Semien helps Blue Jays move past Yanks to playoff position


TORONTO (AP) — Marcus Semien became the fifth second baseman to hit 40 home runs in a season, and the Toronto Blue Jays moved back into a playoff position by beating the Minnesota Twins 6-2 Saturday.

Teoscar Hernández hit a three-run homer, Bo Bichette had three hits and two RBIs and the Blue Jays improved to a big league-best 14-3 in September.

Toronto (83-65) moved a half-game ahead of the New York Yankees (83-66) for the second AL wild-card berth, one game behind Boston (85-65).

Semien homered off Bailey Ober (2-3) and joined ​​Rogers Hornsby, Davey Johnson, Ryne Sandberg, and Brian Dozier as the only second basemen to hit 40 home runs in a season.

Steven Matz (13-7) won his fourth straight decision, allowing two runs and three hits in 5 2/3 innings.


NEW YORK (AP) — Catcher Gary Sánchez failed to catch Oscar Mercado’s foul popup, leading to a seven-run fifth inning capped by Andrés Giménez’s three-run homer.

Franmil Reyes hit an RBI double off Albert Abreu in the fifth and a two-run homer in the sixth against Andrew Heaney.

Yu Cheng put the Indians ahead with a second-inning homer off Luis Gil (1-1) and added a two-run double in the fifth against Abreu. José Ramírez hit his 34th homer in the eighth against Heaney.

Aaron Civale (11-4) pitched six scoreless innings of four-hit ball in his third start since returning from missing over two months with a sprained middle finger on his right hand.


BOSTON (AP) — Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer off Mike Baumann (1-1) and drove in four runs, carrying Boston to its fourth straight win.

Bobby Dalbec added a two-run double, and Hunter Renfroe and Rafael Devers each drove in a run for Boston. Bogaerts and Devers both had three hits.

Ryan Mountcastle hit his 30th homer, a two-run shot, and Austin Wynns added a solo drive for the Orioles, who lost for the 11th time in the last 12 meetings against the Red Sox after sweeping a season-opening three-game series.

Tanner Houck (1-4) pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jeimer Candelario hit a three-run homer in the first off Ryan Yarbrough (8-6) and Dustin Garneau went deep in the second. The Rays lead the AL East by 7 1/2 games.

Tigers reliever José Ureña (4-8) allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings, on Ji-Man Choi’s double-play grounder. Michael Fulmer got his 10th save by stranding Mike Zunino on second when Brett Phillips struck out and Yandy Díaz grounded into a game-ending double play.

Jordan Luplow homered for the Rays.


CINCINNATI (AP) — Max Scherzer (15-4) allowed two hits in seven shutout innings, struck out seven and lowered his MLB-best ERA to 2.08, improving to 7-0 with a 0.78 ERA in nine starts since Los Angeles acquired him from Washington on July 30.

Kenley Jansen got his 34th save for the Dodgers, who began the day two games behind NL West-leading San Francisco. Cincinnati entered one game behind St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot.

Sonny Gray (7-8) was the loser as the Dodgers took advantage of two errors by third baseman Mike Moustakas in a three-run fifth that included Gavin Lux’s two-run triple.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Kyle Freeland (6-8) allowed seven hits and struck out seven over six innings, and Trevor Story hit a three-run homer.

Brendan Rodgers had three hits, including his 14th homer three pitches into the game for a 2-0 Colorado lead.

Patrick Corbin (8-15) gave up his league-leading 35th and 36th home runs. He allowed six runs — five earned — in four innings.


The Associated Press