Sox again fail to clinch East crown

Boston Red Sox Hanley Ramirez

The Astros won the first two games, remaining alive in the chase for the American League's top record - and keeping the Red Sox from clinching their second straight AL East title. As such, if the Red Sox win either of their final two games or the Yankees lose either of their next two games, then the Red Sox will be AL East champs for a second straight year.

The Yankees probably will be in the playoffs as a Wild Card team.

If Boston and NY wind up even, they will play a one-game tiebreaker Monday at Yankee Stadium for the division crown, with the loser going to the wild-card game.

After going 8-1 in their final road trip of the season, the Red Sox have slumped at home, losing two consecutive and falling to 1-4 on their homestand. "Not for the first (and certainly not for the last) time, we found ourselves shouting hosannas at closer Ken Giles, who shut down the Sox once and for all in the ninth, though not before giving us palpitations, it must be said, after allowing a two-out double to Hanley Ramirez, the Sox" DH. The All-Star third baseman missed 38 games with a stress reaction after fouling a ball off his left shin. (7-3, 4.01 ERA) has battled injuries in the second half, limiting him to just five starts since the break.

The Diamondbacks will host the NL Wild Card Game. They trusted no one other than Aroldis Chapman and his arm almost fell off against the Cleveland Indians as the Cubs made him throw 15.2 innings in 13 appearances over 17 games. After Kyle Schwarber struck out, Happ drove his 24th home run to left. We've seen him pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen this month and he's thrived in the new role, tossing six shutout innings over three appearances. In his career, Pomeranz is 1-2 with a 4.09 ERA and 30 strikeouts against Houston. The Yankees are now two back of the Red Sox in the AL East.

Red Sox: INF/OF Eduardo Nunez (knee) took groundballs and ran sprints, but manager John Farrell said he is "still not game ready".

From there, Aroldis Chapman pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with one strikeout for his 22nd save.

If you only count Price's production as a reliever, those pitchers own a combined 1.05 ERA this season.

Instead, the Yankees probably will have a workout day at Yankee Stadium on Monday for Tuesday night's AL Wild Card Game there against the Minnesota Twins. Mitch Moreland was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run for the Red Sox. Chad Bettis picked up his second win since returning from testicular cancer, holding the NL West champs to one run over seven innings and retiring his last 14 batters.

Giancarlo Stanton has 59 home runs going into Miami's game at home against Atlanta. The Brewers stayed alive with a 5-3 win over the Cardinals but were unable to gain any ground on the Rockies, who closed their magic number to 1 with a 9-1 win over the Dodgers at Coors Field. Pedroia 2B 3. Benintendi LF 4.

Vogt was 2-for-4 for the Brewers, delivering their first three runs.

A Yankee for nine seasons, the 37-year-old left-hander will become a free agent after the season. Reigning Cy Young Award victor Rick Porcello has taken a couple steps back, posting a 4.65 ERA.

Perez (13-12) allowed just two hits over the first six innings and had a 5-0 lead to work with before the A's came to life late.

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