Sports White Sox clinch AL Central title for 1st time since 2008
Chapman homers, Montas shuts down White Sox as A's end skid
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The consistency of Frankie Montas every fifth day has meant so much to the Oakland Athletics down the stretch. He pitched them back into the win column Wednesday night, and the defending AL West champions desperately needed it. Matt Chapman homered early, Montas won his third straight start and the A's beat the Chicago White Sox 5-1 to snap a four-game losing streak. “It’s been a tough four days. Getting the win tonight feels like it puts us in the right direction,” Montas said. Montas (12-9) allowed one run and six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in seven sparkling innings.
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox clinched their first AL Central title since 2008 with a 7-2 win over the Cleveland Indians in a doubleheader opener Thursday behind two home runs by Tim Anderson.
Chicago, in its first season under 76-year-old Hall of Famer manager Tony La Russa, is going to the postseason in consecutive years for the first time.
Anderson hit his fifth leadoff home run of the season and added a three-run drive in the second for his sixth career multi-homer game. Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez hit consecutive homers in the second for a 7-0 lead off Aaron Civale (11-5).
José Abreu hits 3-run homer as White Sox top Red Sox 4-3
CHICAGO (AP) — When Carlos Rodón needed more, he found it. Pitching on extended rest in the middle of a pennant race, it was an encouraging sign for the left-hander — and the Chicago White Sox. Rodón worked five effective innings and José Abreu hit a three-run homer, leading the White Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night. Luis Robert added an RBI single as Chicago bounced back from a 2-4 road trip. The AL Central leaders also got steady innings from Craig Kimbrel and Liam Hendriks after the Red Sox rallied in the seventh. “Everybody had each other's backs,” Kimbrel said. Rodón (12-5) allowed one run and three hits in his first start since Sept. 1.
Aaron Bummer (4-5) retired all three batters in the fifth.
Cleveland won the second game 5-3 when Oscar Mercado hit a two-run homer in the seventh off José Ruiz (1-3), making a winner of Emmanuel Clase (4-5).
DODGERS 7, ROCKIES 5
DENVER (AP) — Max Muncy homered off Lucas Gilbreath (2-2) to start the 10th, and Los Angeles closed within one game of NL West leader San Francisco.
Kenley Jansen (4-4) pitched the ninth and Blake Treinen got his sixth save when C.J. Cron hit into a game-ending double play.
PADRES 7, GIANTS 6
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jurickson Profar raced home on Victor Caratini’s infield single off Dominic Leone (3-5) with one out in the 10th, denying San Francisco its 100th win. San Diego stopped a five-game losing streak. and remained six games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card.
Abreu, White Sox closer to AL Central title, beat Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Lucas Giolito feels like the Chicago White Sox are right where they need to be as they close in on their first AL Central title since 2008. They are focused, energetic — and winning series. Giolito pitched into the sixth inning, José Abreu matched the major league RBI lead and Yasmani Grandal homered for the second game in a row as the White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 7-2 on Sunday in the rubber game of their weekend series. “We were chirping. We were completely in the game. Pitch to pitch, I could feel that energy like from the first inning," Giolito said. “Today was a really good example of everybody being in the game. ...
Ross Detwiler (3-1) pitched the 10th for the win.
CARDINALS 8, BREWERS 5
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, and St. Louis overcame a 5-0 deficit to extend its longest winning streak since 1982 to 12 games.
On a day Adam Wainwright faltered early, St. Louis rallied with one run in the fifth, four in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth. The Cardinals moved five games ahead of Cincinnati and Philadelphia, who played later Thursday, for the second NL wild card.
LEADING OFF: Bassitt back, Chisox try to clinch, Max starts
A look at what’s happening around the majors on Thursday: ___ Oakland right-hander Chris Bassitt promised to return to the mound by season’s end following a frightening 100 mph line drive to the face on Aug. 17. He’ll get his chance in the series finale against Seattle at the Coliseum. Bassitt (12-4, 3.22) underwent facial surgery Aug. 24 to repair three cheekbone fractures after being struck by a liner off the bat of Brian Goodwin of the White Sox. “It’s been a little bit of a torture chamber,” Bassitt said. “I’m happy to finally be back and, hopefully, help the team win.
Milwaukee has lost five straight since clinching its fourth consecutive playoff berth on Sept. 18, four to St. Louis.
T.J. McFarland (4-1) pitched a one-hit seventh, and Giovanny Gallegos struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 12th save, Aaron Ashby (3-1) was the loser.
MARINERS 6, ATHLETICS 4
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Chris Bassitt pitched three scoreless innings less than a month after surgery to repair three facial fractures, but Seattle rallied against Oakland’s bullpen for a four-game sweep.
White Sox clinch AL Central with 7-2 win over Indians
CLEVELAND (AP) — Tony La Russa stood in the visiting dugout, soaking in the scene as the Chicago White Sox celebrated their first AL Central title since 2008. The Hall of Fame manager came out of retirement for moments like this. “It’s like fantasy island because you never thought you’d have this chance -- and here we are, the division champions,” La Russa said after a 7-2 victory over Cleveland in a doubleheader opener Thursday. “I’m glad the guys were able to win the first game today and not delay it. They did it the first time they had the chance to.” A wild-card team last season, the White Sox are going to the postseason in consecutive years for the first time.
Seattle matched its season high with its fifth straight win and moved within two games of the idle Yankees for the second AL wild-card spot. Oakland fell four games back of New York.
Bassitt was struck by a 100 mph line drive off the bat of Brian Goodwin of the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 17 and had surgery seven days later. He allowed one hit in three scoreless innings.
Mitch Haniger’s 35th homer tied the score in the sixth, and Luis Torrens followed with a go-ahead, two-run homer off Jake Diekman (3-3).
Joe Smith (3-4) pitched a scoreless fifth and Paul Sewald got his 10th save.
DIAMONDBACKS 6, BRAVES 4
PHOENIX (AP) — Carson Kelly hit a tying three-run homer off Jacob Webb (5-4) in a five-run seventh,and Daulton Varsho followed with a go-ahead double for last-place Arizona against the NL East-leading Braves.
Seeking its fourth straight division title, Atlanta saw its lead cut to 2 1/2 games over Philadelphia.
Arizona, which began the day tied with Baltimore for the major leagues’ worst record at 48-104, announced before the game that manager Torey Lovullo was given a one-year contract extension through 2022.
Sean Poppen (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh for his first major league victory. J.B. Wendelken got his second save.
The Associated Press
MLB playoff bracket tracker: Live scores, updates, highlights from key 2021 AL wild card, NL West games .
Sporting News is tracking the most important plays during the final game of the MLB season, with the AL Wild Card and NL West title up for grabs.The AL wild card has four teams separated by a single game. If the Red Sox and Yankees both win, the craziness is averted and the two rivals will face off in the wild card matchup on Tuesday. However, a loss for either opens up a path for some the Mariners and/or Blue Jays to sneak in and force a play-in game just to reach the wild card game.