BALTIMORE (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their seventh consecutive NL West title in fitting fashion, using two home runs by Corey Seager and a masterful pitching performance by Walker Buehler to beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 on Tuesday night.
After the final out, the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season gathered at the mound for a subdued celebration that included a wardrobe change for a pending champagne celebration in the clubhouse.
Los Angeles, coming off consecutive World Series losses to Houston and Boston and seeking its first title since 1988, will likely begin the postseason at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 3 against the NL wild-card team.
This is the earliest that Los Angeles (94-52) has ever clinched the division, both in terms of date and games. The 1977 team did it in Game 151, and the 2013 club clinched on Sept. 19.
Though an Arizona loss to the New York Mets would have clinched it for the Dodgers, Los Angeles emphatically took care of business on its own. Seager homered with two on to cap a four-run first inning against Ty Blach (1-3) and added a two-run drive in the third for a 6-0 lead.
Gavin Lux hit his first career homer in the fifth to increase the Dodgers' NL record for long balls in a season to 258.
Buehler (13-3) limited last-place Baltimore to four hits over seven shutout innings. He struck out 11.
METS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Zack Wheeler pitched one-run ball over seven innings, Justin Wilson navigated four difficult outs for his first save since April and New York beat Arizona.
New York has taken the first two games in this key four-game set between NL playoff contenders. Arizona had won 11 of 14 and opened the day 2 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second wild card.
Todd Frazier drove a pair of run-scoring doubles for the Mets, who began the day four games behind the Cubs.
Diamondbacks rookie Zac Gallen (3-5) pitched three-run ball over six innings.
Eduardo Escobar homered off reliever Brad Brach and drove in two for Arizona. He has 112 RBIs.
Wheeler (11-7) struck out seven and allowed seven hits and two walks.
PHILLIES 6, BRAVES 5
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Corey Dickerson homered twice to help Philadelphia's wild-card push and the Phillies hit five home runs overall in a win over Atlanta.
The Phillies entered three games behind the Cubs for the second wild-card spot in the NL.
J.T. Realmuto, Bryce Harper and Dickerson all homered in the first inning, Scott Kingery hit an inside-the-park homer and Dickerson tacked an insurance run with a solo shot late to help the Phillies win for the third time in four games.
Blake Parker (3-2) pitched two scoreless innings of the relief for the win. Hector Neris worked a scoreless ninth for his 25th save.
Max Fried (16-5) took the loss for Atlanta, which got run-scoring hits from Freddie Freeman, Dansby Swanson and Francisco Cervelli. Johan Camargo added a solo homer.
TIGERS 12, YANKEES 11
DETROIT (AP) — Jordy Mercer capped a comeback from a six-run deficit with a game-ending single off Chance Adams in the ninth inning, and Detroit overcame six home runs by New York.
Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius each homered twice, and Gleyber Torres and Edwin Encarnación also went deep for the Yankees, whose 276 homers tied Minnesota for the major league lead.
New York led 6-0 in the second inning. But the Tigers tied the score with six runs in the third, aided by an error by Torres at second base.
Grayson Greiner doubled with one out in the ninth off Chance Adams (1-1) and Mercer's single to the gap in right-center scored pinch-runner Willi Castro. Tigers closer Jiménez (3-8) pitched a perfect ninth.
BLUE JAYS 4, RED SOX 3
TORONTO (AP) — Rowdy Tellez hit a two-run home run, Cavan Biggio and Reese McGuire added solo shots and Toronto snapped a seven-game losing streak with a win over Boston.
Biggio walked twice and scored twice, and McGuire had two hits.
Mookie Betts homered for the Red Sox, who have lost four straight.
Justin Shafer (2-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings as Toronto won for the first time since Aug. 31. Ken Giles finished in the ninth for his 19th save in 20 opportunities.
Josh Taylor (1-2) took the loss.
TWINS 5, NATIONALS 0
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — José Berriós surrendered two singles over seven innings in his best start in six weeks, Mitch Garver hit the tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh, and Minnesota beat Washington.
Berriós (12-8) struck out four and walked one. Aníbal Sánchez (8-8) was almost as sharp for the Nationals, finishing with four hits and one walk allowed, along with five strikeouts.
The American League Central-leading Twins took a five-game lead on Cleveland into the night. The Indians, who have six more losses than the Twins, played at the Los Angeles Angels.
The Nationals entered 9½ games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East, but they were in the first wild card spot, 4½ games above the cut, ahead of Milwaukee. The Chicago Cubs have the second spot.