The Philadelphia Phillies are one win away from returning to the World Series.

Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto each hit home runs, Zack Wheeler pitched seven strong innings and the Phillies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-1 Saturday to take a 3-2 NLCS lead.

Philadelphia bounced back from losses in Games 3 and 4 with their sixth multi-homer game of this postseason, and Wheeler won a battle of aces against Arizona’s Zac Gallen.

The Phillies jumped on Gallen for two runs in the first, courtesy of a Bryson Stott RBI single and Harper swiping home on a double-steal call.

Harper and Schwarber stayed red hot with solo shots off Gallen in the sixth to expand the lead to 4-0.

Schwarber’s home run was his fifth of the series and was the 20th of his postseason career, pulling him into a tie for fourth all-time with Derek Jeter.

Harper reached base three times and scored three runs, and last year’s NLCS MVP is batting .343 with a 1.282 OPS this postseason.

Arizona cut the lead to 4-1 in the seventh when Game 4 hero Alek Thomas took Wheeler deep, but Realmuto added insurance with his two-run blast off Luis Frias in the eighth.

Wheeler allowed one run and six hits in seven innings while striking out eight and lowering his career postseason ERA to 2.48.

With a healthy cushion late, the Phillies were able to rest key relievers Jose Alvarado and Craig Kimbrel.

After a travel day Sunday, Aaron Nola is slated to start Monday at home as the Phillies look to repeat as National League champions. Merrill Kelly will take the bump for Arizona, hoping to extend the Diamondbacks’ season.

 

For a second straight night, the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied late to stun the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series.

Arizona scored three times in the eighth inning, highlighted by Alek Thomas' pinch-hit, game-tying two-run homer, to earn a critical 6-5 win over the defending NL champions in Friday's Game 4 that evened the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.

After losing Games 1 and 2 in Philadelphia by a combined score of 15-3, the Diamondbacks got back into the series with Thursday's 2-1 comeback victory in Game 3, in which they trailed 1-0 in the seventh inning and won it on Ketel Marte's run-scoring single off Phillies closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.

Kimbrel came on in the eighth of Game 4 to protect a 5-3 Phillies' lead and again faltered. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. led off Arizona's half of the inning with a double and two batters later, Thomas drove a pitch into Chase Field's swimming pool in right-centre field to tie the contest.

Marte later singled with two out and Kimbrel hit Corbin Carroll with a pitch to set the stage for Gabriel Moreno, who greeted reliever Jose Alvarado with a single to center that drove in Marte for a 6-5 Arizona edge.

Philadelphia got the tying run in scoring position in the ninth when Kyle Schwarber doubled with two out, but Diamondbacks closer Paul Sewald struck out Trea Turner to end the game and keep the momentum in Arizona's favour.

In a series where the home team has won every time thus far, the Diamondbacks will host Game 5 on Saturday.

Arizona took a 2-0 lead on Emmanuel Rivera's RBI single in the second inning and Moreno's base hit in the third that also plated Marte, but the battle-tested Phillies responded with five runs over the next four innings to forge ahead.

Schwarber got them on the board in the fourth with his fourth home run of the series and Brandon Marsh doubled home J.T. Realmuto in the fifth to create a 2-2 tie. The Phillies then took advantage of wildness and a defensive miscue by the young Diamondbacks to score twice more in the sixth.

Andrew Saalfrank, one of eight Arizona pitchers used on the night, walked Schwarber, Turner and Bryce Harper in succession to load the bases for Alec Bohm, who delivered an infield single to send home Schwarber with the go-ahead run. Third baseman Rivera threw errantly to home plate on the play, allowing Turner to score as well and put Philadelphia ahead 4-2.

The Phillies tacked on another run when Johan Rojas tripled in the seventh and scored on Turner's sacrifice fly.

Both Schwarber and Bohm had two hits and an RBI for the Phillies. Moreno finished 2 for 3 with two RBIs for Arizona, while Marte had two hits and scored twice.

Jose Abreu hit a three-run homer and Yordan Alvarez knocked in three runs to lead the Houston Astros to a 10-3 rout of the Texas Rangers on Thursday, evening the AL Championship Series at two games apiece.

Chas McCormick had a two-run homer and Jose Altuve added three hits and three runs as Houston improved to 4-0 on the road this postseason.

The Astros have scored 18 runs in two road wins after managing just four in two home losses to open this series.

Houston jumped on starter Andrew Heaney for three runs in the first inning.

Jose Altuve led off with a double, moved to third on Mauricio Dubon’s single and both runners scored on Alex Bregman’s triple.

Alvarez then singled home Bregman for his first RBI of the night.

Texas battled back to tie on Adolis Garcia’s homer and Josh Jung’s sacrifice fly in the second and Corey Seager’s home run off Jose Urquidy in the third.

Houston responded with four runs in the fourth, as Alvarez had a 401-foot, tiebreaking sacrifice fly before Abreu connected for a three-run blast – his fourth home run of the postseason - off Cody Bradford.

Game 5 is Friday at Globe Life Field, where the Astros are 8-1 this season.

 

Marte’s walk-off single lifts Diamondbacks over Phillies in Game 3

Ketel Marte singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks trimmed their deficit in the NL Championship Series to 2-1 with a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Arizona bounced back after dropping the first two games in Philadelphia and can even the series at home in Game 4 on Friday.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. opened the ninth against Craig Kimbrel with a walk, stole second and took third on Pavin Smith’s infield single.

Gurriel was thrown out at the plate by shortstop Trea Turner on Emmanuel Rivera’s hard-hit grounder before Geraldo Perdomo’s walk loaded the bases.

Marte then stroked a liner in front of center fielder Johan Rojas for this third hit of the game.

Defending NL champion Philadelphia managed just three hits and suffered its second postseason loss in nine games.

Rookie Brandon Pfaadt was brilliant in keeping the hot-hitting Phillies in check, giving up two hits over 5 2/3 scoreless innings with no walks and nine strikeouts.

After Kevin Ginkel pitched a perfect eighth for the Diamondbacks, Paul Sewald earned the win with a hitless ninth.

The Phillies scored their lone run in the seventh when Bryce Harper came home on Ryan Thompson’s wild pitch.

Kyle Schwarber hit a pair of home runs to back Aaron Nola’s stellar start and the Philadelphia Phillies rolled to a 10-0 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday for a 2-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.

Trea Turner also went deep and J. T. Realmuto drove in three runs to help the Phillies improve to 7-1 in these playoffs, including 6-0 at home.

Philadelphia will try to move closer to a second straight World Series appearance when the series shifts to Arizona for Game 3 on Thursday.

Nola gave up three hits over six innings without a walk and struck out seven. He is 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA in three playoff starts this season.

Turner’s one-out home run in the first off Merrill Kelly got Philadelphia started and Schwarber extended the lead in the third with his first blast of the night.

The Phillies tacked on four runs in the sixth and knocked out Kelly.

Schwarber led off with another home run and Turner walked before Kelly got the next two outs. Joe Mantiply relieved and surrendered Bryson Stott’s single and Realmuto followed with a two-run double into the gap in left-centre.

Brandon Marsh then doubled home Realmuto for a 6-0 advantage.

Alec Bohm had a two-run double, Realmuto singled home another run and Nick Castellanos added a sacrifice fly in Philadelphia’s four-run seventh.

The Phillies have hit .315 with 28 runs and 15 homers in the past four games.

Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos all homered to stake the Philadelphia Phillies to an early lead, and the defending National League champions held on for a 5-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Monday's Game 1 of the NL Championship Series.

The three solo homers helped back a solid six-inning start from Zack Wheeler as the Phillies handed the surprising Diamondbacks their first loss of this year's post-season. Arizona began the playoffs with five straight wins, including a three-game sweep of the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the previous round.

Harper added an RBI single on his 31st birthday to help provide Philadelphia a 5-0 lead as Wheeler held Arizona to just one hit through the first five innings.

Schwarber started the power surge by leading off the bottom of the first inning with his first homer of this postseason, and Harper made it 2-0 two batters later with his fourth homer in his last five games.

Castellanos, who homered twice in each of the final two games of Philadelphia's division series win over the Atlanta Braves, went deep again an inning afterward to pad the lead.

All three long balls came off Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen, who surrendered all five Philadelphia runs and eight hits over five innings.

The Phillies increased the margin when Trea Turner doubled in the third and scored on Harper's single, and the lead grew to 5-0 when Harper walked in the fifth and later came home on J.T. Realmuto's two-out single.

Wheeler, meanwhile, retired 15 straight Arizona hitters after permitting a single to Corbin Carroll to open the game. That streak ended when Evan Longoria led off the sixth with a single and Geraldo Perdomo followed with a two-run homer to get the Diamondbacks on the board.

The Phillies ace finished with eight strikeouts and yielded just three hits along with the two runs.

Seranthony Dominguez relieved Wheeler in the seventh and committed an error that led to an unearned run which brought Arizona within 5-3, but Jose Alvarado and Craig Kimbrel held the Diamondbacks scoreless over the final 2 1/3 innings.

Game 2 will take place Tuesday in Philadelphia, with the Phillies sending out Aaron Nola and Merrill Kelly getting the call for the Diamondbacks.

 

The Arizona Diamondbacks became the first team to hit four home runs in a postseason inning and held on for a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers to finish a stunning sweep and reach the NL Championship Series on Wednesday.

Geraldo Perdomo, Ketel Marte, Christian Walker and Gabriel Moreno went deep off Dodgers starter Lance Lynn in the third inning for a 4-0 lead.

That would be all the offense Arizona would need to eliminate the NL West champion and 100-win Dodgers and move into the NLCS for the first time since losing to Colorado in 2007.

The sixth-seeded Diamondbacks improved to 5-0 in these playoffs.

Rookie Brandon Pfaadt worked the first 4 1/3 innings without allowing a run before Joe Mantiply got the next four outs.

Ryan Thompson gave up a pair of runs in the seventh, but Andrew Saalfrank quelled the rally and Kevin Ginkel fanned two in the eighth.

Paul Sewald pitched the ninth for his fourth postseason save in as many opportunities.

Los Angeles scored two runs in every game of the series and hit one home run to Arizona’s nine.

Former MVPs Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman combined to go 1 for 21 without an RBI in the series.

 

Astros oust Twins for another trip to ALCS

Jose Abreu and Michael Brantley homered, and the Houston Astros topped the Minnesota Twins 3-2 to reach the AL Championship Series for a seventh consecutive season.

Abreu’s two-run blast in the fourth off reliever Caleb Thielbar scored Yordan Alvarez and gave the Astros a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish.

Abreu had three homers and eight RBIs in the four-game series, while Alvarez had four home runs and six RBIs.

Houston will host in-state rival Texas in Game 1 of the ALCS on Sunday, with three-time Cy Young winner Justin Verlander likely on the mound for the Astros.

Jose Urquidy limited the Twins to two runs – both on homers - and three hits over 5 2/3 innings with one walk and six strikeouts.

Hector Neris and Bryan Abreu combined for five strikeouts over 2 1/3 hitless innings and former Twin Ryan Pressly struck out the side in the ninth.

Royce Lewis hit his fourth home run of this postseason and Edouard Julien also went deep for the Twins, who managed just three runs and six hits in two home games in this series.

 

Harper hits 2 of Phillies’ 6 home runs in win

Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos each homered twice, and the Philadelphia Phillies rolled to a 10-2 rout of the Atlanta Braves for a 2-1 lead in their NL Division Series.

Brandon Marsh and Trea Turner also went deep for the Phillies, who can advance to the NL Championship Series for the second consecutive season with a win at home Thursday.

Aaron Nola allowed two runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings and four relievers held Atlanta scoreless the rest of the way.

The Phillies scored six runs in the third to knock out Bryce Elder, with Castellanos leading off with a home run.

After Marsh and Turner singled, Harper launched a 2-1 pitch deep into the seats in right for a 4-1 lead.

J.T. Realmuto capped the uprising with a two-run double against Michael Tonkin.

Harper added a solo homer off Brad Hand in the fifth and Turner’s blast an inning later made it 8-1.

Harper has nine playoff home runs in 22 games over the past two seasons, with five coming against Atlanta.

 

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered and knocked in two runs to back a solid start from Zac Gallen, and the Arizona Diamondbacks continued their surprising postseason run with Monday's 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Arizona, the sixth and lowest playoff seed in the National League, took a 2-0 lead in this best-of-five Division Series against a Dodgers team it finished 16 games behind of in the NL West standings. The Diamondbacks are now 4-0 in these playoffs after sweeping the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers on the road in the Wild Card round.

The Diamondbacks now return home with a chance to close out this series Wednesday. 

After battering Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw in an 11-2 rout in Saturday's Game 1, the Diamondbacks started fast again with three first-inning runs off rookie Bobby Miller.

The first three Arizona hitters reached base in front of Christian Walker's sacrifice fly and Gabriel Moreno's run-scoring groundout, and Gurriel later produced an RBI single to extend the lead to 3-0.

Los Angeles got on the board in the fourth on J.D. Martinez's solo homer off Gallen, but Arizona countered with Gurriel's homer in the sixth to increase the margin to 4-1.

Max Muncy and Martinez singled to chase Gallen in the bottom of the sixth and got a run back on Enrique Hernandez's RBI single, but reliever Ryan Thompson prevented further damage by getting the final out and stranding the bases loaded.

Thompson, Kevin Ginkel and Paul Sewald then held the Dodgers without a hit over the final three innings to seal the win.

Gallen was charged with two runs over 5 1/3 innings, while Miller was pulled after permitting three runs and four hits in just 1 2/3 innings.

 

Riley's homer caps rally as Braves even series with Phillies

Austin Riley's dramatic two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning capped a crucial comeback for the Atlanta Braves, who rallied from a four-run deficit to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-4, in Monday's Game 2 of the National League Division Series.

Atlanta, which won a major league-best 104 games during the regular season, was facing a 2-0 deficit in this best-of-five series before scoring five unanswered runs to avoid a potential elimination game in Philadephia on Wednesday.

Travis d'Arnaud aided the improbable rally with a two-run homer in the seventh inning off Phillies starter Zack Wheeler, who didn't allow a hit until the sixth as Philadelphia built a 4-0 lead.

The Braves also got a sensational defensive play in the ninth from center fielder Michael Harris II, who made a leaping catch to rob Nick Castellanos of extra bases to start a game-ending double play that caught Phillies star Bryce Harper attempting to score from first base.

Riley stepped up with two outs in the eighth and Ronald Acuna Jr. aboard with the Braves down 4-3. The All-Star third baseman worked the count full against Jeff Hoffman before taking a slider over the left-field wall to put the NL East champs ahead for the first time in the series.

The Phillies put the tying run aboard in the ninth, however, when Harper drew a leadoff walk. Two batters later, Castellanos sent a deep drive off Braves closer Raisel Iglesias that Harris snared just before hitting the outfield wall before quickly throwing the ball to the infield, where Riley grabbed it and fired to first base to double off Harper after the two-time NL MVP was frantically trying to get back to the bag after rounding second base.

Wheeler allowed just one baserunner, who reached on an error by shortstop Trea Turner, before walking Acuna with two outs in the sixth. Ozzie Albies then broke up the no-hit bid with a single to right that led to Atlanta's first run when Acuna raced home as Turner misplayed the relay throw. 

D'Arnaud cut the lead to 4-3 by homering off Wheeler's final pitch with Matt Olson on base in the seventh.

Wheeler struck out 10 over 6 1/3 innings and was charged with three runs - two earned - while yielding only three hits.

The Phillies built their 4-0 lead on J.T. Realmuto's two-run homer off Max Fried in the third inning, Alec Bohm's RBI single in the first and Bryson Stott's sac fly in the fith. 

Fried lasted just four innings and allowed three runs while walking four. 

 

Gabriel Moreno highlighted a six-run first against Clayton Kershaw with a three-run homer and the Arizona Diamondbacks rolled to a stunning 11-2 rout of the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the NL Division Series.

Tommy Pham had four hits with a homer and Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas also went deep for Arizona, which is 3-0 in these playoffs – all on the road.

Arizona wasted no time jumping on Kershaw, who gave up a leadoff double to Ketel Marte and an RBI single to Carroll before Christian Walker’s double made it 2-0.

Moreno followed with a blast over the wall in left field to extend the lead to 5-0 and after a groundout and Thomas’ walk, Evan Longoria doubled home another run.

Kershaw – a three-time Cy Young Award winner - was relieved by Emmet Sheehan after he was tagged for six runs and six hits while recording just one out.

He had never made a start where he pitched less than one inning.

Carroll led off the second with a home run and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. added an RBI double before Longoria’s sacrifice fly upped the advantage to 9-0.

Merrill Kelly didn’t need all the offensive support, as he allowed three hits in 6 1/3 scoreless innings for his first win against the Dodgers.

He entered 0-11 with a 5.49 ERA in 16 starts against them.

Thomas homered in the seventh and Pham’s blast in the eighth made it 11-0.

Will Smith had a two-run triple in the eighth to get Los Angeles on the board.

 

Harper homers, Phillies shut out Braves

Bryce Harper’s home run backed a stellar pitching performance, and the Philadelphia Phillies stifled the MLB-best Atlanta Braves 3-0 in Game 1 of the NL Division Series on Saturday night.

Wild-card series hero Bryson Stott broke a scoreless tie with a run-scoring single off Spencer Strider in the fourth.

Harper took Strider deep in the sixth to make it 2-0 and the Phillies tacked on another run in the eighth when catcher’s interference was called against Sean Murphy.

After the call was reviewed and upheld, there was a brief delay when a handful of fans threw rubbish on the field.

The Phillies took a 1-0 lead over the Braves in the NLDS for the second consecutive season after they upset Atlanta 3-1 on an improbable run to the 2022 World Series.

Ranger Suarez limited the 104-win Braves to one hit in 3 2/3 innings and Jeff Hoffman escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.

Seranthony Dominguez struck out the side in the fifth and Jose Alvarado, rookie Orion Kerkering, Matt Strahm and Craig Kimbrel shut down Atlanta the rest of the way.

Strider, the majors’ only 20-game winner this season, allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings with two walks and eight strikeouts.

 

Alvarez hits 2 home runs as Astros beat Twins

Yordan Alvarez homered twice, and Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings to lead the defending World Series champion Houston Astros to a 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins in an AL Division Series opener.

Jose Altuve led off the bottom of the first with a home run and Alvarez finished with three RBIs to help Houston win its 10th straight in Game 1 of a Division Series.

The 40-year-old Verlander allowed four hits with three walks and six strikeouts for his 17th career playoff win, most among active pitchers.

Minnesota rallied against Hector Neris in the seventh, with Jorge Polanco providing the big hit with a three-run homer. Two pitches later, Royce Lewis belted his third home run in three playoff games to get the Twins within 5-4.

Alvarez connected off Caleb Thielbar in the bottom half to extend Houston’s lead.

The Houston slugger took starter Bailey Ober deep in the third for a two-run shot for a 3-0 advantage.

 

Rangers’ bullpen holds off Orioles

Five Texas relievers kept the Baltimore Orioles in check and the Rangers held on for a 3-2 victory in their AL Division Series opener.

Third baseman Josh Jung homered and came up with a key defensive play as the Rangers improved to 3-0 in these playoffs – all on the road.

After Dane Dunning gave up Anthony Santander’s solo home run in the sixth to cut Texas’ lead to 3-2, Will Smith, Josh Sborz, Aroldis Chapman and Jose Leclerc combined for the final 10 outs.

Chapman walked the first two batters in the eighth before Jung ranged to his left and snagged Santander’s bouncer on a short hop to start a 5-4-3 double play.

Chapman then struck out Ryan Mountcastle with a runner on third to end the inning.

Sonny Gray and five relievers combined on a shutout and the Minnesota Twins advanced in the postseason for the first time in 21 years with a 2-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

Minnesota, which ended an 18-game playoff losing streak with a 3-1 win in Game 1, completed the sweep and moved on to face the defending World Series champion Astros in the best-of-five AL Division Series, starting Saturday in Houston.

The Twins snapped a nine-round losing streak that started with an ALCS defeat to the Angels in 2002. The Atlanta Braves (2001-2019) and Chicago Cubs (1910-1998) share the all-time mark with 10 consecutive series lost.

The Blue Jays lost their seventh straight playoff game, leaving nine runners on base in each game.

All the game’s offense came in the bottom of the fourth.

Royce Lewis drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on Max Kepler’s infield single against reliever Yusei Kikuchi.

After pinch-hitter Donovan Solano walked to load the bases, Carlos Correa singled home a run. Willi Castro then hit into a double play to make it 2-0.

Gray allowed five hits over five innings with two walks and six strikeouts.

Brock Stewart and Griffin Jax each worked one inning and Jhoan Duran struck out the side in the ninth to trigger the celebration.

 

Gallen, Diamondbacks complete sweep of Brewers

Ketel Marte highlighted a four-run sixth with a two-run single and the Arizona Diamondbacks finished a sweep of the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers with a 5-2 victory.

Two years after losing 110 games, the Diamondbacks advanced to the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Zac Gallen allowed two first-inning runs but settled down to toss six solid innings before Arizona’s bullpen finished with three scoreless frames, the final three outs coming from Paul Sewald.

Milwaukee has lost nine of its last 10 playoff games, a stretch that started with a Game 7 home loss to the Dodgers in the 2018 NLCS.

Freddy Peralta held Arizona hitless for 4 2/3 innings before Alek Thomas homered to make it 2-1.

The Diamondbacks knocked out Peralta and grabbed a 5-2 lead with four runs in the sixth.

After Marte singled home a pair of runs, the Diamondbacks got another run on Abner Uribe’s wild pitch and extended the advantage on Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s RBI single.

 

Stott hits slam as Phillies sweep

Bryson Stott hit the second grand slam in Phillies postseason history and Aaron Nola was masterful on the mound as Philadelphia rolled to a 7-1 win over the Miami Marlins for a two-game sweep.

J.T. Realmuto also went deep, and the Phillies will face the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS for the second straight season after last year’s series win in four games.

Nola limited Miami to three hits over seven scoreless innings, getting an inning-ending double play in the fifth.

Already leading 3-0, Stott’s blast off Andrew Nardi in the sixth all but assured the Phillies of advancing.

 

Rangers finish sweep of punchless Rays

Adolis Garcia and rookie Evan Carter homered to back Nathan Eovaldi’s stellar start as the Texas Rangers secured a spot in the AL Division Series with a 7-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rangers outscored the Rays 11-1 in a pair of wins and won a postseason series for the first time since 2011, when they reached the World Series.

Texas will open the ALDS on Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles.

Eovaldi gave up six hits over 6 2/3 innings while walking none with eight strikeouts to beat Tampa Bay for the third time this season.

The Rays’ postseason losing streak reached seven straight, as they were bounced in the Wild Card Series for the second consecutive year.

Garcia led off the fourth with a home run against Zach Eflin, igniting a four-run inning.

Leody Tavares singled with two outs, stole second and scored on Josh Jung’s triple. The 20-year-old Carter followed with a home run to right for a 4-0 lead.

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. 

Christian Walker homered twice and drove in five runs as the Arizona Diamondbacks outslugged the Atlanta Braves 16-13 to snap a four-game losing streak.

Geraldo Perdomo snapped a ninth-inning tie with a two-run double and Ketel Marte had three hits and three RBIs for the Diamondbacks, who scored just 11 runs during their season high-tying four-game skid.

Austin Riley went deep twice, doubled and drove in a career-high seven runs, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the National League-best Braves from dropping three in a row for the first time since May 10-14.

Arizona was involved in its first game in which each team had at least 13 runs, and it was the first such game in the majors since the Chicago White Sox beat the Chicago Cubs 17-13 on Aug. 27, 2021.

The 29 combined runs were the most in any game this season.

Riley’s first home run was a three-run shot in the fourth inning and gave the Braves a 9-8 lead.

Orlando Arcia’s two-run shot an inning later extended the lead, but the Diamondbacks scored four in the sixth on Corbin Carroll’s RBI single and Walker’s three-run blast.

Arizona’s Dominic Canzone had his first career hit in the eighth to score Walker and tie the game at 13.

 

 

Red-hot Giants sweep slumping Reds

The San Francisco Giants continued their surge with a pair of wins over the Cincinnati Reds, getting two home runs from Wilmer Flores in an 11-10 victory in the second game.

Casey Schmitt drew a bases-loaded walk in a three-run seventh for an 11-8 lead and the Giants held on to send the Reds to a season high-tying six-game losing streak.

San Francisco began the night by winning the completion of Monday’s suspended game behind Joc Pederson’s tiebreaking,10th-inning double.

The Reds lost despite home runs in the second game from Joey Votto, Jake Fraley, Will Benson and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, a pinch-hit three-run shot for his first career hit.

 

Rangers’ Eovaldi ties for MLB lead with 11th win

Nathan Eovaldi allowed two hits over six scoreless innings and was backed by home run from Corey Seager and Marcus Semien as the Texas Rangers won their fifth straight, 5-3 over the Tampa Bay Rays in a matchup of division leaders.

Eovaldi struck out two and walked three to become the fifth 11-game winner in the majors.

Semien opened the scoring in the third inning with his 13th home run and Seager’s 14th of the season in the seventh made it 5-1.

Randy Arozarena and Brandon Lowe went deep for the Rays, who have lost 10 of 13 in July.

 

Randy Arozarena was the hero as the Tampa Bay Rays set a major league record for scoring homers in each of their first 21 games in a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

Arozarena brought up the milestone with a two-run blast over left-center field in the first inning, before hitting a walkoff RBI single in the 10th.

The Rays, who started the season with 13 straight wins, improved their record to 18-3, marking the best start by any side in the majors since the New York Yankees in 2003.

Tampa Bay also broke the Seattle Mariners' 2019 record of homering in 20 straight games to start that season.

The game was in the balance after homers from Eloy Jimenez and Yasmani Grandal for the White Sox, before Arozarena singled to left for Diaz to score at the bottom of the fifth.

Gavin Sheets squared the game up with a homer to right field at the top of the eighth, before Arozarena settled the game.

Jimmy Lambert intentionally walked Wander Franco with two out and a runner on second, before Arozarena's first-pitch single to right field, driving in Vidal Brujan. Arozarena finished with four RBIs.

Shane McClanahan sent down 10 strikeouts across six innings, while White Sox starter Dylan Cease had five K's.

Garcia crushed three HRs in Rangers rout

Adolis Garcia blasted three home runs and eight RBIs in five innings as the Texas Rangers smoked the Oakland Athletics 18-3.

Garcia blasted a two-run 432-foot homer at the bottom of the first, repeating the dose in the third inning with a 419-foot bomb over center.

The Rangers outfielder made it 13-2 at the bottom of the fifth with 401-feet blast, before a two-run double in the seventh capped a remarkable showing, taking his season tally to seven homers and 28 RBIs.

Garcia went five-for-four, becoming the third player since 1901 with at least 16 total bases, three homers, eight RBIs and five runs in a single game.

Tatis homers for first time since 2021

Fernando Tatis Jr blasted his first home run since returning from an 80-game drug suspension as the San Diego Padres won 5-3 over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Tatis, in his third game back since the suspension elapsed, crushed a 374-foot homer over left field for his first blast since 2021. The Padres outfielder led the majors for homers in 2021, with 42.

Right-hander Joe Musgrove earned his first win of the season, following a toe injury sustained in the weight room during spring training, striking out six, giving up three runs on seven hits.

Fernando Tatis Jr. was grateful to be on the field as helped the San Diego Padres to victory in his first game back after being banned for a drugs violation.

Tatis was hit with an 80-game suspension in August 2022 after testing positive for Clostebol, a performance-enhancing substance.

The star shortstop claimed he had taken a medicine containing Clostebol to treat ringworm, subsequently apologising for letting his team-mates down with the positive test.

Having undergone surgery on a wrist injury earlier in the year, Tatis sat out the entirety of the 2022 MLB season, which saw the Padres beaten by the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series.

Tatis went 0-for-5 when making his first MLB appearance since October 2021 against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, though he did make a highlight-reel catch as the Padres clinched a 7-5 win.

Speaking after his return, Tatis said: "It felt amazing, just to be back out there with my boys in the jungle. [I'm] just happy. Happy to get that 'W' and just to be back out there.

"Being away for a period of time – it gave me time to realise how really blessed I am to be able to play this game at the level that I play it.

"All the kids that are watching, the vibes they give me, that love they give me, it just feeds me every single time.

"There were more Padres fans here than Arizona fans. It's amazing how they show up. They were loud. I felt like we were at home."

Tatis received a predictably mixed reception when entering the batter's box for the first time, and he expects more of the same at opposing ballparks, given the nature of his ban.

"That's going to come," Tatis said. "Everybody has freedom of expression in this country, and there's nothing I can do about it. I'm just going to keep playing this game and enjoy every part of it."

Adam Duvall starred before blasting a walk-off two-run homer over the Green Monster as the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-8 on Saturday.

Duvall, who joined the Red Sox from the Atlanta Braves in the offseason, had four hits, three runs and five RBIs for the game in a glittering display at Fenway Park.

But his crowning moment came with the Red Sox two out with a runner on first at the bottom of the ninth, hammering a Felix Bautista fastball just above the Green Monster for the walk-off blast.

The Red Sox capitalised on Ryan McKenna's fielding error at deep left field that allowed Masataka Yoshida to get on first base after hitting a routine fly ball.

Duvall's subsequent blast just cleared the Monster, caroming into a tabletop and back on to the field, but the lights flickered, signalling the walk-off homer.

The 34-year-old outfielder homered in the third inning as part of a four-run salvo after the Red Sox trailed 7-1.

Baltimore had raced ahead with Ryan Mountcastle's two-run first-inning homer along with Cedric Mullins three-run blast in the third. The Orioles tagged Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale for seven runs across three innings.

The Red Sox cut it to 8-7 in the seventh after Enrique Hernandez's homer and Duvall's ground rule double for Rafael Devers to score. Austin Hays went five-for-five with two runs for the O's.

Flaherty's mixed day as Cardinals register first win

St Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty threw five no-hit innings along with giving up a career-high seven walks as his side claimed their first win of the season, 4-1 over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Flaherty fanned four, tossing down 49 of 95 pitches for strikes, but only had one clean inning, albeit his final one, on a mixed day on the mound.

The Cardinals opened up a 3-0 lead in the third inning, capitalising on a two-out throwing error by Jays third baseman Matt Chapman, before Nolan Gorman's two-run single.

Angels pile on the runs in Fujinami's A's debut

The Los Angeles Angels scored 11 runs in the third inning as they spoiled Shintaro Fujinami's debut for the Oakland Athletics, winning 13-1.

Fujinami, who joined the A's on a one-year free-agent deal, fell apart in the third after a positive start, with his game ending after 55 pitches with the Angels leading 6-0. The Japanese pitcher allowed eight earned runs with three walks and four Ks.

Taylor Ward blasted a three-run homer off reliever Adam Oller, while Shohei Ohtani had two hits and two RBIs.

Trayce Thompson produced a three-homer, eight-RBI game as the Los Angeles Dodgers won 10-1 over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and top prospect Corbin Carroll have agreed to an eight-year contract extension, according to multiple reports.

The 22-year-old outfielder signed for a base compensation of $111million, with a team option and escalators that could raise the total value of the deal over $134m.

According to MLB.com, Carroll's compensation is the most ever given to a U.S.-based player with fewer than 100 days of major league service time.

The previous record of $70m had been set by the Atlanta Braves' Michael Harris, who went on to be named the 2022 NL Rookie of the Year.

The deal locks Carroll up for all of his arbitration-eligible seasons, plus at least his first two free agency seasons.

Arizona drafted Carroll in the first round of the 2019 draft, and the left-handed center fielder has remained among the highest-ranked prospects in the organisation ever since.

Carroll made his major league debut last season, batting .260 with an .830 OPS in 115 plate appearances. In 32 games he had 27 hits, 15 for extra bases.

Earlier this offseason, MLB.com ranked the speedy outfielder as the No. 2 prospect in baseball, behind Baltimore Orioles infielder Gunnar Henderson.

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