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Best of MLB: Indians beat Royals, clinch 2nd straight AL Central title

CLEVELAND -- Francisco Lindor planned to pour a bottle of water over his head. On Sunday, he'll switch to champagne.

For the second year in a row, the Cleveland Indians are AL Central champions.

A few hours after they beat Kansas City 8-4 in the first game since the Royals stopped their AL record winning streak at 22, the Indians clinched the division title when second-place Minnesota lost to Toronto.

When their second crown became official, the Indians were long gone from Progressive Field, leaving the ballpark to spend time with family or toast a memorable week. In Lindor's case, he was set to eat pizza and watch the boxing match between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.

Lindor said if the Twins lost he would dump water on himself before focusing on the fight (see full recap).

Kyle Hendricks, Addison Russell lead Cubs over Cardinals 4-1
CHICAGO -- Kyle Hendricks pitched effectively into the eighth inning, Addison Russell homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 on Saturday to increase their NL Central lead.

Chicago has won five straight and leads Milwaukee by 3 1/2 games and St. Louis by five in the division.

Albert Almora Jr. had three hits and two RBIs for the Cubs.

Russell was activated before the game after being sidelined since early August with plantar fasciitis of the right foot. He pinch hit in the eighth and hit a solo shot against Tyler Lyons to the back of the left-field bleachers.

Hendricks (7-5) allowed one run and five hits in a season-high 7 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one (see full recap).

Yankees hit 3 HRs, back Montgomery in 9-3 win over Orioles
NEW YORK -- Didi Gregorius and Greg Bird both homered for the second straight game, rookie Jordan Montgomery pitched six shutout innings and the New York Yankees downed the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 Saturday for their fourth win in a row.

The Yankees (82-66) extended their stretch of winning seasons to 25, the second-longest such streak in major league history behind their own 39 straight from 1926-64.

The Yankees began the day three games behind AL East-leading Boston. New York was atop the wild-card race, four games ahead of Minnesota.

Gregorius and Bird each hit three-run homers and Todd Frazier added a two-run shot as the Yankees won for the seventh time in eight games. They are a season-high 16 games over .500.

Baltimore has lost nine of 10 as it continues to fall out of playoff contention (see full recap).

Bellinger hits 38th HR to help Dodgers beat Nationals 3-2
WASHINGTON -- Cody Bellinger hit his 38th homer to match the National League single-season record for rookies, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 Saturday to inch closer to the NL West title.

Chase Utley had two doubles and scored twice to help the Dodgers reduce their magic number to win the division to five. Los Angeles also moved seven games ahead of the Nationals in the race to secure home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs.

Los Angeles has won four straight since dropping 11 in a row. The winning streak includes the first two games of this series, which concludes Sunday.

Anthony Rendon homered for the Nationals, who have lost four of five since clinching the NL East last Sunday (see full recap).