Phillies
USA Today Images

Best of MLB: Giancarlo Stanton homers twice to reach 59 in Marlins' win

MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton homered twice to become the first player to hit 59 in a season since 2001, and the Miami Marlins opened the last series of Jeffrey Loria's tenure as owner by beating the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Thursday night.

Stanton hit a solo home run in the fourth, then added a two-run drive in the eighth that would have gone 467 feet unimpeded, according to MLB's Statcast.

He has 33 home runs since the All-Star break and 10 multihomer games this season. He became the sixth player to reach 59, joining Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Roger Maris and Babe Ruth.

Ichiro Suzuki got his 27th pinch hit of the year, one shy of the record John Vander Wal set in 1995.

Dee Gordon got two hits for the Marlins, who despite a 75-84 record assured themselves of second place in the NL East, their highest finish since 2009 (see full recap).

Astros pound Red Sox to keep Boston from clinching
BOSTON -- Major league batting leader Jose Altuve had three of Houston's 17 hits, Carlos Correa had four and the Astros chased Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez in the second inning to win 12-2 on Thursday night and keep Boston from clinching the first back-to-back AL East championships in franchise history.

Despite the loss, the Red Sox were guaranteed no worse than a tie for the division title when the Yankees lost 9-6 to Tampa Bay.

Boston needs one more win or Yankees loss to win the division; otherwise, the teams would meet in a one-game tie-breaker in New York on Monday to see who needs to play in the wild-card game and who advances to the AL Division Series -- likely facing the Astros.

Altuve had two singles and his 39th double to raise his batting average to .350. Brad Peacock (13-2) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings, striking out two and walking one for the AL West champion Astros (see full recap).

Brewers inch closer to Rockies for 2nd wild card
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers closed within two games of Colorado for the National League's second wild card with three games left, rallying to beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Thursday as Brett Phillips hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning.

Milwaukee (84-75) closes the regular season at St. Louis, and the Rockies host the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Brewers are assured of their best record since finishing 96-66 in 2011, when they lost to the Cardinals in the NL Championship Series, Milwaukee's last playoff appearance.

After Cincinnati tied the score in the sixth on RBI singles by Scooter Gennett against Brent Suter and Jesse Winkler off Oliver Drake, Jared Hughes (5-3) entered with two on and the Reds loaded the bases when the reliever bobbled Jose Peraza's bunt for an error.

Hughes struck out Adam Duvall and got Stuart Turner to ground into a double play (see full recap).