Randy Arozarena starred as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the New York Yankees 8-4 for a 2-1 lead in the American League Division Series (ALDS).

Rookie Arozarena hit a home run for the third consecutive game in the MLB playoffs to help fuel the Rays, who also benefited from homers via Kevin Kiermaier and Michael Perez on Wednesday.

The top-ranked Rays are now just one victory away from reaching the AL Championship Series for the first time in 12 years.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Dodgers edged the San Diego Padres 6-5 in Game 2 of their National League Division Series (NLDS).

Dodgers star Bellinger became the first player to hit both a homer and rob a home run in a playoff game since Allen Craig for the St Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the 2011 World Series, per Stats Perform.

The Dodgers lead the best-of-five series 2-0 and are on the verge of advancing after withstanding a fightback from the Padres, who rallied to score twice in the ninth inning, but it was not enough midweek.

 

Arozarena making history

The first-year Rays sensation has lit up the postseason. According to Stats Perform, he is the first rookie in AL history to have four successive multi-hit games in the playoffs. Arozarena also has 25 total bases in five games this postseason. It is the most total bases by any player (rookie or not) in his first five games of a single playoff campaign in MLB history.

The Rays also became the first team in MLB postseason history to have their starting number eight and nine hitters – Kiermaier and Perez – both have three-plus RBIs in the same game.

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer against the Rays. He now has a "home-run cycle" in this series (solo, two-run, three-run and grand slam). Stanton joins Nelson Cruz (2011 ALCS) as the only players in league history to hit for the home run cycle in a single playoff series, per Stats Perform.

The Atlanta Braves blanked the Miami Marlins 2-0 as they moved within a victory of progressing to the NL Championship Series. Atlanta are just the third team in MLB history to pitch shutouts in three of their first four games in a single postseason, joining the 1905 New York Giants and 1966 Baltimore Orioles.

 

Wasteful Astros

The Houston Astros led 2-1 and 7-4 against the Oakland Athletics, but lost 9-7. Houston still lead the series 2-1 and can reach a fourth consecutive ALCS with victory on Thursday. Astros starter Jose Urquidy gave up five hits and four runs in 4.1 innings.

Masahiro Tanaka struggled for the Yankees, allowing five runs and eight hits in four innings.

 

Wednesday's results

Atlanta Braves 2-0 Miami Marlins
Oakland Athletics 9-7 Houston Astros
Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5 San Diego Padres
Tampa Bay Rays 8-4 New York Yankees

 

Rays at Yankees

The Rays can open up a 3-1 advantage if they beat the Yankees again on Thursday. Ryan Thompson starts for Tampa Bay, while the Yankees counter with Jordan Montgomery.

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-5 in the second game of their best-of-five American League Division Series at Petco Park in San Diego.

Matching the Yankees' four home runs in their game one win a day earlier, the Rays also set a new post-season record of 18 strikeouts.

Randy Arozarena, Mike Zunino, Manuel Margot and Austin Meadows plundered the home runs for the Rays, with manager Kevin Cash hailing his side's spirited display.

"We needed a win today," he said. "We needed to find a way to win today and we did. Those guys put in some pretty gutsy performances."

Elsewhere, the Houston Astros are just one game away from the AL Championship Series after a 5-2 win over the Oakland Athletics in their second meeting.

In the National League Division Series, meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves saw off the Miami Marlins 9-5, while the Los Angeles Dodgers cruised past the San Diego Padres 5-1.

 

GLASNOW'S PACE BLOWS YANKEES AWAY

Tyler Glasnow was central to the Rays' victory over the Yankees, setting the tone for a superb pitching display from his side with some blistering throws.

The right-hander threw fastballs over 100 mph to Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks in the first inning, marking the fastest pitches of his career. In total, he registered eight pitches over 100 mph; the third most by a starter in a post-season game since data became available in 2008.

"With Glasnow, I mean he was just locating his fastball," Hicks said. "By doing that, it just makes his curveball that [much] more effective. That's pretty much throughout their whole pitching staff."

FRIED FAILS TO SIZZLE IN BRAVES WIN

Making his second career post-season start, Max Fried endured a game to forget despite the Braves' win. He lost Miguel Rojas' long home run in the second, before labouring amid a three-run, 31-pitch third.

 

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins

Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres

The New York Yankees and Houston Astros produced big-hitting displays to steal a march on their higher-seeded opponents in Major League Baseball’s American League Division Series.

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton hammered a grand slam over centre field to clinch a 9-3 game one victory over the ALDS top seeds, Tampa Bay Rays, at Petco Park in San Diego.

With the scores tied 3-3 in the fifth, Aaron Judge’s 10th career post-season homer edged the Bronx Bombers ahead before the ninth-innings onslaught.

In total, the fifth-seed Yankees had 15 hits, nine runs and four home runs, setting an MLB-record 31 runs and 11 home runs in three postseason games this year.

The Miami Marlins won their first MLB playoff series in 17 years after eliminating the Chicago Cubs, while the San Diego Padres topped the St Louis Cardinals to reach the National League Division Series (NLDS).

Miami completed a two-game Wild Card Series sweep of NL Central champions the Cubs courtesy of Friday's 2-0 victory at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Garrett Cooper homered against Yu Darvish in a two-run seventh inning for the Marlins, who lost 105 games last season and dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak during the coronavirus-shortened 2020 campaign.

It was the Marlins' first postseason series success since going on to win the 2003 World Series as they prepare to face the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.

"That's probably the best feeling I've had in my baseball career, the biggest home run that I've had in my baseball career," said Cooper, who gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead before Matt Joyce's double. "It's just something that you can't explain."

Sixto Sanchez dominated for five innings, striking out six and giving up just four hits, while walking two and hitting two.

The Padres earned a date with the star-studded Los Angeles Dodgers after shutting out the Cardinals 4-0 in Game 3 of their NL Wild Card matchup.

Nine pitchers blanked the Cardinals in a record-setting effort as the Padres won a playoff series for the first time in 22 years.

The nine pitchers used is the most in a nine-inning shutout in any big league game since 1901.

Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. also showed he is more than just an elite batter, producing a stunning acrobatic catch in the third inning.

 

Yankees at Rays

The New York Yankees and top-seeded Tampa Bay Rays will open their American League Division Series on Monday. The Houston Astros will also visit the Oakland Athletics in Game 1.

The Atlanta Braves claimed their first MLB postseason series victory in 19 years, while the Oakland Athletics snapped a 14-year drought.

National League (NL) East champions Atlanta swept the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Wild Card Series, cruising to a 5-0 win on Thursday.

The Braves were too good in the best-of-three matchup as they won their first playoff series since 2001, ending their record-tying streak of 10 consecutive postseason series losses.

Ian Anderson produced a shut-out performance, Adam Duvall homered and Ronald Acuna Jr. had three hits to lead the Braves to the NL Division Series (NLDS).

Oakland also advanced in the playoffs for the first time since 2006 after topping the Chicago White Sox in the American League (AL).

Chad Pinder's go-ahead, two-run single in the fifth inning helped the Athletics rally past the White Sox 6-4 to claim the Wild Card showdown 2-1.

After losing the opening game, AL West champions the Athletics will now face the Houston Astros in the ALDS.

 

Kershaw leads sweep, Tatis and Myers homer twice

Clayton Kershaw set a playoff career high with 13 strikeouts in eight scoreless innings. The Los Angeles Dodgers blanked the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 for a sweep en route to the NLDS.

Fernandes Tatis Jr. and Wil Myers each hit two home runs to see the San Diego Padres rally past the St Louis Cardinals 11-9. Tatis and Myers became the second team-mates in postseason history with multi homers in the same game, joining New York Yankees pair Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1932. San Diego are also the first team in postseason history with five home runs from the sixth inning onward.

Braves pitcher Anderson struck out nine batters in six innings, allowing two hits and walking two in his playoff debut.

 

Scoreless Reds exit

For the first time, the Reds were shut out in back-to-back postseason games. The 22 innings without a run is the longest playoff scoreless streak in Cincinnati's history.

 

Thursday's results

Atlanta Braves 5-0 Cincinnati Reds
San Diego Padres 11-9 St Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 Milwaukee Brewers
Oakland Athletics 6-4 Chicago White Sox
Miami Marlins-Chicago Cubs (postponed)

 

Marlins at Cubs

After rain washed out Thursday's Game 2, the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs will meet on Friday. Miami lead 1-0.

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander underwent Tommy John surgery, the MLB franchise announced on Thursday.

Verlander had the elbow operation on Wednesday, with the 2019 American League (AL) Cy Young Award winner and 2017 World Series champion not expected to return until the 2022 season.

The 37-year-old's recovery time is between 12 to 14 months and Verlander could make a comeback with a different team as he is eligible for free agency at the end of 2021.

Verlander announced in September that he would undergo the procedure to repair the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.

The two-time AL Cy Young winner and eight-time All-Star featured for Houston on Opening Day – claiming the 226th win of his career.

But the 2011 AL MVP was placed on the injured list in July and eventually shut down last month with a strained right forearm.

"I was hopeful that I would be able to return to competition in 2020," Verlander wrote via Instagram last month. "However, during my simulated game unfortunately the injury worsened.

"Obviously, I'm extremely disappointed, but I will not let this slow down my aspirations for my career. I will approach this rehab the only way I know, attack and don't look back.

"I'm confident that with a proper rehabilitation program and my unwavering commitment that this surgery will ultimately lengthen my career as opposed to shorten it.

"I can't thank my team-mates, coaches, the front office and my fans enough for the support they have given me so far in this process. I'm eager to get through this recovery and back on the field to continue to do what I love."

Verlander – who signed a two-year, $66million contract extension heading into the 2019 season – joined the Astros from the Detroit Tigers in 2017.

He made 34 starts last season, going 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and 300 strikeouts in 223 innings as the Astros reached the World Series before falling to the Washington Nationals.

The Astros are preparing for an AL Division Series (ALDS) showdown with the Oakland Athletics.

The New York Yankees and Houston Astros advanced in the MLB playoffs on Wednesday.

The Yankees rallied late for a 10-9 win over the Cleveland Indians to seal a 2-0 American League (AL) Wild Card Series victory.

Trailing 9-8 entering the ninth inning, the Yankees needed a sacrifice fly from Gary Sanchez to draw level before DJ LeMahieu's RBI single proved decisive.

Gio Urshela went two-for-five with four RBIs for the Yankees.

The Astros extended the Minnesota Twins' postseason drought as a 3-1 win wrapped up a 2-0 series victory in the AL Wild Card Series.

Carlos Correa hit a home run in the seventh inning to break the tie before Kyle Tucker delivered an RBI single in the ninth.

It marked the Twins' 18th straight loss in the playoffs.

 

Bauer brilliant but beaten, Rays advance

Trevor Bauer's stellar performance was not enough for the Cincinnati Reds, who were edged 1-0 by the Atlanta Braves after 13 innings in their National League (NL) Wild Card Series opener. Bauer struck out 12 and conceded just two hits in 7.2 innings. He became the first pitcher in MLB history with 12-plus strikeouts, no walks and no runs allowed in a playoff game, as per Stats Perform data. It was also the first ever playoff game to be scoreless through 11 innings.

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 to win their AL Wild Card Series 2-0. Hunter Renfroe blasted a grand slam in the win. The Rays will face the Yankees in the AL Division Series.

Corey Dickerson hit a three-run homer in the Miami Marlins' 5-1 win over the Chicago Cubs in their series opener.

 

Ryu struggles

Blue Jays starter Ryu Hyun-jin lasted just 1.2 innings. He conceded eight hits and seven runs (three earned).

 

Wednesday's results

Atlanta Braves 1-0 Cincinnati Reds
Houston Astros 3-1 Minnesota Twins
Miami Marlins 5-1 Chicago Cubs
Oakland Athletics 5-3 Chicago White Sox
Tampa Bay Rays 8-2 Toronto Blue Jays
St Louis Cardinals 7-4 San Diego Padres
New York Yankees 10-9 Cleveland Indians
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Milwaukee Brewers

 

White Sox at Athletics

The Chicago White Sox and Oakland Athletics meet in their AL Wild Card Series decider on Thursday.

MLB has announced a limited number of spectators will be able to attend the National League Championship Series (NLCS) and World series at Globe Life Field in Texas.

The 2020 MLB season has been played behind closed doors without fans in the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, 11,500 tickets will be available for each game, with 10,550 fans spread throughout the ballpark and 950 in suites, starting in Game 1 of the NLCS on October 12 – in conjunction with the Texas Rangers, who opened their new $1.2billion stadium this season.

The 116th World Series will get underway at Globe Life Field on October 20 – the first neutral site for MLB's showpiece in modern baseball history.

"I feel like a 10-year-old boy coming down the stars Christmas morning, and they've got all of the presents wrapped up, and I can't open a present," Rangers owner Ray Davis said.

"That's the way I felt about our stadium this year. And that's why, frankly, I'm excited about having the [NL] Division Series and League Championship and World Series here in our stadium."

"To see fans in our ballpark is going to be very exciting," said Rangers executive vice-president for business operations Rob Matwick.

"This is what we have been pointing for since we started the construction back four years ago. To see it come to fruition is pretty significant. Not necessarily the circumstances we hoped to have – we hoped to have the Rangers on the field – but it will be exciting to see fans come into Globe Life Field in the fall of 2020."

Carlos Correa hit back at critics of the Houston Astros following their sign-stealing scandal as the 2017 MLB World Series champions advanced in the playoffs.

Houston entered the 2020 season as public enemy number one after the Astros were found to have stolen signs of opposition teams en route to winning the World Series three years ago, as well as for part of the 2018 campaign.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were subsequently fired by Houston in January after they were initially suspended for the entire 2020 campaign by the league.

Amid the ongoing backlash, Houston swept the Minnesota Twins over two games in the American League (AL) Wild Card Series following Wednesday's 3-1 victory.

And Astros star Correa called out the haters after reaching the AL Division Series, telling reporters: "I know a lot of people are mad.

"I know a lot of people don't want to see us here. But what are they going to say now?

"We're a solid team. We play great baseball. We won a series on the road in Minnesota. So what are they going to say now?"

Correa hit a two-out, tie-breaking home run in the seventh inning as the Twins fell to a record 18th consecutive postseason defeat.

"We had a tough year since the start of Spring Training, but now it's all about playing great baseball," Correa added. "I think we showed everybody we have a solid team.

"Minnesota, in a lot of brackets, was supposed to win the World Series. We swept a great team in Minnesota, and I think we deserve a lot of respect as a team. We played great baseball, our pitching staff did a great job, we got some clutch hits and we were able to win the series."

The New York Yankees crushed the Cleveland Indians 12-3 in the opening game of their American League (AL) Wild Card Series.

Aaron Judge set the tone with a two-run homer on Shane Bieber's fourth pitch as the Yankees drew first blood against the Indians in the best-of-three matchup in the MLB playoffs on Tuesday.

It was Judge's first home run since returning from the injured list on September 16, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the first inning in Cleveland, where Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner and Gleyber Torres also homered.

The 12 runs scored by the Yankees are tied for the most ever by a road team in a postseason opener, per Stats Perform. The 2002 St Louis Cardinals also had 12 runs away to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

According to Stats Perform, the Yankees are the first team in playoff history to have their seventh and eighth hitters (Torres and Gardner) both have three-plus RBIs in the same game.

 

Valdez stars as Astros shine

The Houston Astros topped the Minnesota Twins 4-1 in their AL Wild Card opener. Framber Valdez became the first reliever to toss five shut-out innings in a playoff game since Madison Bumgarner in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, per Stats Perform.

Blake Snell impressed as AL East champions the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 in game one. Snell tied a Rays postseason record after allowing one hit, two walks while striking out nine batters.

Lucas Giolito enjoyed a memorable playoff debut for the Chicago White Sox, who downed AL West champions the Oakland Athletics 4-1 on the road. Giolito retired the first 18 batters he faced. He became the fifth pitcher in MLB history to be perfect through six innings of a postseason encounter, according to Stats Perform. Giolito struck out eight and walked one.

Gerrit Cole helped fuel the Yankees by striking out 13, the most by a pitcher in his Yankees postseason debut. He walked none against the Indians.

 

Bieber struggles, Twins make unwanted history

According to Stats Perform, Indians ace Bieber joined Hal Newhouser (1945) and Clayton Kershaw (2013 and 2014) as the only pitchers to have a sub-2.00 ERA during the regular season and then allow seven-plus earned runs in a game that postseason since earned runs became an official stat in 1913. Bieber gave up season highs in runs (seven) and hits (nine) over 4.6 innings.

Minnesota suffered their 17th consecutive loss in the playoffs. The Twins have not won a postseason game since 2004 – a record losing streak not only in MLB but in any of the four major North American professional sports, surpassing the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks (16).

 

Tuesday's results

Houston Astros 4-1 Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox 4-1 Oakland Athletics
Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees 12-3 Cleveland Indians

 

Brewers at Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers will host the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card game on Wednesday. The Dodgers will start with Walker Buehler, while the Brewers send Brent Suter to the mound midweek.

The St Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers reached the MLB playoffs on the final day of the regular season.

The Cardinals overcame the Brewers 5-2 to head to the postseason for the second straight year.

The Brewers needed the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies to also taste defeat – and they got that on Sunday.

The Giants fell to the San Diego Padres 5-4 and the Phillies were beaten 5-0 by the Tampa Bay Rays.

That meant the Brewers (29-31) got into the playoffs ahead of the Giants (29-31) thanks to a better record against divisional opponents.

Twins win AL Central as Bieber shines again

The Minnesota Twins won the American League (AL) Central for the second straight year despite a 5-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Shane Bieber became the first pitcher to complete the triple crown since Johan Santana in 2006. The Cleveland Indians star finished the regular season with eight wins, a 1.63 ERA and 122 strikeouts.

Madison Bumgarner finished a disappointing season strongly. The Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher gave up just two hits and no runs in five innings in an 11-3 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Josh Fleming completed the regular season with a 5-0 record. The Rays pitcher struck out five and conceded just four hits in six innings in a win over the Phillies.

 

Lugo battles

Seth Lugo's start for the New York Mets lasted just 1.1 innings. He gave up five hits and six runs in a 15-5 loss to the Washington Nationals

 

Sunday's results

Kansas City Royals 3-1 Detroit Tigers
Miami Marlins 5-0 New York Yankees
San Diego Padres 5-4 San Francisco Giants
Texas Rangers 8-4 Houston Astros
Washington Nationals 15-5 New York Mets
Baltimore Orioles 7-5 Toronto Blue Jays
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-3 Colorado Rockies
Boston Red Sox 9-1 Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs 10-8 Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians 8-6 Pittsburgh Pirates
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Los Angeles Angels
Cincinnati Reds 5-3 Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics 6-2 Seattle Mariners
Tampa Bay Rays 5-0 Philadelphia Phillies
St Louis Cardinals 5-2 Milwaukee Brewers

 

Playoffs begin

The three-game AL Wild Card Series begin on Tuesday as the Toronto Blue Jays face the Rays, the Houston Astros take on the Twins, the Chicago White Sox meet the Oakland Athletics and the Indians do battle with the New York Yankees.

The Chicago Cubs claimed their first National League (NL) Central title since 2017, despite losing to MLB neighbours the Chicago White Sox 9-5.

While the Cubs did not win on Saturday, they still had plenty to celebrate thanks to the Milwaukee Brewers' 3-0 victory over the St Louis Cardinals.

Locking up the third seeding, the Cubs will host a wild-card series at Wrigley Field in Chicago, starting Wednesday.

The Cubs could face the Miami Marlins, Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds or Brewers, who are all vying for the sixth seed.

Meanwhile, New York Yankees duo DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit are closing in on crowns.

LeMahieu is on the verge of winning the batting title, while team-mate Voit is poised to become home-run champion following the Yankees' 11-4 win against the Marlins.

Voit hit his MLB-leading 22nd homer of the season, while LeMahieu improved his average to .359 thanks to four hits and three RBIs.

 

Biggio and Grichuk fuel Jays

Home runs from Cavan Biggio and Randal Grichuk lead the Toronto Blue Jays past the Baltimore Orioles 5-2.

The Boston Red Sox routed the Atlanta Braves 8-2 thanks to Christian Vazquez's grand slam, while Tanner Houck struck out 10 in a dominant display.

Kyle Seager homered in both games as the Seattle Mariners swept their doubleheader against the Oakland Athletics 5-1 and 12-3.

 

Mets eliminated from playoffs

The New York Mets will not feature in the postseason. The Mets needed to win their three remaining games and receive help from rival teams to snatch a wild-card spot, but they lost 4-3 to the Washington Nationals in game one. The Mets also lost 5-3 in the second clash.

The Los Angeles Dodgers topped rivals the Los Angeles Angels 7-6 but will be sweating on the fitness of Mookie Betts, who was forced to exit the game after being struck by a pitch.

 

Saturday's results

New York Yankees 11-4 Miami Marlins
Washington Nationals 4-3 New York Mets
Washington Nationals 5-3 New York Mets
Seattle Mariners 5-1 Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners 12-3 Oakland Athletics
Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 Baltimore Orioles
Detroit Tigers 4-3 Kansas City Royals
Texas Rangers 6-1 Houston Astros
Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 St Louis Cardinals
Minnesota Twins 7-3 Cincinnati Reds
Boston Red Sox 8-2 Atlanta Braves
Chicago White Sox 9-5 Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies 10-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-6 Los Angeles Angels
San Diego Padres 6-2 San Francisco Giants

 

Padres at Giants

The Giants need help if they are to reach the playoffs. San Francisco must beat the Padres on Sunday and hope the Brewers lose to the Cardinals to stand a chance of making the postseason for the first time since 2016. Drew Smyly takes to the mound for the Giants as the Padres counter with Adrian Morejon.

Former San Francisco Giants star Hunter Pence announced his retirement from MLB on Saturday.

A two-time World Series champion with the Giants and four-time All-Star, Pence used social media to call an end to his 14-year career.

The 37-year-old outfielder was designated for assignment by the Giants in August after hitting two home runs and six RBIs in 52 at-bats this season.

Pence wrote via Twitter: "Nothing can really prepare you for this part of your career when you have to say: I am retiring from baseball.

"Forever thankful and Gr8ful."

Pence started his MLB career with the Houston Astros in 2007 before joining the Philadelphia Phillies four years later.

He moved to the Giants in 2012, winning two World Series titles during his time in San Francisco, where he remained until the end of 2018.

In his one season with the Texas Rangers, Pence hit 18 homers and 59 RBIs in 83 appearances before returning to the Giants.

Pence ends his MLB career with 244 home runs, 942 RBIs and a .279 average from 1,707 games.

The Miami Marlins clinched an MLB playoff berth for the first time since 2003, while the Cincinnati Reds also ended their postseason wait.

The Marlins edged the New York Yankees 4-3 after 10 innings on Friday to advance to the playoffs.

Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara struck out nine over 7.1 innings and Jesus Aguilar's sacrifice fly in the 10th proved decisive.

Miami move into the playoffs just a year after recording 105 losses in MLB.

The Reds reached the postseason for the first time since 2013 after a 7-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Mike Moustakas went two-for-four with three RBIs in the Reds' win.

 

Astros clinch, walk-off wins for Braves and A's

The Houston Astros moved into the playoffs for the fourth straight year despite a 5-4 loss to the Texas Rangers.

Freddie Freeman delivered a two-run walk-off homer as the Atlanta Braves edged the Boston Red Sox 8-7 after 11 innings.

Mark Canha also belted a two-run walk-off homer to see the Oakland Athletics overcome the Seattle Mariners 3-1.

Willson Contreras smashed a huge home run, and delivered an even bigger bat flip, in the Chicago Cubs' 10-0 thrashing of the White Sox.

Santos struggles

Antonio Santos got through just 0.2 innings in his start for the Colorado Rockies. He gave up five hits and six runs and the Rockies eventually fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-5.

 

Friday's results

Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 St Louis Cardinals
St Louis Cardinals 9-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Toronto Blue Jays 10-5 Baltimore Orioles
Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0 Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-5 Colorado Rockies
Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Philadelphia Phillies
Miami Marlins 4-3 New York Yankees
Cleveland Indians 4-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
San Francisco Giants 5-4 San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres 6-5 San Francisco Giants
Atlanta Braves 8-7 Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Royals 3-2 Detroit Tigers
Texas Rangers 5-4 Houston Astros
Chicago Cubs 10-0 Chicago White Sox
Cincinnati Reds 7-2 Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics 3-1 Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Dodgers 9-5 Los Angeles Angels

 

Brewers at Cardinals

The St Louis Cardinals (29-27) are closing in on a playoff spot ahead of facing the Milwaukee Brewers (28-30) on Saturday. Adam Wainwright (5-2, 3.05 ERA) starts for the Cardinals, while Brandon Woodruff (2-5, 3.43 ERA) takes the mound for Milwaukee.

The Toronto Blue Jays secured an MLB playoff spot after they defeated the New York Yankees 4-1 on Thursday. 

Toronto clinched their first postseason berth since 2016 with their 30th win of a shortened campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Blue Jays, who enjoyed back-to-back trips to the American League Championship Series (ALCS) in 2015 and 2016, were led by Ryu Hyun-jin and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. against the Yankees. 

Ryu pitched seven shut-out innings, while Guerrero hit a solo home run as the slumping Yankees lost for the fourth time in five games following a 10-game winning streak. 

The Blue Jays (30-27) are only two games behind the Yankees (32-25) for second spot in the AL East.

The Houston Astros, meanwhile, are on the cusp of securing the last AL playoff spot after routing the Texas Rangers 12-4. 

George Springer, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick all homered in Arlington, with the Astros requiring just one more win from their remaining three games to secure second place in the AL West.

 

Dodgers roll on, Marlins stay alive

The Los Angeles Dodgers claimed their MLB-leading 40th win of the season via a 5-1 success against the Oakland Athletics. 

Pablo Lopez allowed only two hits in five scoreless innings as the Miami Marlins boosted their postseason hopes with a 4-2 win at the Atlanta Braves. Eyeing their first playoff appearance since winning the 2003 World Series, the Marlins are competing for a wildcard spot. 

Homers from Jose Iglesias, Pat Valaika and Austin Hays powered the Baltimore Orioles to a 13-1 demolition of the Boston Red Sox. 

 

Perez costly

Red Sox starter Martin Perez allowed six runs on nine hits and a walk in just four innings, while striking out two.

Alec Mills lasted only 3.6 innings before he was removed after giving up four runs and eight hits with one walk.

 

Thursday's results

Pittsburgh Pirates 7-0 Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies 5-4 San Francisco Giants
New York Mets 3-2 Washington Nationals
Cleveland Indians 5-4 Chicago White Sox
Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 New York Yankees
Miami Marlins 4-2 Atlanta Braves
Baltimore Orioles 13-1 Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Royals 8-7 Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros 12-4 Texas Rangers
St Louis Cardinals 4-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 Oakland Athletics

 

Astros at Rangers

The Astros can clinch on Friday. Jose Urquidy starts for Houston, while the Rangers counter with Kyle Cody.

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