The wait is finally over: the Seattle Mariners are returning to the MLB playoffs after 21 years in the wilderness.

The Mariners had been enduring the worst active postseason drought not just in baseball, but in any of the four major sports in the United States.

So desperate had this sequence of failure been, all but one of Seattle's MLB rivals – the Cincinnati Reds – had also won a playoff series since the Mariners' 2001 run.

It would have been difficult to imagine at the end of that 2001 season the Mariners would not be back in the postseason until 2022; Seattle finished with a 116-46 record, setting a new American League benchmark for wins in a single season and matching the all-time MLB high.

But now, after a late-season wobble prompted fears of a repeat of last year's agony when the M's finished two games back in the Wild Card race, the drought is over.

Seattle had lost eight of their previous 11 games before beating the Texas Rangers on both Wednesday and Thursday – results that, combined with back-to-back defeats for the Baltimore Orioles, left the Mariners only one game away heading into Friday.

Either defeat for the Orioles at the New York Yankees or victory for the Mariners over the Oakland Athletics would do, and after the Orioles briefly kept their season alive, the Mariners got the job done in the most storybook fashion imaginable.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Cal Raleigh hit a walk-off home run to win 2-1 and send the Seattle fans into raptures as a 21-year weight was lifted off their shoulders.

Seattle happily fell well short of the all-time record for most consecutive seasons missing the playoffs, held by the St Louis Browns between 1903 and 1943 – but there are still several miserable streaks for the Mariners to snap.

They remain the only team in the major leagues never to have been to a World Series, with this their 45th season, while the Houston Astros' dominance in the AL West means Seattle's wait for a first division title since 2001 will go on.

That is the worst run in the AL, but three NL teams – the Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates – will this year see their division droughts reach 29 years.

Not satisfied with ending the longest playoff drought in American sports, Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais is now targeting World Series success.

The Mariners are set to return to the MLB postseason on Friday after moving just one win away with a typically chaotic 10-9 walk-off victory over the Texas Rangers in the 11th inning on Thursday.

Defeat for the Baltimore Orioles at the New York Yankees or a Mariners win against the Oakland Athletics would now clinch a Wild Card berth ahead of the final weekend of the regular season.

The city of Seattle has not seen playoff baseball since the 2001 season, with the subsequent 21 years representing the longest active drought in MLB or indeed any of the four major sports in the United States.

While ending that wait has consumed Servais and his players, they have already changed their focus.

The Mariners are the only team in the major leagues never to reach the World Series – the Washington Nationals in 2019 were the last franchise to make their World Series debut – but Servais believes this group of players are capable.

"We've got a really good team – that's why it's exciting," he said after the Rangers win.

"We can pitch, we have clutch hitting, we can defend, we can run the bases. We check a lot of the boxes that you need to have that team to get deep in the playoffs, into the World Series and win it.

"I know everybody is exhausted; we've got to end the drought, end the drought – I've heard it for seven years. Every day, when I get up in the morning and I drive to work, that's what's on my mind.

"But the goal is to win the World Series; it's not just to end the drought. We will end the drought tomorrow. We're going to."

Shohei Ohtani's no-hit bid was spoiled in the eighth inning with two outs as the Los Angeles Angels won 4-2 over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

The reigning American League (AL) MVP was four outs shy of a no-hitter, with Conner Capel managing a two-out single in the eighth inning to end his bid.

Ohtani finished the game with 10 strikeouts across eight scoreless innings allowing two hits and one walk. Dermis Garcia singled after Capel's hit but Ohtani got out of the jam with Shea Langeliers grounding out to third.

The Angels two-way superstar also went two-for-four at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning, meaning his hit streak to reach a career-high 14 games.

Ohtani's performance adds further intrigue to the AL MVP race with New York Yankees' history-making outfielder Aaron Judge who matched Roger Maris' franchise and AL record with his 61st home run this season on Wednesday.

Blue Jays clinch playoff spot despite not taking field

The Toronto Blue Jays secured their postseason berth despite not playing on Thursday, benefitting from the Baltimore Orioles' 5-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox as J.D. Martinez hit a two-run go-ahead home run in the eighth inning.

The result means the Jays (87-69) are assured of an American League (AL) Wild Card spot, with the Orioles back at 80-76 in fourth in the AL Wild Card race.

Toronto are second in the AL East behind the New York Yankees (96-59), with the Seattle Mariners (85-70) and the Tampa Bay Rays (85-71) in the box seats for the other AL Wild Cards.

The Mariners claimed a 10-9 walk-off win over the Texas Rangers in a game that included nine homers, including two each for Seattle's MItch Haniger and Jarred Kelenic.

Garcia grand slam dents Brewers' Wild Card hopes

The Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers both lost crucial games in the National League (NL) Wild Card race.

The Phillies, who hold the third NL Wild Card spot with an 83-72 record, went down 2-0 to the Chicago Cubs with both runs scored by Seiya Suzuki.

The Brewers (83-73) looked on track to capitalise on the Phillies' loss before Avisail Garcia's eighth-inning grand slam earned the Miami Marlins a 4-2 win.

Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr treated his home fans to a 3-2 walk-off win against the New York Yankees in extra innings.

Guerrero, 23, is considered one of the best young hitters in the sport, and he was one of only three players in the game to tally more than one hit on Monday.

After a Gleyber Torres sacrifice-fly and an Isiah Kiner-Falefa solo home run gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead heading into the fourth inning, singles to Bo Bichette and Guerrero set the table for Teoscar Hernandez's game-tying two-run double.

That 2-2 score would hold for the rest of regulation as both bullpens delivered five consecutive scoreless innings, and the Blue Jays had no interest in dealing with AL MVP favourite Aaron Judge in the 10th frame.

With runners on first and second base and two outs, the Blue Jays opted to intentionally walk Judge as he remains one home run away from the Yankees' and American League single-season record of 61, set 61 years ago by Roger Maris in 1961. The next batter, Anthony Rizzo, would harmlessly ground-out with bases loaded.

New York could have walked Guerrero with two outs and a runner on second base, but chose to pitch to him, and were punished with a walk-off single.

The win trimmed the Yankees' lead in the AL East to seven-and-a-half games, although the Blue Jays will likely make the playoffs regardless as they lead the race for the AL Wildcard spots.

Braves rookie pitches a shutout

The Atlanta Braves appear to have unearthed another stud rookie pitcher, with 23-year-old Bryce Elder pitching a complete game shutout in his side's 8-0 win against the Washington Nationals.

In just the eighth start of his career, Elder made it through all nine innings in 106 pitches, allowing six hits and one walk with six strikeouts. His emergence is a bonus for the Braves, who already have both contenders for National League Rookie of the Year in starting pitcher Spencer Strider and center-fielder Michael Harris II.

Albeit a small sample size, Elder now boasts an ERA of 2.76, and he has rattled off four consecutive quality starts, including a 10-strikeout outing against the Miami Marlins.

Santander hits two homers in high-scoring Orioles win

Anthony Santander hit two of the Baltimore Orioles' four home runs in a 14-8 win against the Boston Red Sox, with the two sides combining for 29 hits.

Of the 18 starters from both sides, only three players failed to get a hit in the game, while Santander, Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, Rougned Odor and Kyle Stowers all collected at least two each for the Orioles.

Star 21-year-old prospect Gunnar Henderson also had a strong day for Baltimore, hitting a two-run home run and drawing three walks.

Philadelphia Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber hit his 41st and 42nd home runs of the season in his side's 9-8 loss against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

Schwarber connected on his first of the day as the Phillies' very first batter, and he did it again with his next at-bat in the third inning for a pair of solo shots. He is second in the league in home runs, trailing only Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees.

While the Phillies got two RBIs from their lead-off hitter, the Braves got three from theirs, with Dansby Swanson leading the way for Atlanta offensively.

Swanson finished three-for-six, including a massive 417-foot two-run home run in the fourth inning to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 lead.

After a pair of sacrifice-flies from Phillies Bryce Harper and Alec Bohm in the fifth inning, William Contreras tied things at 6-6 in the eighth inning when he came home to score on a wild pitch, sending the game to extra innings.

In extras, after a scoreless 10th inning, hits to rising stars Ronald Acuna Jr and Michael Harris II drove in a run each, and the Phillies were only able to claw one back.

Braves reliever Jackson Stephens was credited with the win after pitching both extra innings, striking out three batters and allowing one unearned run.

Trout goes deep in Angels win

Mike Trout's strong season continued in the Los Angeles Angels' 10-3 win against the Minnesota Twins, hitting his ninth home run of September.

Trout, who is now tied for the fourth-most home runs in the league with 37, finished three-for-four at the plate and scored three times, highlighted by a 416-foot bomb to left-field.

Fellow Angels star Shohei Ohtani also had a strong outing, collecting two hits and an RBI from five at-bats, while Jose Suarez took the win on the mound with two earned runs in five-and-two-thirds innings.

Javier pitches a gem for the Astros

Houston Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier gave up only one hit in his six innings against the Baltimore Orioles to help his side to a 6-3 road victory.

Javier had a perfect game through four-and-a-third innings before allowing his sole hit of the contest, quickly following it with a double-play to end the inning. That hit was the only baserunner he allowed as he also finished with no walks, and he lowered his ERA for the season down to 2.65.

The Astros are the only team with three starting pitchers who all boast ERAs under 2.70, with American League Cy Young Award favourite Justin Verlander leading the league at 1.82, while the league-leader in quality starts, Framber Valdez, is at 2.69.

The Baltimore Orioles gave their fans a glimpse into an exciting future as starting pitcher Dean Kremer and rookie catcher Adley Rutschman delivered in a 6-0 win against the Houston Astros.

Houston entered the contest with a seven-game lead atop the American League standings, but they were no match for Kremer in what ended up being the first complete game shutout of his career.

Kremer, 26, is in the midst of a breakout season, with nine scoreless innings against the Astros bringing his ERA to 3.07 from 114 innings this year – a sharp improvement from his 7.55 ERA in 53 innings a season ago.

Overall, Kremer allowed four hits and two walks in the complete game, and he received some solid run support from another young star on his team.

Rutschman, 24, would be considered a strong chance for Rookie of the Year if Seattle Mariners phenom Julio Rodriguez had not already locked up the award, and the young catcher finished three-for-three at the plate on Friday.

He singled in his first at-bat, followed by a solo home run in the fourth inning, and a double in the seventh.

With the win, the Orioles are now three games behind the Mariners in the race for the last AL Wildcard spot.

The wrong Aaron homers for the Yankees

Aaron Judge remains one home run away from the American League and New York Yankees' single-season record, but his side emerged 5-4 victors against the Boston Red Sox with the help of his namesake.

It was Aaron Hicks doing the damage for the Yankees, hitting a solo home run in the third inning and an RBI single in the fifth to score the first two runs, before Gleyber Torres' two-run single doubled their advantage to 4-1.

A three-run homer to Boston's Alex Verdugo tied things at 4-4 in the sixth inning, but All-Star catcher Jose Trevino tacked on the winner for the Yankees with a single in the eighth inning.

Judge finished one-for-four with a single and two strikeouts.

Nola, Hoskins dominate the reigning champions

Aaron Nola and Rhys Hoskins were at the peak of their powers to help the Philadelphia Phillies to a dominant 9-1 home win against the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves.

Already leading 2-0 in the second inning, Hoskins stepped up to the plate and added two more runs with a double, and he chipped in another two with a homer in the fourth inning on his way to final figures of three-for-four with four RBIs.

On the mound, Nola was terrific, striking out eight batters in six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and three walks.

Christian Yelich blasted the biggest home run seen in the majors since 2019 as the Milwaukee Brewers lost 10-7 to the Colorado Rockies in extras on Tuesday.

Yelich led the game off with a 499-foot home run into the third deck at Coors Field, which was also the third largest blast since Statcast started tracking homers in 2015.

Only home runs from Nomar Mazara, 505 feet in 2019, and Giancarlo Stanton, 504 in 2016, bettered Yelich's effort. Yelich's dinger came from the fourth pitch of the game from Rockies starter Chad Kuhl.

It was only one part of a thrilling contest that ended in the 10th inning with Randal Grichuk delivering a three-run home run to give the Rockies the edge.

The Rockies had trailed 6-1 going into the eighth inning before Grichek capped a five-run rally with a solo blast.

Colorado did most of their damage after Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff exited, having allowed one earned run, two hits and two walks across seven innings with five strikeouts.

Benches clear as O's edge Jays

The benches cleared as tempers flared during the seventh inning of the Baltimore Orioles' 9-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

The incident occurred after Bryan Baker struck out Matt Chapman to finish the Blue Jays innings, with the right-hander appearing to make a "chirping" signal at the Toronto dugout who took umbrage and rushed on field on masse.

The Orioles, who improve to 72-64 to boost their wild card hopes, scored three runs in the eighth inning to pull away led by Ryan Mountcastle's two-run single, with Adley Rutschman safe after review.

Mets NL setback as Cruz blasts

Oneil Cruz lined a home run out of PNC Park into the Allegheny with a two-run blast as the Pittsburgh Pirates blew out the New York Mets 8-2.

Cruz displayed his unique power from Tommy Hunter over right-field and to blast his side into an 8-2 lead.

The result is a major blow for the Mets who slip to 85-51, alongside the Atlanta Braves with the same record in the National League East.

Shohei Ohtani became the first player in American League/National League history to record 10 wins on the mound and 30 home runs after his go-ahead blast in the Los Angeles Angels' 3-2 triumph over the New York Yankees.

The Angels two-way star homered at the bottom of the sixth inning off Gerrit Cole with two runners on and his side trailing 2-0.

Ohtani's three-run shot means he has three homers in his past four games and delivered the winning blast for the second time in the three-game series against the Yankees.

He also became the first Japanese-born player with multiple 30-homer seasons, after blasting 46 home runs last year.

Aaron Hicks had made a leaping catch on the wall in the first inning to deny Ohtani, who had four at-bats for his three RBI.

Left-hander Patrick Sandoval allowed two runs on three hits over seven innings for the Angels, while the Yankees move to 79-52.

Nimmo robs Turner with unbelievable catch

Brandon Nimmo plucked one of the catches of the season to rob Justin Turner a game-tying homer in the New York Mets' 2-1 triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

At the top of the seventh inning, Turner blasted Jacob deGrom over his head to deep center field where a leaping Nimmo produced his moment of magic.

Starling Marte hit a two-run homer, while DeGrom was typically stingy with nine strikeouts across seven innings and only three hits, before Edwin Diaz closed it out.

Drew Rasmussen retired the first 24 batters he faced on Sunday consecutively, before losing his perfect game bid in the ninth inning of the Tampa Bay Rays’ 4-1 home win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Rasmussen was three outs from the first perfect game in franchise history before Baltimore’s Jorge Mateo doubled down the left-field line on the first pitch of the ninth inning.

The 27-year-old right-hander faced two more hitters, one of which reached first base on a wild pitch after striking out, before being relieved by Jason Adam with one out. Rasmussen also threw a wild pitch earlier in the inning that allowed Mateo to score the Orioles’ lone run.

Rasmussen finished with seven strikeouts while yielding just the one hit in eight-and-a-third innings – his longest outing in the majors.

"I mean, I’ll take it," he said after the game. "I wouldn’t say it was disappointing. I came that close, and very few can say they’ve done that, too."

It is the second time in Rays history they have carried a perfect game into the ninth inning. Ryne Stanek and Ryan Yarbrough combined to retire the first 24 Baltimore hitters before having that bid also foiled with none out in the ninth against the Orioles on July 14, 2019.

The victory moved Tampa Bay one-and-a-half games ahead of the Orioles for the third and final wild card spot in the American League

Aaron Judge homered for the 46th time this season to bring up his 100th RBI, but the New York Yankees lost again, beaten 3-2 by the Boston Red Sox in extras on Friday.

Judge cleared the green monster at the top of the third inning with a 429-foot blast to put the Yankees up 2-0.

The home run was 46th for the season, meaning he is equal with Babe Ruth (1921) for homers in the first 113 team games in MLB history. Barry Bonds is the only player to better both, with 48 in 2001.

J.D. Martinez brought in Alex Verdugo to make it 2-1 in the fourth inning, before Martinez sent the game to extras with a ninth-inning RBI with Xander Bogaerts scoring.

In extras, Tommy Pham was the hero for the Red Sox at the bottom of the 10th inning with a shot down the third-base line allowing Christian Arroyo to score.

The result means the Yankees' recent woes continue, sitting 71-42 at the top of the American League (AL) East, with the Red Sox last in that division with a 56-58 record.

 

Soto returns to D.C. to rousing reception

Juan Soto returned to the capital for the first time since his trade from the Washington Nationals to the San Diego Padres earlier this month, receiving a heroes' welcome.

Soto registered his first hit against his former team in the fifth inning, before the Padres piled on seven runs in the frame to open up an 8-0 lead.

Jefferson Profar and Soto scored from Manny Machado's two-run RBI. Soto, who went 2-6, drove in an RBI in the fifth as the Padres ran away 10-5 winners.

 

Mets' winning run halted by walk-off Phillies

The presence of Max Scherzer was not enough to prevent the Philadelphia Phillies from snapping the New York Mets' six-game win streak in a 2-1 walk-off defeat.

Scherzer pitched across seven innings with six strikeouts and nine hits, his second most this season. The Mets right-hander did not walk anyone and only allowed one earned run.

The game went to extras, before Bryson Stott got home from Alec Bohm's sacrifice fly to right fielder Starling Marte, who thundered in a throw but catcher Tomas Nido could not complete the out on the hop.

Framber Valdez threw seven shutout innings as the Houston Astros moved a half-game ahead of the New York Yankees in the race for top seed in the American League (AL) with a 7-3 win over the Texas Rangers.

Martin Maldonado and Alex Bregman both homered for the Astros as manager Dusty Baker returned to the dugout after missing five games due to COVID-19.

Valdez had eight strikeouts across seven innings, allowing only four singles and a walk, earning his third win.

The result improved the Astros to 72-41, sitting ahead of the slumping Yankees who did not play on Thursday and possess a 71-41 record.

"It was outstanding to be back, especially when you come back with the win and come back with Framber throwing the game that he threw," Baker said.

"He pitched an outstanding game. He's very serious about his work and was very composed."

Surging Orioles slip in Wild Card race

The in-form Baltimore Orioles missed a chance to surge into the AL Wild Card spots after going down 4-3 to the Boston Red Sox.

The O's were off to a 7-1 start in August and looked to preserve that with a three-run sixth-inning to square up the game, before Eric Hosmer's decisive go-ahead RBI double.

With the win, the Red Sox snap a four-game losing streak, while it leaves the O's at 58-53, behind the Tampa Bay Rays (58-52) for the third AL Wild Card spot.

Goldschmidt and Arenado fire but Cards beaten

The battle for top spot in the National League (NL) Central division rages on after the St Louis Cardinals were toppled 8-6 by the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies piled on six runs in the seventh inning, headlined by back-to-back home runs from Brendan Rodgers and Ryan McMahon, while Paul Goldschmidt had three hits including his 27th home run of the season.

Nolan Arenado also homered for the Cards, who hold a 61-50 record, marginally ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers at 60-50 in the NL Central. The Cards have won eight of their past 10.

Aaron Judge ended his four-game home-run drought as the New York Yankees snapped their five-game losing skid with a 9-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

The Yankees, who are top of the American League (AL) with a 71-39 record, had been swept in a three-game series by the St Louis Cardinals along with two defeats to the Mariners at Yankee Stadium in their past five.

But they responded at T-Mobile Park from the outset, with Josh Donaldson hitting a first-inning two-run single along with a third-inning solo home run, sandwiched by Mitch Haniger's blast as the Yankees claimed an early 4-1 lead.

The Yankees pulled clear with three runs in the fifth inning, as Andrew Benintendi doubled on a line drive with Donaldson and Gleyber Torres scoring, followed by Benintendi from Isiah Kiner-Falefa's sac fly.

Judge, who leads the majors in home runs, RBIs, runs, slugging percentage and on-base plus slugging this season, re-discovered his form in the ninth inning after his recent lean stretch.

The Yankees outfielder had a close call with a high ball falling just short of the wall in the third inning, but blasted a solo home run in the ninth with a fly ball over deep center field.

The home run was Judge's 44th home run of the season, continuing his march to history with the AL single-season record of 61, from Roger Maris in 1961, within sight. It also ensures Judge's longest run without a home run this season remains seven games.

More Mets momentum with Reds win

The New York Mets kept up their momentum after winning four games in their five-game series against the Atlanta Braves with a 5-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Starling Marte crushed a two-run home run in the first inning off ex-Mets pitcher Justin Dunn, but Francisco Lindor was sensationally denied a fifth-inning blast by a leaping Albert Almora with a high catch on the wall. Tyler Naquin's eighth-inning two-RBI triple sealed the win.

Chris Bassitt sent down eight strikeouts across eight innings for the Mets, whose starters have pitched a league-best 2.21 ERA since July 5. The Mets have won 13 of their 15 games.

Orioles maintain Wild Card push

The in-form Baltimore Orioles boosted their AL Wild Card aspirations with a 7-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Home runs from Ramon Urias, Anthony Santander, Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays helped the O's clinch their sixth win from their past seven games.

Felix Bautista closed out the victory, with Bo Bichette grounding into a double play, as the O's improved to 57-52 in the AL Wild Card hunt behind the Blue Jays (60-49), Tampa Bay Rays (58-50) and Mariners (59-52).

The Minnesota Twins signalled their win-now mindset with a trio of pitching moves, while the Los Angeles Dodgers took on a big-name reclamation project on Tuesday's MLB trade deadline day.

Minnesota lead their division by one game from the Cleveland Guardians, so the decision to push their chips into the middle and make a run at the playoffs is one that makes sense, and to make any noise, they needed pitching reinforcements.

A strong hitting side, the Twins are sixth in the majors in both on-base percentage (.321) and slugging percentage (.419) – but sit in the bottom half of the league in key pitching stats ERA (19th, giving up 4.03 runs per nine innings), strikeouts (21st) and walks allowed (19th).

Out of all 30 teams in the majors, only the Washington Nationals have had fewer 'quality starts' than the Twins – defined by the starting pitcher conceding three or fewer runs in six complete innings. The Nationals are also the only team to have less 'saves' collected by closing pitchers than the Twins.

In a bid to remedy both of those issues, the Twins acquired starting pitcher Tyler Mahle from the Cincinnati Reds, and All-Star closing pitcher Jorge Lopez from the Baltimore Orioles.

The nature of a starting pitcher is that they will throw more innings, and accumulate more overall value, but Lopez is arguably the more significant addition.

One of the best closers in all of baseball this season, 29-year-old Lopez boasts a terrific 1.68 ERA and is 10th in the league in saves with 19. He has allowed 47 total baserunners in 48 innings of work for an impressive WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 0.97.

Mahle, 27, does not have spectacular numbers this season (4.40 ERA), but that was mainly due to a rocky start.

He has since rebounded with a run of nine starts of at least five innings pitched with no more than four runs conceded, including back-to-back showings against the Arizona Diamondbacks where he totalled 22 strikeouts and one earned run from 15 innings.

Completing their haul, the Twins also traded pitching prospect Sawyer Gipson-Long for established reliever Michael Fulmer from the Detroit Tigers in another win-now move.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers acquired Joey Gallo from the New York Yankees in the midst of the power-hitting outfielder's worst season of his career.

Gallo, who has a pair of 40 home run seasons on his resume, and is still only 28 years old, has been a disaster since being traded to the Yankees last season, batting .159 with just 37 hits compared to 106 strikeouts.

One of the best teams in baseball, the Dodgers are hoping a change of scenery is all that is needed to re-energise the hard-hitting lefty, and they were able to acquire him as a depth piece for only minor league pitcher Clayton Beeter, who did not figure to contribute in any way to the major league side this eason.

The San Diego Padres have made a key addition after trading in All-Star closer Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers ahead of Tuesday's MLB Trade Deadline.

The addition of 28-year-old left-hander Hader is a major boost for the Padres, who have struggled in late-inning situations this season.

Hader is the 2022 league leader in saves, with 29 from 31 save opportunities this season, although he has career-worst 4.24 ERA which dipped to 12 during July.

The deal sees left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers, left-handed pitching prospect Robert Gasser, right-hander Dinelson Lamet and outfielder Esteury Ruiz sent to the Brewers.

"Josh Hader is one of the best closers in the league," Padres general manager A.J. Preller said.

"He's been there, done that, pitched in big spots, big playoff games. He's got elite stuff."

Hader, who has been with the Brewers since 2017, joins the Padres who have a 57-46 record to sit second in the National League West this season.

"Thank you for the support throughout my career," Hader wrote on Instagram. "Y'all have been great to me. The people, the energy, the love! There will always be a special place in my heart for MKE."

In other moves, the New York Yankees added right-handed starting pitcher Frankie Montas and closer Lou Trivino from the Oakland Athletics, along with reliever Scott Effross from the Chicago Cubs.

The Yankees, who have a 69-34 record, had previously brought in All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals.

The Houston Astros acquired first baseman Trey Mancini from the Baltimore Orioles along with catcher Christian Vazquez from the Boston Red Sox.

According to reports, outfielder Tommy Pham is set to join the Red Sox from the Cincinnati Reds.

Trayce Thompson drove in two runs and helped break the game open for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who claimed a four-game series sweep with a 7-4 win against the rival San Francisco Giants on Sunday.

Scores were tied at 4-4 following Darin Ruf's two-run homer off Clayton Kershaw in the fifth inning, as the Giants looked to deny their first sweep at Dodger Stadium since 1995.

Kershaw was ultimately pulled in the fifth, giving up five hits and striking out six over 94 pitches, before Craig Kimbrel eventually came in for his 17th save and the Dodgers' eighth consecutive win.

Jake Lamb's double drove in the go-ahead run the game up for grabs in the seventh inning, before Thompson's drive deep to right-centre scored Max Muncy with his brother and Golden State Warriors star Klay in attendance.

The Dodgers maintained their six-game lead over the New York Mets atop the National League standings, extending their record to 64-30 with the victory.

Judge goes deep again in Yankees win

Aaron Judge hit his fourth home run from his past four games as he continues his outlier season, extending his league-leading home run tally to 37 in the New York Yankees' 6-0 away win against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

After starting the series against the Orioles with two home runs, and following it with four hits and two RBIs yesterday, Judge stayed hot as he connected on a 456-foot blast in the third inning. He now leads the MLB for home runs with 37, seven more than the next best in Kyle Schwarber.

On the mound, Nestor Cortes was at his best for the Yankees, giving up six hits and no walks in six scoreless innings, striking out seven. Clarke Schmidt then came in for the unconventional three-inning save.

Alcantara strikes out 10 for Marlins

Arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball this year, Sandy Alcantara struck out 10 batters as his Miami Marlins defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 in extra innings.

In his six innings of work, Alcantara gave up two earned runs from just two hits and three walks, earning his 15th quality start of the season, one off the MLB lead held by Houston's Framber Valdez and Toronto's Alek Manoah.

According to Baseball Reference's Wins Above Replacement (WAR), Alcantara has been the most valuable player in all of baseball this season, and he is the only pitcher in the top-five.

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