Astros keep Red Sox celebration on hold

Astros keep Red Sox celebration on hold

Houston's second straight win over the Red Sox kept Boston's magic number for clinching the American League East at one, with the New York Yankees winning earlier in the day to stay alive.

There is no team hotter in baseball than the Houston Astros right now and they've now managed to win two straight games at Fenway Park.

Heading into Saturday, the Yankees needed to win their final two regular-season games and two Boston losses to pull even after 162 games to set up a tie-breaker for the division title on Monday at Yankee Stadium.

After going 8-1 in their final road trip of the season, the Red Sox have slumped at home, losing two in a row and falling to 1-4 on their homestand.

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

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Boston was playing from behind from the get-go as starter Eduardo Rodriguez loaded the bases in the first inning before giving up a two-out, bases clearing double to Marwin Gonzalez and it was all downhill from there. We need to get our guys ready for the playoffs. Pomeranz has a 3.58 ERA in 16 home starts. Eric Thames added an RBI single in the ninth as the Brewers remained two games behind Colorado for the National League's second wild-card spot.

Cleveland maintained its one-game lead - and owns the tiebreaker - over Houston for the best record in the AL with two games remaining.

CHICAGO - Ian Happ slugged his 24th home run, a three-run shot in the eighth inning that helped Chicago to a come-from-behind victory over Cincinnati.

Thankfully for Boston, Yankees starter Sonny Gray fell apart in the fifth inning as the Rays scored seven runs to take an 8-4 lead en route to an eventual 9-6 victory. But the Red Sox have already screwed up the playoffs simply by needing an all-out, postseason-intense performance from left-hander Drew Pomeranz on Saturday. The Blue Jays also might, as the team has a chance to not finish last place in the AL East. They also watched as Jose Quintana got knocked out in a four-run fifth. Rafael Devers drove in another run with double to center field.

Chad Bettis (2-4) made one of the best starts this season for the Rockies since coming back from testicular cancer and returning to the rotation on August 14, giving up four hits and one run, and retiring the final 14 batters he faced. If they win with rookie German Marquez pitching against the Dodgers, or Milwaukee loses at St. Louis, the Rockies claim a berth and will play at Arizona in the NL wild-card game Wednesday. Rodriguez would last only 1.2 innings and allowed five earned runs, the last two of which came via a home run to Alex Bregman.

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Arsenal fans were understandably happy for Giroud but, in typical fashion on Twitter, they found a way to have a dig at someone. The home side had another good chance when Gordeichuk cut the ball back for Aleksandr Volodko whose shot was high and wide.

Morton allowed four hits in 5 1/3 innings. Brian Duensing (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth.

Giancarlo Stanton has 59 home runs going into Miami's game at home against Atlanta. The right-hander struck out 5 and walked 1 among 101 pitches.

Zimmerman had doubles in his first two at-bats, then hit a two-run homer off A.J. Schugel in the sixth to give the Nationals a 4-0 lead.

The concept of a bullpen game in the postseason may seem far-fetched but so is expecting to win with Porcello or Fister. In his career, McCullers 0-0 with a 4.91 ERA and 9 strikeouts against Boston.

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