MLB

Guerrero and Bichette star as streaking Blue Jays sweep Yankees, Braves edge Nats in walk-off slugfest

By Sports Desk September 10, 2021

The Toronto Blue Jays continued their red-hot form with an eighth consecutive win after taking down the slumping New York Yankees 6-4 in MLB.

The Blue Jays (77-62) boosted their Wild Card chances with another victory, sweeping American League (AL) East rivals the Yankees (78-62) on Thursday.

Toronto are now within a half-game of the Yankees – who have lost six straight games – for the final AL Wild Card spot.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. landed a solo home run in the ninth inning, bringing up his 100th RBI for the season.

The Blue Jays All-Star finished the four-game series with three homers, marking the eighth time this year he has hit three or more homers in a series. According to Stats Perform, it is the most by any player in a season in AL history and second most in MLB history, behind Giancarlo Stanton (nine times in 2017).

Guerrero Jr.'s run of homers has seen him close within one of two-way Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani, who tops the list for most home runs this season.

Toronto's Bo Bichette starred with three hits including two RBI, while he homered from the ninth pitch of the game when leading off.

Blue Jays ace Jose Berrios had eight strikeouts, with his game only blemished by Anthony Rizzo's moon shot.

 

Pederson walks it off for Braves

Joc Pederson's single completed a 7-6 walk-off win for the Atlanta Braves over the Washington Nationals. With bases loaded, Pederson hit a single to left field to get Ozzie Albies home in a game where five homers were scored.

Nicky Lopez starred for the Kansas City Royals as they won 6-0 against the Baltimore Orioles, hitting an early home run and driving in Hunter Dozier in the eighth, going three-for-five.

The St Louis Cardinals made up ground in the Wild Card race with a 2-1 win over World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, where Tyler O'Neill hit a tie-breaking home run.

 

Phillies let it slip late

The Philadelphia Phillies led 2-1 heading into the ninth inning but allowed three Colorado Rockies runs to lose 4-3, denting their Wild Card aspirations. With two out, closer Ian Kennedy's breaking ball was clubbed for a two-run homer by Ryan McMahon. Sam Hilliard backed that up with a towering moon shot off Kennedy and the Phillies could not reel that in.

 

Manaea fans nine for A's

Oakland Athletics left-handed Sean Manaea struck out nine over seven innings of one-run ball as the A's beat the Chicago White Sox 3-1. Manaea may be deputy to Frankie Montas but he looms as a capable co-anchor. The A's are now 76-64 and second in the AL West.

 

Thursday's results 

St Louis Cardinals 2-1 Los Angeles Dodgers
Oakland Athletics 3-1 Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians 4-1 Minnesota Twins
Miami Marlins 3-2 New York Mets
Colorado Rockies 4-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Kansas City Royals 6-0 Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 New York Yankees
Atlanta Braves 7-6 Washington Nationals

 

Yankees at Mets

A crucial Subway Series between the Yankees and New York Mets (70-71) gets underway on Friday. Jordan Montgomery starts for the Yankees, while city rivals the Mets send Tylor Megill to the mound.

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    The Atlanta Braves have replaced injured pitcher Charlie Morton with left-hander Tucker Davidson on their World Series roster.

    Morton was forced out of the 6-2 win over the Houston Astros in Game 1 on Tuesday after he was struck in the lower right leg by Yuli Gurriel's comebacker in the second inning.

    The 37-year-old right-hander initially stayed in the game, but was withdrawn in the third inning, with X-rays later revealing a series-ending broken right fibula.

    Davidson had a 3.60 ERA with 18 strikeouts in four big league starts this season, occurring back in May and June.

    The 25-year-old has not appeared in postseason games and missed much of the regular season with left forearm inflammation.

    Morton had a 3.34 ERA, with 216 strikeouts with a 14-6 record across the 2021 MLB season.

  • World Series 2021: Soler's mixed emotions as victorious Braves lose Morton to leg break World Series 2021: Soler's mixed emotions as victorious Braves lose Morton to leg break

    Atlanta Braves star Jorge Soler conceded Charlie Morton's injury had taken the shine off his team's 6-2 triumph over the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series.

    Morton took a hard grounder off the leg in the second inning but remained in the game to finish out the frame, then struck out the first batter of the third before leaving when the pain became too intense.

    X-rays revealed the 37-year-old had suffered a broken right fibula, ruling him out of the remainder of the series.

    Soler, who hit the third pitch of the game for a home run, said of Morton's setback: "It was extremely challenging for us.

    "We saw him getting treatment and getting worked on. He went back out there to pitch on that broken leg.

    "It was really challenging and emotional for us to have to see him in the game being hurt, our World Series opener, starter."

    In the 117th edition of the World Series, Soler became the first player to lead off the top of the first inning of Game 1 with a homer – a welcome development for Atlanta as teams that score first in the 2021 postseason are now 25-7. 

    "The energy was amazing and electric, especially after we took a 1-0 lead after that home run," said Soler.

    "I feel extremely grateful to be here and be a member of this organisation. I feel like Atlanta opened its arms for me. They traded for me, and they gave me opportunity to play every day.

    "So as far as I'm concerned, I'm extremely grateful to the organisation, to the fans who have definitely supported us, and like I said, I'm very happy to be here."

    Astros starter Framber Valdez had been dominant early in games, allowing only one run in the first two innings over his previous six games combined, but he would retire only six of the 15 men he faced Tuesday before departing down 5-0 with no outs in the third inning. 

    Beyond Soler's leadoff blast, the other big offensive blow for the Braves was a two-run laser over the left-field fence by Adam Duvall in the third that drove Valdez from the game.  

    Game 2 is on Wednesday in Houston with Max Fried taking the mound for the Braves against the Astros' Jose Urquidy. 

  • World Series 2021: Braves start hot, beat Astros in Game 1 World Series 2021: Braves start hot, beat Astros in Game 1

    The Atlanta Braves had the best possible start and held on from there to take Game 1 of the World Series from the Houston Astros 6-2 on Tuesday. 

    Jorge Soler hit the third pitch of the game for a home run and the Braves scored in each of the first three innings to build what proved to be an insurmountable lead out of the gate at Minute Maid Park. 

    In the 117th edition of the World Series, Soler became the first player to lead off the top of the first inning of Game 1 with a homer – a welcome development for Atlanta as teams that score first in the 2021 postseason are now 25-7. 

    Astros starter Framber Valdez had been dominant early in games, allowing only one run in the first two innings over his previous six games combined, but he would retire only six of the 15 men he faced Tuesday before departing down 5-0 with no outs in the third inning. 

    Beyond Soler's leadoff blast, the other big offensive blow for the Braves was a two-run laser over the left-field fence by Adam Duvall in the third that drove Valdez from the game. 

    His opposite number, Charlie Morton, also failed to make it out of the third, but his departure came through injury rather than ineffectiveness. 

    Morton took a hard grounder off the leg in the second inning but remained in the game to finish out the frame, then struck out the first batter of the third before leaving when the pain became too intense. X-rays would reveal the 37-year-old had suffered a broken right fibula. 

    Losing Morton for the remainder of the series will be a blow to Atlanta, but they cannot complain about the all-around effort that allowed them to break a string of eight consecutive World Series game losses dating to their last Fall Classic appearances in 1999 and 1996. 

    Every batter in the Braves' starting lineup had at least one hit by the sixth inning and four relievers managed to keep Houston under control after Morton's injury. 

    Atlanta also scratched out a late run thanks to some aggressive baserunning by Dansby Swanson in the eighth and got out of the bottom of that inning when NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario threw out Yuli Gurriel at second base as he tried to stretch a drive off the outfield wall into a double. 

    Game 2 is Wednesday in Houston with Max Fried taking the mound for the Braves against the Astros' Jose Urquidy. 

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