Red Sox fail again to clinch East title

Blue Jays tag Porcello with 16th loss

Blue Jays tag Porcello with 16th loss

Houston's second straight win over the Red Sox kept Boston's magic number for clinching the American League East at one, as the New York Yankees won earlier in the day to stay alive. Both clubs already are assured playoff spots.

The Red Sox had but one goal for the final homestand of the season: wrap up the American League East before the weekend.

"We just have to go win another game", said outfielder Mookie Betts. Nobody said it was going to be easy. If it was easy, it wouldn't be fun ... A win will clinch the AL East title and with Pomeranz on the mound, we see that happening.

Entering play on Friday (Sept. 29), the New York Yankees trail the Boston Red Sox by three games in the division.

Ken Giles pitched the ninth for his 34th save, yielding a two-out double to Hanley Ramirez before Rafael Devers grounded out to end it.

The AL West champion Astros won their fifth straight game and posted their 100th victory of the season.

Eduardo Nunez is expected to play in a simulated game on Sunday as he rehabs his injured knee. I'm proud of our guys, obviously. Top seed of course gets home-field advantage throughout the AL bracket plays the victor of the AL Wild Card Game in the ALDS. "We'd like 102, plus 11 in October", Houston Manager A.J. Hinch said. He has logged 197 1/3 innings this season and held opponents to a.179 batting average. The Astros reached 100 victories for the second time in team history, having won 102 in 1998.

The Yankees probably will be interested in bringing back Sabathia on a one-year deal if the sides can agree on money because he's had his best season since he was 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA and 200 innings pitched in 2012. Jose Berrios picked up his 14th victory by retiring four hitters in a relief stint as he prepares for a possible playoff start.

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More than anything, their wide range of finishes show how competitive the AL East has been over the last few seasons. Tanaka (13-12) retired his first 14 batters before Ezequiel Carerra reached on an infield single up the middle.

The Yankees maintained the two-run lead until the eighth when the Blue Jays loaded the bases with one out and settled for one run. With a second consecutive NL Central title in hand and their sights set on another World Series championship, the Cubs held sluggers Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant out of the lineup.

Two games left. It would help the blood pressure of all parties involved if the Red Sox take care of business on Saturday and at least give themselves Sunday off. But they still found a way to pull it out. After Kyle Schwarber struck out, Happ drove his 24th home run to left. Detroit's Matt Boyd, the Oregon State alum who had his best career start with a one-hit shutout on September 17, allowed five runs in five innings.

Trevor Bauer is 17-9 after fanning seven while allowing a run and four hits over six innings of the Indians' 10-1 laugher over the White Sox. He's 5-1 with a 0.84 ERA since returning from the disabled list on August 19.

Giancarlo Stanton has 59 home runs going into Miami's game at home against Atlanta. Four relievers combined to blank Boston on one hit.

The Dodgers (NL West champs) will play the NL Wild Card Game victor in the NLDS.

Brewers 5, Cardinals 3: Chase Anderson worked into the eighth inning and Stephen Vogt knocked in three runs as Milwaukee beat St Louis. All of this is for the right to visit the Diamondbacks in the NL Wild Card Game.

The concept of a bullpen game in the postseason may seem far-fetched but so is expecting to win with Porcello or Fister. Just have to win one game.

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