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.

The New York Yankees' playoffs hopes were dealt a blow despite Jordan Montgomery sending down 12 strikeouts as they lost 3-2 to the Baltimore Orioles in 10 innings in MLB on Thursday.

Austin Hays delivered a walk-off single in the 10th inning to give the Orioles the win, with the Yankees moving to an 82-65 record, slipping behind the Boston Red Sox (83-65) in the American League (AL) Wild Card race.

Joey Gallo had put the Yankees ahead with a solo home run in the second inning, his fifth in 11 games. Gio Urshela got Gary Sanchez home in the second for a 2-0 lead.

But the Orioles worked their way back, initially as rookie Ryan Mountcastle made history with a 438-foot solo home run in the sixth inning off Montgomery.

Mountcastle's 29th homer of the season eclipsed Cal Ripken Jr's franchise record which has stood since 1982.

That was the only earned run Montgomery allowed, conceding six hits and one walk, with his 12 Ks.

Kelvin Gutierrez tied the game off a wild Clay Holmes pitch in the ninth inning, before Hays' chopper got Jahmai Jones home for the win.

 

Rays return to winners' column

The Tampa Bay Rays returned to winning ways with a 5-2 series-opening victory over the Detroit Tigers, with Yandy Diaz setting the tone with a lead-off homer, along with a late two-run shot from Mike Zunino.

Mathematically the Rays, who improved to 91-56 in top spot in the AL East division, could clinch their postseason spot on Monday.

Bryce Harper drove in four runs including a three-run homer for his 33rd of the season as the Philadelphia Phillies crushed the Chicago Cubs 17-8.

The Phillies were buoyed by a seven-run fourth inning, helping them stay in the Wild Card hunt at 74-72.

Fernando Tatis Jr launched a solo line drive home run, his 39th of the season, as the San Diego Padres toppled the San Francisco Giants 7-4.

Carlos Correa crushed a three-run shot while Alex Bregman drove in four runs as the Houston Astros downed the Texas Rangers 12-1.

The Cincinnati Reds stopped their slide and boosted their Wild Card hopes with a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

White Sox ejected after Ohtani hit

There was late drama as the Los Angeles Angels won 9-3 over the Chicago White Sox with reliever Mike Wright Jr ejected after three wayward pitches, with the latter hitting Shohei Ohtani in the leg. White Sox manager Mike La Russa protested the decision, insisting it was not intentional, before also being ejected from the game. For what it is worth, Ohtani was OK to continue.

 

Perez equals catcher HR record

Salvador Perez clubbed a two-run homer to match Johnny Bench for the most home runs in a season by a primary catcher. Perez's first inning home run took his season tally to 45 and helped the Kansas City Royals to an early 2-0 lead, before losing 7-2 to the Oakland Athletics.

 

Thursday's results 

Cincinnati Reds 1-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Los Angeles Angels 9-3 Chicago White Sox
Oakland Athletics 7-2 Kansas City Royals
San Diego Padres 7-4 San Francisco Giants
Baltimore Orioles 3-2 New York Yankees 
Philadelphia Phillies 17-8 Chicago Cubs
Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros 12-1 Texas Rangers 

 

Padres at Cardinals

Wild Card spots are on the line when the St Louis Cardinals (76-69), who have won five games in a row, host the San Diego Padres (76-70) in the National League.

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa insisted there was no intent after he and Mike Wright Jr were ejected after the reliever hit Shohei Ohtani with a wayward pitch.

The White Sox were beaten 9-3 by the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday and they were already trailing by that scoreline when the incident occurred at the top of the ninth inning.

Wright sent down to two consecutive errant pitches before a third, a 90.4 mph fastball, struck Ohtani on the calf.

The umpires convened and ejected Wright, before La Russa's protestations prompted him also to be tossed out of the game.

The incident came with context after White Sox trio Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert and Jose Abreu were by pitches in Tuesday's 9-3 win over the Angels in the first game of the series.

"It was not intentional. The reasoning did not make sense," La Russa said.

“[Second-base umpire Bill Welke] felt that there was stuff lying on that first game. It was all us getting hit. And he noticed all that, but they didn’t do anything.

"But he ruled that that was intentional, and he made a mistake."

He added: “I'm not gonna belabor this. It wasn’t intentional, he read it wrong, and it wasn’t consistent with the way that number one, they treated the three hit batsmen, and secondly, where was our retaliation? First the game yesterday, and today he made a mistake.

"It’s upsetting. It looks bad for our pitcher, our team, me. It disappoints me."

Angels manager Joe Maddon disagreed with La Russa, calling it "retaliatory".

"We had hit two hitters for them, inadvertently, so it was retaliatory," Maddon said. "We knew that."

Bo Bichette and Robbie Ray led the way as the playoff-chasing Toronto Blue Jays took down the American League (AL) East-leading Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 in MLB.

Bichette homered and matched his career high with five RBIs, becoming the second Blue Jays shortstop to hit 25-plus home runs in a season after Tony Batista in 1999 on Wednesday.

Blue Jays ace Ray struck out 13 batters over seven innings in a dominant display to claim the strike-out lead in MLB.

Ray allowed one run and four hits for his fourth successive decision – the starting pitcher is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 91 strikeouts since July 21.

He is also just the second Blue Jays pitcher to have double-digit 10-plus strike-out games in a season after Roger Clemens in 1997 and 1998.

Ray leads AL starters in ERA (2.64), strikeouts (223), innings (177.2) and quality starts (22).

The Blue Jays (82-64) – who have won six straight series, New York Yankees (82-64) and Boston Red Sox (83-65) are in a three-team tie in the AL Wild Card race.

 

Yankees win… again

The Yankees topped the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 to clinch their 29th consecutive winning season – the second longest streak in MLB history, behind their own 39-year run from 1926-64.

Jonathan India of the Cincinnati Reds became the first rookie in MLB history with at least 20 homers, 20 hits by pitch and 10 stolen bases in a season, according to Stats Perform. The Reds lost 5-4 to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Kansas City Royals lost a wild clash with the Oakland Athletics 12-10, but it was a memorable outing for Andrew Benintendi. Over his last seven games, Benintendi has 19 hits and 17 RBI. According to Stats Perform, he is the first MLB player to reach both of those numbers over a seven-game span since Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr in 1950.

 

Megill struggles in Mets sweep

It was a rough outing for rookie Tylor Megill as his New York Mets were crushed 11-4 by the St Louis Cardinals in a series sweep. In three innings, Megill gave up six runs, a homer and two walks on nine hits.

The Minnesota Twins suffered a 12-3 defeat to the Cleveland Indians as Jovani Moran allowed four hits and four runs in just 1.2 innings of work. Twins team-mate Andrew Albers gave up three runs, two homers and two walks on three hits in 2.2 innings. It came after starter Griffin Jax pitched 4.2 innings, which included seven hits, five runs, a home run and a walk.

The high-flying San Francisco Giants had their nine-game winning streak snapped following a 9-6 defeat to Wild Card hopefuls the San Diego Padres.

 

Perez extends homer rally in milestone appearance

While the Royals lost, star Salvador Perez hit his 44th home run of the season in the fifth inning, moving into a tie with Shohei Ohtani and within one of MLB leader Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Perez's 196th career home run came in his 1,000th start behind the plate.

 

Wednesday's results 

Miami Marlins 8-6 Washington Nationals
Detroit Tigers 4-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 Tampa Bay Rays
Boston Red Sox 9-4 Seattle Mariners
Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 Chicago Cubs
New York Yankees 4-3 Baltimore Orioles
St Louis Cardinals 11-4 New York Mets
Colorado Rockies 3-2 Atlanta Braves
Cleveland Indians 12-3 Minnesota Twins
Houston Astros 7-2 Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Chicago White Sox
Oakland Athletics 12-10 Kansas City Royals
San Diego Padres 9-6 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 Arizona Diamondbacks

 

Yankees at Orioles

The Yankees (82-64) will be out to extend their winning streak when they lock horns against with the Orioles (46-99) on Thursday. Jordan Montgomery is set to start for the Yankees, while the Orioles counter with Chris Ellis.

Buster Posey's 18th home run of the season helped the San Francisco Giants to their ninth consecutive win in MLB, a 6-1 rout of the San Diego Padres.

Posey starred for the Giants after homering in the opening inning before scoring the go-ahead run in the third on Tuesday.

Anthony DeSclafani tossed 6.2 innings of one-run ball for the Giants in San Francisco.

The National League (NL) West-leading Giants are enjoying their longest winning streak since a 10-game run in 2004, while they have scored at least six runs in each game over the nine-game stretch – a San Francisco-era record.

Opponents have not scored six runs once amid the winning streak. The Giants are the first team to score six-plus runs while allowing fewer than six in nine straight games since the New York Yankees in 1939, per Stats Perform.

 

Dodgers playoff-bound again

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched a postseason berth for the ninth successive year – their longest streak in franchise history – after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4.

The Tampa Bay Rays became the first American League (AL) team to reach 90 victories by trumping the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays 2-0. Brandon Lowe and Ji-Man Choi homered to stop the Blue Jays, who had won 15 of their previous 17 games while scoring 128 runs during that stretch.

The Detroit Tigers were 1-0 walk-off winners against the Milwaukee Brewers. Detroit also walked off against the Rays in their last game. According to Stats Perform, the Tigers are the first team in MLB history to have back-to-back walk-off victories against two different teams 30-plus games over .500.

Aaron Judge fuelled a five-homer onslaught as the Yankees crushed the Baltimore Orioles 7-2. Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Joey Gallo and DJ LeMahieu also hit home runs.

 

Greinke's return doesn't go according to plan

Zack Greinke was roughed up in his return from COVID-19. The Houston Astros ace allowed eight runs on five hits and three walks in five innings as the AL West leaders were swept aside 8-1 by the Texas Rangers.

The Cincinnati Reds lost for the sixth time in eight games with a 6-5 defeat against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

Perez adds to homer tally

Salvador Perez tied Javy Lopez for the second-most home runs (43) by a catcher in a season. Perez led the Kansas City Royals past the Oakland Athletics 10-7.

 

Tuesday's results 

San Francisco Giants 6-1 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Boston Red Sox 8-4 Seattle Mariners
Cleveland Indians 3-1 Minnesota Twins
Cleveland Indians 6-3 Minnesota Twins
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 Cincinnati Reds
Detroit Tigers 1-0 Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs 6-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals 8-2 Miami Marlins
New York Yankees 7-2 Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 Toronto Blue Jays
St Louis Cardinals 7-6 New York Mets
Colorado Rockies 5-4 Atlanta Braves
Texas Rangers 8-1 Houston Astros
Chicago White Sox 9-3 Los Angeles Angels
Kansas City Royals 10-7 Oakland Athletics

 

Padres at Giants

The Giants (95-50) will put their winning streak on the line when they look to clinch their series with the Padres (74-70) on Wednesday.

The Milwaukee Brewers' all-time home-run leader Ryan Braun has called time on his MLB career.

Braun announced his retirement from baseball on Tuesday – the 37-year-old left fielder had not played since becoming a free agent when the Brewers declined a mutual option in his contract at the end of last season.

The six-time All-Star and the 2011 National League (ML) MVP, who spent his entire career in Milwaukee, holds the Brewers record for most home runs with 352.

Braun is fourth in franchise history with 1,766 games played and second to Robin Yount in doubles (408) and RBIs (1,154).

Among players who have logged at least 2,500 Brewers plate appearances, Braun is second to Prince Fielder with a .532 slugging percentage and an .891 OPS.

"I have decided to officially retire as an active player," Braun said in a video released by the Brewers.

"I have weighed this decision for many months. While I still love this game very much, the time is right for me to retire from my playing days.

"It's difficult to describe my emotions today, but it starts with overwhelming gratitude to those who have shared this experience with me while offering their unconditional support at every turn. ... I will forever appreciate the best fans in the game and the countless people who came out to the ballpark night after night, making Milwaukee the greatest city to play the game."

Braun made his MLB debut with the Brewers in 2007 and he was part of the Milwaukee teams that won the NL Central division titles in 2011 and 2018.

The NL home run leader in 2012, Braun – Rookie of the Year in 2007 – also earned five Silver Slugger Awards.

"Ryan brought us many unforgettable moments on the field; from playoff-clinching dramatic home runs to nearly 2,000 career hits, he is unquestionably one of the greatest players in Brewers history," Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio said.

"Moreover, Ryan has become a good friend to our family, and his commitment of countless service hours and more than $1million to community causes over the years has impacted many lives.

"Ryan was the first player drafted after I took ownership of the Brewers, and I remember that day very well. Today, we reflect on the impact that Ryan had during his 14 seasons wearing the Brewers uniform. Ryan is our all-time franchise home run leader and one of the great clutch hitters in the game.

"We were fortunate to have a front-row seat for many of these moments that defined some of the organisation's greatest achievements to date. We wish Ryan, his wife, Larisa, and their family the very best, and look forward to continuing our friendship as they move into the next chapter of their lives."

The New York Yankees produced their biggest comeback of the season fueled by Aaron Judge's three-run homer as they eclipsed the Minnesota Twins 6-5 in extra innings in MLB on Monday.

The Yankees trailed 5-0 in the sixth before a rally capped by Judge crushing a game-tying home run, which was his 33rd homer of the season.

The win came with an ounce of luck in the eighth inning with Brett Gardner fortunate to be walked on a close call with two strikes, two outs and the Yankees 5-2 down before Judge stepped up to the plate.

In the 10th inning, Gary Sanchez ripped a single down the line to get Gleyber Torres home for the walk-off win.

Earlier, Miguel Sano hit a two-run homer for the Twins, who led 4-0 after the first inning, while Max Kepler made a super catch on DJ LeMahieu in the sixth.

The win improves the Yankees to 80-64 and they are hanging on for the second Wild Card spot in the American League (AL) despite having lost eight of their last 10 games.

 

Giants book playoff spot, Guerrero tops charts

The San Francisco Giants locked in their first playoff spot since 2016 with an impressive 9-1 win over the San Diego Padres, set up after a five-run opening inning.

Home runs by Evan Longoria, Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Belt highlighted the Giants win as Yu Darvish struggled again on the mound for the Padres, conceding eight earned runs, three walks and six hits in four innings.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr leapfrogged Shohei Ohtani into top spot on the MLB home run charts as the in-form Toronto Blue Jays won 8-1 over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Guerrero laced his 45th homer of the season with a liner into the left-field corner as the Jays won their 12th game from their past 13 in their battle for a Wild Card spot in the American League.

Clayton Kershaw returned to the hill for the first time since July 3 due to forearm tightness, tossing down five strikeouts in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 5-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Mitch Haniger hit a home run for the third consecutive game to help the Seattle Mariners beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 and keep alive their Wild Card aspirations.

 

Rangers hammered as Siri makes history

It has been a tough season for the Texas Rangers and a 15-1 hammering from the Houston Astros added to that as Jose Siri made history in his first start with five RBIs and two homers. The Rangers allowed 16 hits, trailing 9-0 after three innings. Spencer Howard surrendered six hits and six runs early, while AJ Alexy conceded four walks, four hits and six earned runs.

 

Wainwright proves age no barrier

Adam Wainwright may be 40 years old but the St Louis Cardinals right-hander is not slowing up, pitching six shutout innings in their 7-0 win over the New York Mets. The veteran only allowed four hits while recording four strikeouts, helping the Cardinals stay firmly in the National League Wild Card race. Wainwright improved to 16-7 and lowered his ERA to 2.88.

 

Monday's results 

New York Yankees 6-5 Minnesota Twins
Miami Marlins 3-0 Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays 8-1 Tampa Bay Rays
St Louis Cardinals 7-0 New York Mets
Houston Astros 15-1 Texas Rangers
San Francisco Giants 9-1 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 5-4 Boston Red Sox

 

Rays at Blue Jays

The in-form Blue Jays (81-63) have piled on 42 runs in their past four games and take on the Rays (89-55) for the second time in their three-game series in a crunch AL East clash.

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