MLB

MLB: Astros rout Diamondbacks to win AL West

By Sports Desk October 01, 2023

Cristian Javier threw six scoreless innings as the Houston Astros clinched a third consecutive American League East title with Sunday's 8-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The defending World Series champions also secured the AL's No. 2 seed and a first-round playoff bye with a win in Sunday's regular-season finale, coupled with the Texas Rangers' 1-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

Both the Astros and Rangers finished the season at 90-72, with Houston winning the tiebreaker by virtue of taking the season series from Texas.

The Diamondbacks will also be headed to the playoffs but will be the National League's No. 6 seed due to the loss. Arizona ended with an identical record as Miami, with the Marlins getting the NL's second wild card by also winning the season series between the teams. 

Arizona, which is making its first postseason trip since 2017, will face Milwaukee in the opening round. The NL Central champion Brewers will host Game 1 of the series Tuesday.

Houston started fast by scoring four times in the first inning, highlighted by Alex Bregman's two-run homer off Kyle Nelson. Bregman tripled and scored in the second for a 5-0 lead, and Jose Abreu later added a two-run homer in the seventh after Kyle Tucker tripled and scored in the fifth. 

Bregman, Abreu and Tucker all finished 2 for 4 with two runs scored.

Javier earned his 10th win of the season by holding the Diamondbacks to three hits and two walks. Arizona didn't score until Jake McCarthy singled in the eighth and scored on Lourdes Gurriel's double.

 

Kirby dominant as Mariners deny Rangers AL West title

The Seattle Mariners prevented the Texas Rangers from capturing the AL West with Sunday's 1-0 win behind six stellar innings from George Kirby.

Kirby yielded just three hits while striking out seven to drop the Rangers to the AL's No. 5 seed and send them into an opening-round series against Tampa Bay. The Rays will host Game 1 on Tuesday.

Seattle, which was eliminated from playoff consideration with Saturday's 6-1 loss to Texas, scored the game's only run in the fourth. After Eugenio Suarez and Jarred Kelenic singled and Ty France drew a walk from Rangers starter Dane Dunning to load the bases, Dominic Canzone plated Suarez with a groundout.

Kirby made the lead stand before three relievers finished off the Mariners' MLB-leading 18th shutout. Isaiah Campbell worked the ninth to earn his first career save.

Dunning, working on three days' rest, was charged with the lone run while pitching 3 1/3 innings. Martin Perez threw 3 2/3 hitless innings in relief.

 

Braves tie MLB season record with Ozuna's two homers

Marcell Ozuna went deep twice to give the Atlanta Braves a share of MLB's record for home runs in a season, though the Washington Nationals rallied with three runs in the ninth inning to hand the NL's No. 1 overall seed a 10-9 loss in the regular-season finale. 

Washington trailed 8-7 entering the ninth before loading the bases off Michael Tonkin, who walked Drew Millas to force in the tying run before surrendering Jacob Young's go-ahead two-run single. 

Ozuna got Atlanta back within one by blasting his 40th homer of the season in the bottom of the ninth, which put the Braves at 307 for the campaign to match the mark set by the 2019 Minnesota Twins.

Young and Kelbert Ruiz each drove in three runs for the Nationals, who pounded out 15 hits on the afternoon. Lane Thomas went 4 for 6 with two runs scored and Ruiz finished with three hits. 

Ozuna's first homer, a three-run shot in the third, tied the game at 5-5. Matt Olson and Michael Harris each knocked in two runs for the NL East champs. 

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