Pinch hitter Cal Raleigh hit a tiebreaking, walk-off home run with two outs in the ninth inning as the Seattle Mariners ended their 20-season playoff drought with a 2-1 victory against the visiting Oakland Athletics on Friday night.
Raleigh pulled a 3-2 slider from A's reliever Domingo Acevedo (3-4) deep down the right field line and off the windows of the Hit It Here Cafe on the second deck, sparking a raucous celebration.
The Mariners clinched an American League wild-card berth and made the playoffs for the first time since their 116-victory season of 2001, snapping the longest postseason skid in the four major North American sports.
Rookie right-hander Matt Brash (4-4) got the victory after throwing a scoreless inning in relief of fellow right-hander Logan Gilbert, who pitched eight innings for the first time in his two-year career. Oakland rookie left-hander Ken Waldichuk went five innings and allowed one run on three hits.
Rays 7, Astros 3
Yandy Diaz finished 3-for-4 with a walk and delivered a game-breaking two-run double in the sixth inning that carried visiting Tampa Bay to a victory over Houston and a club-record fourth consecutive postseason berth.
Diaz capped the Rays' three-run sixth with his double to center field off Astros left-hander Framber Valdez (16-6), driving home Jose Siri and Taylor Walls for a 6-2 lead. Siri had previously extended the lead to 4-2 with his double to center that scored Francisco Mejia.
Tampa Bay secured the second of three wild-card bids in the American League. Despite the loss, the Astros clinched home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs when the New York Yankees fell to the Baltimore Orioles 2-1.
Braves 5, Mets 2
Austin Riley and Matt Olson hit back-to-back homers off Jacob deGrom in the second inning for Atlanta, which moved into a tie for first place with visiting New York by taking the opener of a pivotal three-game series.
The Mets need one win over the next two days to clinch the season series and the tiebreaker should the teams finish with the same record.
Dansby Swanson homered in the sixth for the Braves, who got five innings of one-run ball from Max Fried (14-7). Mets starter Jacob deGrom (5-4) gave up three runs in six innings but struck out 11.
Phillies 5, Nationals 1
Rhys Hoskins hit his 30th home run and Bailey Falter pitched six scoreless innings as Philadelphia ended a five-game losing streak by beating host Washington.
J.T. Realmuto, who stole three bases, finished with two hits for the Phillies, as did Stott, Marsh, Segura and Hoskins. Joey Meneses had two hits for the Nationals.
The game was originally planned to be the first game of a day-night doubleheader, but remnants of Hurricane Ian arrived in the area sooner than expected and the nightcap was rescheduled for Saturday night as part of a twin bill.
Brewers 1, Marlins 0
Corbin Burnes recorded his career-best 12th win of the season after tossing eight scoreless innings as host Milwaukee edged Miami. The Brewers remain a half-game behind the Phillies in the chase for the third National League wild card.
Burnes (12-8) scattered four hits and struck out seven without walking a batter before exiting after 103 pitches. His win total eclipsed that of last season, when he went 11-5 en route to earning the NL Cy Young Award.
Devin Williams logged his third strikeout to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning and secure his 15th save.
Orioles 2, Yankees 1
Jordan Lyles pitched seven-plus stellar innings and Baltimore briefly remained mathematically alive in the American League wild-card race with a victory at New York. However, the Seattle Mariners' later victory over the Oakland A's eliminated the Orioles from contention.
Lyles (12-11) allowed one run on four hits. He struck out nine, walked one and kept Aaron Judge from hitting his 62nd home run and breaking the AL record set by Roger Maris in 1961 with the Yankees.
Judge was 1-for-2 with two walks to extend his season-high on-base streak to 28 games. Oswaldo Cabrera homered for the Yankees, who lost for the second time in 11 games.
Cardinals 2, Pirates 1
Albert Pujols hit his 701st career homer as St. Louis edged visiting Pittsburgh.
Pujols received a commemorative gold bat for his 700th homer in pregame ceremonies, then he hit No. 701 leading off the fourth inning. Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty (2-1) allowed one run on four hits in six innings.
Johan Oviedo (4-3) allowed two runs on six hits in six innings for the Pirates.
Cubs 6, Reds 1
Nico Hoerner had three RBIs and Chicago continued its late-season surge at the expense of visiting Cincinnati, opening a season-ending six-game series with a victory.
Adrian Sampson (4-5) allowed just three hits and one run over seven innings for the Cubs. He walked two and tied a season high with six strikeouts.
The only run off Sampson came from Jake Fraley's home run to lead off the second inning, his 12th of the year for the Reds.
Guardians 6, Royals 3
Jose Ramirez hit a three-run home run to key a five-run sixth inning as host Cleveland defeated Kansas City.
Ramirez now has 122 RBIs, second in the American League to Aaron Judge. Aaron Civale (4-6) allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits in six innings. Emmanuel Clase got his 40th save in 44 opportunities.
Royals starter Brady Singer (10-5) allowed six runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. All of the hits came in his final two innings.
Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 0
Right-hander Alek Manoah pitched six scoreless innings, George Springer hit a three-run home run and Toronto defeated visiting Boston.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. added a two-run homer and Raimel Tapia had a solo shot for Toronto in the opener of a three-game series. The Blue Jays clinched a playoff spot on their off-day on Thursday when the Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles for their third straight win.
Whit Merrifield had three hits, two runs and an RBI for the Blue Jays, who are trying to clinch the No. 1 wild-card spot.
Twins 7, Tigers 0
Joe Ryan notched his fourth victory in four starts against Detroit this season with six shutout innings and visiting Minnesota ended the Tigers' six-game winning streak.
Ryan (13-8) gave up five hits and walked one while striking out eight. In those four wins against the Tigers, Ryan allowed just two runs in 23 2/3 innings while recording 33 strikeouts.
Carlos Correa hit a two-run home run, while Gio Urshela had two hits, scored two runs and drove in another. Tigers starter Tyler Alexander (4-11) gave up three runs and five hits in five innings.
Angels 4, Rangers 1
Jo Adell and Luis Rengifo homered and Reid Detmers tossed six strong innings as Los Angeles downed Texas in Anaheim, Calif.
The Angels posted their fifth victory in a row, their longest winning streak since taking six straight games from April 24-29. Los Angeles got two hits apiece from Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Taylor Ward and Adell in support of Detmers (7-6), who yielded one run and four hits.
The Rangers managed just five hits, including two from Adolis Garcia, who drove in their only run of the game with a double in the fourth. Texas took its third loss in a row and fell for the sixth time in seven games.
Dodgers 10, Rockies 1
Clayton Kershaw threw six scoreless innings and Cody Bellinger hit a three-run home run as Los Angeles rolled to a victory over visiting Colorado in the opener of the final regular-season series for both teams.
Before the game was complete, the Dodgers had secured the best record in the major leagues when the Houston Astros lost to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Dodgers will have the home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, including a potential Game 7 of the World Series.
Kershaw (11-3) gave up just five hits and two walks while striking out four. Rockies starter Chad Kuhl (6-11) gave up six runs on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings as Colorado lost for the 10th time in its past 11 games.
White Sox 3, Padres 1
Rookie Davis Martin and five relievers held the Padres to one run and Yu Darvish had his six-start winning streak snapped as visiting Chicago scored a win in San Diego.
The Padres took their third straight loss after the Phillies and Brewers both won on Friday, tightening the National League wild-card race.
San Diego still has a magic number of three to clinch a wild-card berth, but Philadelphia is now only 1 1/2 games behind the Padres in the race for the No. 2 berth. Milwaukee is a half-game back of the Phillies.
Giants 10, Diamondbacks 4
Evan Longoria bombed three- and two-run home runs in his first two at-bats and San Francisco closed out September with a shellacking of visiting Arizona in the opener of a three-game series.
Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Wynns also homered for the Giants, who despite a fifth straight win were formally eliminated from the National League wild-card race when the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals earlier in the day.
Arizona starter Merrill Kelly (13-8), who had been 3-0 against the Giants this season, was pulled after 4 2/3 innings, charged with eight runs and nine hits.
--Field Level Media