Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says Max Scherzer was his "ace in the hole" after using him in the ninth inning for his first career save in Thursday's 2-1 series-deciding win over the San Francisco Giants.

Scherzer slammed the door on the Giants to clinch a 3-2 National League Division Series victory for the Dodgers after Cody Bellinger's RBI single for Justin Turner to score the go-ahead run in the ninth inning.

The 37-year-old right-hander, who had started Game 3 for 10 strikeouts across seven innings, was handed the ball to save the game on this occasion after warming up in the bullpen. It was Scherzer's first career save in his 432nd appearance.

"It was seeing the flow and how the game was going to play out, knowing we have an ace in the hole and trying to find the ultimate leverage spot to use him," Roberts told reporters after the game. "How the game played out, it made a lot of sense."

Roberts had used five pitchers before Scherzer's introduction, starting Corey Knebel before Julio Urias took over in the third inning, tossing down five strikeouts across four innings.

The game was tied at 1-1 leading into the ninth inning when Bellinger, who has had a season to forget, drove in Turner.

Bellinger, the 2019 National League MVP, hit at .165 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs during the regular season, but he has batted at .294 with three RBIs in the postseason.

"Even for me, it's like going into that at-bat prior where he punched, he saw close to 10 punches, he grinded and competed, that last at-bat there was fight in there," Roberts said about Bellinger.

"It wasn't about mechanics, it was about a fight. It was me versus you. Cody versus [Giants pitcher] Camilo Doval.

"He got a huge hit. Like I said, Cody has grown a lot from adversity. For him to come up with the big hit, I'm very happy for him."

The result means the Dodgers have reached the National League Championship Series, where they will face the Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers are through to this stage for the fifth time in six seasons.

LA had to overcome the Giants, who boasted the best majors regular season record at 107-55, but Roberts said they were not content with that.

"I think what great ball clubs have the ability to do, is understand the gravity of a moment and a series in this case," he said. "Give everything you have to that series, which we did.

"It was a huge series but we also understand our job is not done. Now our focus turns to the Braves."

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their spot in the National League Championship Series (NLCS) for the fifth time in six seasons after a 2-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the winner-takes-all showdown.

The Giants suffered ninth-inning heartbreak in Game 5 of the Division Series decider after Cody Bellinger drove in the go-ahead run, while the MLB playoff concluded in contentious fashion on Thursday.

Dodgers ace Max Scherzer – in his 432nd career appearance – got his first professional save for the Dodgers after former NL MVP Bellinger continued his bright postseason by driving in Justin Turner for the decisive run in the ninth.

The Dodgers, who became the first team in MLB playoff history to have their relievers pitch 8.0-plus innings with 12 or more strikeouts and no walks in a game, will now face the Atlanta Braves in the best-of-seven NLCS, starting on Saturday.

After five scoreless innings, the game came to life in the sixth with Corey Seager landing an RBI double from starting pitcher Logan Webb to drive Mookie Betts home to give the Dodgers the lead.

Betts finished the game with four hits, becoming the first player in Dodgers history to achieve the feat in a winner-takes-all playoff contest.

But the Giants responded immediately with Darin Ruf crushing a solo homer to level the game up at the bottom of the sixth inning.

Giants ace Webb finished with seven strikeouts across seven innings, while Julio Urias came on in the third inning, tossing down five K's across four innings.

At the top of the ninth inning with two runners on, Bellinger hit Camilo Doval low into right centerfield with an RBI single.

Bellinger delivered the game-winning RBI in a serious-clinching victory for the fifth time in his career – the most by any player in MLB postseason history, according to Stats Perform.

The game ended on a controversial call for Wilmer Flores' check swing from Scherzer's slider called a swing and third strike to end the Giants' campaign following their remarkable 107-55 regular season.

 

Red Sox at Astros

The opening game of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) takes place on Friday as the Houston Astros host the Boston Red Sox. Framber Valdez and Chris Sale will start on the mound for the respective sides.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and their pursuit of back-to-back World Series championships remains alive after conquering the St Louis Cardinals via a 3-1 walk-off victory in the National League (NL) Wild Card showdown.

With a date against the San Francisco Giants in the NL Division Series on the line, Chris Taylor hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to take down the Cardinals in walk-off fashion and progress to the MLB playoffs on Wednesday.

One out away from extra innings in Los Angeles, Taylor went deep off Alex Reyes to spark wild celebrations at Dodger Stadium midweek.

According to Stats Perform, Taylor became the second player in MLB history to hit a walk-off home run in a winner-takes-all playoff game despite not starting. The other was Aaron Boone in Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series (ALCS).

The Cardinals got on the board early, Tommy Edman scoring on Max Scherzer's wild pitch in the opening inning. Dodgers ace Scherzer gave up three hits, one run while striking out four in 4.1 innings.

Edman became the first player in MLB history to have three-plus hits and two or more stolen bases in a winner-takes-all playoff game, according to Stats Perform.

The Dodgers levelled things up in the fourth inning – Justin Turner's 401-foot homer sailing into the crowd off Adam Wainwright, who struck out five batters as he allowed one run on four hits in 5.1 innings.

There was nothing between the two franchises until Taylor stepped up to the mound and produced the game-winning homer at the death.

The Dodgers will now resume hostilities with NL West champions the Giants, who ended their streak of eight consecutive division crowns, starting in San Francisco on Friday.

 

Red Sox at Rays

The AL Division Series will get underway as the Tampa Bay Rays host the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 in the best-of-five matchup on Thursday. Elsewhere, the Chicago White Sox will also visit the Houston Astros in the American League.

Max Scherzer continued his dominance in Cincinnati, tossing down seven strikeouts as the Los Angeles Dodgers won 5-1 over the Reds in MLB on Saturday.

Scherzer allowed only two hits and had two walks across seven innings in the win which slows the Reds' National League (NL) Wild Card pursuit.

The Dodgers right-hander has a 0.33 ERA in his four starts in Cincinnati and he maintained that form as he continues to be a leading contender for the NL Cy Young Award.

"I just had a good feel for it today," Scherzer said after the game. "Every pitch plays off each other. Every pitch makes every other pitch better."

The win, which boosts the Dodgers' hopes for finishing top in the NL West division ahead of the San Francisco Giants, was set up after Gavin Lux's fifth-inning two-run triple.

 

Brewers lock in postseason berth

The Milwaukee Brewers secured their place in the postseason for the fourth consecutive season with a 6-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Josh Hader finished the job with two Ks in the ninth inning after Corbin Burnes had 11 strikeouts across six innings. Manny Pina homered twice, including the go-ahead blast in the eighth inning.

Milwaukee joins the Giants and the Dodgers in already qualifying for the playoffs.

Giancarlo Stanton hit his 30th home run of the season but it was only consolation as the New York Yankees were beaten 11-3 by the Cleveland Indians.

Xander Bogaerts crushed a three-run homer to left-center field as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles 9-3.

A three-run first inning helped the Oakland Athletics boost their Wild Card aspirations with a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels whose only run came from Shohei Ohtani.

 

Padres on the slide

Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis were involved a dugout flare-up as the San Diego Padres lost 3-2 to the St Louis Cardinals further denting their postseason hopes. The Padres insisted it was not infighting, but instead leadership from Machado trying to get Tatis to move on from being called out on strikes. Either way, the Padres have now lost seven of their past nine games and are sliding out of playoffs contention.

 

Semien reaches 40 HR mark

Marcus Semien brought up his 40th home run of the season, crushing a fourth inning fastball into left field. The homer helped the Toronto Blue Jays turn a 2-0 deficit into a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins. Semien joins Vladimir Guerrero, Salvador Perez and Shohei Ohtani in reaching the 40-mark, while he is within three home runs of equaling the record for a second baseman in one season.

 

Saturday's results 

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

 

Padres at Cardinals

The Cardinals (78-69) and the Padres (76-72) will meet again with both pressing their respective cases for the second NL Wild Card spot.

Francisco Lindor hit three home runs, including the game-winner in the eighth inning, as the New York Mets defeated slumping city rivals the New York Yankees 7-6 in a contentious finale to the Subway Series. 

After the visiting Yankees scored twice in the first inning of the MLB showdown at Citi Field, Lindor's three-run homer while hitting left-handed off Clarke Schmidt gave the Mets the lead in the second on Sunday.

After a Gleyber Torres homer brought the Yankees within a run in the top of the sixth, Lindor answered in the bottom half with a solo shot from the right side and appeared to be having some words with the visitors as he rounded the bases. 

That sparked a reaction from Giancarlo Stanton after he tied it up with a two-run homer in the seventh, as he all but stopped at Lindor's shortstop position while rounding the bases, prompting both dugouts and bullpens to clear before order was restored. 

But Lindor had the last laugh with a left-handed drive to right in the eighth that had the shortstop pointing to his bicep as he rounded first base. 

"Coming up to the box, I did want to hit a home run," he told reporters afterward.

It was the Mets' fourth win in six games against their cross-borough rivals, the first time since 2013 they have won the season series against the Yankees, who have lost 12 of their past 15 games to fall a game behind the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays for the two American League (AL) Wild Card spots.

 

Scherzer makes history as Dodgers dominate Padres

Max Scherzer and the Los Angeles Dodgers allowed only one San Diego Padres runner to reach base in an 8-0 rout, which completed a three-game series sweep. Scherzer retired the first 22 batters he faced before Eric Hosmer doubled with one out in the eighth inning to break up the perfect game. Three innings earlier, Scherzer got Hosmer to swing and miss on a 3-2 changeup for the 3,000th strikeout of his career, becoming the 19th pitcher in MLB history to reach that milestone. 

After the Red Sox levelled their game with the Chicago White Sox on an Alex Verdugo sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth, the latter won it 2-1 on Leury Garcia's two-out walk-off homer in the bottom of the inning. 

Home runs by Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman in the seventh inning gave the Atlanta Braves a 5-3 victory over the Miami Marlins. Atlanta gained a crucial game on the second-placed Philadelphia Phillies. 

The San Francisco Giants improved their MLB-best record to 93-50 with a 6-5 defeat of the Chicago Cubs for their seventh win in a row. 

The Milwaukee Brewers followed up Saturday's no-hitter by crushing the Cleveland Indians 11-1 as Kolten Wong and Avisail Garcia each hit a pair of homers. 

 

Rays blow chances to beat Tigers

The Tampa Bay Rays blew two chances to beat the Tigers before losing 8-7 to drop two of three in the series at Detroit. After the Rays scored four in the top of the eighth to take a 5-2 lead, Detroit tied it with three in the bottom of the inning. The Rays scored two more in the top of the 10th to go up 7-5 before Jeimer Candelario's two-run homer extended the game to the 11th. There, J.P. Feyereisen walked three batters, including Robbie Grossman to force in the winning run for Detroit and drop Tampa Bay to 6-12 in extra-inning games.

 

Gurriel, Blue Jays destroy Orioles

Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s fourth grand slam of the season jump-started a 22-7 Toronto demolition of the Baltimore Orioles. Gurriel became the first Blue Jays player to score five times and drive in seven in a single game. Among other Blue Jays highlights, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. tied Shohei Ohtani for the MLB lead with his 44th homer and Teoscar Hernandez hit the Jays' second grand slam of the day in a 10-run third inning. The 22 runs scored were the second most in franchise history. Between the seventh inning of Saturday's game two and the first three of Sunday's demolition, the Blue Jays set a new MLB record for runs scored across a four-inning span with 27.

 

Sunday's results 

San Francisco Giants 6-5 Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers 4-3 Oakland Athletics
Toronto Blue Jays 22-7 Baltimore Orioles
Colorado Rockies 5-4 Philadelphia Phillies
Detroit Tigers 8-7 Tampa Bay Rays
Milwaukee Brewers 11-1 Cleveland Indians
Washington Nationals 6-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago White Sox 2-1 Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Royals 5-3 Minnesota Twins
Houston Astros 3-1 Los Angeles Angels
St Louis Cardinals 2-0 Cincinnati Reds
Atlanta Braves 5-3 Miami Marlins
Toronto Blue Jays 11-2 Baltimore Orioles
Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-0 San Diego Padres
New York Mets 7-6 New York Yankees

 

Red Sox at Mariners

The Red Sox (81-64) and Mariners (77-66) open a series on Monday that could have significant implications in the AL Wild Card race. 

Max Scherzer came close to throwing the 24th perfect game in MLB history on Sunday but had to settle for a milestone even more difficult to achieve. 

Los Angeles Dodgers star Scherzer became the 19th pitcher to reach 3,000 career strikeouts, hitting the magic number in the fifth inning of the World Series champions' 8-0 rout of the San Diego Padres. 

The man he struck out to reach that mark, Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer, was the only San Diego player to reach base. His one-out double to right field in the eighth ended Scherzer's bid to join the legendary Sandy Koufax as the only Dodgers to throw a perfect game. 

Scherzer was making just his eighth start for the storied franchise after arriving from the Washington Nationals in a trade at the end of July.

It is fair to say his new team is even more impressed than they were when they had to face him in previous years. 

"Obviously you see him from afar, dominating," Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts told reporters. "You face him a couple of times, he goes seven, eight innings every single time. But just to be playing behind him is so much more fun. I mean it’s just kind of amazing to watch greatness."

Though Scherzer has now allowed just a lone unearned run over his last four starts, he has rarely been as dominant as he was against the Padres.

Knowing he needed six strikeouts to reach 3,000, the right-handed ace fanned two batters in the first before producing an "immaculate inning" in the second – striking out all three men he faced on the minimum nine pitches. 

That put him one away from the mark and he finally got it in the fifth when Hosmer swung through a 3-2 changeup. 

"It's hard to describe the emotions of it," Scherzer said. "It’s an awesome achievement, awesome milestone. Not that many people have reached this milestone. ...

"I love strikeouts and to me this is a testament to durability to me going out there every single time, making my 30-plus starts a year, year in, year out.

"Everybody can have the ability to do this. But few have the durability to do this."

And only one player has reached 3,000 in fewer innings than Scherzer's 2,516: Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, who did it in 2,470.2 innings. 

Scherzer started at least 30 games every year from 2009-2018 for the Nationals and Detroit Tigers, winning three Cy Young Awards in the process. 

His performance since moving to Los Angeles may well earn him a fourth this season, particularly if he keeps it up in the closing weeks as the Dodgers try to chase down the San Francisco Giants in the National League (NL) West. 

"I just can't imagine anyone being any better than this, especially with where we're at in the season," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

The Tampa Bay Rays rallied from six runs down to beat American League (AL) East rivals the Boston Red Sox 11-10.

In a wild showdown on Monday, Austin Meadows hit a game-tying inside-the-park homer in the ninth inning before Nelson Cruz's go-ahead single in the 10th completed the comeback.

Despite Chris Sale starting for the Red Sox, AL East leaders the Rays recorded their MLB-leading 43rd come-from-behind victory of the season, having trailed 7-1.

The highest scoring team in the majors in 2021, Tampa Bay had been 0-70 all-time when trailing by six runs or more against the Red Sox.

"That's the biggest win of the year, for sure," Meadows said afterwards. "All year we just find a way."

Tampa Bay's Wander Franco finished with four hits as the 20-year-old rookie extended his historic on-base streak to 36 games, tying Mickey Mantle's AL record set in 1951-52 for the most consecutive times by a player under 21. Frank Robinson set the MLB-league mark of 43 in 1956.

The Rays (87-51) are eight and a half games clear of the New York Yankees (78-59) atop the AL East, while the Red Sox (79-61) are nine games behind following consecutive defeats.

 

Scherzer stars, Guerrero and Semien make history as Jays stay hot

Max Scherzer struck out 13 batters to lead World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers past the St Louis Cardinals 5-1. In a dominant eight-inning start, Dodgers ace Scherzer allowed one unearned run with no walks. The Cy Young candidate is 5-0 with a 1.05 ERA and 63 strikeouts in seven starts since his trade to the Dodgers.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his 40th home run of the season as the in-form Toronto Blue Jays routed the Yankees 8-0. The 22-year-old All-Star became the youngest Blue Jays hitter to reach 40 homers in a season and one of just 10 in franchise history, while he and his Hall of Fame father Vladimir Guerrero are one of only two father-son duos to hit 40 home runs, along with Price Fielder and Cecil Fielder. Meanwhile, Marcus Semien delivered a grand slam in the ninth inning as he set the franchise record for most home runs (37) by a middle infielder in a single season.

The Texas Rangers blanked the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 behind A.J. Alexy. He pitched six innings and allowed one hit after going five innings, while allowing one hit in his first career start. According to Stats Perform, Alexy is the first rookie in the modern era to go five-plus innings and allow one or fewer hits in each of his first two career starts.

 

Astros get on top of Kikuchi

Yusei Kikuchi had a rough outing in the Seattle Mariners' 11-2 demolition at the hands of the Houston Astros. He allowed 3 three hits, six runs – four earned, four walks and a homer in just 1.2 innings of work.

The Blue Jays roughed up Yankees starter Jameson Taillon, who finished with three hits, three runs, two walks and a pair of homers in 7.0 innings pitched.

 

Segura hits memorable slam

Jean Segura launched the first grand slam of his career as the Philadelphia Phillies trounced the Milwaukee Brewers 12-0. Bryce Harper also homered as part of a six-homer display by the Phillies.

 

 

Monday's results 

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

 

Rays at Red Sox

The Rays (87-51) will look to claim back-to-back wins when they visit the Red Sox (79-61) on Tuesday. Rays ace Drew Rasmussen will take to the mound, while Eduardo Rodriguez starts for the Red Sox.

Chris Sale joined Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax as the only pitchers in MLB history with three immaculate innings after helping the Boston Red Sox past the Minnesota Twins 12-2.

Red Sox ace Sale pitched 5.2 innings, striking out eight batters while allowing two runs on two hits in Boston on Thursday.

Sale stole the headlines with his nine-pitch third inning after striking out Twins trio Nick Gordon, Andrelton Simmons and Rob Refsnyder on three pitches each.

"Today was probably the best my mechanics have been start-to-finish. I really felt like I was staying on top of the baseball. I really kind of found it out in the bullpen before the game," Sale said.

Boston team-mate Bobby Dalbec homered twice for the Red Sox, driving in seven runs.

 

Judge lifts Yankees to 12th straight win

The New York Yankees extended their winning streak thanks to Aaron Judge's tie-breaking single with two outs in the ninth inning as they edged the Oakland Athletics 7-6. The Yankees have won 12 games in a row – their best run since 1961.

Another day and another win for World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, who beat the San Diego Padres 4-0 for a three-game sweep behind Max Scherzer. Dodgers star Scherzer gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out 10. The Dodgers have now gone 11 consecutive seasons without a losing record – their longest streak since the team moved to Los Angeles.

Salvador Perez became the first American League (AL) catcher with 35-plus homers in a season since 1999. Perez's grand slam run helped the Kansas City Royals to a 6-4 victory at the Seattle Mariners.

The Washington Nationals lost 7-5 to the Miami Marlins but Juan Soto joined an exclusive club. The Nationals star recorded his second season of 100-plus walks – becoming only the third player to do so through their age-22 season along with Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Mel Ott.

 

Angels grounded again

Despite Shohei Ohtani's lead-off homer, the Los Angeles Angels were humbled 13-1 by the resurgent Baltimore Orioles, who snapped a 19-game losing streak 24 hours earlier. Elvis Peguero was charged with five of the six runs the Angels allowed in the fifth inning.  

 

Grand slam!

Struggling for form before Wednesday, the Orioles celebrated back-to-back wins on Thursday. Pedro Severino fuelled Baltimore with a grand slam and six RBIs.

 

Thursday's results 

Baltimore Orioles 13-1 Los Angeles Angels
Cincinnati Reds 5-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago White Sox 10-7 Toronto Blue Jays
Arizona Diamondbacks 8-7 Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates 11-7 St Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox 12-2 Minnesota Twins
San Francisco Giants 3-2 New York Mets
Cleveland Indians 10-6 Texas Rangers
Miami Marlins 7-5 Washington Nationals
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 San Diego Padres
New York Yankees 7-6 Oakland Athletics
Kansas City Royals 6-4 Seattle Mariners

 

Cubs at White Sox

Bragging rights will be on the line when the White Sox (74-55) host city rivals the Cubs (56-73) on Friday. Dallas Keuchel will toe the mound for the White Sox as the Cubs counter with Keegan Thompson.

Christian Yelich hit two home runs including a grand slam as the Milwaukee Brewers won 9-6 over the Washington Nationals in the MLB on Saturday.

Yelich tallied six RBIs, going three-for-five, while Kolten Wong provided a highlight with a spectacular tag from an in-field pop-out.

Left-fielder Yelich was the star, though, having struggled recently, with no home runs from his previous 69 at-bats.

Yelich delivered early with a solo home run at the bottom of the first inning with the Brewers 2-0 down. He also drove in a run in the fifth inning with a bouncing base hit to make it 3-2 before Wong tied it up with an outrageous run to home plate as the Nats fell asleep.

With the Brewers 5-4 down at the bottom of the eighth, Yelich provided the knockout punch with his 454-foot grand slam to deep right-field.

Yelich has 38 RBI and 66 hits, along with eight homers for the season. The Brewers improve their record to 75-49, firming up their grip on top spot in the National League Central.

 

Nine in a row for Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers made it nine consecutive wins as new recruits Trea Turner and Max Scherzer begin to really find their groove, recording a 4-3 win over the New York Mets.

Turner scored his first home run for the Dodgers since his move from the Washington Nationals last month with a lead-off homer.

Scherzer, who was also traded in from the Nats last month, sent down eight strikeouts across his five innings on the hill, allowing only one earned run.

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola was spectacular with 11 strikeouts, retiring the first 18 San Diego Padres' batters, including his brother Austin, before his side lost 4-3 in extras.

LaMonte Wade Jr scored a pinch-hit go-ahead two-run homer in the ninth inning to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 6-5 win over the Oakland Athletics.

The New York Yankees piled on five runs in the fifth inning as they defeated the Minnesota Twins 7-1 with Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit both driving in two.

 

Mariners pitchers mauled by Astros

Starting pitcher Logan Gilbert had a tough shift on the hill for the Seattle Mariners as they were whacked 15-1 by the free-wheeling Houston Astros. The Astros piled on four runs in the third inning and another six in the fifth, as Gilbert was pulled having allowed nine earned runs. Gilbert's replacement, Robert Dugger, did not fare much better, allowing seven hits.

 

D.J.'s dazzling double play

D.J. Peters produced an amazing double play as the Texas Rangers won 10-1 over the Boston Red Sox. With the Rangers up 2-1 at the bottom of the third inning, Peters pulled off a tough outfield catch from Rafael Devers before a bullet long-range throw to first completed a spectacular double out.

 

Saturday's results 

New York Yankees 7-1 Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays 8-4 Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals 4-2 Chicago Cubs
Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 Detroit Tigers
Milwaukee Brewers 9-6 Washington Nationals
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 New York Mets
San Francisco Giants 6-5 Oakland Athletics
Cleveland Indians 5-1 Los Angeles Angels
Houston Astros 15-1 Seattle Mariners
Cincinnati Reds 7-4 Miami Marlins
Atlanta Braves 5-4 Baltimore Orioles
Texas Rangers 10-1 Boston Red Sox
Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 St Louis Cardinals
Colorado Rockies 5-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres 4-3 Philadelphia Phillies

 

Mets at Dodgers

The Dodgers (78-46) will chase 10 straight wins when they take on the Mets (60-63) again in the final game of their four-game series.

Max Scherzer has started life with the Los Angeles Dodgers in style, tossing down 10 strikeouts in their 7-5 victory over the Houston Astros in MLB on Wednesday.

Scherzer joined the Dodgers from the Washington Nationals upon last week's MLB Trade Deadline.

The 37-year-old right-hander had 10 K's across seven innings, only allowing five hits and two runs.

Scherzer becomes the seventh pitcher to strike out 10 or more players in their first Dodgers start since the franchise moved to Los Angeles.

The pitcher's display fuelled the 52,724 fans at Dodger Stadium, sparked after striking out Jose Altuve on four pitches.

"The crowd was definitely into it and you can feed off that, you definitely get some adrenaline from that," Scherzer said.

"To go out there and pitch well and to have the fans ask for a curtain call for me, I've never had that happen, so that's a cool moment and something I'll never forget."

Baez stars for Mets, Gausman finds form

Javier Baez dazzled in the New York Mets' 5-3 win over the Miami Marlins that ended their three-game losing run. Baez hit a solo homer in the eighth but also completed an incredible second-inning slide for home plate.

San Francisco Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman re-captured some form as he sent down eight strikeouts across six innings as they triumphed 7-1 over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Two-way star Shohei Ohtani always elicits a lot of excitement but he had no at-bat impact yet tossed down six strikeouts across six innings, allowing only one earned run, in the Los Angeles Angels' 2-1 win over the Texas Rangers.

New recruits Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson all delivered for the Atlanta Braves, with the former pair homering and the latter with a double in their 7-4 victory over the St Louis Cardinals.

Bryce Harper starred again with his 17th home run of the season as the Philadelphia Phillies won 9-5 over the Washington Nationals.

Mejia tough shift for Indians

The Cleveland Indians had mounted a good run in the American League Central but their 8-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays leaves them 52-53, having lost three of their past four games. They were not helped after trailing 8-0 after three innings as Jean Carlos Mejia allowed seven hits and eight earned runs early.

Rizzo makes Yankees history

Anthony Rizzo hit his third New York Yankees home run to become the first player with RBI in each of his first six games in their long franchise history as they won 10-3 over the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees have been around since 1903.

Wednesday's results 

Cincinnati Reds 6-5 Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Seattle Mariners
Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Oakland Athletics 5-4 San Diego Padres
Philadelphia Phillies 9-5 Washington Nationals
New York Yankees 10-3 Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays 8-6 Cleveland Indians
Boston Red Sox 4-1 Detroit Tigers
New York Mets 5-3 Miami Marlins
Los Angeles Angels 2-1 Texas Rangers
Kansas City Royals 9-1 Chicago White Sox
Atlanta Braves 7-4 St Louis Cardinals
Chicago Cubs 3-2 Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants 7-1 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-5 Houston Astros

 

Mariners at Yankees

Rizzo will look to continue his hot form for the Yankees (58-49) when they host the Seattle Mariners (58-51) in the first of their four-game series.

The Los Angeles Dodgers fortified their chances to repeat as World Series champions by acquiring starter Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner as MLB teams completed a historic trade deadline scramble that saw 10 different 2021 All-Stars change teams.

The Dodgers, who trail the Giants by three games in the highly competitive National League West, were able to orchestrate a blockbuster deal to plug the hole in their rotation left by Trevor Bauer, who remains on leave as he is investigated for sexual abuse.

Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star, steps into a formidable rotation that still features Walker Buhler, Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urias – plus left-hander Danny Duffy, who was acquired from the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.

Turner is batting .322 this year with 18 home runs and has 21 stolen bases, earning him his first All-Star selection earlier this month. He will add his combination of speed and power to a Los Angeles lineup that already leads the National League in runs scored.

In return for the two All-Stars, the Dodgers sent four minor league players to the Washington Nationals, including a pair of top-50 prospects in catcher Keibert Ruiz and pitcher Josiah Gray.

The Nationals were among the biggest sellers at the deadline, sitting in fourth place in the NL East and having just announced that 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg will undergo season-ending neck surgery.

On Thursday, Washington sent relief pitcher Brad Hand to the Toronto Blue Jays and dealt slugger Kyle Schwarber to the Boston Red Sox. The fire sale continued on Friday, with the Nationals sending catcher Yan Gomes and infielder Josh Harrison to the Athletics and trading veteran lefty Jon Lester to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The other notable sellers at the deadline were the Chicago Cubs, who gutted nearly the entire core that helped them win the World Series in 2016.

Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo each played a vital role in that championship five years ago but were sent packing this week with all three playing in the final seasons of their contracts.

The New York Mets added Baez, who will likely start at shortstop until Francisco Lindor is healthy then play second base, as well as pitcher Trevor Williams in exchange for 2020 top draft pick Pete Crow-Armstrong.

Bryant, who had previously said he would consider re-signing with the Cubs this offseason, yielded a modest return in a trade with the NL West-leading Giants.

The Cubs also had the leading closer on the market, sending Craig Kimbrel to the crosstown White Sox for second baseman Nick Madrigal and pitcher Codi Heuer.

Rizzo was the first to go, traded Thursday to the New York Yankees, whose first basemen have slugged an MLB-worst .323 this season.

The Yankees are in third place, thanks mostly to an anemic offense that has scored the second-fewest runs in the American League, but took huge strides at the deadline. Earlier on Thursday, the Yankees secured towering slugger Joey Gallo in a trade with the woeful Texas Rangers, giving the Bronx Bombers two new power threats from the left side of the plate.

Despite entering Friday fourth in the AL East, the Toronto Blue Jays dealt two prospects to the Minnesota Twins for right-handed starter Jose Berrios. Even if Toronto misses the playoffs this season, Berrios is still just 27 and remains under team control through 2022.

The Atlanta Braves drew attention around the league for being buyers, despite star center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. being out for the rest of the season. The Braves made multiple deals on Friday and since the All-Star break have added catcher Stephen Vogt, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and four outfielders: Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler and Eddie Rosario.

Elsewhere in the NL East, the Philadelphia Phillies also strengthened their position by acquiring All-Star pitcher Kyle Gibson from the Rangers and by re-uniting with infielder Freddy Galvis.

Add in earlier trades that sent Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays, Adam Frazier to the San Diego Padres and Eduardo Escobar to the Milwaukee Brewers to reach 10 of this year’s All-Stars moved at the deadline, the most ever.

Max Scherzer will always hold fond World Series-winning memories with the Washington Nationals after potentially making his final appearance on Thursday, amid reports he could be on the move to the San Diego Padres.

The starting pitcher allowed one run over six innings as the Nationals picked up a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, though he now awaits confirmation on his future.

Scherzer, who helped the Nationals to a 2019 World Series win and is 8-4 this season with a 2.76 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 111 innings, wanted to focus on the positives after Yan Gomes' two-run homer secured victory over the Phillies in the first game of a doubleheader.

"I don't want to look at this as a negative thing," Scherzer told the media after the game. "I'd rather look at this as a positive thing. I signed a seven-year deal here and we won a World Series.

"That's the first thing I said when I signed, that I was here to win. And we won. We won a World Series.

"That's a lifelong dream come true and something I'll always be proud of with these guys here, to be part of a championship team, looking forward to reunions and stuff like that."

The 37-year-old is being tipped for a trade to the Padres, according to the Athletic, as they attempt to pair up the three-time Cy Young winner with Yu Darvish.

Scherzer's potential final game nearly did not happen due to triceps discomfort, but the pitcher pulled through for the Nationals to show the world he was still fit and healthy.

"Just working through it, getting back in the groove of things," he said about his injury. "I never like missing starts. For me to get back here, get six innings in, get back in my routines, that's when everything feels great."

Indeed, Scherzer has continually performed during his six-year spell at the Nationals which appears to be coming to an amicable end.

Since joining in 2015, Scherzer's 1,610 strikeouts lead the pitcher charts, with Gerrit Cole's 1,366 providing not much competition way back in second – such is the quality of the Nationals starter.

Amid growing trade rumours, with the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox among the original favourites, Scherzer reflected glowingly on his experiences with the Nationals.

"For me, this is where my family started. I came here without kids and now I have three kids. I've watched my girls grow up here," he said.

"What can you say about the fans? That championship will always mean something to all of us and we'll always have that flag."

Brad Miller recorded a three-homer game for the first time in his career as the Philadelphia Phillies crushed the Chicago Cubs 8-0 at Wrigley Field in the MLB on Thursday.

The Cubs, who snapped their 11-game losing run with Wednesday's 8-3 win over the Phillies, returned to their recent form woes.

Chicago failed to score on the night, with Phillies pitcher Zach Eflin having five strikeouts across six innings but Miller played a major role in his 14th career multi-home run game.

Miller hit a home run in the third inning to left field. In the fifth inning, he hit another from Adbert Alzolay over the wall.

The 31-year-old hitter saved his best for last with a monster into the old Wrigley Field scoreboard at right field in the seventh inning, wearing a third Phillies home-run sombrero to salute. Miller only had six homers for the season coming into the game.

 

Garcia lifts Brewers to victory

Avisail Garcia hit a two-run homer at the bottom of the eighth inning to earn the Milwaukee Brewers a 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. The Brewers are now 53-36, while Garcia has 16 home runs this season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers drove in five runs in the fifth inning on their way to a 6-1 road win over the Miami Marlins to round out their series.

Logan Gilbert sent down eight strikeouts across seven innings as the Seattle Mariners won 4-0 over the New York Yankees.

 

Nats blow 8-0 lead

The Washington Nationals blew an 8-0 lead against the San Diego Padres, losing 9-8 in a walk off. Star pitcher Max Scherzer saw seven runs in the fourth inning before leaving the game as their 8-0 lead disintegrated. Among those was Daniel Camarena's spectacular grand slam, making him the first relief pitcher to achieve that since 1985.

 

Indians walk-off win

Franmil Reyes secured a 7-4 walk-off win for the Cleveland Indians with a three-run home run. The deep center-field bomb was Reyes' second career walk-off homer and it also ended Cleveland's nine-game losing stretch.

 

Thursday's results

Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1 Miami Marlins
Oakland Athletics 2-1 Houston Astros
Colorado Rockies 9-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 4-0 New York Yankees
Cleveland Indians 7-4 Kansas City Royals
Philadelphia Phillies 8-0 Chicago Cubs
Minnesota Twins 5-3 Detroit Tigers
Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 Cincinnati Reds
San Diego Padres 9-8 Washington Nationals

 

Angels at Mariners

There's a full 15-game fixture on Friday, headlined by Shohei Ohtani's in-form Los Angeles Angels (44-42) making the trip to face the Seattle Mariners (46-42) in an American League West match-up.

The tension continued as the Washington Nationals edged a high-scoring 13-12 thriller over the Philadelphia Phillies in the MLB on Wednesday.

The slugfest included both sides scoring grand slams, along with a three-run homer for the first time in MLB history.

It also came after things got heated on Tuesday when Phillies manager Joe Gerardi got ejected after a dispute with Nats pitcher Max Scherzer.

Scherzer did not play this time around, with Kyle Schwarber taking center stage for the Nats, with a three-run homer, his 19th home run of the season. It was also his 10th in 12 games.

Andrew McCutchen had hit a grand slam for the Phillies but Josh Bell responded with one of his own to put the Nats up 11-9.

"We had leads and we gave them away by issuing so many bases on balls and you can’t do that," Girardi said. "We have to be better."

 

Lucky 13 for Giants

The San Francisco Giants piled on seven runs in an incredible 13th inning as they won 9-3 over the Los Angeles Angels.

Shohei Ohtani, who went 0-3 with the bat, sent down nine strikeouts across six innings, only allowing one run, before the late drama.

Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman also yielded four hits with nine strikeouts over seven innings.

The Angels were not helped by injuries, with left-fielder Taylor Ward drafted in as catcher and pitcher Griffin Canning required at left field.

Steven Duggar helped the Giants blow it open in the 13th inning after an RBI double in the 12th, as Angels pitcher Alex Claudio walked three straight.

Brandon Lowe, Mike Zunino and Austin Meadows hit homers as the Tampa Bay Rays got back to winning ways, ending their seven-game losing run with an 8-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Trevor Bauer had 10 strikeouts across six innings but the San Diego Padres got up over the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 with Jake Cronenworth and Manny Machado homering in the first inning.

 

No respite for struggling Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks ended their franchise-worst 17-game losing run earlier this week against the Milwaukee Brewers but that has not fixed their issues. The Diamondbacks succumbed to a 3-2 loss to the Brewers, meaning they have lost 19 of their past 20 games.

 

Skyrocketing Astros

The Houston Astros claimed their 10th straight win, crushing the Baltimore Orioles 13-0. Houston has the second best differential across a 10-game span since 2000, behind the 2019 Astros. The Astros have scored 21 home runs in that streak, allowing only 21 runs at the same time and are now 17-4 for June.

 

Wednesday's results

Chicago White Sox 4-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Nationals 13-12 Philadelphia Phillies
Detroit Tigers 6-2 St Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants 9-3 Los Angeles Angels
Colorado Rockies 5-2 Seattle Mariners
New York Yankees 6-5 Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros 13-0 Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 Miami Marlins
New York Mets 7-3 Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays 8-2 Boston Red Sox
Texas Rangers 5-3 Oakland Athletics
San Diego Padres 5-3 Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Red Sox at Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays (44-31) have snapped their losing run and will round out their series against the Boston Red Sox (44-30).

Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals prevailed 3-2 in a contentious matchup with the rival Phillies that saw Philadelphia manager Joe Girardi ejected from the game after a dispute with the Washington pitcher. 

Girardi took advantage of the MLB's new provision cracking down on pitchers for use unlawful substances that help improve grip and spin on the ball, requesting that the three-time Cy Young Award winner be checked by the umpires during the fourth inning after he already had been examined and cleared after the first and third innings. 

The final check infuriated Scherzer, who threw his hat and glove to the ground and began to unbuckle his belt before being declared clean again.

"I'll take off all my clothes if you want to see me," Scherzer told reporters afterward. "I've got nothing on me."

After striking out J.T. Realmuto to end the fifth inning, Scherzer stared into the Phillies' dugout as he walked off the field and Girardi emerged from the dugout to shout at the veteran pitcher, leading to his immediate ejection. 

That was also the end of the night for Scherzer thanks to his high pitch count (106), but he looked strong in his first appearance since leaving a June 11 start early with a groin injury.

Scherzer allowed just two hits, one of them a long solo home run by Bryce Harper that accounted for Philadelphia's only scoring against the Nationals ace. 

 

Red Sox top Franco, Rays

The Boston Red Sox spoiled the MLB debut of top prospect Wander Franco and handed the Tampa Bay Rays their seventh straight loss in a 9-5 victory at Tropicana Field. The 20-year-old Franco was impressive, tying the game at 5-5 in the fifth inning with a three-run homer for his first major league hit, but the Rays surrendered four runs in the 11th to lose at home to their rivals. According to Stats Perform, Franco is the second player in history to hit a game-tying three-run homer or grand slam in his MLB debut, after Kosuke Fukudome of the Chicago Cubs did it in 2008.

The San Diego Padres got home runs from Jake Cronenworth and pinch-hitter Kim Ha-seong to beat Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 for their sixth consecutive win. 

Zack Greinke led the Houston Astros to their ninth straight win, 3-1 over the Baltimore Orioles, to maintain a one-game division lead over the Oakland Athletics. 

 

Mets lose Stroman, game

The New York Mets managed only two hits while striking out 12 times in a 3-0 loss to Charlie Morton and the Atlanta Braves and saw starting pitcher Marcus Stroman depart at the start of the second inning with hip soreness. 

A day after breaking their 17-game losing streak, the Arizona Diamondbacks reverted to form, collecting just two hits in a 5-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

 

HR champ Voit is back

Luke Voit returned from the injured list with a bang, as the 2020 MLB home run leader hit a monster 423-foot blast on the first pitch he saw since May 25 after being sidelined with an oblique injury in a 6-5 New York Yankees loss to the Kansas City Royals. 

 

Tuesday's results

Atlanta Braves 3-0 New York Mets
Houston Astros 3-1 Baltimore Orioles
Chicago Cubs 7-1 Cleveland Indians 
Oakland Athletics 13-6 Texas Rangers
Milwaukee Brewers 5-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres 3-2 Los Angeles Dodgers
Cincinnati Reds 10-7 Minnesota Twins
Seattle Mariners 2-1 Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers 8-2 St Louis Cardinals
Washington Nationals 3-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals 6-5 New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox 9-5 Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Miami Marlins
San Francisco Giants 5-0 Los Angeles Angels

 

Giants at Angels

Shohei Ohtani will face MLB's best team as he takes the mound for the Los Angeles Angels against Kevin Gausman and the San Francisco Giants.

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