TORONTO — Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer, Aaron Sanchez struck out 10 and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on Tuesday night in the opener of their AL wild-card showdown.
Ezequiel Carrera also homered as the Blue Jays won for the sixth time in eight games. They lead the wild-card standings by two games over the Orioles with five to play.
Baltimore leads Detroit by one game for the league’s final playoff spot.
Orioles slugger Chris Davis was ejected for arguing with plate umpire Will Little after striking out against Joe Biagini in the seventh, the third time in three at-bats Davis was caught looking. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter also was tossed after he came out to argue.
Sanchez (14-2) struck out the first four hitters he faced and five of the first six.
Kevin Gausman (8-12) allowed five runs, four earned, and seven hits in six innings.
YANKEES 6, RED SOX 4
NEW YORK — Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius and Tyler Austin homered off David Price, and New York ended Boston’s 11-game winning streak and delayed its AL East title celebration.
David Ortiz, starting his final series in the Bronx, went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts and stranded seven runners. He ended the game by fanning with two on against Tyler Clippard.
Having clinched at least a wild-card berth last weekend, Boston is five games ahead of second-place Toronto with five games left, needing just one victory or a Blue Jays loss to ensure the division championship.
Price (17-9) allowed six runs and 12 hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Blake Parker (1-0) got two outs for his first victory since July 10, 2014 while with the Cubs. Clippard got his second save.
METS 12, MARLINS 1
MIAMI — Noah Syndergaard struck out eight and allowed one run in six innings, and New York totaled 19 hits to beat grieving Miami.
Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes each hit his 31st homer for the Mets, who maintained a half-game lead on the Giants for the first NL wild card, with St. Louis 1 1/2 games behind New York.
The game was the Marlins’ second since the death of ace Jose Fernandez in a boating accident.
Syndergaard (14-9) threw 93 pitches after missing a scheduled start Saturday with strep throat and lowered his ERA to 2.60, third-best in the majors. He’ll return to pitch the regular-season finale Sunday at Philadelphia if needed.
Tom Koehler (9-13) allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings.
GIANTS 12, ROCKIES 3
SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey homered for his 1,000th hit, Hunter Pence also went deep one batter later and San Francisco beat Colorado.
Brandon Crawford tripled twice for San Francisco, which remained a half-game behind the Mets for the top NL wild card and one game up on the Cardinals for the second spot.
Matt Moore (12-12) matched his career high with 11 strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings, rebounding from his worst start this season.
German Marquez (1-1) allowed six runs and 12 hits over 4 1/3 innings.
ASTROS 8, MARINERS 4
HOUSTON — George Springer had three hits, including a two-run double during a six-run sixth inning, and Houston beat Seattle.
The victory leaves Seattle two games behind Baltimore for the second AL wild card and cuts Houston’s deficit in the race to 2 1/2 games.
The Astros got five hits off Felix Hernandez (11-7) in the sixth, but only two of the six runs scored in the inning were earned because of two errors.
Rookie Jandel Gustave (1-0) yielded no hits and no runs with one walk in 1 1/3 innings for his first career win.
TIGERS 12, INDIANS 0
DETROIT — Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in five runs in the first two innings, and Justin Verlander struck out 12 to lift Detroit over a Cleveland lineup full of backups.
The Indians clinched the AL Central title Monday night in Detroit, and their starting lineup Tuesday was without Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor, Mike Napoli and Jose Ramirez. Detroit took full advantage, beating Cleveland for only the third time all year and pulling within a game of Baltimore for the AL’s second wild card.
Verlander (16-8) went 7 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and a walk.
Mike Clevinger (2-3) lasted only two innings, allowing Cabrera’s two-run double in the first and his three-run homer in the second.
CUBS 6, PIRATES 4
PITTSBURGH — Chris Coghlan hit a three-run triple and John Lackey worked in and out of trouble over five innings, helping Chicago beat reeling Pittsburgh.
Coghlan’s second-inning drive off the wall in right-center against Ryan Vogelsong (3-7) gave the NL Central champions all the offense they would need to win for the seventh time in their last eight games. Chicago improved to 101-56, the club’s highest victory total since it won 104 games in 1910.
Lackey (11-8) worked around five hits and three walks to win his last regular season start.
Felix Pena recorded the final two outs for his first career save.
The Pirates were eliminated from postseason contention, ending a run of three straight playoff appearances.
NATIONALS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 2
WASHINGTON — Max Scherzer struck out 10 and allowed two runs in six innings and Anthony Rendon hit a go-ahead three-run homer as Washington beat Arizona to inch closer to home-field advantage in the NL Division Series.
Scherzer (19-7) was not at his Cy Young Award candidate best, uncharacteristically missing spots and allowing six hits, including a leadoff home run by Jean Segura.
After the Nationals didn’t get a hit through five innings against Arizona starter Matt Koch, Rendon hit a three-run shot off Randall Delgado (4-2) with two outs in the sixth, his 19th of the season.
CARDINALS 12, REDS 5
ST. LOUIS — Playing with a heavy heart, Aledmys Diaz hit his first career grand slam and St. Louis finished with five home runs.
St. Louis is a game behind the Giants for the second NL wild card.
Jhonny Peralta had a three-run homer and drove in four runs for the Cardinals, who had lost four of five. Matt Carpenter, Randal Grichuk and Matt Adams also homered.
Cincinnati starter Robert Stephenson (2-3) ended up allowing five runs in four innings.
Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright (13-9) gave up five runs and 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings.
RANGERS 6, BREWERS 4
ARLINGTON, Texas — Jonathan Lucroy hit a go-ahead two-run double against his former team in the sixth inning to help Texas beat Milwaukee.
The Rangers have a half-game lead over Boston for the best record in the American League.
Lucroy’s hit made a winner of reliever Tony Barnette (7-3).
Lucroy, who played six-plus seasons for the Brewers before being traded to the Rangers on Aug. 1, pulled a pitch from Jimmy Nelson (8-16) down the left-field line into the corner.
Sam Dyson earned his 37th save.
PADRES 7, DODGERS 1
SAN DIEGO — Rookie Hunter Renfroe hit his first career grand slam and also had a three-run shot to drive in all the runs in San Diego’s victory over the NL West champs.
Renfroe hit a high, arcing three-run homer to left field off Kenta Maeda (16-10) with two outs in the first inning. His grand slam to straightaway center came on a full-count pitch from Louis Coleman with two outs in the eighth.
His seven RBIs were one shy of the team record.
Paul Clemens (4-5) held the Dodgers to one run and three hits in five innings, struck out two and walked one.
ROYALS 4, TWINS 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Billy Burns’ sacrifice fly scored Raul Mondesi in the 11th inning as Kansas City beat Minnesota, staving off postseason elimination.
The defending World Series champions are five games behind Baltimore for the second AL wild card with five to play.
Rookie Brooks Pounders (2-1) picked up the victory. Left-hander Tommy Milone (3-5) was charged with the loss.
WHITE SOX 13, RAYS 6
CHICAGO — Melky Cabrera and Leury Garcia homered to back Chris Sale, and Chicago routed sloppy Tampa Bay.
Sale (17-9) allowed three runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts over seven innings.
Rays starter Alex Cobb (1-2) lasted three innings, allowing eight runs and eight hits in the Rays’ fifth straight loss.
BRAVES 7, PHILLIES 6
ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman hit his career-high 33rd homer and stretched his career-best hitting streak to 29 games, helping Atlanta begin its final homestand at Turner Field with a victory.
David Hernandez (3-4) ended a scoreless streak of 10 2/3 innings and took the loss. Mauricio Cabrera (4-1) got the win for the Braves, and Jim Johnson got his 18th save.
ANGELS 8, ATHLETICS 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Rookie Jefry Marte hit his first career grand slam in a seven-run fourth inning and Los Angeles beat Oakland.
Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (8-14) held the A’s to one unearned run in eight innings. Right-hander Daniel Mengden (2-9) was charged with eight runs in three-plus innings.