Mike Freeman, Yasmani Grandal

Cleveland’s Mike Freeman dives safely across the plate as White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal fields a throw Thursday during the Indians’ 5-4 win. Tony Dejak/Associated Press

CLEVELAND — José Ramírez delivered a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning and the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 Thursday night for a four-game sweep in a matchup of playoff-bound teams.

The victory pulled the Indians within one game of Chicago for the fourth seed and home-field advantage in the first round of the American League playoff. Minnesota leads the White Sox by one game in the AL Central with three to play.

The Indians have won five straight and the White Sox have lost five in a row.

Chicago scored three times in the top of the seventh to take a 4-1 lead, but Cleveland answered with four in the bottom half. Ramírez’s two-out double to center off Carlos Rodón (0-2) drove in César Hernández and Delino DeShields.

On Tuesday night, Ramírez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning as Cleveland clinched a playoff spot with a 5-3 win.

Ramírez went 2 for 3 in the series finale and is hitting .485 with eight homers and 20 RBI over his last 13 games.

BLUE JAYS 4, YANKEES 1: Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven shutout innings and Toronto clinched its first postseason spot since 2016 while further damaging visiting New York’s chances of hosting a first-round playoff series.

ROCKIES 5, GIANTS 4: Raimel Tapia hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 11th inning, and visiting Colorado kept San Francisco from gaining ground in the NL wild-card race.

The Giants (28-28) dropped behind idle Cincinnati for the first NL wild card. The Rockies are three games behind the Giants for the second wild card with four games remaining, but also need to leapfrog three other teams.

METS 3, NATIONALS 2: Robinson Chirinos homered and drove in three runs, and New York kept its flickering postseason hopes alive with a win at Washington.

ASTROS 12, RANGERS 4: Alex Bregman’s three extra-base hits included one of Houston’s four home runs, and the visiting Astros trimmed their magic number to one for clinching the American League’s last playoff spot.

PIRATES 7, CUBS 0: Chad Kuhl pitched seven sharp innings and Colin Moran and Bryan Reynolds had home runs among their three hits apiece in Pittsburgh’s home victory.

ROYALS 8, TIGERS 7: Salvador Perez hit a three-run home run, Maikel Franco hit a go-ahead homer in the sixth inning and Kansas City won at home.

NOTES

DRAFT: Major League Baseball is moving its amateur draft to the All-Star break, beginning next season.

A three-day draft of at least 20 rounds will begin Sunday, July 11, as part of All-Star week in Atlanta, the league announced. The first night, which has traditionally included only the first round, will take place before the All-Star Futures Game.

MLB has staged its draft in June since its inception in 1965, and it had broadcast the first night live from MLB Network’s studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, since 2009.

The later draft date will allow college players to attend the draft, similar to what the NFL and NBA have long done. The College World Series usually concludes in mid-to-late June, creating conflicts.

METS: Longtime baseball executive Sandy Alderson will return to the Mets as team president if Steve Cohen’s purchase of the club is approved by Major League Baseball owners.

Alderson, 72, is currently a senior adviser for the Oakland Athletics. He was the Mets’ general manager from 2010-18 but stepped down after being diagnosed with cancer.

 

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