Nick Gordon, right, celebrates with his Twins teammates after a 7-2 win Thursday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. Jim Mone/Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS – Nick Gordon drove in four runs and Michael Pineda won his third straight start as the Minnesota Twins beat Toronto 7-2 on Thursday night to bump the Blue Jays back in the AL wild-card race.

The loss was especially costly for Toronto, which fell a full game behind New York for the second spot and three games behind wild-card leader Boston. Left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. exited in the fifth inning after teammate Randal Grichuk accidentally stepped on his right hand in the outfield.

WHITE SOX, INDIANS SPLIT: Chicago clinched its first AL Central title since 2008 with a 7-2 win at Cleveland in a doubleheader opener behind two home runs by Tim Anderson.

Chicago, a wild-card team last year, is going to the postseason in consecutive years for the first time. The White Sox are in their first season under Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa, who will turn 77 on Oct. 4. La Russa had retired after guiding St. Louis to the 2011 World Series title and was hired to replace Rick Renteria last October.

Anderson hit his fifth leadoff home run of the season and added a three-run drive in the second for his sixth career multi-homer game. Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez hit consecutive homers in the second for a 7-0 lead off Aaron Civale (11-5).

In the second game, Oscar Mercado broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, giving Cleveland a 5-3 win.

MARINERS 6, ATHLETICS 5: Chris Bassitt pitched three scoreless innings less than a month after surgery to repair facial fractures, but visiting Seattle rallied against Oakland’s bullpen and completed a four-game sweep.

Seattle matched its season high with its fifth straight win, won its ninth in a row over the A’s and moved within two games of the Yankees for the second AL wild-card spot with nine games remaining. Oakland lost its season-worst sixth straight game and fell four games behind New York.

Bassitt, a 32-year-old right-hander, was struck by a 100 mph line drive off the bat of Brian Goodwin of the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 17 and had surgery seven days later on three fractures.

ORIOLES 3, RANGERS 0: Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays homered, rookie Zac Lowther pitched five sparkling innings to earn his first major league victory and Baltimore won at home.

After going winless with a 9.61 ERA in his first six appearances, Lowther (1-2) got into a rhythm against the light-hitting Rangers in a matchup of last-place teams. He allowed three hits and notched a career-high seven strikeouts.


CARDINALS 8, BREWERS 5: Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, and visiting St. Louis overcame a five-run deficit to beat Milwaukee and extend its longest winning streak in 39 years to 12 games.

On a day when ace Adam Wainwright faltered early, St. Louis trailed 5-0 before rallying for one run in the fifth, four in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth. The Cardinals moved five games ahead of Cincinnati and Philadelphia, who both played later Thursday, for the second NL wild card.

The Cardinals are on their longest winning streak since April 11-24, 1982, and are two shy of the franchise record set in 1935.

Milwaukee has lost five in a row since clinching its fourth consecutive playoff berth on Sept. 18, including four defeats to the Cardinals.

DODGERS 7, ROCKIES 5: Max Muncy homered to start the 10th inning and Los Angeles rallied for a win in Denver.

Los Angeles moved within one game of San Francisco in the NL West.

PADRES 7, GIANTS 6: Jurickson Profar raced home on Victor Caratini’s infield single with one out in the 10th inning and San Diego tighten the NL West race by defeating visiting San Francisco.

DIAMONDBACKS 6, BRAVES 4: Carson Kelly hit a tying three-run homer in a five-run seventh inning, Daulton Varsho followed with a go-ahead double and Arizona beat visiting Atlanta.

PHILLIES 12, PIRATES 6: J.T. Realmuto homered and drove in four runs, Ronald Torreyes hit a go-ahead, three-run home run in the sixth inning and host Philadelphia erased a six-run deficit as it picked up ground in the NL East.

Didi Gregorius also homered for the Phillies, who have won three straight and seven of nine to get within two games of Atlanta with nine games left.

NATIONALS 3, REDS 2: National League batting leader Juan Soto homered in consecutive innings, and visiting Washington pushed Cincinnati further from playoff contention.

Cincinnati dropped 5 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card with nine games left.


BLUE JAYS: Reliever Ryan Borucki was suspended for three games by Major League Baseball for intentionally hitting Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier with a pitch Wednesday.

MLB announced the punishment, which includes an undisclosed fine, before the Blue Jays began a four-game series at Minnesota. Manager Charlie Montoyo was also suspended for one game and was handed an undisclosed fine. He served his punishment immediately.

Borucki appealed the decision by MLB senior vice president Mike Hill, delaying the discipline until completion of the process before MLB special adviser John McHale Jr.

DIAMONDBACKS: With a little over a week left in the season and his team tied for the worst record in the major leagues at 48-104, Arizona Manager Torey Lovullo was given a one-year contract extension through 2022.

The deal includes a club option for 2023, according to General Manager Mike Hazen.

“Through everything the season has presented, Torey did a good job of getting guys through this … even in a season where we might set a franchise-worst record,” Hazen said.

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