Dodgers win NL West; Yankees’ Judge hits 56th, 57th homers

New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge (99) celebrates his home run against the Boston Red Sox with Giancarlo Stanton, right, during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman celebrates his home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of a baseball game in Phoenix, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Clayton Kershaw pitched seven dominant innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers won the NL West for the ninth time in 10 seasons, beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0 Tuesday night.

Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy and Joey Gallo homered as the Dodgers boosted the best record in the majors to 98-43. They lead second-place San Diego by a whopping 20 1/2 games.


Manager Dave Roberts’ team will have plenty of time to get set for its 10th straight year in the postseason. The Dodgers’ first playoff game is almost a month away, on Oct. 11.

The only season the Dodgers didn’t clinch the division in their recent run was last year — they won 106 times but still finished one game behind San Francisco. Los Angeles then beat the Giants in the NL Division Series before falling to eventual champion Atlanta in the NLCS.

A crowd of 21,143, mostly clad in Dodger blue, watched the clincher. It’s the Dodgers’ 20th NL West crown since the majors split into divisions in 1969.

Kershaw (8-3) was sharp throughout, allowing just two singles and one walk while striking out five. He threw just 82 pitches, 55 for strikes. He lowered his season ERA to 2.44. Caleb Ferguson and Craig Kimbrel finished the combined three-hit shutout.

Merrill Kelly (12-6) lasted five innings, losing for the first time in 14 starts.


BOSTON — Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 56th and 57th home runs, Gleyber Torres had a go-ahead three-run double in the 10th inning and New York held on to beat Boston.

Judge, playing in New York’s 142nd game, is four from tying the American League home run record Roger Maris set with the Yankees in 1961.

After going homerless in five games, Judge had a pair of tying solo homers, off Nick Pivetta in the sixth and Garrett Whitlock in the eighth.

Judge has 10th multi-homer games this season, one shy of the AL record Hank Greenberg set in 1938, and 26 in his career. Judge’s three hits raised his average to .310, and he leads the major leagues in home runs and with 123 RBIs.

New York, which came from behind three times, reopened a six-game AL East lead, its largest since Sept. 1.

Torres broke a 4-4 tie in the 10th against Jeurys Familia (2-3). Clay Holmes (6-3) was the winner.


MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota rookie Joe Ryan and reliever Jovani Moran combined to pitch no-hit ball until Bobby Witt Jr. doubled with one out in the ninth inning against Kansas City.

Ryan was pulled after seven innings and 106 pitches, four shy of his big league high. There has never been a no-hitter at Target Field, and the crowd of 19,005 booed when Twins manager Rocco Baldelli sent Moran to the mound to start the eighth.

Moran worked a perfect eighth. He struck out Drew Waters to begin the ninth before walking pinch-hitter Hunter Dozier and MJ Melendez. The Royals hadn’t come close to a hit until Witt lined a 1-2 fastball for a clean drive to deep left for an RBI double, setting off more boos from the fans.

Carlos Correa, Jose Miranda and Gio Urshela hit home runs as the Twins snapped a three-game skid. Ryan (11-8) struck out nine, walked two and set down his last 12 batters. He has never gone past seven innings in his career and had lost three of his previous four decisions.

Kris Bubic (2-12) was the loser.


CLEVELAND — Los Angeles star Mike Trout’s home run streak ended at seven games, one shy of the major league record, and AL Central-leading Cleveland beat the Angels.

Trout went 0 for 3 with three routine flyballs and a walk. The three-time AL MVP was chasing the mark of eight straight games with a home run, set by Pittsburgh’s Dale Long in 1956 and matched by Don Mattingly of the Yankees in 1987 and Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. in 1993.

Oscar Gonzalez’s two-run homer in the sixth broke a 1-all tie and gave Cleveland its fifth straight win. José Ramirez started the inning with a double and Gonzalez lined an 0-2 pitch from José Suarez (6-7) off the railing atop the wall in left field.

Rookie Kirk McCarty (3-2) held Los Angeles to one hit in 3 2/3 innings for Cleveland, which has won seven of eight. Emmanuel Clase gave up a two-out single in the ninth, but struck out Matt Duffy and converted his 35th save in 38 chances.


SAN FRANCISCO — Kyle Wright earned his major league-leading 18th victory, Dansby Swanson homered and drove in three runs and Atlanta beat San Francisco to move with a half-game of the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.

Wright (18-5) struck out four while pitching into the sixth. The right-hander won his fifth straight decision. Swanson hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the third and added an RBI single in the ninth.

Jakob Junis (4-6) was the loser.


NEW YORK — Jacob deGrom was outpitched by Adrian Sampson and frustrated New York mustered little on offense against Chicago.

Ian Happ homered deep into the second deck on a 99 mph heater from deGrom (5-2), and No. 9 batter David Bote added his second home run of the season for the Cubs.

Sampson (2-5) allowed two hits and four walks in six shutout innings. He struck out three.

New York’s Pete Alonso launched his 34th homer in the ninth against Brandon Hughes, who got five outs to finish it.


ST. LOUIS — Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in three and the Milwaukee Brewers used eight pitchers to beat NL Central-leading St. Louis.

Down three starters to injuries, the taxed Brewers staff was stretched even further when starter Matt Bush left after just 15 pitches because of right groin discomfort. Bush was the starter in what the club had already designated as a bullpen game.

Luis Perdomo (2-0) was the winner, allowing one run in three innings. Perdomo, Brad Boxberger, Hoby Milner, Justin Topa, Taylor Rogers and Brent Suter combined to retire 20 of 22 batters from the third inning on.

McCutchen hit his 17th homer of the season, a two-run blast off Jordan Montgomery (8-4) in the fifth, to break a 4-all tie.


SEATTLE — Yu Darvish limited Seattle to two hits over eight innings, Wil Myers provided the primary offensive highlight with an RBI double and San Diego beat the Mariners 2-0.

San Diego stayed two games ahead of Milwaukee in the chase for the final wild-card spot in the NL, while Seattle dropped into a tie with Tampa Bay a half-game behind Toronto in the AL race for the top spot.

Darvish (14-7) needed just 94 pitches to get through the eight innings. He struck out seven and the only batters to reach base came on Eugenio Suárez’s single in the first inning and Ty France’s base hit leading off the seventh.

Josh Hader — who entered with a 13.50 ERA in 11 appearances since being traded to San Diego — gave up a two-out single to Julio Rodríguez in the ninth, but struck out Ty France after a 10-pitch at-bat for his third save with the Padres. Logan Gilbert (12-6) was the loser.


WASHINGTON — Ryan Mountcastle hit a tying homer and Baltimore beat Washington.

The Orioles moved within five games of Tampa Bay for the final wild-card spot. The Nationals have lost four in a row to fall a season-high 44 games under .500 at a majors-worst 49-93.

Mountcastle led off the fifth with his 22nd homer, a shot to right-center off former Orioles prospect Hunter Harvey (1-1) to tie it at 3. Gunnar Henderson then doubled, went to third on Ramón Urías’ single and scored on Austin Hays’ bloop double.

Baltimore’s Dean Kremer (7-5) allowed three runs in five-plus innings. Félix Bautista worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth for his 13th save in 14 attempts.


CHICAGO — Eloy Jiménez hit a three-run homer and Miguel Cairo directed Chicago to another victory, topping Colorado.

The White Sox improved to 10-4 since Cairo stepped in for manager Tony La Russa, who is awaiting clearance to return to the dugout after dealing with a heart issue. The 77-year-old La Russa was at the ballpark before the game, but it was Cairo’s lineup card once again.

Michael Kopech (5-9) pitched five effective innings for Chicago. José Abreu also went deep, and Liam Hendriks handled the ninth for his 33rd save.

Alan Trejo hit a two-run homer for last-place Colorado. Chad Kuhl (6-9)was the loser.


ARLINGTON, Texas — Mark Mathias hit his second homer of the game, a solo shot with one out in the ninth, and Texas overcame a five-run deficit to beat Oakland.

Mathias had three extra-base hits and drove in four runs. Adolis Garcia added a two-run homer and had three RBIs for Texas. Mathias hit his decisive homer to left off Joel Payamps (3-5).

Brock Burke (7-3), the last of three Texas pitchers, threw two scoreless innings.

A’s rookie Dermis Garcia had a three-run home run in the first inning and had a run-scoring double in the fifth while setting a career high with four RBIs.


DETROIT — Rookie Hunter Brown returned to his hometown to pitch six strong innings, leading Houston past Detroit.

Brown (2-0), who allowed two runs on five hits, was making his second career start in front of a loud group of friends and family. He grew up in suburban Detroit and attended Wayne State, about a mile from Comerica Park.

Yordan Alvarez homered and scored three times to help the Astros improve to 6-0 against the Tigers this season. Ryan Pressly struck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save.

Tigers starter Drew Hutchison (2-8) was the loser.



TORONTO — Pinch-hitter Whit Merrifield drove in two runs with a seventh-inning double, George Springer added a two-run homer and Toronto beat Tampa Bay for a doubleheader split between AL wild-card contenders.

Toronto (80-62) remained a half-game ahead of the Rays (79-62). Anthony Bass (4-3) got one out for the win. Colin Poche (4-2) was the loser.

In the opener, Tampa Bay’s Jeffrey Springs (8-4) pitched six shutout innings to win for the fifth time in six decisions, Randy Arozarena drove in two runs and Díaz had three hits and scored twice. Julian Merryweather (0-3) was the loser.



CINCINNATI — Kevin Newman hit an RBI single in the seventh inning, four pitchers combined on a one-hitter and Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati for day-night doubleheader sweep.

Bryan Reynolds homered for the second straight game and drove in two runs as Pittsburgh hit three home runs for the second game in a row and won the opener.

Chase De Jong (5-2) won the second game. Raynel Espinal (0-1) was the loser.

In the opener Johan Oviedo (1-1) pitched hitless ball into the fifth and allowed one hit over five shutout innings. Luis Cessa (3-3) was the loser.


MIAMI — Nick Maton hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning off Sandy Alcantara, leading Philadelphia past Miami and tightening the Phillies’ grip on the second spot in the NL wild-card race.

Philadelphia won its fourth in a row. Alcantara (12-8) fell to 1-3 in six starts against the Phillies this season.

Bailey Falter (5-3) allowed one run and four hits in six innings, striking out four. The Phillies then got perfect innings from relievers José Alvarado and Seranthony Domínguez, and David Robertson followed with a perfect ninth for his 20th save.

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