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Quintana throws 3-hitter, Cubs close in

(AP Photo/Darren Hauck)

MILWAUKEE (AP) Jose Quintana pitched a three-hitter for his second big league shutout, and the Chicago Cubs beat Milwaukee 5-0 Sunday to close in on a second straight NL Central title and damage the Brewers' playoff hopes.

Coming off its first World Series title since 1908, Chicago (87-68) won three of four in the weekend series and opened a 5 1/2-game lead over the second-place Brewers (82-73) with seven games remaining. Milwaukee began the day one game behind Colorado for the NL's second wild card.

Quintana (7-3 with Cubs, 11-11 overall) struck out 10 and walked one in his second complete game in 182 starts. He threw 116 pitches, his most since Sept. 7 last year.

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Twins sweep Tigers, close in on WC berth

DETROIT (AP) Eduardo Escobar may be having the most unpredicted success on the surprising Minnesota Twins.

Escobar hit his 20th home run, Jorge Polanco also went deep and Minnesota beat the Detroit Tigers 10-4 on Sunday to complete a four-game sweep that moved the Twins closer to securing a wild-card berth in the playoffs.

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Red Sox win, close in on division title

CINCINNATI (AP) Mookie Betts doubled with the bases loaded to tie it in the eighth inning and dashed home from second base on an infield single, rallying the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 victory Sunday over the Cincinnati Reds that moved them closer to the AL East title.

By winning 14 of its last 17 games, Boston has left virtually no opening for the second-place New York Yankees to catch up. The Red Sox, already assured a playoff spot, completed an 8-1 road trip that put them in excellent position to win a second consecutive division crown for the first time in franchise history.

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Diamondbacks clinch wild-card spot

PHOENIX (AP) The Arizona Diamondbacks clinched their first postseason berth since 2011 when St. Louis and Milwaukee both lost Sunday.

Arizona was trailing 1-0 in the fourth inning against Miami when the Diamondbacks were assured of one of the NL's two wild card berths. Arizona is on track to host the wild-card game on Oct. 4, most likely against Colorado, Milwaukee or St. Louis.

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Scherzer lifts Nats to home-field in LDS

NEW YORK (AP) Max Scherzer struck out 10 and outpitched Jacob deGrom in a matchup of aces, and the Washington Nationals edged the New York Mets 3-2 on Sunday to clinch home-field advantage in the NL Division Series.

Trea Turner hit a two-run homer and Scherzer (16-6) limited the Mets to three hits and one walk over six innings. He leads the National League with 263 strikeouts and ranks second to Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (2.26) with a 2.55 ERA.

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Tigers' Cabrera has herniated disks

DETROIT (AP) Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera has been diagnosed Sunday with two herniated disks in his back.

Cabrera left Saturday's 10-4 loss to Minnesota due to tightness in his lower back. The Tigers said Sunday an MRI showed damage between the L3 and L4, and the L4 and L5 disk.

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Cards stumble again in loss to Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals are running out of time to make their September surge extend their season beyond the first day of October.

Seung Hwan Oh's difficult season hit another low point when he surrendered a go-ahead two-run homer to Pittsburgh's Starling Marte in the fifth inning on Sunday as the Pirates pulled away for a 4-1 victory to blunt the Cardinals' momentum heading into the regular season's final week.

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Jays' Bautista has 2 hits in home finale

TORONTO (AP) Jose Bautista gave Blue Jays fans something to cheer for in the final home game of a disappointing season,

Bautista had two hits and a walk in what was likely his last home appearance for Toronto, leaving to a standing ovation during the ninth inning of a 9-5 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday.

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Hardy's crowd-pleasing HR lifts Orioles

BALTIMORE (AP) If this was indeed J.J. Hardy's final game at Camden Yards with the Orioles, he couldn't have asked for a better scenario.

Hardy enjoyed an unforgettable afternoon during an otherwise dreary season, hitting a crowd-pleasing home run and scoring twice to help Baltimore beat the Tampa Bay Rays 9-4 on Sunday.

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