Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run home run and Aaron Judge homered and drove in two runs as the New York Yankees extended their lead atop the AL wild-card standings by winning in Toronto, 7-2, on Tuesday night.
Gio Urshela added a solo homer and Anthony Rizzo had a pair of hits and drove in a run as New York (90-67) won its seventh straight and moved two games in front of Boston (88-69) in the wild-card race with five games left.
The night did have its downside as Yankees starter Jameson Taillon reinjured his ankle and left in the third inning.
Toronto (87-70) dropped three games behind the Yankees but remains a game behind Boston for the second wild card.
Stanton homered for the fourth straight game when he connected off right-hander Trevor Richards with two out in the seventh, driving the ball into the second deck in left. The homer was his 35th.
Stanton went 2 for 5 with a double. He’s batting .304 with 10 home runs and 25 RBI in 92 at-bats this month.
Judge’s solo homer off lefthander Hyun Jin Ryu (13-10) in the third gave the Yankees at least one home run in 19 consecutive games, extending their season-high streak. Judge’s homer was his 37th.
Urshela hit his 14th homer off Anthony Castro in the ninth.
Activated off the injured list Monday after missing 19 games because of a right ankle injury, Taillon left one out into the third after aggravating the same injury. Taillon motioned the trainer out of the dugout and walked off following a brief discussion. He was replaced by righthander Michael King.
Toronto drew 28,769 in its first home game since capacity at Rogers Centre was doubled from 15,000 to 30,000.
Cardinals’ wild ride continues
Dylan Carlson, Nolan Arenado, and Jose Rondon homered to back Adam Wainwright, and the host Cardinals extended their winning streak to 17 games and clinched an NL wild-card berth with a 6-2 win over the Brewers.
St. Louis will play in the NL wild-card game on Oct. 6 at the Dodgers or Giants, whichever does not win the NL West. The postseason trip will be the third in a row for the Cardinals.
Milwaukee already locked up the NL Central title.
St. Louis was 71-69 on Sept. 11 before the winning streak, the longest in team history and the longest in the major leagues since Cleveland took 22 in a row in 2017. The Cardinals are on the longest winning streak from Sept. 1 on since the 1935 Cubs won 21 in a row.
Wainwright (17-7) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, throwing 102 pitches and stranding seven runners.
Braves close in on clinch
Charlie Morton threw seven scoreless innings, Jorge Soler hit a two-run single, and the host Braves escaped a ninth-inning jam to beat the Phillies, 2-1, to move closer to their fourth consecutive NL East title.
Atlanta reduced its magic number to three games in the division race and extended its lead to 3½ games over the second-place Phillies, who no longer control their fate with five games left. The loss eliminated Philadelphia from contention for an NL wild card.
Will Smith survived a wild ninth inning, allowing an unearned run, for his 36th save in 42 chances.
Morton (14-6) gave up singles to his first two batters and gave up only one more hit. He allowed only three hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks in seven innings.
Mets’ Syndergaard returns
Noah Syndergaard looked sharp in his brief but long-awaited return from Tommy John surgery as the host Mets beat the Marlins, 2-1, in nine innings for a doubleheader sweep.
In the opener, Francisco Lindor homered and drove in three runs to help the Mets stop a five-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory. Marcus Stroman went five innings — and stole a base — while winning his 10th game.
Syndergaard started the nightcap for New York, firing his first major league pitch in two years and finally completing a delayed comeback. With his long, blond hair blowing in the breeze, he topped out at 96 mile per hour and struck out his first two batters in a perfect inning, throwing nine of 10 pitches for strikes.
The 29-year-old righthander, who can become a free agent after the season, received a couple of warm ovations from a Citi Field crowd of 20,647 dotted with Thor signs. It was Syndergaard’s first major league game since Sept. 29, 2019. He made a pair of rehab appearances last week for Triple A Syracuse, working a scoreless inning each time.
Before the game, the Mets announced that ace Jacob deGrom won’t pitch again this season. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has been sidelined since mid-July because of an elbow injury that’s healed, according to the club.
DeGrom’s been throwing bullpen sessions recently, including a successful one Monday, with an eye toward a potential return this year. But with the Mets out of playoff contention, deGrom and the club agreed there’s no sense in him starting a game even though he’s healthy, manager Luis Rojas explained.
Royals’ Perez hits 47th HR
Salvador Perez hit his major league-leading 47th home run as the host Royals defeated the Indians, 6-4. Perez also leads the majors in RBIs (118) and go-ahead home runs (17). The 31-year-old Perez trails Jorge Soler (2019) by one for the club record in homers . . . Luis Robert homered twice, Reynaldo Lopez pitched two-hit ball over a season-high six innings, and the host White Sox beat Cincinnati, 7-1, as the Reds were eliminated from postseason contention. The Reds (82-76) had won four straight but were knocked out of the NL playoff hunt mid-game when the Cardinals beat Milwaukee to lock up the second wild card. “Tip your cap to the Cardinals,” Reds manager David Bell said after St. Louis won its franchise-record 17th straight game. “It’s pretty amazing what they’re doing now.” The White Sox (90-68), who clinched the AL Central last Thursday, have won three straight. They remain 2½ games behind Houston for home-field advantage in the first round of the AL Division Series . . . Rays reliever JT Chargois walked two Houston batters with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, propelling the host Astros to a 4-3 win to snap a four-game skid. The Astros could clinch their fourth AL West title in five years later Tuesday night if Seattle loses to Oakland . . . Albert Pujols went on the Dodgers’ COVID-19 injured list as Cody Bellinger was activated after missing eight games with a broken left rib. Pujols, 41, received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and “just didn’t feel good,” manager Dave Roberts said . . . Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrín will retire as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Spanish-language announcer following the 2022 season, ending a 64-year run with the team. Jarrín announced his decision Tuesday, saying he wants to spend more time with his two sons and grandchildren as well as travel. He turns 86 in December. Jarrín’s son, Jorge, retired in February, ending the first father-son duo to broadcast baseball on MLB Spanish-language radio. The elder Jarrín began calling Dodgers games in 1959 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, becoming just the second Spanish-language announcer to receive the honor.