MLB

Dodgers close gap on Giants, White Sox clinch division title

By Sports Desk September 24, 2021

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. 

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