Toronto’s Bo Bichette ducks out of the way of an inside pitch from New York’s Corey Kluber on Thursday in Toronto. Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP

TORONTO — Aaron Judge hit two of New York’s five home runs and the Yankees extended their AL wild-card lead by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 Thursday night.

Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo also connected off Blue Jays starter Robbie Ray, and Brett Gardner added a solo homer as New York (91-68) slimmed its magic number to clinch a postseason spot to two. The Yankees are two games ahead of Boston and Seattle, both 89-70, after the Red Sox lost to last-place Baltimore 6-2 earlier Thursday. Toronto trails New York by three games.

New York has won eight of nine but could be in better shape entering a season-ending series against AL East-champion Tampa Bay. First baseman Luke Voit went on the injured list Thursday with a sore left knee, and infielder DJ LeMahieu was replaced in the bottom of the sixth inning because of right hip soreness.

Michael King (2-4) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win in relief of Corey Kluber. Luis Severino worked a perfect seventh, Chad Green struck out three straight after giving up a leadoff double in the eighth and Aroldis Chapman finished in the ninth.

New York’s first five hits were home runs. Judge hit a 455-foot solo blast in the first that landed in a disused lounge area below the center field scoreboard. He hit another drive to center, a 441-footer into the batter’s eye, as the Yankees homered three times in the sixth to erase a 2-1 deficit.



ASTROS 3, RAYS 2: Carlos Correa hit his career-high 25th homer with a three-run shot and Houston clinched the AL West with a win over Tampa Bay.

It’s the fourth division title in five seasons and 10th overall for the Astros. They’re in the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season, extending a franchise record. Manager Dusty Baker’s Astros will open the AL Division Series on Oct. 7 against the Chicago White Sox – home field for that best-of-five matchup is still to be determined.

Tampa Bay, which has already clinched the top seed in the AL playoffs, put runners on first and second with no outs in the ninth but didn’t score.

Rays rookie Wander Franco went 0 for 4 to snap a 43-game on-base streak, which tied Frank Robinson in 1956 for the longest such string in MLB history among players 20 or younger.

RANGERS 7, ANGELS 6: Adolis Garcia set a team rookie records for home runs and RBI, and Brock Holt put Texas ahead with a two-run double in the eighth inning against visiting Los Angeles.



BRAVES 5, PHILLIES 3: Ian Anderson turned in another dominant pitching performance, Jorge Soler and Austin Riley homered, and Atlanta clinched its fourth straight NL East title by completing a sweep of Philadelphia.

After an up-and-down season marred by injuries and legal issues but bolstered by a flurry of moves at the trade deadline, the Braves won their 21st division title since moving from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966. They’ll face their former city in the playoffs when they open the best-of-five Division Series at the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers on Oct. 8.

CARDINALS 4, BREWERS 3: Rookie Dylan Carlson homered twice, once from each side of the plate, and St. Louis won at home, a day after its 17-game winning streak ended.

Carlson’s homers made a winner out of J.A. Happ, who was 0-3 in his last previous starts against the Brewers. Happ (10-8) gave up three runs on nine hits and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings, his longest outing since St. Louis acquired him from the Minnesota Twins on July 30.


FIELD OF DREAMS: Hall of Famer Frank Thomas is heading a venture that has bought controlling interest in Go the Distance Baseball’s stake of All-Star Ballpark Heaven and the Field of Dreams Movie Site.

The company said that This is Heaven LLC, a company of the 53-year-old Thomas and Chicago real estate developer Rick Heidner, bought the interests in Go the Distance Baseball, which was owned by the Denise M. Stillman Trust.

Thomas will be chief executive officer, and former Chicago White Sox general manager Dan Evans will be chief operating officer.

Stillman headed a group that bought the field, the location of the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams,” and the adjacent Lansing family farm in 2011. The site of about 190 acres includes a working cornfield. She died in 2018.

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