The San Francisco Giants were off Monday but suffered a key loss, announcing X-rays had revealed a fracture in star first baseman Brandon Belt's left thumb.

Belt took a 93 mph fastball off his hand in the seventh inning of Sunday's game against the Colorado Rockies and immediately went to the ground in pain. 

The team did not provide a timetable for his potential return, saying he would meet with doctors over the next few days. 

Belt has been among the hottest hitters in the game in recent weeks, hitting .349 with a 1.172 OPS in September while hitting nine home runs. 

He leads the Giants with 29 homers despite missing nearly two months' worth of games in separate stints earlier this season due to a knee injury. 

The Giants have MLB's best record at 102-54 but remain locked in a struggle with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers (100-56) for the National League West title entering the final week of the regular season. 

If the Giants can maintain their edge, they will avoid having to play in the one-and-done wild card game to open the postseason. 

Losing Belt will make that a bit more difficult, and an extended absence would be a critical blow to a team that has found a way to win all season. 

The New York Yankees are in pole position in the American League (AL) Wild Card race thanks to a sweep of rivals the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

An eighth-inning rally fuelled the Yankees to a 6-3 victory over the Red Sox and a sixth consecutive win in MLB.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer, while Aaron Judge doubled home two runs as the Yankees seized control from the Red Sox in the AL Wild Card chase.

Stanton became the first Yankees player with 10-plus RBI in a three-game series at Fenway Park, according to Stats Perform. The previous record for a Yankee was held by Joe DiMaggio and Hideki Matsui (nine).

With the three-game sweep, the Yankees (89-67) now lead the Red Sox (88-68) by one game for the top AL Wild Card berth with six games remaining, while the Toronto Blue Jays (87-69) are two games adrift following their 5-2 success against the Minnesota Twins.

 

Brewers crowned NL Central champs

The Milwaukee Brewers secured their second National League (NL) Central title in four years following an 8-4 win at home to the New York Mets. Willy Adames led the way with a two-run homer and three RBI.

Shohei Ohtani boosted his MVP credentials with a dominant display, despite the Los Angeles Angels losing 5-1 to the Seattle Mariners. After two triples on Saturday, two-way star Ohtani struck out 10 batters, while giving up just one run and five hits in seven innings without a walk. He is the first player to combine for multiple triples and 10-plus strikeouts in back-to-back team games since Chief Bender in 1905, per Stats Perform.

The St Louis Cardinals celebrated their 16th straight win by topping the Chicago Cubs 4-2. St Louis' franchise-record streak is the longest in MLB since the Cleveland Indians won 22 games in a row in 2017. The Cardinals are the first NL team to win 16 successive games since the New York Giants in 1951.

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers have won 100 games in a season for the eighth time in franchise history. The Dodgers blanked the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0.

 

Phillies' streak ends

The Philadelphia Phillies had their five-game winning streak snapped in a 6-0 shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In a blow to their playoff hopes, Phillies starter Hans Crouse gave up a home run on his first major league pitch. The 23-year-old allowed two hits and walked four batters in three innings.

 

A's walk it off

Mark Canha's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning saw the Oakland Athletics edge the AL West-leading Houston Astros 4-3 in a walk-off success.

 

Sunday's results

Kansas City Royals 2-1 Detroit Tigers
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-0 Philadelphia Phillies
Texas Rangers 7-4 Baltimore Orioles
Chicago White Sox 5-2 Cleveland Indians
Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 Miami Marlins
Cincinnati Reds 9-2 Washington Nationals
Milwaukee Brewers 8-4 New York Mets
Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 Minnesota Twins
St Louis Cardinals 4-2 Chicago Cubs
San Francisco Giants 6-2 Colorado Rockies
Oakland Athletics 4-3 Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners 5-1 Los Angeles Angels
Atlanta Braves 4-3 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
New York Yankees 6-3 Boston Red Sox

 

Athletics at Mariners

Monday is a battle between two teams still chasing a Wild Card spot in the AL. The Mariners (86-70) are two games behind the Red Sox, who occupy the second and final berth, while the Athletics (85-71) are three games off the pace. Chris Flexen will toe the mound for the Mariners, with A's pitcher Cole Irvin set to start.

The streaking St Louis Cardinals made history with their 15th successive victory, an 8-5 win against the Chicago Cubs in MLB action on Saturday.

St Louis set a franchise record by extending their winning run to 15 games behind a rallying effort, eclipsing the 14-game streak in 1935.

Harrison Bader, Tyler O'Neill and Paul DeJong homered for the in-form Cardinals, who hold the second National League (NL) Wild Card spot.

The Cubs led 4-2 after four innings before a three-run seventh ignited the Cardinals away at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

"It's an incredible feeling. It's a complete elation of knowing every time we come to the field that we're going to win," said Cardinals centerfielder T.J. McFarland said.

"It's that confidence – I don't want to say arrogance – but it's almost that motivation every time we come to the field, we're expecting to win, and we're rising to the occasion when we need to."

 

Rays crowned AL East's best again

For the second straight season, the Tampa Bay Rays clinched the American League (AL) East crown. The high-flying Rays made sure of the title via a 7-3 victory at home to the Miami Marlins.

Shohei Ohtani became just the second player in history with at least 45 homers, 20 stolen bases and six triples in a season, after Willie Mays in 1955. Ohtani hit consecutive triples to inspire the Los Angeles Angels to a 14-1 demolition of the Seattle Mariners, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.

Brandon Belt homered twice as the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants set a franchise record for home runs in a season during their 7-2 win over the Colorado Rockies. The Giants have homered 236 times in 2021, surpassing the 235 hit in 2001. San Francisco hold a two-game lead over World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were upstaged by the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2.

The Toronto Blue Jays – two games adrift in the AL Wild Card chase – beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1 behind Marcus Semien. The Blue Jays star tallied his 43rd home run of the season – tying the record for most single-season homers by a second baseman in MLB history, alongside Davey Johnson (1973).

 

Padres eliminated from playoff contention

Fernando Tatis Jr. and the San Diego Padres will not feature in the postseason following a 10-8 loss to the Atlanta Braves after 10 innings. Jorge Soler's go-ahead double eliminated the Padres from playoff contention. San Diego held a one-game lead for the second NL Wild Card berth on September 9 before spiralling out of form and out of the playoff mix.

 

Stanton slam boosts Yankees in Wild Card race

The New York Yankees moved into a tie with the Boston Red Sox for the AL Wild Card lead after Giancarlo Stanton's grand slam fuelled a 5-3 victory.

 

Saturday's results

St Louis Cardinals 8-5 Chicago Cubs
Philadelphia Phillies 3-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Oakland Athletics 2-1 Houston Astros
New York Yankees 5-3 Boston Red Sox
Detroit Tigers 5-1 Kansas City Royals
Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 Miami Marlins
Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Texas Rangers
Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 New York Mets
Toronto Blue Jays 6-1 Minnesota Twins
Cincinnati Reds 7-6 Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves 10-8 San Diego Padres
Cleveland Indians 6-0 Chicago White Sox
Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants 7-2 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels 14-1 Seattle Mariners

 

Blue Jays at Twins

The Blue Jays (86-69) will continue their Wild Card quest away to the Twins (69-86) on Sunday. Toronto ace Alek Manoah is set to start, with Minnesota's Jax Griffin to toe the mound.

The St Louis Cardinals continued their remarkable run of form, matching a franchise record amid the team's 14-game unbeaten streak in MLB.

On Friday, the streaking Cardinals swept their doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs 8-5 and 14-2 to equal St Louis' record for most consecutive victories, set in 1935.

St Louis reinforced their hold on the second National League (NL) Wild Card spot after improving to 85-69 this season.

Tyler O'Neill homered twice in the day, including a three-run shot with the Cards leading 3-2 in the second inning of the later game.

Lars Nootbaar hit two of the five homers in the evening game, helping the Cardinals complete the Cubs sweep.

"I've said it since even the offseason, day one of Spring Training and at any point in time I get the opportunity to talk about this group," said Cardinals manager Mike Shildt. "It's a special group."

Yankees move clear of Jays in Wild Card race, Franco extends streak

The New York Yankees claimed a critical win in the American League (AL) Wild Card battle, defeating rivals the Boston Red Sox 8-3 after plundering seven runs in the opening three innings. Giancarlo Stanton delivered a flat three-run homer in the third inning as part of his four-RBI performance which underlined the Yankees' win over the AL Wild Card leaders.

The Yankees – enjoying a four-game winning streak – enhanced their playoff hopes after the Toronto Blue Jays went down 3-1 to the Minnesota Twins. The Blue Jays are 85-69, level with the red-hot Seattle Mariners and two games adrift of the Yankees (86-67) in the race for the second AL Wild Card berth.

Tampa Bay Rays rookie Wander Franco returned and continued his historic 40-game on-base streak as the AL East leaders blanked the Miami Marlins 8-0. Reinstated from the 10-day injured list, Franco's streak is the second longest in AL-NL history by a player aged 20 or younger, only three games short of the all-time record set by Frank Robinson in 1956. Franco also broke a tie with Johnny Damon (2011) for the second longest overall on-base streak in franchise history.

A.J. Pollock took a super catch on the fence and hit a two-run home run as World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers won 4-2 over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his 41st home run of the season with a game-winning shot in the San Diego Padres' 6-5 triumph against the Atlanta Braves. The Braves would win the second game 4-0 with Max Fried sending down his second career shutout.

 

A's hammer Astros bullpen

The Houston Astros' bullpen had a difficult day in their 14-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics. With Zack Greinke on the IL, Brandon Bielak started but lasted three innings, allowing four hits and three runs. But the real damage came late, with Yimi Garcia, Brooks Raley and Seth Martinez copping the brunt as the A's piled on 11 runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

 

Giants reach rare century

The San Francisco Giants became the first time to reach 100 wins this season, eclipsing the Colorado Rockies 7-2 to improve their record to 100-54. It marks the first time since 2003 the high-flying Giants have reached triple figures in the win column, and eighth time in franchise history. Brandon Belt and Mike Yastrzemski also became the first pair of Giants team-mates with 25-plus home runs in a season since 2006.

Post the 100 win graphic pic.twitter.com/p7sEyoHzpj

— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 25, 2021

 

 

Friday's results

St Louis Cardinals 8-5 Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers 8-5 Baltimore Orioles
Philadelphia Phillies 8-6 Pittsburgh Pirates 
Cincinnati Reds 8-7 Washington Nationals
Tampa Bay Rays 8-0 Miami Marlins
New York Yankees 8-3 Boston Red Sox
San Diego Padres 6-5 Atlanta Braves 4-0
Kansas City Royals 3-1 Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox 1-0 Cleveland Indians
St Louis Cardinals 12-4 Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 New York Mets
San Francisco Giants 7-2 Colorado Rockies
Minnesota Twins 3-1 Toronto Blue Jays
Seattle Mariners 6-5 Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics 14-2 Houston Astros
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves 4-0 San Diego Padres

 

Yankees at Red Sox

On Saturday, the Red Sox and the Yankees will meet again in their crucial AL series which will go a long way towards determining Wild Card spots. Nick Pivetta is set to start for the Red Sox, while the Yankees will likely counter with Nestor Cortes.

Houston Astros star Zack Greinke has been placed on the 10-day injured list with neck soreness.

Greinke landed on the IL ahead of Friday's MLB clash with the Oakland Athletics – the 2009 American League (AL) Cy Young Award winner replaced by Brandon Bielak for the start on the mound.

Astros rookie Peter Solomon has replaced Greinke on the roster ahead of the opening game of their three-game series against the A's.

A six-time All-Star and six-time Gold Glove Award winner, Greinke has not started since last Sunday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, when he allowed five runs in four innings.

The 37-year-old pitcher – whose IL stint is backdated to Tuesday – was placed on the COVID-19 injured list earlier this month and is 0-2 since returning, with a 12.45 ERA in his last starts.

Greinke is 11-6 across the 2021 season, with a 4.11 ERA and 117 strikeouts across 168.2 innings pitched.

The Astros are currently 91-62 and clear in top spot in the AL West. Houston need three more victories to clinch the division for a fourth time.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a terrible time in extra-inning games all season, but they picked up a critical win Thursday when Max Muncy's 10th-inning home run gave them a 7-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies. 

The Dodgers (98-55) had been 5-13 in extra-inning games prior to Thursday, compared to 10-7 for the team they have chased all summer, the rival Giants.

But San Francisco fell in extras, 7-6 to the San Diego Padres on a walk-off single in the 10th by Victor Caratini, narrowing the Giants' division lead to one game. 

The Giants have held at least a share of first place in the National League (NL) West all but one day since May 31, and the pair appear set to battle it out over the final nine games of the regular season, though they will not face each other head-to-head. 

 

White Sox clinch division title

The Chicago White Sox split a double-header with the Cleveland Indians, but they only needed to win one to clinch the American League Central title and they did that with a 7-2 triumph in the opener. Tim Anderson homered in the first and second innings, while Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez also went deep in the second as the Sox drove Cleveland starter Aaron Civale from the game. This is the first time the White Sox have reached the postseason in successive years in a franchise history that dates to 1901. 

St Louis Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright gave up a grand slam to Tyrone Taylor in the first inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder added a solo shot in the fourth. That was all Milwaukee had, though, as the Cardinals got their offence going late and rolled to an 8-5 victory punctuated by a pair of Paul Goldschmidt homers. It was the 12th win in a row for the Cardinals, who hold a commanding lead on the second NL wild-card spot. 

The Seattle Mariners remained in the American League wild card hunt with a comeback victory of their own, 6-5 over the Oakland Athletics. Home runs by Cal Raleigh, Mitch Haniger and Luis Torrens brought Seattle back from a 4-1 deficit to leave the Mariners two games back of the idle New York Yankees for the second wild card berth. 

The Philadelphia Phillies fell behind the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-0 before roaring back for a 12-6 victory that left them just two games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. A three-run homer by Ronald Torreyes in the sixth inning put Philadelphia over the top, and J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius also homered for the Phillies. It was the third time this month the Phillies have come back from a deficit of at least six runs to win, the first time any MLB team in the modern era has done that. 

 

Double setback for Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays not only lost a chance to gain ground on the idle Yankees and Boston Red Sox in their 7-2 defeat to the Minnesota Twins, they also saw a key player go down with a freak injury. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. left the game in the fifth inning when team-mate Randal Grichuk stepped on his right hand on a play in the field. X-rays were negative but Gurriel needed two stitches in his right middle finger to close the wound. Gurriel is hitting .364 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs in September. 

 

Soto still unstoppable

Juan Soto's remarkable run at the plate continued as the young Washington Nationals star hit two more home runs, his 28th and 29th of the season, in his team's 3-2 defeat of the Cincinnati Reds. Soto walked and singled in his other two trips to the plate and has reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances. It was the 24th time this season Soto has reached base at least four times in a game. The only MLB players ever to top that number are Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams and Barry Bonds. 

 

Thursday's results

Chicago White Sox 7-2 Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians 5-3 Chicago White Sox
Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 Atlanta Braves
Seattle Mariners 6-5 Oakland Athletics
San Diego Padres 7-6 San Francisco Giants
Minnesota Twins 7-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals 3-2 Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies 12-6 Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles 3-0 Texas Rangers
St Louis Cardinals 8-5 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-5 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Houston Astros

 

Yankees at Red Sox

The top two teams in the AL wild-card race open a weekend series as Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees (86-67) visit Nathan Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox (88-65) at Fenway Park. 

The Chicago White Sox clinched their sixth division title with victory over nearest American League Central challengers the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.

In the first game of a double-header at Progressive Field, the White Sox prevailed 7-2 to become the first team in MLB to clinch a division this season.

It is the fourth time they have won the AL Central – but first since 2008 – to go with two prior AL West triumphs.

In-form shortstop Tim Anderson was hugely influential in the decisive win, with three hits, two runs and four RBIs. It was his seventh straight game with a hit since returning from a hamstring injury.

But manager Tony La Russa was the centre of attention, having only returned to the major leagues with the White Sox this season after 10 years away.

Having served as White Sox manager between 1979 and 1986, earning their first division championship in 1983, La Russa went on to win the World Series with both the Oakland Athletics (in 1989) and the St Louis Cardinals (in 2006 and 2011).

The 76-year-old retired as a champion with the Cardinals but was brought back to Chicago to have an immediate impact, even if he credits the team.

"The whole thing for me is Fantasy Island," he said. "Coming back like this.

"We all know the truth. The first three jobs, the clubs were struggling when I took over. Managers don't walk into a situation like this, with a team so ready to win.

"So, I'm very, very fortunate."

The White Sox had a .383 win percentage as recently as 2018 but had improved rapidly prior to La Russa's arrival. The .136 increase between 2019 and 2020 was the ninth-largest year-to-year improvement in team history.

But La Russa's players have certainly noted his impact, as Anderson said: "He came in and allowed us to be ourselves.

"He always says players first. He allowed us to play the game the way we would want to and allowed us to have some fun."

The streaking St Louis Cardinals won their 11th consecutive game after easing past the Milwaukee Brewers 10-2 in MLB action.

Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O'Neill homered as the Cardinals extended their lead for the second National League (NL) wild-card spot by downing the division-leading Brewers on Wednesday.

The Cardinals – enjoying a four-and-a-half-game lead over the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies for the final NL wild-card berth – are in the midst of their best winning streak since an 11-game run in 2001.

"We grow from the previous days. We grew from today, we'll get after it tomorrow," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. "One of the biggest things this team does is just stay present, so it's just about staying present, keep playing, getting after it."

 

Rays clinch in fierce battle with Blue Jays

The benches cleared between the American League (AL) East-leading Tampa Bay Rays and playoff-chasing Toronto Blue Jays, but the former went on to seal a postseason spot for the third campaign in a row with a 7-1 rout. Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier was hit in the back with a pitch from Blue Jays reliever Ryan Borucki in the eighth inning.

"Oh yeah, it was intentional. I thought it was a weak move, to be quite honest," said Kiermaier. "It's over. It didn't hurt by any means, so I don't care. Whatever. We move on. We got a series win, and I hope we play those guys, I really do."

Kyle Schwarber led the way as the Boston Red Sox crushed the New York Mets 12-5. Schwarber homered twice and scored four runs. According to Stats Perform, the Red Sox star is the second player in MLB history to homer in both the first and second innings of a game three different times in the same season, after Mookie Betts in 2016. He is also the first player in MLB history to hit nine-plus home runs in a five-game span against a single opponent.

Juan Soto claimed the NL batting lead behind three hits and three RBIs in the Washington Nationals' 7-5 win over the Miami Marlins. Soto's 27th homer helped raise his average to .321.

 

Rockies get on top of Buehler

Walker Buehler had a rough outing as World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 10-5 at the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers starter gave up five runs on seven hits over 3.2 innings, including a homer.

 

Tatis hits homer number 40

The San Diego Padres went down to the high-flying San Francisco Giants 8-6 but star Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his 40th home run of the season. He joined Johnny Bench as the only players aged 22 or younger to hit 40 homers in their first 119 games of a season.

 

Wednesday's results

Atlanta Braves 9-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 4-1 Oakland Athletics
San Francisco Giants 8-6 San Diego Padres
Tampa Bay Rays 7-1 Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals 7-5 Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees 7-3 Texas Rangers
Boston Red Sox 12-5 New York Mets
Minnesota Twins 5-4 Chicago Cubs
St Louis Cardinals 10-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Colorado Rockies 10-5 Los Angeles Dodgers
Houston Astros 9-5 Los Angeles Angels
Pittsburgh Pirates-Cincinnati Reds (postponed)
Chicago White Sox-Detroit Tigers (postponed)
Kansas City Royals-Cleveland Indians (postponed)

 

Dodgers at Rockies

The Dodgers (97-55) face the Rockies (71-80) on Thursday, with their three-game series on the line. Dodgers ace Max Scherzer is set to start, while the Rockies are poised to send Kyle Freeland to the mound.

Luis Severino made a successful return from long-term injury on the hill as the New York Yankees stayed in the American League (AL) Wild Card hunt with a 7-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

Giancarlo Stanton creamed a solo home run, with a recorded 118 mph exit velocity, to get the Yankees on their way to victory.

Joey Galllo homered for the 38th time this season, while Aaron Judge's three-run home run in the seventh inning put the Yankees up 7-1.

But with the game practically done and dusted, Severino's return was one of the game's big highlights.

The 27-year-old was making his first appearance since October 15, 2019 due to injuries, and produced two scoreless innings and two strikeouts.

The win keeps the Yankees (85-67) just behind the Toronto Blue Jays (85-66), who overcame the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2.

 

Rare air for 10-straight Cardinals

The St Louis Cardinals recorded their 10th straight win to further enhance their Wild Card hopes with a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The 10-game winning streak is the Cards' first since 2001, while they became the second team in the Wild Card era to move into a playoff spot with such a September run.

The Brewers almost snatched the win, down 2-1 in the ninth inning with bases loaded after Christian Yelich was walked, but Giovanny Gallegos struck out Pablo Reyes with a vicious breaking ball to close it out.

Xander Bogaerts had a game to remember, delivering his 23rd home run for the season and driving in four runs as the Boston Red Sox won 6-3 over the New York Mets to solidify their grip on an AL Wild Card spot.

LaMonte Wade Jr drove in Brandon Belt in the ninth inning as the San Francisco Giants got past the San Diego Padres 6-5 despite two homers from Manny Machado to hold sole possession of first place.

Albert Pujols drove in Gavin Lux for the game-winning run in the 10th inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers survived a scare to beat the Colorado Rockies 5-4.

Bryce Harper put on the jets to get home from J.T. Realmuto's right-field flyball to seal a crucial walk-off win for the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 over the Baltimore Orioles.

 

Reds miss golden opportunity

Nicholas Castellanos, Joey Votto and Kyle Farmer all fluffed a golden chance to press the Cincinnati Reds' National League (NL) Wild Card case, getting out on consecutive at-bats trailing 3-2 with bases loaded in the sixth inning. The Reds eventually went down 6-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates, leaving Cincinnati 78-74, trailing the Cards by four games in the race for the second NL Wild Card spot.

 

Ohtani homes in on more records

Shohei Ohtani homered for the first time since September 10 as the Los Angeles Angels went down 10-5 to the Houston Astros. Ohtani's solo shot was his 45th home run for the season, pulling him within one of the equal league lead alongside Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Salvador Perez. Ohtani is also now tied with Mike Trout in second for most homers in a single season in Angels franchise history.

 

Tuesday's results 

Detroit Tigers 5-3 Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians 4-1 Kansas City Royals
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Cincinnati Reds
Washington Nationals 7-1 Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees 7-1 Texas Rangers
Boston Red Sox 6-3 New York Mets
Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 Tampa Bay Rays
Minnesota Twins 9-5 Chicago Cubs
St Louis Cardinals 2-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 Colorado Rockies
Houston Astros 10-5 Los Angeles Angels
Seattle Mariners 5-2 Oakland Athletics
Atlanta Braves 6-1 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants 6-5 San Diego Padres

 

Blue Jays at Rays

The Blue Jays' (85-66) battle for the second AL Wild Card spot is getting tight, and they will look to round out their series with the Rays with another victory, with the Yankees (85-67) breathing down their necks.

Yandy Diaz smashed a three-run go-ahead homer while Shane Baz impressed on debut as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 in MLB on Monday.

Trailing 2-0 at the bottom of the fifth inning with two on base, Diaz stepped up and sent Robbie Ray over the wall at left-center field.

Tampa Bay would not be headed from that point on, with Joey Wendle and Yandy Diaz adding further runs. Wendle also hit a solo home run, before Marcus Semien's two-run homer halved the deficit in the ninth inning.

Dietrich Enns held his nerve to close out the victory for the Rays but another pitcher grabbed plenty of attention as debutant Baz sent down five strikeouts in five innings.

The 22-year-old right-hander held the in-form Blue Jays to only two solo home runs across the first five innings and did not look out of place at majors level.

"It was like a dream-come-true type thing," Baz said. "When I got on the field, it just felt right."

Rays manager Kevin Cash added: "You're not going to see many more impressive outings against Toronto's lineup. So happy for him. He was awesome. Fun to watch."

 

Flying Cardinals make it nine straight

The surging St Louis Cardinals claimed their ninth successive victory, topping the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 after Nolan Arenado's first-inning two-run homer.

The victory, which marked Cards starting pitcher Jon Lester's 200th win of his majors career, keeps St Louis three games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds in the National League (NL) Wild Card race.

The Reds got past the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-5, with Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez hitting back-to-back home runs to turn the game.

Votto enjoyed his fourth multi home-run game for this season, as well as the 17th of his career.

Salvador Perez broke the record for most home runs in a season by a primary catcher, surpassing Johnny Bench's mark of 45, with a homer in the Kansas City Royals' 7-2 win over the Cleveland Indians.

Gary Sanchez's early homer along with a strong bullpen display helped the New York Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 4-3.

 

Angels wings clipped again

Things have gone south for Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels in the second half of this season, managing only six hits and no runs in their 10-0 defeat to the Houston Astros. The Astros piled on eight runs in the final two innings, with Andrew Wantz and Jose Marte unable to stop a fourth straight loss.

 

Duvall creams monster home run

Adam Duvall provided a major highlight when he smoked a monster two-run home run in the Atlanta Braves' 11-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The HR travelled a projected 483 feet, per Statcast, going down as the fourth longest home run of the 2021 majors.

 

Monday's results 

Kansas City Royals 7-2 Cleveland Indians
Miami Marlins 8-7 Washington Nationals
Cincinnati Reds 9-5 Pittsburgh Pirates
Detroit Tigers 4-3 Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees 4-3 Texas Rangers
Baltimore Orioles 2-0 Philadelphia Phillies
Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Toronto Blue Jays
St Louis Cardinals 5-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Kansas City Royals 4-2 Cleveland Indians
Houston Astros 10-0 Los Angeles Angels
Atlanta Braves 11-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 4-2 Oakland Athletics

 

Cardinals at Brewers

The Cardinals will chase their 10th consecutive victory, which would reinforce their grip on the second NL Wild Card spot, when they face the Brewers in the second game of their four-game series.

The St Louis Cardinals scored five runs in the first inning and held on to defeat the slumping San Diego Padres 8-7 on Sunday as they solidified their hold on the final National League (NL) Wild Card spot. 

It was the eighth win in a row for the Cardinals (79-69) and their 10th in the last 11 games, all against teams in MLB postseason contention. 

At the conclusion of play on September 7, the Cardinals were 69-68 and three and a half games adrift of the Padres for the second Wild Card position. The teams have now swapped places as the Padres (76-73) have gone 3-8 over the same span. 

Sunday's meeting at Busch Stadium saw Padres starter Jake Arrieta leave the game with a groin strain after recording just one out among the six batters he faced, leaving San Diego a deficit they could not overcome. 

All eight of the Cardinals' starting position players recorded at least one hit as the offence scraped together enough runs to give J.A. Happ and five relievers the cushion they needed to come away with the win. 

The Cardinals have 14 games remaining – seven against the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers and seven against the struggling Chicago Cubs – with a four-game series in Milwaukee set to begin on Monday.

 

Blue Jays expand edge over Yankees

The Toronto Blue Jays also scored five runs in the first inning and that was all they needed in a 5-3 defeat of the Minnesota Twins that left them one and a half games up on the New York Yankees for the final American League (AL) postseason slot. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had three more hits for Toronto and Bo Bichette slugged his 26th home run for the Blue Jays as former Twin Jose Berrios pitched 6.2 innings to earn the win. The Blue Jays (84-65) are 15-3 in September and 19 games above .500 for the first time since August 31, 2016.    

The Yankees fell 11-1 to the Cleveland Indians, surrendering 22 runs the last two games after shutting out Cleveland in Friday's series opener. Gerrit Cole matched a season high in allowing seven earned runs over 5.2 innings as Jose Ramirez went four-for-four and hit his 35th home run for the Indians. 

The Oakland Athletics withstood a late Los Angeles Angels rally to win 3-2 in 10 innings on Jed Lowrie's walk-off sacrifice fly and keep pace in the AL Wild Card race, two games back of Toronto. Solo homers by Yan Gomes and Matt Chapman off Angels starter Shohei Ohtani were the difference until the ninth as Oakland's Frankie Montas limited LA to just one hit in his seven innings. The Angels finally added three more hits in the final frame to score twice and force extras but could not finish the job. 

The New York Mets dealt a blow to the Philadelphia Phillies' playoff hopes by rallying for a 3-2 victory thanks to Dominic Smith's two-run double in the fifth and Jeff McNeil's solo homer in the seventh. With the loss, the Phillies fall to three and a half games back of the Cardinals. 

 

Reds' playoff hopes continue to fade

The Cincinnati Reds lost 8-5 to the Los Angeles Dodgers, marking their eighth successive series defeat as their hopes to earn a Wild Card berth continue to dim. The Reds are 8-16 over that span, which dates to August 24, and with Sunday's loss have fallen three games behind the Cardinals for the final NL postseason spot. 

 

Rosario's cycle helps Braves snap skid

Eddie Rosario hit for the cycle the hard way, saving the single for last as he became the eighth Atlanta Braves player to single, double, triple and homer in the same game. Even better, the Braves' 3-0 win over the San Francisco Giants snapped a four-game losing streak that including three one-run defeats (two of them in extra innings) and a two-run loss. 

 

Sunday's results 

Cleveland Indians 11-1 New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox 8-6 Baltimore Orioles
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 Cincinnati Reds
Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 Minnesota Twins
Washington Nationals 3-0 Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers 2-0 Tampa Bay Rays
Miami Marlins 6-5 Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago White Sox 7-2 Texas Rangers
Houston Astros 7-6 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 7-1 Kansas City Royals
Chicago Cubs 6-4 Milwaukee Brewers
St Louis Cardinals 8-7 San Diego Padres
Atlanta Braves 3-0 San Francisco Giants
Oakland Athletics 3-2 Los Angeles Angels
New York Mets 3-2 Philadelphia Phillies

 

Blue Jays at Rays

The Toronto Blue Jays (84-65) send Robbie Ray to the mound as they open a critical three-game series at Tropicana Field against the Rays (92-58), who will give top pitching prospect Shane Baz his MLB debut. 

One of the Toronto Blue Jays' top pitchers will miss at least one start as they try to secure an MLB postseason spot after ace Ryu Hyun-jin landed on the injured list.

The in-form Blue Jays placed Ryu on the IL on Sunday due to neck tightness following a second consecutive difficult outing. 

Ryu lasted a season-low 2.1 innings in a September 11 game against the Baltimore Orioles after complaining of tightness in his forearm following his previous start. 

The 2019 All-Star followed it up by going only two innings in a loss to the Minnesota Twins on Friday and felt discomfort in his neck on Saturday.

Ryu allowed a total of 13 hits and 12 runs across those two outings as his ERA ballooned from 3.77 to 4.34. 

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told reporters Ryu did not feel the neck issue while he was pitching and said Toronto expect the 34-year-old pitcher to miss only one start. 

"At this point in the season we didn't want to just push through," Atkins said. 

The Blue Jays recalled reliever Tayler Saucedo from Triple-A Buffalo to fill the veteran's roster spot, and manager Charlie Montoyo said the team likely would turn Ryu's next scheduled start at the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday over to the bullpen. 

"He's been one of our aces the last few years," Montoyo said. "Hopefully this won't take that long."

The Blue Jays have won 18 of their last 22 games following Sunday's 5-3 success against the Twins and lead the New York Yankees by a game and a half for the final American League (AL) Wild Card spot. 

The Milwaukee Brewers may have clinched their postseason spot for the fourth season in a row but they are not celebrating yet.

The Brewers defeated the Chicago Cubs 6-4 to seal their playoffs spot on Saturday, with Corbin Burnes dominating on the hill with 11 strikeouts.

The win improved Milwaukee's record to a 91-57 in the National League Central division, well ahead of the St Louis Cardinals (78-69) and the Cincinnati Reds (77-72).

"We’ve put the ability to win the division in our control, so that's our goal and we're sticking to that goal," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.

"We know that we're in the playoffs and everybody is thrilled with that, but we feel like we've earned the right to wait until we win this division."

Counsell has been Brewers manager since 2015, leading the modest franchise throughout a productive period.

Burnes added: "There are still a lot of games left that we have to keep our focus toward.

"I think there will be a little bit of celebrating tonight, but the main celebration is going to be when we clinch the division."

The Brewers have never been world champions, making the postseason seven times previously. Milwaukee were American League pennant winners in 1982.

Max Scherzer continued his dominance in Cincinnati, tossing down seven strikeouts as the Los Angeles Dodgers won 5-1 over the Reds in MLB on Saturday.

Scherzer allowed only two hits and had two walks across seven innings in the win which slows the Reds' National League (NL) Wild Card pursuit.

The Dodgers right-hander has a 0.33 ERA in his four starts in Cincinnati and he maintained that form as he continues to be a leading contender for the NL Cy Young Award.

"I just had a good feel for it today," Scherzer said after the game. "Every pitch plays off each other. Every pitch makes every other pitch better."

The win, which boosts the Dodgers' hopes for finishing top in the NL West division ahead of the San Francisco Giants, was set up after Gavin Lux's fifth-inning two-run triple.

 

Brewers lock in postseason berth

The Milwaukee Brewers secured their place in the postseason for the fourth consecutive season with a 6-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Josh Hader finished the job with two Ks in the ninth inning after Corbin Burnes had 11 strikeouts across six innings. Manny Pina homered twice, including the go-ahead blast in the eighth inning.

Milwaukee joins the Giants and the Dodgers in already qualifying for the playoffs.

Giancarlo Stanton hit his 30th home run of the season but it was only consolation as the New York Yankees were beaten 11-3 by the Cleveland Indians.

Xander Bogaerts crushed a three-run homer to left-center field as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles 9-3.

A three-run first inning helped the Oakland Athletics boost their Wild Card aspirations with a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels whose only run came from Shohei Ohtani.

 

Padres on the slide

Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis were involved a dugout flare-up as the San Diego Padres lost 3-2 to the St Louis Cardinals further denting their postseason hopes. The Padres insisted it was not infighting, but instead leadership from Machado trying to get Tatis to move on from being called out on strikes. Either way, the Padres have now lost seven of their past nine games and are sliding out of playoffs contention.

 

Semien reaches 40 HR mark

Marcus Semien brought up his 40th home run of the season, crushing a fourth inning fastball into left field. The homer helped the Toronto Blue Jays turn a 2-0 deficit into a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins. Semien joins Vladimir Guerrero, Salvador Perez and Shohei Ohtani in reaching the 40-mark, while he is within three home runs of equaling the record for a second baseman in one season.

 

Saturday's results 

Cleveland Indians 11-3 New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox 9-3 Baltimore Orioles
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 Cincinnati Reds
Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 Minnesota Twins
Colorado Rockies 6-0 Washington Nationals
Detroit Tigers 4-3 Tampa Bay Rays
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 Miami Marlins
Texas Rangers 2-1 Chicago White Sox
Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals 8-1 Seattle Mariners
Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 Chicago Cubs
St Louis Cardinals 3-2 San Diego Padres
Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 New York Mets 
San Francisco Giants 2-0 Atlanta Braves
Oakland Athletics 3-1 Los Angeles Angels

 

Padres at Cardinals

The Cardinals (78-69) and the Padres (76-72) will meet again with both pressing their respective cases for the second NL Wild Card spot.

The Los Angeles Dodgers had their six-game winning streak snapped by the Cincinnati Reds in MLB on Friday.

Already bound for the playoffs via at least a Wild Card berth, World Series champions the Dodgers were upstaged as the Reds won 3-1 in Cincinnati.

Luis Castillo outduelled Walker Buehler, striking out 10 batters, while he did not allow a runner past second base in 6.2 innings of work.

Castillo gave up five hits and two walks as Dodgers ace Buehler finished with three runs on six hits and two walks in six innings.

 

Yankees soar into Wild Card positions

The New York Yankees blanked the Cleveland Indians 8-0 behind two-time American League (AL) Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, who produced six scoreless innings. Joey Gallo homered as the Yankees (83-65) leapfrogged the Toronto Blue Jays (82-65) for the second AL Wild Card position. The Boston Red Sox (84-65) are first in the AL Wild Card race following their 7-1 rout of the Baltimore Orioles.

Jarred Kelenic (22 years and 63 days) became the youngest Seattle Mariners hitter with a multi-homer game since Alex Rodriguez in 1996. The Mariners topped the Kansas City Royals 6-2.

The Tampa Bay Rays were 7-4 winners against the Detroit Tigers. Austin Meadows recorded his 100th RBI to become the first Rays player with a century of RBIs in a season since Evan Longoria in 2010.

Brandon Crawford tied a career high with his 21st home run of the season to guide the San Francisco Giants past the Atlanta Braves 6-5.

 

A century of defeats

The Arizona Diamondbacks suffered their 100th loss of the season, a 4-3 defeat to the Houston Astros after 10 innings. Arizona's only other 100-loss season came in 2004 when the franchise tallied 111 defeats.

The Orioles also crashed to defeat number 100 for the season. Baltimore have lost at least 100 games in each of the last three 162-game campaigns.

 

Guerrero homers… again

The Blue Jays went down 7-3 to the Minnesota Twins but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. stayed hot as he reclaimed the homer lead. He homered in a losing effort, tying Joe DiMaggio for the second most home runs (46) in a season by a player aged 22 or younger. Guerrero only trails Eddie Matthews (47).

 

Friday's results 

Seattle Mariners 6-2 Kansas City Royals
New York Yankees 8-0 Cleveland Indians
Colorado Rockies 9-8 Washington Nationals
Minnesota Twins 7-3 Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox 7-1 Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays 7-4 Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds 3-1 Los Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 New York Mets
Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 Miami Marlins
Chicago White Sox 8-0 Texas Rangers
St Louis Cardinals 8-2 San Diego Padres
Houston Astros 4-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 Chicago Cubs
Oakland Athletics 5-4 Los Angeles Angels
San Francisco Giants 6-5 Atlanta Braves

 

Dodgers at Reds

The Dodgers (94-54) will look to bounce back against the Reds (77-71) on Saturday. Dodgers ace Max Scherzer is set to start as the Reds send Sonny Gray to the mound.

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