This isn't a choke like September 2011, but an Old Man in the Mountain-style disintegration - one minute the division is theirs, the next they're crumbling into pieces on the valley floor. 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. Pomeranz has a 1.37 WHIP with 171 strikeouts in 167 2/3 innings.
Rangers 5, Athletics 3: Shin-Soo Choo tied a career high with his 22nd home run, helping Texas end a seven-game skid and making a victor out of left-hander Martin Perez, who threw six innings to earn his career-best 13th victory. By the third inning, the 'Stros offense came to life, led by some deadly clutch hitting by Alex Bregman, who drove in all three of the Astros runs.
ROCKIES 9, DODGERS 1 Nolan Arenado hit the first of the Rockies' four home runs, Chad Bettis picked up his second victory since his return from testicular cancer and Colorado beat visiting Los Angeles to remain on the verge of clinching its first postseason spot since 2009.
Vogt was 2-for-4 for the Brewers, delivering their first three runs. In his career, Pomeranz is 1-2 with a 4.09 ERA and 30 strikeouts against Houston. The right-hander struck out 5 and walked 1 among 101 pitches. With two out in the fifth, Bregman, who doubled in the first, connected for his 19th of the season.
Rays 7, Orioles 0: As consolation prizes go, Tampa Bay earned one by locking up third place in the American League East with a win over Baltimore.
It likely will become official late Saturday afternoon because the Yankees' 2-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays wasn't enough to stay alive. Third place represents their highest finish in the division since 2013. Starters generally have three or more whereas relievers are generally limited to two pitches they can throw effectively.
Brian Dozier's three-run homer proved the difference as the Twins doubled up the Tigers, 6-3. Anyhow, the loser of this one would host the Twins the very next day in the AL Wild Card Game.
Ian Kennedy combined with five relievers on a six-hitter in the Royals' 2-1 win against the Diamondbacks. The Astros are trying to catch the Cleveland Indians for the best record in the American League, so the team does still have something left to play for this season. Milwaukee has won four of its last six games. Eduardo Escobar also homered and added a pair of RBI singles to help Minnesota crawl out of a 3-0 hole.
PHILADELPHIA - Behind three home runs, Philadelphia beat NY on the same day it announced that manager Pete Mackanin will not be retained following the 2017 season.
Aaron Judge led off the inning with a 484-foot homer to left-center that cleared the bleachers and landed in front of the retired numbers display, his 52nd.
Phillies 6, Mets 2: Behind three home runs, Philadelphia beat NY on the same day it announced that manager Pete Mackanin will not be retained following the 2017 season. Matt Harvey (5-7, 6.70 ERA) took the loss, surrendering four runs while walking three and striking out three in his four innings.