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NEW YORK (AP) Russell Martin homered twice and drove in four runs against his former team, and the Toronto Blue Jays went deep five times to beat the New York Yankees 11-5 Friday night in the opener of their weekend showdown for first place in the AL East.

Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak each hit a two-run shot in a five-run first inning to build a big lead for David Price. Edwin Encarnacion added a titanic drive after the Blue Jays chased rookie starter Luis Severino in the third.

Seeking its first playoff appearance in 22 years, Toronto increased its division lead to 2 1/2 games over New York. The teams play a rare single-admission doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on Saturday to make up Thursday night's rainout. The four-game series concludes Sunday.

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ATLANTA (AP) - Rookie Steven Matz pitched five strong innings, Yoenis Cespedes had a home run and three RBIs and New York took another step toward a division title with a win over Atlanta.

With Washington losing to Miami 2-1, the Mets lead the NL East by a season-high 8 1/2 games. It was the Mets' fifth straight victory.

Matz allowed one run and six hits as he improved to 3-0 in four career starts and lowered his ERA to 1.88 against an anemic Braves offense that is last in the majors in runs.

Rookie Matt Wisler (5-7) took the loss for the Braves after allowing two runs in five innings. Wisler has lost six straight decisions for the Braves, who have dropped 22 of their last 25 games. Atlanta has lost 10 straight at Turner Field, tying the franchise single-season home losing streak.


MIAMI (AP) - NL batting leader Bryce Harper struck out three times and stranded five runners, and fading Washington lost its fourth straight game.

The Nationals out-hit the Marlins 7-5 but went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position, and their lone run was unearned.

Washington, swept in a three-game series by the Mets earlier this week, began the night 7 1-2 games behind first-place New York in the NL East.

Mike Dunn (2-5) struck out Harper, the only batter he faced, with two on to end the seventh and keep the score 1-all.

J.T. Realmuto led off the bottom of the seventh with a double off Casey Janssen (1-5) and later scored the tie-breaking run on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Rojas.


PITTSBURGH (AP) - Chris Stewart had three hits and three RBIs, and Charlie Morton pitched six strong innings as Pittsburgh ended its seven-game losing streak against Milwaukee.

Stewart hit a two-run single that capped a three-run fourth inning that put the Pirates ahead for good 3-2. The backup catcher, starting for resting Francisco Cervelli, added an RBI single in the sixth.

Stewart tied his career high with his third three-hit game of the season and the fifth of his nine-year career.

Morton (9-7) snapped a three-start losing streak, allowing two runs and three hits while walking two and striking out two.

Mark Melancon struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 45th save in 47 chances.

Jimmy Nelson (11-12) lost for the just the second time in six decisions against the Pirates this season.


CINCINNATI (AP) - Heavy rain forced the St. Louis at Cincinnati game to be suspended in the top of the eighth inning.

It'll be resumed at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the regularly scheduled game to follow.

The teams waited out the 17th rain delay at Great American Ball Park for an hour and seven minutes before it was suspended. It was Cincinnati's first suspended game this season - three have been rained out.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto struck out and walked three times. He received a two-game suspension on Friday for an altercation with umpire Bill Welke on Wednesday, but will keep playing while his appeal is heard.

Rain fell intermittently during the game, then intensified in the eighth inning with the Cardinals batting, prompting the umpires to call for the tarp.



PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Jake Arrieta pitched eight strong innings for his major league-leading 19th win, and Starlin Castro homered to lead Chicago past Philadelphia in the first game of a doubleheader.

In the second game, Kyle Schwarber homered twice to lead the Cubs in a sweep of the doubleheader.

Arrieta (19-6) won his eighth straight start, allowing six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks to become the first Cubs pitcher to win that many in a row since Milt Pappas won 11 consecutive games in 1972.


BALTIMORE (AP) - Nolan Reimold and Steve Clevenger both hit grand slams during a 10-run eighth inning, and Baltimore beat Kansas City for its third straight victory.

Baltimore trailed 6-4 in the eighth before a double, an error and an infield hit loaded the bases for Reimold, who lined a 2-0 pitch from Kelvin Herrera (4-3) high off the left-field foul pole.

Manny Machado followed with a solo shot off Franklin Morales. After Adam Jones singled, Morales hit slugger Chris Davis in the back with a pitch. Davis slammed down his bat, breaking it in two, as Orioles manager Buck Showalter sprinted out of the dugout.

No one else emerged from the either dugout during the potentially volatile situation, although Davis glared at Morales while taking his base. Showalter, meanwhile, was ejected from the game for arguing.

Morales lasted one more batter before being replaced by Joba Chamberlain, who yielded Clevenger's slam. Clevenger entered the game earlier in the inning as a pinch hitter.


CHICAGO (AP) - Trevor Plouffe hit a pair of solo homers, including a tiebreaking shot in the eighth, to lead Minnesota over Chicago.

Eduardo Escobar added a solo shot in the Twins' three-run ninth as Minnesota remained one game behind Texas for the second American League wild card.

Ervin Santana came through with his third straight strong start, allowing two runs, on Adam Eaton's 13th homer in the fifth, through seven innings, while scattering six hits and striking out six. In his last three outings, Santana (5-4) has allowed just three earned runs in 22 innings and struck out 27.

Plouffe's second homer, came off Nate Jones (1-2), the second Chicago reliever, and gave the Twins infielder his third career multi-homer game.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Asdrubal Cabrera and J.P. Arencibia hit two-run homers in a five-run eighth inning and Tampa Bay beat Boston.

After Logan Forsythe had an RBI single, Cabrera made it 6-4 on his drive to center off Junichi Tazawa (2-7). Arencibia then gave Tampa Bay an 8-4 lead with his fifth homer in 34 at-bats since being called up Triple-A Durham on Aug. 26.

Andrew Bellatti (3-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win.

Boston slugger David Ortiz remained two homers shy of becoming the 27th player to reach 500. He had an RBI double and a single in four at-bats. He was also intentionally walked.

Enny Romero replaced starter Chris Archer with two on and no outs in the sixth and gave up a run-scoring double to Travis Shaw and Pablo Sandoval's RBI infield single that tied it at 3. Ryan Hanigan gave Boston a 4-3 lead with a sacrifice fly off Brandon Gomes.


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Colby Lewis took a perfect game into the eighth inning before settling for a two-hitter, leading Texas past Oakland.

Lewis, who was 0-3 with an 8.62 ERA in his previous three starts, got a standing ovation from the home crowd after Danny Valencia's double down the left-field line to start the eighth.

The 36-year-old right-hander (15-8) needed just 97 pitches to set a career best in wins, beating his previous high of 14 from the second of two straight World Series seasons for the Rangers in 2011.

Mitch Moreland snapped an 18-inning scoreless streak for Texas with a two-run double in a three-run first inning off Oakland starter Jesse Chavez (7-15).

Valencia reached third on a flyout by Billy Butler in the eighth, but Lewis struck out Muncy to keep the shutout intact.