NEW YORK -- Pete Alonso hit two home runs to take the major league lead, Jacob deGrom struck out 11 and the New York Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 Monday night in the opener of a crucial four-game series for both teams.
The Diamondbacks slipped to 2 ½ games behind the Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot and the Mets trail by four.
Alonso hit a solo drive in the first inning, then connected for his 47th home run in the fifth. He moved two ahead Mike Trout for most in the majors and closed within five of Aaron Judge's rookie record set two years ago.
DeGrom (9-8) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings. He gave up a home run to former teammate Wilmer Flores in the fifth.
Seth Lugo pitched two innings for his fifth save.
Merrill Kelly (10-14) allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings.
YANKEES 5, RED SOX 0
BOSTON (AP) —New York officially ended Boston's three-year reign as AL East champs.
The defending World Series champion Red Sox are still in playoff contention, but barely. They began the day eight games out of the second AL wild-card spot.
James Paxton (13-6) won his eighth straight start, allowing four hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked three in setting a career best in victories as the Yankees increased their lead to nine games over second-place Tampa Bay.
Austin Romine and Gio Urshela each hit solo homers for the Yankees, who took the final three of a four-game series. New York increased its club record to 270 homers, a night after setting the mark.
Eduardo Rodríguez (17-6) gave up one run in six innings, striking out nine with five hits and a walk while throwing a season-high 117 pitches.
Jackie Bradley Jr. had three hits for Boston.
ASTROS 15, ATHLETICS 0
HOUSTON (AP) — Zack Greinke struck out five in six strong innings, Robinson Chirinos and Yordan Alvarez each homered twice as Houston hit a major league-record six home runs in the first two innings, and the high-scoring Astros routed Oakland for their fifth straight victory.
After a 21-1 win over Seattle on Sunday, the Astros set a franchise record for runs scored in consecutive games with 36.
Houston hit six of its seven homers in the first two innings for an 11-0 lead. The seven shots matched a franchise record for homers in a game set Sept. 9, 2000, against the Chicago Cubs. Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley also homered.
The Astros extended their lead over Oakland to 10 ½ games in the AL West.
Greinke (15-5) retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced. He allowed just two hits and didn't walk a batter.
Houston's offensive exploits spoiled Mike Fiers' try at a piece of A's history. The right-hander had won 12 straight decisions and was bidding to match Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter's run in 1973 for the best since the club moved to the Bay Area.
Fiers (14-4) allowed a career-high nine runs on nine hits in one-plus innings. He allowed a career-high five home runs.
BRAVES 7, PHILLIES 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Mike Foltynewicz threw seven impressive innings, Josh Donaldson and Ronald Acuna Jr. hit homers and NL East-leading Atlanta beat Philadelphia.
Atlanta increased its lead over Washington to 9½ games and reduced its magic number to 10 with 17 games remaining. The Phillies fell three games behind the Cubs for the second wild-card spot in the NL.
Foltynewicz (6-5) retired the first 13 batters before Corey Dickerson went deep in the fifth. He gave up three hits, one run and struck out seven. The right-hander won his fifth straight decision.
Aaron Nola (12-5) gave up four runs and six hits in six innings. The Phillies have lost their ace's last four starts.
Cesar Hernandez hit a solo homer off Josh Tomlin in the ninth to cap the scoring.
BREWERS 8, MARLINS 3
MIAMI (AP) — Rookie Trent Grisham had a career-high five hits and drove in two runs, and Milwaukee won its fourth straight.
Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run homer and Lorenzo Cain had three hits and knocked in a run for the Brewers in a game that lasted 4 hours, 8 minutes.
Milwaukee moved within six games of idle first-place St. Louis in the NL Central. The Brewers remain two games out of the second wild-card spot occupied by the division rival Chicago Cubs.
The game featured 15 pitchers who combined for 14 walks. The Marlins loaded the bases in four innings while the Brewers did it three times.
PIRATES 6, GIANTS 4
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Rookie Bryan Reynolds hit a go-ahead single against his former team during a four-run rally in the ninth inning that sent Pittsburgh over San Francisco.
Down 4-2, the Pirates used three pinch-hitters and came back against three Giants relievers in the ninth.
Kevin Newman hit a tying, two-run single with one out and Reynolds with an RBI single off Jandel Gustave. José Osuna added a sacrifice fly in the ninth for insurance.
Fernando Abad (0-2) gave up two hits and a walk while getting only one out.
Richard Rodríguez (4-5) pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Felipe Vázquez worked the ninth for his 26th save in 29 chances.
Brandon Belt had three hits, including a two-run double for San Francisco.
INDIANS 6, ANGELS 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shane Bieber pitched seven stellar innings of five-hit ball in his first career start at his hometown stadium, and rookie Yu Chang hit his first major league homer in Cleveland's win over Los Angeles.
Bieber (14-7) struck out eight without a walk while allowing only one run for the first time since July. He retired 17 of his final 18 hitters.
Chang hit a three-run homer and Jason Kipnis had a two-run shot for the Indians (84-61), who pulled right behind Oakland (84-60) for the second AL wild-card spot with their first back-to-back wins in September.
Albert Pujols hit his 655th homer and two-way prospect Jared Walsh added his first career homer for the Angels.
Patrick Sandoval (0-3) took the loss.
CUBS 10, PADRES 2
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Touted prospect Nico Hoerner had three hits and four RBIs in his big league debut and made some nice plays at shortstop as Chicago beat San Diego and snapped a three-game losing streak.
The 22-year-old Hoerner, the Cubs' first-round draft pick out of Stanford in 2018, was promoted from Double-A Tennessee earlier in the day because All-Star shortstop Javier Báez and Addison Russell are sidelined by injuries.
The Cubs hold the NL's second wild-card spot.
Nicholas Castellanos hit a two-run homer and Kyle Schwarber had a solo shot to back Kyle Hendricks, who pitched 5 2/3 strong innings.
Hendricks (10-9) allowed two runs, one earned, on seven hits while striking out five and walking one.
Cal Quantrill (6-7) allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked two.
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