Giants’ loss allows Cubs to clinch playoff berth…Rangers pad lead with win over Astros

UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Cubs clinched a National League playoff berth when the San Francisco Giants lost 5-4 at Oakland. Although the Cubs are in the postseason for the first time in seven years, they absorbed a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Friday afternoon. Gerrit Cole picked up his 18th victory and Michael Morse delivered the go-ahead hit as the Pirates pulled within three games of the NL Central-leading Cardinals, who were 4-3 losers to the Brewers.

HOUSTON (AP) — Shin-Soo Choo belted a two-run homer and drove in three runs as the Rangers beat the Astros 6-2 to stretch their lead in the AL West to 4 1/2 games over Houston. Cecil Fielder added an RBI double and a run-scoring single to help the Rangers beat the Astros for the eighth straight time. The Rangers improved to 16-7 this month and dropped the Astros to 7-15, an 8 1/2-game swing that has also cut Houston’s lead for the second AL wild-card berth to a half-game over the Angels.

UNDATED (AP) — It’s a four-game lead for the Blue Jays over the Yankees in the AL East after Josh Donaldson belted his 40th home run and Jose Bautista added his 37th in Toronto’s 5-3 triumph over Tampa Bay. Kevin Pillar (pih-LAHR’) also went deep to support R.A. Dickey, who gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings. The Yankees and White Sox were tied 2-2 until Mike Olt and Gordon Beckham hit solo homers in the seventh inning to push Chicago to a 5-2 victory in the Bronx.

UNDATED (AP) — The Mets’ magic number is down to one after Lucas Duda smacked a pair of three-run homers and Noah Syndergaard (SIHN’-dur-gahrd) carried a shutout into the eighth inning of a 12-5 pounding of the Reds in Cincinnati. Syndergaard struck out 11 and blanked the Reds until Brennan Boesch (bahsh) hit a solo homer with two out in the eighth. The Phillies helped the Mets reduce their magic number by defeating the second-place Nationals, 8-2 in Washington.

UNDATED (AP) — Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez and Corey Dickerson hit solo homers in the fourth inning of Colorado’s 7-4 win against the Dodgers. Dickerson drove in three runs and finished a triple shy of the cycle as the Rockies slowed the Dodgers’ push to the NL West title. L.A’s magic number to win its division is two over San Francisco.