Carlos Correa had two hits, including a homer for the go-ahead run, as the Houston Astros completed a two-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 3-1 victory in their American League wild-card series on Wednesday in Minneapolis.
Kyle Tucker went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Cristian Javier pitched three no-hit innings of relief to pick up the win.
Sixth-seeded Houston, which went just 29-31 in the regular-season, advanced to the AL Division Series to play the winner of the wild-card series pitting the Oakland Athletics against the Chicago White Sox series. That series starts on Monday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
The loss extended Minnesota’s record for consecutive postseason losses to 18, the longest for the four major sports in North American history. The last postseason victory for the third-seeded and AL Central Division champion Twins came on Oct. 5, 2004.
Rays 8, Blue Jays 2
Hunter Renfroe hit the first postseason grand slam in club history to lift Tampa Bay over Toronto to complete a sweep of their AL wild-card series in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Mike Zunino started the second-inning scoring with a two-run homer for the top-seeded Rays, who will face the winner of the wild-card series pitting the New York Yankees against the Cleveland Indians.
Toronto starter Hyun Jin Ryu (0-1) allowed seven runs (three earned), eight hits and one walk in 1 2/3 innings. Shortstop Bo Bichette made two errors behind him.
Braves 1, Reds 0 (13 innings)
Freddie Freeman drove a run-scoring single into center field to give host Atlanta a walkoff victory over Cincinnati in a marathon National League wild-card series opener.
Freeman lined a slider off left-handed reliever Amir Garrett for the one-out hit that scored pinch-runner Cristian Pache and enabled Atlanta to end a nine-game losing streak in series openers.
Cincinnati’s Trevor Bauer set a franchise postseason record with 12 strikeouts. Atlanta’s Max Fried pitched seven scoreless innings, allowed six hits and struck out five in his first postseason start.
Marlins 5, Cubs 1
Corey Dickerson slugged a three-run, go-ahead homer in the seventh inning, leading Miami over host Chicago in their NL wild-card series opener.
Jesus Aguilar added a two-run homer as part of a five-spot Miami put on the Cubs in the seventh. Sandy Alcantara, in his postseason debut, allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings to pick up the win.
Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks, who was two outs away from seven scoreless innings when he allowed the opposite-field homer to Dickerson, took the loss. Hendricks wasn’t as sharp as usual, allowing a season-high three walks. He also hit a batter for just the second time this season. In all, he allowed five hits and three runs.
A’s 5, White Sox 3
Oakland turned the tables on visiting Chicago with strong pitching and powerful hitting, evening the teams’ AL wild-card series and forcing a decisive Game 3.
A’s right-hander Chris Bassitt took a shutout into the eighth inning and Marcus Semien and Khris Davis each smacked early home runs off White Sox left-hander Dallas Keuchel.
The winner of Thursday’s series finale will advance to face the Astros in the AL Division Series that is scheduled to begin Monday.