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Jays beat Yanks to clinch playoff berth

(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Barred from playing in their own ballpark this year because of COVID-19, the vagabond Toronto Blue Jays have found a home in the playoffs.

The slumping New York Yankees, meanwhile, look likely to play on the road in the postseason, where they've struggled all year.

Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven shutout innings and the Blue Jays clinched their first postseason spot since 2016, beating the Yankees 4-1 Thursday night and further damaging New York's chances of hosting a first-round series.

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Indians complete 4-game sweep of ChiSox

CLEVELAND (AP) Jose Ramirez 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 postseason. Idle Minnesota leads the White Sox by one game in the AL Central with three to play.

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Molina gets 2,000th hit in Cards' win

ST. LOUIS (AP) Despite having no fans to witness his career milestone, Yadier Molina's teammates managed to make it special for him anyway.

Molina singled twice to reach 2,000 career hits and the St. Louis Cardinals began a five-game series between playoff contenders by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 Thursday night.

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Astros rout Rangers, magic number at 1

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) The Houston Astros are on the verge of clinching the American League's last playoff spot, powered by some of their mainstays in a breakout performance that certainly excited manager Dusty Baker.

"I'm just hoping that these guys are about to get hot," Baker said.

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Marlins beat Braves, boost playoff hopes

ATLANTA (AP) Pablo Lopez delivered big in a must-win situation, even after a long rain delay gave the right-hander and the Miami Marlins more time to think about what was at stake.

Jon Berti had three hits, including a two-run double, Lopez allowed only two hits in five scoreless innings and the Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2 on Thursday night to boost their playoff hopes.

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Giants fail to gain ground with loss

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The Colorado Rockies are determined to do anything to stay in a crowded National League playoff race.

The San Francisco Giants know they can't miss any more opportunities with the powerful Padres coming to town to close out the season.

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Alderson to be Mets' prez if sale OKd

NEW YORK (AP) Longtime baseball executive Sandy Alderson will return to the New York Mets as team president if Steve Cohen's purchase of the club is approved by Major League Baseball owners.

The 72-year-old Alderson is currently a senior adviser for the Oakland Athletics. He was the Mets' general manager from 2010-18 and stepped down after being diagnosed with cancer.

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Mets top Nats to keep slim hopes alive

WASHINGTON (AP) Robinson Chirinos homered and drove in three runs, and the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Thursday night to keep their flickering postseason hopes alive.

The Mets (26-31) moved within 2 1/2 games of Miami (28-28) for second place in the NL East and within 2 1/2 games of San Francisco (28-28) for the NL's second wild card spot.

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MLB moving draft to All-Star weekend

ATLANTA (AP) 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 Thursday. The first night, which has traditionally included only the first round, will take place before the All-Star Futures Game.

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