CLEVELAND (AP) — Robbie Ray swallowed a bug, and ate up the Guardians again.
Ray started September the way he finished August with six solid innings as the Seattle Mariners won their sixth straight, 4-0 on Saturday night over a slumping Cleveland club searching for a spark.
Ray (12-8), who won the AL Cy Young Award last year with Toronto, went 3-0 in five starts last month. The left-hander allowed six hits, but not a costly one against Cleveland. He pitched seven scoreless innings against the AL Central-leading Guardians in a win last week.
Early in this outing, Ray was between pitches when a bug flew into this mouth.
“I ate one about a month ago in the backyard playing with the kids but never in a game before,” he said, smiling. “It kind of just went all the way down. I was taking a deep breath in and just sucked it in. It caught me off guard a little bit.
“That’s a first for sure.”
After Ray through 87 pitches on a heavy, humid night, Seattle’s bullpen took over and finished off the shutout with Canadian Matt Brash, Andrés Muñoz and Paul Sewald working one inning apiece.
Seattle, trying to end a 20-season playoff drought, has won 13 of 17.
The Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays are tied for the top wild-card spot, two games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays.
BLUE JAYS 4, PIRATES 1
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Bo Bichette hit a tiebreaking three-run double in the seventh inning to lift Toronto.
George Springer and Bichette each had two hits for the Blue Jays, who won for the fourth time in five games and maintained their lead for the third and final wild card in the American League. Toronto drew within six games of the division-leading New York Yankees in the AL East.
With the score tied 1-1, the Blue Jays loaded the bases against Duane Underwood Jr. (1-4) in the seventh on a single by Springer and walks to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Matt Chapman. Bichette then doubled to left field with two outs.
Pirates rookie Oneil Cruz opened the scoring with a run-scoring triple to the right-center field gap in third inning. The Blue Jays tied it an inning later when Raimel Tapia’s groundout scored Bichette, who led off with a single.
Yimi Garcia (4-4) got the win as the third of seven Blue Jays’ pitchers in a bullpen game. Garcia retired all four batters he faced. Jordan Romano pitched a perfect ninth for his 29th save.
RAYS 2, YANKEES 1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Corey Kluber limited the Yankees to a pair of singles over seven shutout innings and Tampa Bay withstood Aaron Judge’s 52nd home run to cut its deficit in the AL East to four games.
The first-place Yankees, who have seen their 15 1/2-game advantage slip away, have lost six of seven. This was the second of six games between the teams in a 10-day stretch. Yandy Diaz hit a two-run single in the third inning and the Rays made it stand up.
Judge boosted his major league homer lead with a leadoff drive in the ninth inning off Jason Adam. But Adam retired the next three batters for his eighth save.
Kluber (10-7) struck out four without a walk as the Rays improved their AL-best record since Aug. 3 to 20-9. It was the first time the 36-year old has thrown a pitch in the seventh inning since his no-hitter for the Yankees on May 19, 2021, at Texas.
Díaz put the Rays up 2-0 on a two-run single in the third that deflected off Clarke Schmidt (5-4) and into right field. Schmidt allowed two runs and four hits over 4 1/3 innings.
ORIOLES 8, ATHLETICS 1
BALTIMORE (AP) — Ryan Mountcastle hit two of Baltimore’s five homers and drove in four runs in a win over Oakland.
Adley Rutschman, Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander also homered for the Orioles, who have won four straight and are 1 1/2 games behind Toronto in the race for the American League’s third and final wild-card spot.
Baltimore improved to 71-61 and is 10 games over .500 for the first time since May 12, 2017.
The Athletics jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly by catcher Sean Murphy off Austin Voth.
Keegan Akin (3-1) earned the win, and Adam Oller (2-7) took the loss.
WHITE SOX 13, TWINS 0
CHICAGO (AP) — Dylan Cease came within one out of his first career no-hitter before Luis Arraez lined a single, and the Chicago White Sox pounded the Minnesota Twins 13-0 on Saturday night.
Cease, vying for Chicago’s third no-hitter in as many seasons, got a huge ovation when came out to start the ninth. With fans on their feet, he struck out Caleb Hamilton swinging on a 1-2 slider and retired Gilberto Celestino on a fly to center. Arraez with his line-drive single to right on a 1-1 pitch. After a meeting on the mound, Cease struck out Kyle Garlick to end the game for his first nine-inning complete game.
The only other runners Cease (13-6) allowed were when he walked Jake Cave in the third and Gilberto Celestino in the sixth. Cease had seven strikeouts. He threw 103 pitches, 68 for strikes.
Eloy Jiménez gave the White Sox a 4-0 lead in the first with a long, opposite-field drive to right-center against Tyler Mahle (1-1). Romy Gonzalez added a three-run shot in the fourth against Aaron Sanchez for his first career homer. Elvis Andrus added a grand slam in the eighth.
The White Sox rolled to their fourth straight win after losing 10 of 12, and pulled within one game of second-place Minnesota in the AL Central.
BRAVES 2, MARLINS 1
ATLANTA (AP) — Robbie Grossman drew a tiebreaking bases-loaded walk against Steven Okert in the ninth inning, bailing out closer Kenley Jansen and giving Atlanta the win.
Matt Olson singled to begin the ninth to break an 0-for-22 skid and advanced to third on Michael Harris II’s double. After Okert (5-2) intentionally walked Vaughn Grissom to load the bases and pinch-hitter Travis d’Arnaud lined out against a five-man infield, Grossman took drew the walk to win it.
The Marlins tied a season-high with their sixth straight loss. It was their 30th one-run loss of the year, most in the majors.
Jansen loaded the bases with no out on two singles and a walk. Jerar Encarnacion then hit a sacrifice fly to tie it the score at 1. Jansen was replaced by Tyler Matzek (4-2) with a 2-2 count on Miguel Rojas and runners on first and second with two outs. Matzek retired Rojas on one pitch.
Austin Riley homered in his fourth straight game and Bryce Elder pitched six strong innings in a spot start for Atlanta. The Braves have won four in a row and 19 of 24 to move within two games of the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.
GIANTS 5, PHILLIES 4
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Joc Pederson drove in three runs, drawing a bases-loaded walk that broke a sixth-inning tie and sending San Francisco past Philadelphia.
The Giants won their second in a row following a seven-game losing streak. The Phillies have lost five of six.
Philadelphia pitchers again had trouble with their control. With the score 3-all and the bases loaded with two outs, reliever Brad Hand (3-2) got ahead of Pederson in the count 0-2, then walked him to force home the go-ahead run.
Zack Littell (2-2) got one out in the sixth. Camilo Doval, the seventh Giants pitcher, worked a perfect ninth for his 19th save.
Jean Segura hit two doubles for the Phillies, including a hit in the sixth that made it 3-all. Bryson Stott homered for Philadelphia.
RED SOX 5, RANGERS 3
BOSTON (AP) — Brayan Bello pitched six scoreless innings in his first major league win and John Schreiber escaped a jam in the ninth, helping Boston beat Texas.
Bello (1-4) allowed three hits, struck out five and walked one in the longest of his eight big league appearances. Rafael Devers drove in two runs in Boston’s fourth straight victory. Devers, Xander Bogaerts and Trevor Story each had two hits.
Marcus Semien and Nathaniel Lowe homered for Texas in the eighth. Dennis Santana (3-7) pitched two innings of one-run ball in his first major league start, serving as an opener for the Rangers, who lost their seventh straight.
Boston manager Alex Cora turned to Matt Barnes for the ninth, and Texas loaded the bases on consecutive one-out singles by pinch-hitter Jonah Heim and Bubba Thompson. Schreiber then came in and struck out Semien on three pitches, and then got Corey Seager to ground out for his sixth save.
CARDINALS 8, CUBS 4
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt hit his 34th homer, and St. Louis won its third straight.
Tommy Edman and Tyler O’Neill also went deep for NL Central-leading Cardinals, who improved to 27-8 in their last 35 games. Yadier Molina had two hits and three RBIs, and Adam Wainwright (10-9) pitched five innings of four-run ball for the win.
Goldschmidt’s two-run homer off Drew Smyly (5-8) in the first lifted the All-Star slugger to an NL-best 107 RBIs. He also tops the NL with a .331 batting average and trails Philadelphia’s Kyle Schwarber for the NL lead in homers by two.
With the win, the Cardinals have won their last seven series and are 10-1-1 in their last 12 series.
In his first start since turning 41 on Aug. 30, Wainwright allowed nine hits, struck out two and walked two.
NATIONALS 7, METS 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Mets ace Max Scherzer exited with left side fatigue after five sharp innings and 67 pitches and NL East-leading New York lost to the Washington.
Scherzer, who missed almost seven weeks earlier this season with a left oblique strain, had his fastball clocked as high as 96 mph. He retired his final seven batters before heading straight to the tunnel leading to the Mets’ clubhouse following the fifth.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner allowed three hits — including Luis Garcia’s homer with one out in the first — and walked one with five strikeouts. Scherzer is 9-4 with a 2.26 ERA this year.
Lane Thomas hit a tiebreaking solo homer with one out in the eighth off Adam Ottavino (5-3) for the last-place Nationals. Garcia also doubled twice, then singled in a five-run ninth.
Patrick Corbin (6-17), who leads the majors in losses and has the highest ERA (6.28) among qualified pitchers, earned his second straight win. He gave up three hits, including Eduardo Escobar’s homer in the third, and walked one with five strikeouts in seven innings.
ROYALS 12, TIGERS 2
DETROIT (AP) — Kyle Isbel hit his first grand slam, Bobby Witt Jr. added a three-run home run and Kansas City routed Detroit.
Nick Pratto and MJ Melendez also homered for the Royals. Nate Eaton had four hits and drove in two runs. Winning pitcher Jonathan Heasley (3-7) gave up two earned runs and eight hits, with two walks and two strikeouts in seven innings.
Isbel, a 25-year-old outfielder, hit his grand slam over the wall in right field off Jason Foley in the fifth to give the Royals a 9-1 lead. The slam was Isbel’s fourth of the season and fifth of his two-year major league career.
Tucker Barnhart hit his first home run of the season for Detroit. Tigers starter Michael Pineda (2-7) allowed five runs and six hits with three strikeouts and two walks in four innings.
DODGERS 12, PADRES 1
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Julio Urias continued to solidify his spot atop the Dodgers’ rotation while Mookie Betts hit one of Los Angeles’ four home runs in a win that ended its three-game losing streak.
Trea Turner, Justin Turner and Will Smith also homered as the Dodgers ended their first skid of three games since they were swept by San Francisco in June. Betts’ home run was his career-best 33rd.
Manny Machado homered for the Padres, who had won four in a row.
Urias (15-7) gave up just one run on two hits over six innings to earn the win for the 11th time in his last 13 starts to go along with a loss and a no-decision.
San Diego’s Sean Manaea (7-8) gave up eight runs and nine hits over 4 1/3 innings while allowing three home runs.
ANGELS 2, ASTROS 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Matt Duffy’s bloop single in the 12th inning drove in Taylor Ward with the winning run Saturday night as the Los Angeles edged Houston.
The Angels came through on a night Shohei Ohtani reached 400 major league strikeouts but did not factor in the decision.
With Ward as the automatic runner in the 12th, Max Stassi drew a walk from Will Smith with two outs. Seth Martinez (0-2) came on and Astros center fielder Mauricio Dubon appeared to make a diving catch on Duffy’s ball, but first-base umpire Jordan Baker said Dubon didn’t come up with it in time.
Instant replay upheld the call as the ball hit the ground before Dubon was able to get his glove on it.
Former Blue Jay Ryan Tepera (3-2) pitched a scoreless inning to pick up the win.
BREWERS 8, DIAMONDBACKS 6
PHOENIX (AP) — Tyrone Taylor hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning after pinch-hitter Rowdy Tellez’s tying solo shot in the ninth, lifting Milwaukee past Arizona.
Andrew McCutchen pulled the Brewers within 6-5 with a run-scoring single in the eighth inning after an out call at the plate was overturned on review. Tellez, a former Blue Jay, then tied it with his 28th homer of the season in the ninth, a solo shot off Ian Kennedy.
Taylor, who also hit a solo homer in the fifth inning, put the Brewers up 8-6 with his homer off Joe Mantiply (2-5) in the top of the 10th.
Devin Williams (6-3) worked a perfect ninth and Taylor Rogers struck out two and fielded Stone Garrett’s hard grounder in the 10th to close out his 30th save.
Daulton Varsho homered and had two RBIs for the Diamondbacks. Arizona rookie Corbin Carroll hit a run-scoring single in the first inning to become the fourth Diamondbacks player — first since 2009 — to have six RBIs in his first five big league games.