Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger is greeted by third base coach Chris Woodward (45) after hitting a home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Cody Bellinger hit his 38th homer to match the National League single-season record for rookies as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 Saturday to inch closer to the NL West title.
Chase Utley had two doubles and scored twice to help the Dodgers reduce their magic number to win the division to five. Rich Hill and five relievers combined on a four-hitter.
Los Angeles also moved seven games ahead of Washington in the race to secure home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. The Dodgers have won four straight since dropping 11 in a row.
Anthony Rendon homered for the Nationals, who have lost four of five since clinching the NL East last Sunday. A.J. Cole (2-5) allowed three runs in five-plus innings.
Hill (10-8) struck out seven while pitching five innings of one-hit ball. Kenley Jansen worked a perfect ninth for his 38th save.
ASTROS 8, MARINERS 6
HOUSTON (AP) — Dallas Keuchel threw six solid innings while Carlos Beltran had three hits and two RBIs to help the Astros lower their magic number for clinching the AL West title to one.
The Astros (90-58), who reached 90 wins for the first time since 2004, can secure the franchise’s seventh division title with one more win or a loss for the Los Angeles Angels. Los Angeles was scheduled to play Texas on Saturday night.
Keuchel (13-4) allowed one run — Jean Segura’s 11th homer in the sixth — and four hits. Joe Musgrove worked two innings for his first save.
Seattle right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (5-6) was charged with six runs and eight hits in four-plus innings.
INDIANS 8, ROYALS 4
CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor hit an RBI double and the Cleveland Indians bounced back after having their record streak stopped at 22 by beating the Kansas City Royals to move to the brink of an AL Central title.
Lindor’s double in the sixth off Jason Hammel (8-12) gave the All-Star shortstop an extra-base hit in a club-record 10 straight games. The major league record is 14 straight, shared by Chipper Jones (2006) and Paul Waner (1927).
Carlos Carrasco (16-6) pitched into the seventh as the Indians improved to 32-5 in their last 37 games.
With the win, the Indians clinched at least a tie for the division and dropped their magic number for repeating as champs to one. If Minnesota loses later at home against Toronto, Cleveland will clinch and take the next step in getting back to the World Series.
A victory by the Twins would mean the Indians could lock up the division on Sunday, when ace and Cy Young co-favorite Corey Kluber starts the finale of the season’s longest homestand at Progressive Field.
CUBS 4, CARDINALS 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Hendricks pitched effectively into the eighth inning, Addison Russell homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals to increase their NL Central lead.
Chicago has won five straight and leads Milwaukee by 3 1/2 games and St. Louis by five in the division.
Albert Almora Jr. had three hits and two RBIs for the Cubs.
Russell was activated before the game after being sidelined since early August with plantar fasciitis of the right foot. He pinch hit in the eighth and hit a solo shot against Tyler Lyons to the back of the left-field bleachers.
Hendricks (7-5) allowed one run and five hits in a season-high 7 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one.
REDS 2, PIRATES 1
CINCINNATI (AP) — Sal Romano pitched a career-high eight shutout innings and Jesse Winker homered as the Cincinnati Reds beat the reeling Pittsburgh Pirates.
Romano (5-6) allowed five hits, struck out six and walked none while improving to 3-1 over his last six starts. Elias Diaz’s one-out double in the fifth was the only runner to get past first base against the rookie right-hander.
Pittsburgh avoided a shutout when Andrew McCutchen hit his 26th homer in the ninth. But Cody Reed came in with a runner on first and retired Gregory Polanco on a grounder to second for his first career save.
The Pirates have dropped four straight and nine of 10.
YANKEES 9, ORIOLES 3
NEW YORK (AP) — Didi Gregorius and Greg Bird homered for the second straight game while rookie Jordan Montgomery pitched six shutout innings as the New York Yankees downed the Baltimore Orioles for their fourth win in a row.
The Yankees (82-66) extended their stretch of winning seasons to 25, the second-longest such streak in major league history behind their own 39 straight from 1926-64.
The Yankees began the day three games behind AL East-leading Boston. New York was atop the wild-card race, four games ahead of Minnesota.
Gregorius and Bird each hit three-run homers and Todd Frazier added a two-run shot as the Yankees won for the seventh time in eight games. They are a season-high 16 games over .500.
Baltimore has lost nine of 10 as it continues to fall out of playoff contention.
Montgomery (8-7) scattered four hits in his fifth start against the Orioles this year. The rookie left-hander struck out six and walked one.
Jeremy Hellickson (8-10) took the loss.
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