the past several weeks to test positive for the coronavirus. Due to the positive test, he will miss his upcoming start on Sunday against the White Sox. According to The Athletic, Sale is the 10th player on the team to have tested positive for the coronavirus since last Friday. Two coaches have also tested positive, while two players and a coach were deemed close contacts and have had to quarantine.
BOSTON (AP) — Kiké Hernández’s game-tying RBI single caromed off the second-base bag and into shallow center field, sparking a three-run, seventh-inning rally that carried the AL wild-card leading Boston Red Sox to an 8-6 victory over the Baltimore Orioles Sunday and a sweep of their three-game series.
It was the fifth straight win for Boston, which leads Toronto by one game and the Yankees by 2 1/2 in the playoff chase. The Blue Jays beat Minnesota, 5-3, on Sunday and New York lost to Cleveland, 11-1.
J.D. Martinez had a solo homer and Kevin Plawecki added a two-run single for the Red Sox.
Shaw singles in 10th, Red Sox beat White Sox 9-8
CHICAGO (AP) — Travis Shaw hit a tiebreaking single in the 10th inning after belting a three-run homer in the third and the Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox 9-8 on Saturday night. Shaw found out toward the end of batting practice that he was going to be in the lineup with J.D. Martinez scratched because of back spasms. On short notice, he sure delivered. Shaw capped a seven-run third with a drive that made it 7-2 and chased Chicago starter Dylan Cease. “This is kind of the first time I've been in this role,” said Shaw, in his second stint with Boston after being claimed off waivers from Milwaukee on Aug. 15.
“When it's getting down to the end of the year and you don't have a big lead and all the games matter, it gets to be a lot of fun,” Hernández said.
Trey Mancini had a three-run double for the Orioles, who lost 12 of the final 13 meetings against the Red Sox after sweeping a season-opening three-game series.
After giving up a two-run lead in the top of the seventh, Boston rallied against Conner Greene (1-1), getting the tying hit when Hernández’s grounder bounced off the bag, scoring José Iglesias.
“That's exactly what I was trying to do. That's how I drew it up,” Hernández said, smiling. “I was a little bit happy to get that hit and drive in that run.”
Hunter Renfroe followed with a double high off the Green Monster and scored on Rafael Devers’ single, making it 8-6.
Defending champion Dodgers beat D-backs, clinch playoff spot
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched a postseason berth, getting home runs by Max Muncy, Trea Turner and Will Smith to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4 on Tuesday night for their fifth win in a row. Their eighth straight victory at home, combined with losses by Cincinnati and San Diego, secured the Dodgers’ ninth consecutive playoff appearance in pursuit of a second straight World Series championship. LA’s home record of 51-23 leads the majors. Tony Gonsolin (3-1) scattered two hits over five scoreless innings, struck out six and walked two. Luke Weaver (3-5) needed 72 pitches to get through three innings.
“We got a little bit lucky with the ball off the bag,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “Then Hunter put on a huge swing. ... Overall, another good win, obviously.”
The victory could be costly for the Red Sox after reliever Garrett Whitlock walked off the mound with right pectoral tightness. The 25-year-old Whitlock, a Rule 5 pickup from the Yankees, has been a strong part of their bullpen this season.
“We'll know more (Monday)," Cora said of Whitlock. “It's too soon to know what's going on.”
Hirokazu Sawamura (5-1) was credited with the victory despite giving up a two-run lead in the seventh. Garrett Richards got the final three outs for his third save.
The Red Sox had jumped on starter Alexander Wells for three runs with two outs in the first when Bobby Dalbec got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Plawecki followed with his grounder to right.
They opened it to 5-3 on Martinez’s shot into the first row of Monster seats in the third.
Cole strumbles against Indians as Yanks drop 1 1/2 games out
NEW YORK (AP) — Gerrit Cole stumbled when the New York Yankees needed an ace-like outing, allowing seven runs over 5 2/3 innings in a costly 11-1 defeat to the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. After losing consecutive games by eight or more runs for the first time since May 2008, New York dropped 1 1/2 games behind Toronto for the second AL wild card and 2 1/2 games back of wild card leader Boston with 12 games left. Harold Ramirez hit a pair ofAfter losing consecutive games by eight or more runs for the first time since May 2008, New York dropped 1 1/2 games behind Toronto for the second AL wild card and 2 1/2 games back of wild card leader Boston with 12 games left.
But the Orioles rallied against Sawamura after Whitlock walked the leadoff batter, scoring three runs on Mancini’s double down the left-field line before they lost their major league-high 102nd game.
“This is huge, a huge amount of our team hasn't played a lot of time in the majors," Mancini said. “The teams we're competing with the rest of the way, and have been basically the whole month, are fighting for a playoff spot.”
Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi struck out eight over five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with one walk. The Red Sox have won his last six starts.
“The main focus is we're winning these games,” Eovaldi said. “Things will even out (for me).”
Making his sixth major league start, the 24-year-old Wells gave up five runs in five innings.
“He gave four there in the first couple of innings,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “It was nice to see him put up a zero in the fourth and fifth. I was really happy with our offense.”
KEEP THE KID IN
When asked why left-handed hitting slugger Kyle Schwarber wasn’t in the lineup, Cora didn’t hesitate to explain the decision.
Yankees top Red Sox 8-3, snap Boston's 7-game win streak
BOSTON (AP) — Gerrit Cole took a two-hit shutout into the sixth inning and Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run homer to lead the Yankees to an 8-3 victory Friday night, snapping Boston’s seven-game winning streak and pulling New York within one game of the Red Sox atop the wild-card standings. Cole (16-8) no-hit the Red Sox for 3 2/3 innings and New York coasted to its fourth straight win. In a potential preview of the AL wild-card matchup, Nathan Eovaldi (10-9) barely made it out of the first inning and couldn’t get through the third. Boston holds the first AL wild card, with the Yankees a game back and in position for the second spot.
“This is more about Bobby Dalbec than anything else,” he said. “Bobby has to play against every lefty.”
The 26-year-old Dalbec, a right-handed hitter, has 12 homers and 36 RBIs in his last 33 games, overcoming early-season struggles that saw him hitting only .174 with one homer and six RBIs a month into the season.
CHASING O’S HISTORY
CF Cedric Mullins needs one more home run to become the first in Orioles’ history with 30 homers and 30 stolen bases.
IT FEELS RIGHT
It was the fifth straight game that the Red Sox faced a left-handed starter, and they’ve scored seven or more runs in all of those games.
Orioles: INF Ramon Urías was scratched from the original starting lineup with a right leg injury that’s been nagging him for about a month. “He tried to run this morning, just didn’t feel great," Hyde said. … Mancini and C Pedro Severino were back in the lineup after having Saturday off.
Red Sox: Cora gave catcher Christian Vázquez the day off, figuring with an offday on Monday that two straight would be good for him.
Orioles: LHP John Means (5-7, 3.41 ERA) is slated to go Monday night when they open a three-game, interleague series at the Phillies.
Red Sox: Off Monday before opening a two-game, interleague series against the New York Mets at Fenway Park on Tuesday. Red Sox LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (11-8, 5.00) is in line to start the opener against RHP Marcus Stroman (9-12, 2.88).
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Ken Powtak, The Associated Press
Blue Jays Wild Card Watch: Toronto facing threat of elimination .
Welcome to Blue Jays Wild Card Watch, a daily snapshot of where Toronto stands in relation to its rivals in the playoff race. Each morning we'll briefly recap the previous night's action and tee up what comes next. What looked like an easy victory for the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday against the Baltimore Orioles quickly became a nervous finish. Toronto held on for a 6-4 win but Baltimore made it a nail-biter with a four-run eighth inning that saw the tying runs stranded at second and third base. Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo had to bring in closer Jordan Romano for a multi-inning, 32-pitch save, which could impact his availability for the rest of the weekend.