Berrios tops old team, Blue Jays increase lead, beat Twins

TORONTO (AP) — Jose Berrios pitched into the seventh inning to beat his former team, Bo Bichette homered in a five-run first inning and the Toronto Blue Jays increased their lead in the playoff race by beating the Minnesota Twins 5-3 Sunday.

Toronto now leads the New York Yankees by 1 1/2 games for the second AL wild-card spot. The Blue Jays are one game behind Boston for the top slot.

The Blue Jays have 13 games remaining. The Yankees have 12 and Boston has 11.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had three hits and an RBI as the Blue Jays improved to 15-3 in September. Toronto (84-65) is a season-best 19 games above .500.

Traded to Toronto on July 30 after six seasons with the Twins, Berrios (12-9) faced his ex-teammates for the first time. He allowed three runs and four hits to win for the fourth time in five starts.

“I felt like I was playing back in Puerto Rico in my backyard with a lot of friends I know from a long time ago,” Berrios said. “I enjoyed this a lot today.

Berrios improved to 5-3 with a 3.39 ERA in 10 starts with the Blue Jays.

“Since Jose got here, he’s been helping us a lot,” Guerrero said through a translator.

Berrios left to a standing ovation after giving up Ben Rortvedt’s solo home run in the seventh.

“This was a start we’ve seen before from Jose Berrios, except usually he’s walking into our dugout,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

“We were able to get a few licks in there, we just weren’t able to get enough,” he said.

Trevor Richards struck out three of the four batters he faced and Jordan Romano finished for his 19th save in 20 chances.

Minnesota lost for the sixth time in eight games.

With an off day Monday, Baldelli decided to empty his bullpen for the series finale. Minnesota opened with right-hander Luke Farrell, who hadn’t allowed a run in three September appearances.

Farrell (1-1) struck out George Springer to begin the game, but the Blue Jays followed with seven straight hits. Marcus Semien doubled and scored on Guerrero’s single, and Bichette followed with his 26th home run. Toronto’s 237 homers are the most in the majors.

Four more singles followed, including RBI hits by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Breyvic Valera, before Danny Jansen grounded into a fielder’s choice and Farrell retired Springer for a second time to end the inning.

Farrell is the son of former Blue Jays manager John Farrell. His brother, Shane, is Toronto’s scouting director.

Minnesota’s Nick Gordon hit a two-run double off Berrios in the fourth.


NEW YORK (AP) — Gerrit Cole stumbled when the New York Yankees needed an ace-like outing, allowing seven runs over 5 2/3 innings in a costly 11-1 defeat to the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

After losing consecutive games by eight or more runs for the first time since May 2008, New York dropped 1 1/2 games behind Toronto for the second AL wild card and 2 1/2 games back of wild card leader Boston with 12 games left.

Harold Ramirez hit a pair of two-run singles and drove in a career-high four runs before leaving with a right shoulder injury.

Cole (15-8) matched his 2021 high for earned runs and gave up 10 hits for the first time since June 30, 2017, with Pittsburgh. Cleveland rookie Eli Morgan (3-7) allowed one run and six hits in six innings.


ST. LOUIS (AP) — San Diego center fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. dropped Nolan Arenado’s bases-loaded popup and heaved the ball home, leading to a five-run first inning as St. Louis completed a three-game sweep and extended its winning streak to eight.

Tatis’ brutal error and mental mistake — he chose not to make an easy throw to second or third for a forceout — came one day after his dugout dustup with teammate Manny Machado.

Jake Arrieta (5-14) left after six batters and 20 pitches because of a right adductor groin strain. He allowed five runs — four earned — three hits and a walk while getting one out.

Alex Reyes (9-8) allowed one run over two innings, and Giovanny Gallegos struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 10th save.


BOSTON (AP) — Kike Hernandez’s game-tying RBI single caromed off the second-base bag and into shallow center field, sparking a three-run, seventh-inning rally that carried Boston to a three-game sweep and five-game winning streak.

J.D. Martinez had a solo homer and Kevin Plawecki added a two-run single for the Red Sox.

Trey Mancini had a three-run double for the Orioles, who lost 12 of the final 13 meetings against the Red Sox after sweeping a season-opening three-game series.

After Hirokazu Sawamura (5-1) gave up a two-run lead in the top of the seventh, Boston rallied against Conner Greene (1-1). Garrett Richards got three outs for his third save.

Baltimore has a big league-worst 102 losses.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Wily Peralta (4-3) gave up three hits in seven innings, Eric Haase homered off Shane McClanahan (9-6) and Dustin Garneau went deep against Nick Anderson.

Kyle Funkhouser pitched the ninth for his first save since college.

Tampa Bay leads the AL East by 6 1/2 games and is headed to its second straight division title.


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani struck out 10 but went winless in consecutive starts on the mound for the first time since June.

Yan Gomes’ second-inning home run and Matt Chapman’s drive in the fourth built a 2-0 lead against Ohtani, who is is 9-2 with a 3.28 ERA along with a .257 average at the plate, 44 homers and 94 RBIs.

Jed Lowie hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 10th off Raisel Iglesias (7-5), and Oakland won its fifth straight to remain within two games of Toronto for the second AL wild card. The A’s will finish with a winning record in four straight years for the first time since 1999-2006.

Jose Rojas tied the score in the ninth with an RBI single off Sergio Romo that sent a second run home when right fielder Seth Brown bobbled the ball and then threw the ball to the backstop for an error. Lou Trivino (6-7) got five outs for the win.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Rookie Jarred Kelenic homered, doubled twice and went 5 for 9 with three home runs, two doubles, three walks and seven RBIs in the three-game series.

Seattle remained four games behind Toronto for the second AL wild-card spot.

Kansas City was ensured its fifth straight losing season. The Royals won the 2015 World Series, went 81-81 the next year and haven’t finished above .500 since.

Logan Gilbert (6-5) cruised through seven innings, allowing one run on three hits.

Jackson Kowar (0-4) gave up five runs and seven hits in four innings.


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — José Abreu capped a five-run fourth inning with a two-run single that tied him with Kansas City’s Salvador Perez for the major league RBIs lead at 113.

Yasmani Grandal homered for the second game in a row and Chicago closed on making the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time. The White Sox lead the AL Central by 11 games over second-place Cleveland.

Cesar Herrnandez also had a two-run single in that outburst off Jordan Lyles (9-12) for a 5-0 lead.

Lucas Giolito (9-10) struck out four while allowing one run over 5 1/3 innings.


CINCINNATI (AP) — Clayton Kershaw (10-7) allowed one run and three hits over five sharp innings for his first win since June 27.

Gavin Lux and Corey Seager hit two-run homers and Will Smith went deep as the Dodgers won for the eighth time in nine games. They began the afternoon two games behind San Francisco in the NL West.

Cincinnati lost its eighth straight series and dropped three games back of St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot. Wade Miley (12-7) allowedg six runs and nine hits in a season-low three innings.


MIAMI (AP) — Lewin Díaz led off the bottom of the 10th with a two-run homer off Chad Kuhl (5-7), denying the Pirates what would have been their first series sweep this season.

Ben Gamel’s sacrifice fly off Steven Okert (2-1) gave the Pirates a 5-4 lead in the 10th after automatic runner Ke’Bryan Hayes advanced on a wild pitch.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Patrick Wisdom set a Cubs rookie record with his 27th homer, hitting a three-run drive that capped a five-run comeback in the eighth.

Pinch-hitter Willson Contreras started the rally with a 14-pitch plate appearance against Brad Boxberger (5-4). Adam Morgan (1-0) pitched one inning of shutout relief, and Michael Rucker retired Jace Peterson on a flyout for his first big league save.

Milwaukee’s magic number for wrapping up its first NL Central title since 2018 remained at three.


HOUSTON (AP) — Jose Siri and Chas McCormick hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth off Brandyn Sittinger (0-1).

AL West-leading Houston won for the fourth time in five games and cut Tampa Bay’s lead for the best record in the AL to 3 ½ games.

Peter Solomon (1-0) allowed one run in four innings of relief for his first big league win. Ryan Pressly pitched the ninth for his 25th save.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Juan Soto homered to back Paolo Espino (5-5), who allowed three hits in 5 2/3 innings and helped end the Rockies’ rare five-game road winning streak.

Soto hit a 454-foot drive in the third inning off Jon Gray (8-11) for his 26th home run this season. Soto is hitting .362 with a 1.178 OPS since the All-Star break.

Colorado went 7-2 on its first winning trip this year and is 25-52 on the road and 45-27 at Coors Field.

Kyle Finnegan got three outs to complete a five-hitter and earned his 10th save.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Eddie Rosario, acquired from Cleveland on July 30, became the second Atlanta player in a month to hit for the cycle. Adam Duvall also homered, his 36th.

Max Fried (12-7) allowed three hits in seven innings for the Braves, who began the day with a one-game lead over Philadelphia in the NL East. Will Smith got his 33rd save.

San Francisco’s NL West lead was cut to one game over the Dodgers. Anthony DeSclafani (12-7) gave up two runs and six hits in six innings.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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