The American League (AL) Wild Card race is set for a chaotic conclusion after the New York Yankees failed to clinch as the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners all won in MLB action on Saturday.

In New York, the Yankees were prevented from securing their Wild Card berth following a 12-2 rout at the hands of AL East champions the Tampa Bay Rays.

Brandon Lowe hit three home runs to thwart the Yankees, who are now level with the Boston Red Sox atop the AL Wild Card standings heading into Sunday's regular-season finale.

The Red Sox topped the Washington Nationals 5-3, while the Blue Jays and Mariners – who have celebrated 90-plus wins for the first time since 2003 – are a game adrift following respective wins over the Baltimore Orioles (10-1) and Los Angeles Angels (6-4).

There is a chance for a four-way tie if the Yankees (91-70) and Red Sox (91-70) both lose and the Blue Jays (90-71) and Mariners (90-71) win, which would leave the quartet with 91 victories apiece.

The 2021 AL East is the second division ever with four 90-plus win teams (the Rays, Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays) and first time since the split to three divisions per league.

 

Urias keeps Dodgers alive in NL West battle

Julio Urias became the first pitcher in his age-24 season or younger to win 20-plus games in a campaign since future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw in 2011 after leading World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers to an 8-3 success against the Milwaukee Brewers. Urias pitched one-run ball into the seventh inning to help the Dodgers (105-56) remain in the hunt for a ninth successive National League (NL) West title after leaders the San Francisco Giants (106-55) lost 3-2 to the San Diego Padres. The 2021 NL West is the first ever division to have two teams with 105 or more wins in a season.

Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease became the second set of Chicago White Sox team-mates to each record 200-plus strikeouts in a season, joining Tom Bradley (206) and Wilbur Wood (210) in 1971. The White Sox edged the Detroit Tigers 5-4.

 

Blackburn battered

Paul Blackburn was put to the sword as the Houston Astros secured home-field advantage in the AL Division Series (ALDS) with a 10-4 win at home to the Oakland Athletics. A's pitcher Blackburn was tagged for a season-high six runs on seven hits in just two innings.

 

Blue Jays set franchise record

With their 258th home run, the Blue Jays set a new single-season franchise record for homers in the win over the lowly Orioles. Danny Jansen's bomb in the bottom of the fifth inning broke the team's record. Blue Jays star and MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also equalled the record for most home runs in a season by a player aged 22 or younger, joining Eddie Matthews (1953), with his 47th homer. Seven Blue Jays players have 20-plus home runs this season, tying a team record.

 

 

Saturday's results

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

 

NL West title in balance

The NL West champion will be crowned on Sunday as the Dodgers host the Brewers on the final day of the regular season, while the Giants entertain the Padres. The Dodgers must win and hope the Giants lose to tie for the title and force a deciding Game 163 in San Francisco on Monday.

The Los Angeles Dodgers doubt Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the World Series champions in the MLB playoffs after the ace landed on the 10-day injured list.

Kershaw is back on the IL just days before the Dodgers begin their quest for back-to-back championships due to left forearm discomfort, the franchise announced on Saturday.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner had returned from a left forearm injury, which sidelined him for 57 games, however the star pitcher exited Friday's clash with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kershaw – an eight-time All-Star and National League (NL) MVP who is in the final season of his three-year, $93million contract – lasted just 1.2 innings, giving up three runs with one strikeout against the Brewers.

As the Dodgers prepare for the offseason, manager Dave Roberts was asked if the 33-year-old future Hall of Famer will pitch again this year and he told reporters: "I don't think so.

"I think right now where we're at, we're going to proceed with that mindset. I'm certainly saddened, hoping we never had to get to this point.

"You know, you want to be certainly very thoughtful and sensitive to Clayton, but in the same breath, still kind of making sure we stay focused on moving forward. That's kind of where we're all at."

In 2021, Kershaw's ERA stands at 3.55 – his highest number since his rookie year (4.26) with the Dodgers in 2008.

Kershaw – a World Series champion – boasts a 10-8 record this season with 144 strikeouts in 121.2 innings pitched.

"My future's gonna take care of itself," Kershaw said after leaving Friday's contest. "I'm not really worried about that right now. I really wanted to be a part of the moment right now, and I wanted to be with this group going through October.

"That was my only focus this year. Once I got hurt, it was just to come back and make it up for this month. That's the hard part right now is knowing it's gonna be a challenge to even contribute at all this next month.

"But as far as anything else goes — I haven't wrapped my head around it, and I don't plan to any time soon. I'm just excited to watch these guys next month."

The New York Yankees missed the chance to seal an American League (AL) Wild Card spot going down 4-3 to the Tampa Bay Rays despite a late rally on Friday.

The Yankees needed to win and hope either the Boston Red Sox or the Toronto Blue Jays lose to be assured of a Wild Card berth but could not uphold their end of the bargain, ensuring the race remains open.

Rookie Wander Franco drove in two runs at the top of the ninth inning to put the Rays up 4-1 but the Yankees did not wilt.

With one out, Joey Gallo bunted to get Giancarlo Stanton home, before Brett Gardner's double brought in Gallo to make it 4-3.

But Gary Sanchez and Rougned Odor were struck out by Rays closer Andrew Kittredge.

 

Back-to-back jacks for Red Sox

The Red Sox have been on the slide lately, losing five of their past six games, but they claimed an important win, 4-2 over the Washington Nationals to stay in the AL Wild Card hunt.

Hunter Renfroe (three-run home run) and Bobby Dalbec delivered back-to-back jacks in the sixth inning to earn the win for the Red Sox.

The Blue Jays stayed in contention with a 6-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles with Danny Jansen driving in three runs and Steven Matz having five strikeouts across seven innings.

The San Francisco Giants moved a step closer to securing the National League (NL) divisional title with a 3-0 win over the San Diego Padres.

Two runs in the first inning set up the win, with Darin Ruf's jack and Mike Yastrzemski driving in Brandon Crawford.

 

Packed house sees Mariners miss chance

The Seattle Mariners failed to capitalise on the Yankees' defeat, going down 2-1 to the Los Angeles Angels despite taking an early lead in front of a full house after Jarred Kelenic's double in the second inning. Seattle have not made the postseason since 2001 and this result does not help their hopes of ending that wait, with Angels left-hander Jose Suarez throwing five strong innings. The Mariners (89-71) are now a game behind the Red Sox (90-70) for the second AL Wild Card spot.  

 

In-form Turner crushes grand slam

Trea Turner crushed a game-tying grand slam as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied from 5-1 down to win 8-6 over the Milwaukee Brewers to keep the pressure on the Giants in the NL division race. Turner finished the game with two hits, two runs and five RBI. From his past six games, Turner has two multi-homer games, five total home runs, seven extra-base hits, eight runs scored, 10 RBI and has reached base 13 times.

 

Friday's results

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

 

Rays at Yankees

The Yankees will go again in their pursuit of a confirmed Wild Card spot when they host the Rays in their penultimate game.

The Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves became the latest MLB teams to clinch postseason spots with wins Tuesday. 

Houston wrapped up the American League (AL) West title with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, with Carlos Correa's three-run homer in the fourth inning doing all the damage for the Astros. 

Lance McCullers held the Rays without a hit through the first five innings before Tampa Bay got on the board in the sixth with a two-run homer by Brandon Lowe, but that was all the AL East champions could muster. 

While Houston (93-66) reached the playoffs for the sixth time in the last seven seasons, the Braves (86-72) locked down their fourth National League (NL) East title in a row. 

Atlanta got home runs from Jorge Soler and Austin Riley to back a strong start by Ian Anderson in a 5-3 defeat of the second-place Philadelphia Phillies to clinch the division. 

The Braves will face the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Division Series, while the Astros are set to play the Chicago White Sox in the AL. 

 

Yankees down Blue Jays, Giants rally again

The New York Yankees closed in on securing an AL wild-card spot by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2. New York got to Toronto's Cy Young Award candidate Robbie Ray in the sixth inning as Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres hit home runs to erase a 2-1 deficit. The Yankees (91-68) can clinch a playoff spot Friday with a win against the Rays and a Toronto loss to the Baltimore Orioles. 

LaMonte Wade's bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth gave the San Francisco Giants a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, bringing the team with MLB's best record one step closer to taking the NL West title. Giants starter Scott Kazmir lasted only six batters as San Francisco fell in a 3-0 first-inning hole, but the home side chipped away throughout the game until Wade's walk-off hit. San Francisco (105-54) can clinch the division Friday with a win against the San Diego Padres and a Los Angeles Dodgers (103-56) loss to the Brewers. 

 

Red Sox drop series to Orioles

The Boston Red Sox continue to flounder with a postseason berth on the line, falling 6-2 to the lowly Orioles (52-107) for their fifth defeat in the last six games. The Red Sox (89-70) dropped into a tie with the idle Seattle Mariners for the final AL wild-card spot as they head to Washington to face the Nationals in the final three games of the regular season. 

 

Tatis hits one out of Dodger Stadium

Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a monstrous 467-foot home run that cleared the left-field pavilion at Dodger Stadium, a highlight in another disappointing game for the Padres as they fell 8-3 in Los Angeles. 

 

Thursday's results

St Louis Cardinals 4-3 Milwaukee Brewers
Texas Rangers 7-6 Los Angeles Angels
Chicago Cubs 9-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles 6-2 Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees 6-2 Toronto Blue Jays
New York Mets 12-3 Miami Marlins
Atlanta Braves 5-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Detroit Tigers10-7 Minnesota Twins
Cleveland Indians 6-1 Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros 3-2 Tampa Bay Rays
San Francisco Giants 5-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 San Diego Padres

 

Angels at Mariners

The Seattle Mariners (89-70) open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels (75-84) with an AL wild-card spot hanging in the balance. 

The Toronto Blue Jays kept the American League (AL) Wild Card race wide open after ending the New York Yankees' seven-game winning streak with an entertaining 6-5 victory on Wednesday.

Bo Bichette homered twice as the Blue Jays recovered from blowing a 4-0 lead after the Yankees tied the MLB clash up in the seventh inning midweek.

Bichette's second home run of the game, with scores tied at 5-5 at the bottom of the eighth inning, proved decisive, with the 23-year-old getting a curtain call.

The result improved the Blue Jays to 88-70 to be a game adrift of the second and final Wild Card berth, while the Yankees are 90-68 in the four-team race for two spots, alongside the Boston Red Sox (89-69) and the Seattle Mariners (89-70).

Earlier, Blue Jays star Marcus Semien hit his 44th home run of the season, meaning he has the most homers in a season by a primary second baseman in MLB history.

Bichette and Semien both ticked over 100 RBI for the season, meaning the Blue Jays are the first team with four players (Teoscar Hernandez and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) with 100-plus RBI in a season since the Atlanta Braves in 2003.

 

Brewers thwarts Cardinals' winning run

The St Louis Cardinals' extraordinary winning streak ended at 17 games after a 4-0 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals secured their postseason berth on Tuesday with their 17th straight win but home runs from Daniel Vogelbach and Manny Pina earned the National League (NL) Central division winners the run-ending victory. St Louis' winning streak will go down as the third longest by any team in the expansion area, behind the Cleveland Indians (22 in 2017) and the Oakland Athletics (20 in 2002).

The Braves moved a step closer to securing the NL East title thanks to a 7-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, with Dansby Swanson starring with a three-hit game including a two-run single in the seventh inning.

AL East champions the Tampa Bay Rays clinched top seed and home-field advantage via a 7-0 shutout of the Houston Astros aided by Ji-man Choi's three-run jack in the fifth inning. The victory also brought up the Rays' 98th for the season, setting a new franchise record.

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers piled on five runs in the eighth inning to keep pace with the San Francisco Giants for NL seeding courtesy a come-from-behind 11-9 win over the San Diego Padres. The Giants stayed two games clear following a 1-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Mariners stayed firmly in the AL Wild Card hunt with a 4-2 win over the Athletics. 

Reds season fizzles out

The Cincinnati Reds' promising season has petered out, with the NL Wild Card hopes officially over and a 6-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox underlined that. The Reds managed just four hits for the game, with their only run coming in the ninth inning.

 

Red Sox snap their skid

The Red Sox boosted their AL Wild Card aspirations as they ended their four-game losing span with a 6-0 triumph over the Baltimore Orioles. J.D. Martinez had three RBI, including a 444-foot home run, while Nathan Eovaldi had six scoreless innings and seven strikeouts on the mound.

 

Wednesday's results

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

 

Yankees at Blue Jays

On Thursday, the Blue Jays host rivals the Yankees for the penultimate time in their series in a critical game for the AL Wild Card race. After that, Toronto face the Orioles, while the Yankees meet the Rays.

The Milwaukee Brewers have been dealt a blow with reliever Devin Williams likely to miss the remainder of the MLB season after breaking his hand punching a wall.

Williams – last season's National League (NL) Rookie and Reliever of the Year – sustained the injury after celebrating Milwaukee clinching the NL Central division title with a few drinks on Sunday.

The Brewers placed Williams on the 10-day injured list on Wednesday, but he will require surgery.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns said surgery will likely "keep him out for the remainder of the season."

"I went out to have a few drinks and [at] my home I was a little frustrated, upset, and I punched a wall. That's how it happened," the 27-year-old Williams told reporters.

"I'm pretty upset with myself. There's no one to blame but me. I feel like I've let the team down, the coaching staff, the fans, everyone.

"I know how big a role that I play on this team and there's a lot of people counting on me."

Right-hander Williams is 8-2 with a 2.50 ERA and 87 strikeouts from 54 innings this season for the Brewers, who clinched a postseason berth for the fourth successive season.

The Brewers are in line to play either the Atlanta Braves or the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL Division Series (NLDS).

The St Louis Cardinals extended their remarkable streak to 17 consecutive victories and clinched the second National League Wild Card spot with a 6-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.

The triumph seals a postseason spot for the Cardinals for the third consecutive year after a franchise-record run.

The Cardinals become the third team in the expansion era to win 17 straight within a season, behind only the 2017 Cleveland Indians (22) and the 2002 Oakland Athletics (20).

St Louis were forced to come back from a multi-run deficit for the sixth time during their streak after Luis Urias' two-run blast in the fourth inning.

The Cards responded immediately, with Adam Wainwright's bunt helping Harrison Bader tag to level it up.

Avisail Garcia's error from Tyler O'Neill's base hit allowed Paul Goldschmidt home, before home runs from Jose Rondon and Nolan Arenado sealed the win and another postseason berth.

Morton fires Braves past Phillies

Charlie Morton had 10 strikeouts as the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 to edge a step closer to the clinching a fourth consecutive NL East title.

The result means the Braves (84-72) are 3.5 games ahead of the Phillies (81-76).

In the battle for the NL West title, the San Francisco Giants (103-54) produced a four-run sixth-inning rally to win 6-4 over the Arizona Diamondbacks, while the Los Angeles Dodgers (101-56) survived a late scare to win 2-1 against the San Diego Padres.

The Seattle Mariners kept alive their hopes of reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2001 with a 4-2 win over the Oakland Athletics, with Mitch Haniger hitting his 100th career homer.

The Houston Astros stayed 4.5 games ahead of the Mariners with a 4-3 walk-off win over the Tampa Bay Rays, where J.T. Chargois walked the last two runs.

Salvador Perez claimed the outright lead for home runs in the majors with his 47th for the season in the Kansas City Royals' 6-4 over the Cleveland Indians.

Wind out of Red Sox's sails

The Boston Red Sox fluffed a 2-0 lead in a must-win game in the AL Wild Card race, going down 4-2 to the lowly Baltimore Orioles. Chris Sale had six strikeouts and none earned through five innings before the Orioles flipped the game on its head, leaving the Red Sox unstable at 88-69, marginally ahead of the Mariners (88-70) and the Toronto Blue Jays (87-70).

Stanton's hot streak continues

Giancarlo Stanton crushed an improbable 421-foot three-run home run as the New York Yankees secured a critical 7-2 win over the Blue Jays in the AL Wild Card hunt. In-form Stanton now has 13 RBI in his past four games, with his seventh-inning homer opening up a four-run lead for the Yankees in a crucial game. Stanton has also homered in four straight games.

Tuesday's results

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

Phillies at Braves

The Phillies get another chance to keep alive the race to win the NL East division when they face the Braves in the second game of their three-game series on Wednesday.

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers placed Albert Pujols on the COVID-19-related injured list while activating Cody Bellinger, it was announced on Tuesday.

Pujols – a future Hall of Famer who will celebrate his 42nd birthday in January – had a reaction from his second COVID-19 vaccination shot.

The Dodgers have not placed a timeframe on Pujols' return but the two-time World Series champion and three-time National League (NL) MVP was ruled out of Tuesday's game against the San Diego Padres.

"He didn't feel good as far as playing in a major league game," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Just to give him a day and see where he's at tomorrow."

The Dodgers, though, activated 2019 NL MVP Bellinger from the IL after a left rib fracture sustained in an outfield collision with team-mate Gavin Lux on September 14.

Pujols is batting .255 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 82 games since arriving from MLB rivals the Los Angeles Angels in May while Bellinger – who also battled a shoulder injury earlier this season – is hitting .159 with nine homers and 34 RBI in 89 appearances.

The Dodgers (100-56) were second behind the San Francisco Giants (102-54) in the NL West division prior to Tuesday's games.

The Giants were dealt a blow with in-form Brandon Belt placed on their 10-day IL due to a left thumb fracture after being struck by a fastball against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

"It's not optimal, but I think we're going to be fine because our players are prepared for it," Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.

The Giants are yet to put a timeframe on Belt's injury but had said on Monday he will "continue to meet with doctors over the next couple of days to develop a recovery plan and timetable for his return."

Belt is batting .274 with a career-high 29 home runs, 59 RBI and 89 hits. The 33-year-old – a two-time World Series winner – leads the Giants for homers this season.

Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon said two-way star Shohei Ohtani did not mean he wants to leave the MLB franchise.

Ohtani will become a free agent after the 2023 season and he sparked question marks over his future, having insisted his top priority is winning following another losing campaign in Los Angeles.

An American League (AL) MVP frontrunner with 45 homers and a 3.18 ERA, Ohtani was unable to prevent the Angels from a sixth successive losing season and a seventh consecutive campaign without playoff baseball.

Maddon, however, played down the Japanese sensation's comments prior to Tuesday's clash with the Texas Rangers.

"We all feel the same way, we all want to win," Maddon told reporters.

"If anybody misconstrues that as though he wants to leave, that's trying to connect some dots that weren't necessarily what he, not at all what he said.

"He also mentioned how much he loves it here. The inner sanctum of the clubhouse, the guys, the coaching staff, everything about it. The area. The fans. He loves them all.

"We all want to get to the next level, and we see it as an absolute possibility it's going to happen here in the very near future."

Prior to Tuesday, Ohtani had just three home runs in 22 September games – his lowest in any month this season.

Ohtani's 45 home runs are tied for second-most by an Angel in a single season, two behind Troy Glaus' 47 in 2000.

"Don't forget all the platitudes that he mentioned regarding everything else because I think that overrides just saying that he wants to win and somehow connect that to he wants to leave," Maddon added.

 

The Seattle Mariners have adopted Ted Lasso's mantra as they chase down a playoff place: "Believe".

Unlikely football manager Lasso uses that one-word message in the popular television show, and it is one that rings true with the Mariners as they seek to end a 20-year postseason wait.

Seattle must still reel in two teams in the AL East to take a place in the Wild Card Game, but their belief is not wavering.

A 13-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Monday opened up a two-game gap to their AL West rivals, with Mitch Haniger hitting a pair of three-run homers.

"We've got five games left, folks," manager Scott Servais said. "Here we sit. It's been some kind of season we've had, and we've still got a lot to play for."

Haniger missed all of last season but now has 37 home runs this year, ranking ninth in MLB.

Only Willie Mays (41 in 1954) and Ted Williams (38 in 1946) have ever scored more home runs in a season after not appearing in any professional league the previous year.

A's pitcher Cole Irvin gave up five runs for his fifth loss in five starts in 2021 against the Mariners. The 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers, against Tom Glavine, were the last team to face a lefty starter at least five times in a season and win on every occasion.

Irvin is not alone in having a tough time against this team, though. Seattle have not been shut out in 92 games, the longest streak in the major league this season.

Two years on from propping up the division, the Mariners are a serious prospect again. They are 8-2 across their past 10 games, the form team in the American League, and, of course, they believe.

"Believe," read a simple banner that hung in T-Mobile Park during this latest victory.

"That was pretty cool," Servais said. "You know every team's got their thing. It's the world we live in. And right now, it's the Ted Lasso world.

"Our guys are having fun, and we should all enjoy it, because we've had some kind of season."

Haniger added: "That's what is fuelling and firing us. As a team, we want to win every single game the rest of the season.

"Just come in every day, prepare to win and that's the goal. It's just control what we can control when we go out there."

Seattle host Oakland again on Tuesday.

Mitch Haniger hit two home runs and drove in six as the Seattle Mariners rallied from an early deficit to rout the Oakland Athletics 13-4 Monday. 

Seattle's eighth win in their last nine brought the Mariners (87-70) within 1.5 games of the Boston Red Sox for the second American League (AL) wild-card spot, with the Toronto Blue Jays in between. 

The evening started off poorly for the Mariners as Oakland's Seth Brown hit a three-run homer in the first inning, but Seattle ran away with the game in the fourth. 

The Mariners put up five in that frame, capped by Haniger's three-run homer off Deolis Guerra, to take an 8-4 lead. 

Two innings later, Haniger did it again, hitting his 37th of the year to put the game out of reach. 

According to Stats Perform, Haniger is the third player to hit at least that many home runs a year after missing an entire season, following Ted Williams (38 in 1946) and Willie Mays (41 in 1954). 

The Athletics (85-72) still have a chance at the postseason, but they now sit 3.5 games back of the Red Sox. Monday's defeat officially eliminated Oakland from contention in the AL West, where the Houston Astros can wrap up the title Tuesday with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays and a Mariners loss. 

 

Votto homers twice as Reds stay alive

The Cincinnati Reds kept their miniscule postseason hopes alive for one more day, crushing the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-1 as Joey Votto hit two home runs to give him 35 on the season. Nick Castellanos, Eugenio Suarez and Jonathan India also homered for the Reds (82-75), who will be eliminated with their next loss or the St Louis Cardinals' next win. 

Yasmani Grandal and Eloy Jimenez homered for the Chicago White Sox, who nearly blew a six-run lead late but held on to defeat the Detroit Tigers 8-7. 

 

Another tough outing for Marquez

Colorado Rockies pitcher German Marquez headed to the All-Star Game in July with a 3.36 ERA, but has seen that number inflate throughout a difficult second half to sit at 4.40 after he allowed four runs in five innings in a 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals. 

 

Sibling rivalry heats up in Cleveland

Cleveland Indians outfielder Bradley Zimmer got the better of his older brother Kyle, smashing a solo homer off the Kansas City Royals pitcher in the eighth inning of an 8-3 Cleveland victory. It was the fourth time in MLB's modern era that one brother has homered off another. Joe Niekro was the last to do it, hitting one against brother Phil on May 29, 1975. 

 

Monday's results

Chicago White Sox 8-7 Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds 13-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
Cleveland Indians 8-3 Kansas City Royals
Washington Nationals 5-4 Colorado Rockies
Seattle Mariners 13-4 Oakland Athletics

 

Yankees at Blue Jays

The hottest remaining postseason race will be in the spotlight as the New York Yankees (89-67) look to continue the momentum from their sweep of the Red Sox as they open a three-game series at the Toronto Blue Jays (87-69).

The San Francisco Giants were off Monday but suffered a key loss, announcing X-rays had revealed a fracture in star first baseman Brandon Belt's left thumb.

Belt took a 93 mph fastball off his hand in the seventh inning of Sunday's game against the Colorado Rockies and immediately went to the ground in pain. 

The team did not provide a timetable for his potential return, saying he would meet with doctors over the next few days. 

Belt has been among the hottest hitters in the game in recent weeks, hitting .349 with a 1.172 OPS in September while hitting nine home runs. 

He leads the Giants with 29 homers despite missing nearly two months' worth of games in separate stints earlier this season due to a knee injury. 

The Giants have MLB's best record at 102-54 but remain locked in a struggle with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers (100-56) for the National League West title entering the final week of the regular season. 

If the Giants can maintain their edge, they will avoid having to play in the one-and-done wild card game to open the postseason. 

Losing Belt will make that a bit more difficult, and an extended absence would be a critical blow to a team that has found a way to win all season. 

The New York Yankees are in pole position in the American League (AL) Wild Card race thanks to a sweep of rivals the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

An eighth-inning rally fuelled the Yankees to a 6-3 victory over the Red Sox and a sixth consecutive win in MLB.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer, while Aaron Judge doubled home two runs as the Yankees seized control from the Red Sox in the AL Wild Card chase.

Stanton became the first Yankees player with 10-plus RBI in a three-game series at Fenway Park, according to Stats Perform. The previous record for a Yankee was held by Joe DiMaggio and Hideki Matsui (nine).

With the three-game sweep, the Yankees (89-67) now lead the Red Sox (88-68) by one game for the top AL Wild Card berth with six games remaining, while the Toronto Blue Jays (87-69) are two games adrift following their 5-2 success against the Minnesota Twins.

 

Brewers crowned NL Central champs

The Milwaukee Brewers secured their second National League (NL) Central title in four years following an 8-4 win at home to the New York Mets. Willy Adames led the way with a two-run homer and three RBI.

Shohei Ohtani boosted his MVP credentials with a dominant display, despite the Los Angeles Angels losing 5-1 to the Seattle Mariners. After two triples on Saturday, two-way star Ohtani struck out 10 batters, while giving up just one run and five hits in seven innings without a walk. He is the first player to combine for multiple triples and 10-plus strikeouts in back-to-back team games since Chief Bender in 1905, per Stats Perform.

The St Louis Cardinals celebrated their 16th straight win by topping the Chicago Cubs 4-2. St Louis' franchise-record streak is the longest in MLB since the Cleveland Indians won 22 games in a row in 2017. The Cardinals are the first NL team to win 16 successive games since the New York Giants in 1951.

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers have won 100 games in a season for the eighth time in franchise history. The Dodgers blanked the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0.

 

Phillies' streak ends

The Philadelphia Phillies had their five-game winning streak snapped in a 6-0 shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In a blow to their playoff hopes, Phillies starter Hans Crouse gave up a home run on his first major league pitch. The 23-year-old allowed two hits and walked four batters in three innings.

 

A's walk it off

Mark Canha's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning saw the Oakland Athletics edge the AL West-leading Houston Astros 4-3 in a walk-off success.

 

Sunday's results

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

 

Athletics at Mariners

Monday is a battle between two teams still chasing a Wild Card spot in the AL. The Mariners (86-70) are two games behind the Red Sox, who occupy the second and final berth, while the Athletics (85-71) are three games off the pace. Chris Flexen will toe the mound for the Mariners, with A's pitcher Cole Irvin set to start.

The streaking St Louis Cardinals made history with their 15th successive victory, an 8-5 win against the Chicago Cubs in MLB action on Saturday.

St Louis set a franchise record by extending their winning run to 15 games behind a rallying effort, eclipsing the 14-game streak in 1935.

Harrison Bader, Tyler O'Neill and Paul DeJong homered for the in-form Cardinals, who hold the second National League (NL) Wild Card spot.

The Cubs led 4-2 after four innings before a three-run seventh ignited the Cardinals away at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

"It's an incredible feeling. It's a complete elation of knowing every time we come to the field that we're going to win," said Cardinals centerfielder T.J. McFarland said.

"It's that confidence – I don't want to say arrogance – but it's almost that motivation every time we come to the field, we're expecting to win, and we're rising to the occasion when we need to."

 

Rays crowned AL East's best again

For the second straight season, the Tampa Bay Rays clinched the American League (AL) East crown. The high-flying Rays made sure of the title via a 7-3 victory at home to the Miami Marlins.

Shohei Ohtani became just the second player in history with at least 45 homers, 20 stolen bases and six triples in a season, after Willie Mays in 1955. Ohtani hit consecutive triples to inspire the Los Angeles Angels to a 14-1 demolition of the Seattle Mariners, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.

Brandon Belt homered twice as the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants set a franchise record for home runs in a season during their 7-2 win over the Colorado Rockies. The Giants have homered 236 times in 2021, surpassing the 235 hit in 2001. San Francisco hold a two-game lead over World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were upstaged by the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2.

The Toronto Blue Jays – two games adrift in the AL Wild Card chase – beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1 behind Marcus Semien. The Blue Jays star tallied his 43rd home run of the season – tying the record for most single-season homers by a second baseman in MLB history, alongside Davey Johnson (1973).

 

Padres eliminated from playoff contention

Fernando Tatis Jr. and the San Diego Padres will not feature in the postseason following a 10-8 loss to the Atlanta Braves after 10 innings. Jorge Soler's go-ahead double eliminated the Padres from playoff contention. San Diego held a one-game lead for the second NL Wild Card berth on September 9 before spiralling out of form and out of the playoff mix.

 

Stanton slam boosts Yankees in Wild Card race

The New York Yankees moved into a tie with the Boston Red Sox for the AL Wild Card lead after Giancarlo Stanton's grand slam fuelled a 5-3 victory.

 

Saturday's results

St Louis Cardinals 8-5 Chicago Cubs
Philadelphia Phillies 3-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Oakland Athletics 2-1 Houston Astros
New York Yankees 5-3 Boston Red Sox
Detroit Tigers 5-1 Kansas City Royals
Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 Miami Marlins
Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Texas Rangers
Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 New York Mets
Toronto Blue Jays 6-1 Minnesota Twins
Cincinnati Reds 7-6 Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves 10-8 San Diego Padres
Cleveland Indians 6-0 Chicago White Sox
Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants 7-2 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels 14-1 Seattle Mariners

 

Blue Jays at Twins

The Blue Jays (86-69) will continue their Wild Card quest away to the Twins (69-86) on Sunday. Toronto ace Alek Manoah is set to start, with Minnesota's Jax Griffin to toe the mound.

The St Louis Cardinals continued their remarkable run of form, matching a franchise record amid the team's 14-game unbeaten streak in MLB.

On Friday, the streaking Cardinals swept their doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs 8-5 and 14-2 to equal St Louis' record for most consecutive victories, set in 1935.

St Louis reinforced their hold on the second National League (NL) Wild Card spot after improving to 85-69 this season.

Tyler O'Neill homered twice in the day, including a three-run shot with the Cards leading 3-2 in the second inning of the later game.

Lars Nootbaar hit two of the five homers in the evening game, helping the Cardinals complete the Cubs sweep.

"I've said it since even the offseason, day one of Spring Training and at any point in time I get the opportunity to talk about this group," said Cardinals manager Mike Shildt. "It's a special group."

Yankees move clear of Jays in Wild Card race, Franco extends streak

The New York Yankees claimed a critical win in the American League (AL) Wild Card battle, defeating rivals the Boston Red Sox 8-3 after plundering seven runs in the opening three innings. Giancarlo Stanton delivered a flat three-run homer in the third inning as part of his four-RBI performance which underlined the Yankees' win over the AL Wild Card leaders.

The Yankees – enjoying a four-game winning streak – enhanced their playoff hopes after the Toronto Blue Jays went down 3-1 to the Minnesota Twins. The Blue Jays are 85-69, level with the red-hot Seattle Mariners and two games adrift of the Yankees (86-67) in the race for the second AL Wild Card berth.

Tampa Bay Rays rookie Wander Franco returned and continued his historic 40-game on-base streak as the AL East leaders blanked the Miami Marlins 8-0. Reinstated from the 10-day injured list, Franco's streak is the second longest in AL-NL history by a player aged 20 or younger, only three games short of the all-time record set by Frank Robinson in 1956. Franco also broke a tie with Johnny Damon (2011) for the second longest overall on-base streak in franchise history.

A.J. Pollock took a super catch on the fence and hit a two-run home run as World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers won 4-2 over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his 41st home run of the season with a game-winning shot in the San Diego Padres' 6-5 triumph against the Atlanta Braves. The Braves would win the second game 4-0 with Max Fried sending down his second career shutout.

 

A's hammer Astros bullpen

The Houston Astros' bullpen had a difficult day in their 14-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics. With Zack Greinke on the IL, Brandon Bielak started but lasted three innings, allowing four hits and three runs. But the real damage came late, with Yimi Garcia, Brooks Raley and Seth Martinez copping the brunt as the A's piled on 11 runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

 

Giants reach rare century

The San Francisco Giants became the first time to reach 100 wins this season, eclipsing the Colorado Rockies 7-2 to improve their record to 100-54. It marks the first time since 2003 the high-flying Giants have reached triple figures in the win column, and eighth time in franchise history. Brandon Belt and Mike Yastrzemski also became the first pair of Giants team-mates with 25-plus home runs in a season since 2006.

Post the 100 win graphic pic.twitter.com/p7sEyoHzpj

— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 25, 2021

 

 

Friday's results

St Louis Cardinals 8-5 Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers 8-5 Baltimore Orioles
Philadelphia Phillies 8-6 Pittsburgh Pirates 
Cincinnati Reds 8-7 Washington Nationals
Tampa Bay Rays 8-0 Miami Marlins
New York Yankees 8-3 Boston Red Sox
San Diego Padres 6-5 Atlanta Braves 4-0
Kansas City Royals 3-1 Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox 1-0 Cleveland Indians
St Louis Cardinals 12-4 Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 New York Mets
San Francisco Giants 7-2 Colorado Rockies
Minnesota Twins 3-1 Toronto Blue Jays
Seattle Mariners 6-5 Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics 14-2 Houston Astros
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves 4-0 San Diego Padres

 

Yankees at Red Sox

On Saturday, the Red Sox and the Yankees will meet again in their crucial AL series which will go a long way towards determining Wild Card spots. Nick Pivetta is set to start for the Red Sox, while the Yankees will likely counter with Nestor Cortes.

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