NEW YORK — Center fielder Ender Inciarte robbed Yoenis Cespedes of a winning homer for the final out, and the New York Mets were handed another costly loss by last-place Atlanta when the Braves rallied for a 4-3 victory Wednesday night.
With two runners on in the ninth, Cespedes launched a drive to deep right-center. Inciarte raced to the wall and timed his jump perfectly, catching the ball just above the orange line atop the fence.
He held up his glove in excitement as Cespedes turned and walked slowly off the field. Some fans in the stunned crowd still had their hands on their heads as they filed up the aisles toward the exits.
New York remained tied with St. Louis and San Francisco in the NL wild-card race after all three teams lost Wednesday.
Bartolo Colon and Jeurys Familia failed to protect a three-run lead for the Mets. An error by normally sure-handed first baseman James Loney helped Atlanta tie it with an unearned run in the eighth.
Inciarte had an RBI groundout against Familia (3-4) in the top of the ninth, sending the Braves to their fifth straight victory.
Ian Krol (2-0) struck out pinch-hitter Kevin Plawecki with the bases loaded to end the eighth, and Jim Johnson got three outs for his 17th save.
Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to a career-best 25 games and has reached base safely in 41 straight. Asdrubal Cabrera and Rene Rivera homered for the Mets.
DODGERS 9, GIANTS 3
LOS ANGELES — Yasiel Puig’s three-run homer highlighted a five-run first inning and the Dodgers routed the Giants, extending their NL West lead to six games with 10 remaining.
The Dodgers pounded out 12 hits in taking two of three from the rival Giants, who remained tied in the NL wild-card race after both the Mets and Cardinals lost earlier. The Dodgers conclude the regular season with three games at San Francisco next week.
Kenta Maeda (16-9) allowed two runs and three hits in five innings while improving to 4-0 against the Giants this season. The right-hander struck out six and walked one in making his 30th start of the season for just the second time in his career. Maeda is one win from tying Rick Sutcliffe’s record by a rookie set in 1979.
Matt Moore (11-12) gave up six runs and seven hits in one inning, walked one and struck out none in a messy outing for the left-hander who had pitched exceptionally well at Dodger Stadium.
CUBS 9, REDS 2
CHICAGO — John Lackey pitched seven solid innings for his first win in six weeks, Miguel Montero drove in three runs, and Chicago swept Cincinnati.
Kris Bryant hit his 38th homer and Dexter Fowler also connected to help major league-leading Chicago move a season-high 42 games over .500. The Cubs (97-55) also matched their win total from a year ago and lowered their magic number for clinching home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs to two over Washington.
Lackey (10-8) allowed two runs and five hits in his first win since he beat the Angels on Aug. 9. The right-hander, who retired his last 14 batters, went 0-1 with a 2.55 ERA in his previous four starts.
The last-place Reds lost for the seventh time in eight games. They managed just five runs and 19 hits in the three-game series against the NL Central champions.
Robert Stephenson (2-2) was pulled with two out in the fourth inning.
RED SOX 5, ORIOLES 1
BALTIMORE — Boston scored five unearned runs in the sixth inning after first baseman Chris Davis’ throwing error and beat Baltimore to pad its AL East lead.
Andrew Benintendi hit a three-run homer for the Red Sox, who will try to complete a four-game sweep Thursday night. Boston pulled five games ahead of Toronto and six in front of Baltimore.
Clay Buchholz (8-10) allowed one run and three hits over seven innings for the Red Sox. Boston’s seven-game winning streak, which began with a sweep of the Yankees, is its longest since an identical run early in the 2014 season.
Baltimore is a game behind the Blue Jays for the top AL wild card. The Orioles have lost five of seven, all at home. Ubaldo Jimenez (7-12) was the loser.
YANKEES 11, RAYS 5
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Rookie Gary Sanchez hit two more homers and drove in five runs, Masahiro Tanaka won despite allowing four home runs in the third inning and New York beat Tampa Bay.
The Yankees moved within 2 1/2 games of Baltimore for the second AL wild-card spot. New York also would have to jump over Seattle, Houston and Detroit to earn a postseason berth.
Sanchez hit a three-run shot in a four-run second off Alex Cobb (1-1) and added his 19th homer in 43 games this season on a solo drive in the sixth against Justin Marks.
Tanaka (14-4) won his seventh straight decision.
Bobby Wilson, Evan Longoria, Brad Miller and Corey Dickerson all homered in the third. Miller later hit another solo shot to give him 30 homers this season.
MARINERS 2, BLUE JAYS 1, 12 INNINGS
SEATTLE — Robinson Cano drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning and the Seattle beat Toronto to avoid a series sweep.
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (10-15), who pitched five scoreless innings in his last start Friday, came in on the 12th for his first relief appearance after 29 starts.
Guillermo Heredia reached on a two-base throwing error by third baseman Josh Donaldson to open the 12th. Ben Gamel followed with an attempted sacrifice bunt, and first baseman Ryan Goins appeared to have Heredia at third, but the ball popped out of Donaldson’s glove on the tag.
Cano then followed with a run-scoring fly to left, quieting the decidedly pro-Blue Jays crowd, bolstered for the third straight game by thousands of fans from western Canada.
Nick Vincent (4-4) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.
After being blanked on two hits for eight innings, the Blue Jays tied it in the ninth on Jose Bautista’s 19th home run, a one-out solo shot to left off closer Edwin Diaz.
NATIONALS 8, MARLINS 3
MIAMI — Max Scherzer pitched 6 2-3 innings to tie for the National League victory lead with 18, helping Washington beat Miami.
Scherzer (18-7) allowed three runs and struck out eight to push his major league-leading total to 267. He’s tied for with Chicago’s Jon Lester for the most wins in the NL.
Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run homer and Trea Turner also homered for the Nationals. They ended a four-game losing streak and lowered their magic number to three to win the NL East over the New York Mets.
Tom Koehler (9-12) allowed four runs — three earned — in four innings for the Marlins.
Christian Yelich hit a solo home run and Derek Dietrich hit a two-run homer to chase Scherzer in the seventh and cut it to 6-3.
INDIANS 4, ROYALS 3
CLEVELAND — Corey Kluber allowed two runs and struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings, and the Cleveland beat Kansas City to eliminate the reigning World Series champions from the AL Central race.
The Indians reduced their magic number for clinching the Central to five.
Carlos Santana was 4 for 5 with an RBI single in the eighth. Jose Ramirez drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth with his third double of the game.
Kluber (18-9) matched his career high in wins and is 10-1 in his last 14 starts, strengthening his case to win his second AL Cy Young Award in three years.
Cody Allen allowed Salvador Perez’s leadoff homer in the ninth, but recorded his 28th save in 31 opportunities. Ian Kennedy (11-10) was the loser.
ANGELS 5, RANGERS 4
ARLINGTON, Texas — Mike Trout hit his 28th homer and Jered Weaver went six innings for his 150th victory in an Angels uniform, helping Los Angeles beat the AL West-leading Texas.
The magic number for Texas (90-63) to win its second consecutive AL West title remained at two after the loss and second-place Houston’s victory at Oakland.
Trout’s three-run drive off Derek Holland (7-9) in the fifth put the Angels up 5-1.
Weaver (12-12) struck out six and allowed four runs. He joined Chuck Finley (165) as the only pitchers to win 150 games for the Angels. A California native who has spent all 11 of his MLB seasons with the Angels, Weaver is 150-93 in 321 career starts.
Andrew Bailey worked the ninth for his fourth save.
ROCKIES 11, CARDINALS 1
DENVER — Nolan Arenado hit a grand slam, German Marquez pitched five solid innings for his first major league win and Colorado slowed St. Louis’ playoff chase.
Arenado made it 6-1 in the second with his NL-leading 39th homer.
Marquez (1-0) made his first big league start after three appearances out of the bullpen. He allowed one run and struck out three. At 21 years, 212 days, Marquez was the second-youngest pitcher in Rockies’ history to earn his first win. The youngest was Jamey Wright at 21 years, 206 days.
Luke Weaver (1-4) allowed seven hits and six runs in two innings.
ASTROS 6, ATHLETICS 5
OAKLAND, Calif. — Evan Gattis homered twice, catcher Jason Castro threw out a runner to end the game and Houston beat Oakland to complete a series sweep.
Oakland scored on second baseman Jose Altuve’s fielding error with two outs in the ninth inning to pull to 6-5. Castro then threw out pinch-runner Arismendy Alcantara trying to steal second.
Collin McHugh (12-10) won his fifth straight decision, allowing two runs and six hits over 5 2-3 innings. Five relievers combined to record the final 10 outs, with former A’s setup man Luke Gregerson retiring three batters for his 15th save.
Gattis reached 30 homers. He hit a two-run drive in the sixth off Daniel Mengden (2-8) for a 4-1 lead and connected again in the eighth.
PIRATES 4, BREWERS 1
MILWAUKEE — Sean Rodriguez hit a home run and a two-run single, Andrew McCutchen went deep, rookie Chad Kuhl pitched six strong innings and Pittsburgh beat Milwaukee.
The Pirates won their sixth straight at Miller Park, and sixth of seven overall.
McCutchen helped the Pirates jump out to an early lead for the second consecutive game. He hit a 2-2 pitch that just slipped by the left-field foul pole for his 24th home run.
Rodriguez’s two-run single finished the scoring in the first off starter Jimmy Nelson (8-15) and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Rodriguez hit his 18th home run of the season in the fourth. He has homered in four of his last five games.
Kuhl (5-3) struck out six and walked one. Tony Watson got his 15th save.
PHILLIES 8, WHITE SOX 3
PHILADELPHIA — Tommy Joseph homered, doubled and drove in three runs and Jerad Eickhoff outpitched Chris Sale in Philadelphia’s victory over Chicago.
Joseph has 21 home runs, third most among rookies in the majors. The Phillies teed off on Sale (16-9), tagging the ace for six runs and seven hits in four innings.
Eickhoff (11-13) pitched seven innings and gave up six hits, including solo home runs by Adam Eaton, Todd Frazier and Alex Avila homered, and struck out six.
Phillies outfielder Tyler Goeddel left in the sixth after being hit in the head by a pitch from Chris Beck. Goeddel was the fourth Philadelphia player to be hit in the game, tying a franchise record.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, PADRES 2
SAN DIEGO — Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, including a go-ahead, two-run shot in the sixth inning, and Zack Greinke pitched six strong innings to lead Arizona past San Dieg.
The Diamondbacks pulled into a tie with the Padres for fourth place in the NL West at 64-88.
Goldschmidt’s 22nd and 23rd homers provided all of Arizona’s runs and came off rookie Luis Perdomo (8-10). Goldschmidt hit a solo shot into the seats in left field with two outs in the first for a 1-0 lead, and a go-ahead, two-run homer into the Padres’ bullpen in left-center with two outs in the sixth.
Greinke (13-7) held San Diego to two runs and six hits while striking out seven and walking four. He improved to 8-1 lifetime against the Padres. Daniel Hudson had a four-out save, his fourth.