The Houston Astros claimed both games in an impromptu double-header and the eventual three-game sweep, with respective 11-3 and 5-0 victories over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.

The Astros led 5-1 on Wednesday night against the Twins the battle between two of the American League's divisional leaders, when the game was suspended in the third inning.

The game resumed on the Thursday, with Jose Altuve claimed a home-run and double as well as three RBIs in the 11-3 victory.

In Thursday's regularly scheduled game, Yordan Alvarez homered twice, while Luis Garcia and three relievers combined for only seven hits in the shutout win.

The Astros have now extended their winning streak to ten games, giving up only 11 runs over that period.

Stanton stars in Yankees win

While the AL Central and West leaders battled it out, the AL East-leading New York Yankees defeated the Chicago White Sox 15-7.

Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and scored six RBIs, while the Yankees secured the win on the back of a seven-run eighth inning.

The Pinstripes have now won 16 of their last 18 games, with three games remaining in their road series against the White Sox.

Harper moves to DH as Phillies defeat Dodgers

An injured Bryce Harper still claimed two hits from four at-bats and three RBIs as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-7.

Harper will remain in the Phillies' lineup but will be relieved of throwing duties as the designated hitter, due to a ligament tear in his right elbow.

Zack Wheeler pitched over five innings in his start for Philadelphia, striking out seven and giving up six hits and three runs in 90 pitches.

Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts starred for the Los Angeles Dodgers swept a double-header on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.

Kershaw dominated the opener, giving up only five hits and striking out two over 81 pitches in seven innings, as the Dodgers won 7-0.

Betts shone in the night game, smashing a three-run double in the second inning and a two-run homer in the ninth to secure a 6-2 win.

Tyler Anderson struck out seven and gave up four hits over 80 pitches in five innings as the Dodgers claimed a fifth straight win.

They moved to 18-7 for the season and lead a strong National League West division, with every team holding a record at .500 or over.

Flores leads Giants to win over Cards

Wilmer Flores hit a grand slam in the first inning and finished with a career-high six RBIs as the San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 13-7.

Logan Webb struck out seven but gave up eight hits and four runs over 84 pitches in five innings, while Mauricio Dubon and Darin Ruf also hit home runs for the Giants.

Yadier Molina reached 1000 career RBIs and Dylan Carlson added a three-run homer, but it was not enough as the Cards had their three-game winning streak ended.

Polanco propels Twins to victory

Jorge Polanco led the Minnesota Twins as they sent the Oakland Athletics to their eighth consecutive defeat, claiming a 1-0 win.

Polanco had three of the Twins' five hits on the night from four at-bats, including a monster home run in the sixth inning, his third for the year.

Minnesota pitchers combined to strike out 15 while allowing three hits, as they maintained their lead atop the American League Central.

Minnesota Twins pitcher Josh Winder etched his name into the history books on Friday night as he guided his team to a 2-1 win against the Oakland Athletics.

Winder, 25, in his second career start, pitched six shutout innings, giving up three hits and no walks with eight strikeouts. It comes after allowing just two hits and one walk from six scoreless innings in his first start against the Tampa Bay Rays.

He is the first pitcher since ERA became an official stat in 1913 to have 15 strikeouts, no more than one walk and allow no earned runs over his first two career starts.

It was almost not enough for the Twins, who scored their two runs from two solo homers, courtesy of Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco. 

The Athletics cut the margin back to one when a fielding error allowed Cristian Pache to third base, where he would get brought home by a sacrifice fly, before Twins closer Emilio Pagan allowed a base hit and two walks to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning.

After a ground ball allowed the Twins to stop the third-base runner from getting to home plate, Pagan finished the job with a strikeout, sealing the victory and collecting the hard-earned save.

 

Trout delivers for Angels

AL MVP hopeful Shohei Ohtani's biggest competition for back-to-back trophies may be on his own team, as Mike Trout lifted the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-0 win against the Washington Nationals.

Reigning MVP Ohtani finished zero-for-three with a walk and an RBI, while three-time MVP Trout batted in two runs with a clutch double in the fifth inning.

It was a terrific performance by the Angels pitching staff, as starter Jhonathan Diaz gave up three hits and four walks through five scoreless frames, before the bullpen allowed just one hit and no walks the rest of the way.

Acuna bombs in Brewers win

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr gave the home fans something to cheer for, despite going down 6-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers.

In his second game back in Atlanta after a long-term injury, Acuna blasted a 450-foot home run to center-field for his first since July, but a four-run sixth inning for the Brewers put the visitors in front, where they would stay.

In-form Anthony Rizzo produced the first three-home run game of his career while Joey Gallo blasted his first of the season as the New York Yankees won 12-8 over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.

Rizzo opened the scoring with a three-run homer in the third inning, before Gallo slugging a two-run blast in the fourth inning to end his lean run to start the season.

Rizzo added a two-run shot in the fifth inning to put the Yankees up 6-0, while Aaron Judge also got in on the act with a homer on his 30th birthday.

The Orioles closed the gap to 11-8 before Rizzo completed a treble of home runs with a third in the eighth inning.

Rizzo sits on top of the majors charts with eight home runs this season, while he has 13 runs, 17 hits and 18 RBIs.

Twins walk-off miracle

The Minnesota Twins miraculously defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-4 after two wild walkoff runs after catcher Eric Haase's errant throw.

At the bottom of the ninth with two out, the Twins trailed 4-3 when Miguel Sano's hit to right field led to a baserunning blunder.

However, the Twins were bailed out when Haase lobbed a throw too high to third base, allowing Trevor Larnach and Gio Urshela to correct their mix-up and both get home for victory.

Trout homers in Angels win

Mike Trout homered for the fifth time this season as the Los Angeles Angels won 4-1 over the Cleveland Guardians. Trout had two hits for three RBIs in the win.

The Arizona Diamondbacks rallied from 3-0 down to win 5-3 over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were left to rue sloppy fielding from Cody Bellinger before David Peralta's two-run eighth-inning homer.

Carlos Rodon had nine strikeouts with three hits across six innings as the San Francisco Giants improved to 13-5 with an 8-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the only team remaining in the MLB without five losses, with Sunday's 10-2 win against the San Diego Padres moving their record to 11-4.

It was another near-spotless start for Dodgers ace and future Hall-of-Famer Clayton Kershaw, conceding just one run and four base runners in five complete innings.

Padres starter Sean Manaea is a Cy Young award contender in his own right, but he did not have his best outing against a formidable Dodgers line-up, conceding six earned runs in just over four innings.

The runs were started with a Justin Turner sacrifice-fly to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the opening inning, before Freddie Freeman smashed a 425-foot home run to score two more runs in the third frame.

Los Angeles' Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run of his own the next inning, and then went again with a three-run bomb in the fifth to increase the margin to 8-1.

Buxton blasts in extra innings

Minnesota Twins center-fielder Byron Buxton hit the longest walk-off home run in the MLB Statcast era to defeat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 in extra innings.

Buxton was the hero on two occasions on Sunday, tying the game at 3-3 in the seventh inning with a 366-foot home run that barely made it over the wall, before leaving no doubt in the last at-bat of the game.

After the White Sox went up 4-3 in the top of the 10th inning, Buxton stepped to the plate trailing by one, with two runners on base. His 469-foot, three-run blast is the longest game-winner since at least 2015 when Statcast began tracking.

Cole and Rizzo lead Yankees to Guardians sweep

Gerrit Cole bounced back from his poor start against the Detroit Tigers as the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Guardians 10-2, claiming a sweep of their three-game series.

Not even lasting two innings against the Tigers - the shortest start of his career - Cole pitched into the seventh against the Guardians, striking out nine and allowing only four hits over 92 pitches.

Anthony Rizzo's two-run home run in the first inning tied him for the American League lead with five. It was the Yankees' fifth win in the past six, heading into a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles, who sit bottom in the AL East.

Max Fried starred with eight strikeouts across seven innings as the Atlanta Braves won 3-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Braves left-hander Fried went perfect across the first five innings, before allowing two hits, while Freddie Freeman was quelled against his former side.

The Dodgers' only run of the game, scored by Chris Taylor, came in the eighth inning once Fried had been relieved, with Kenley Jansen closing it out in the ninth.

Travis d'Arnaud hit a solo home run at the top of the second inning, before Orlando Arcia's RBI double in the fourth and Austin Riley's single on a line drive for Ozzie Albies to score in the fifth.

 

Franco's maiden 2022 blast... at last

Wander Franco blasted his first home run of 2022 in a three-hit game as the Tampa Bay Rays won 6-5 over the Chicago Cubs.

Franco had missed Monday's game to rest his right quad but returned in style with a two-run homer on a 2-0 pitch in the third inning.

The young Rays star has now had seven multi-hit performances across 11 games this Major League season. Franco is a joint leader in the majors for hits, with 19.

"He's unique, special, talented, and we're seeing it in every part of his game," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

 

Vintage Scherzer and Perez

Reliever Clarke Schmidt stepped up for the New York Yankees after Gerrit Cole's early struggles by tossing down six strikeouts in their 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cole had walked four batters, included with base loaded.

Max Scherzer was at his vintage best with 10 strikeouts in the New York Mets' 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants, which backed up their earlier 5-4 victory on a double-header.

Salvador Perez put aside blurry vision to slug two home runs as the Kansas City Royals won 4-3 over the Minnesota Twins.

The Chicago White Sox maintained the best record in the American League, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Saturday.

White Sox closer Liam Hendriks came up big in the ninth inning, leaving the bases loaded after intentionally walking Rays pinch-hitter Choi Ji-man, with Michael Kopech throwing a solid opening five innings

Jose Abreu also hit his first home run for the season, going long off Corey Kluber to also get Tim Anderson home and give the White Sox a 2-1 lead coming into the fifth inning.

In what's been an off opening for Abreu despite the hot start for the team overall, the two-run homer came at an ideal time, taking him to six hits out of 28 at-bats so far this season.

The White Sox have now won six of their past seven, leading the AL Central with a 6-2 record - their best start since 2016.

Pache propels A's to win in Toronto

Cristian Pache hit a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning as the Oakland Athletics broke a six-game losing streak in Toronto, coming up 7-5 winners against the Blue Jays.

Pache launched the 1-0 pitch from Julian Merryweather into the right-field bullpen for his first home run of the season and only the second of his career.

The Blue Jays' Matt Chapman and Zack Collins homered on consecutive pitches from Domingo Avecedo in the sixth inning to cut the 5-2 deficit, but the A's eventually held out to move to 5-4 for the season.

Bogaerts bounces back as Red Sox shut out Twins

Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo each hit two-run home runs as Tanner Houck helped keep the Minnesota Twins scoreless, with the Boston Red Sox winning 4-0.

Houck allowed just two hits and three walks while striking out four in just over five innings, while Twins starter Sonny Gray threw just 31 pitches, along with allowing the homer to Verdugo in just the second inning.

Bogaerts sent the Red Sox on their way in the third inning, crushing reliever Josh Winder's pitch over the famous Green Monster.

Clayton Kershaw agreed with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts' decision to pull the plug on his potential perfect game after seven innings.

There have only been 23 perfect games thrown in MLB history, and through seven innings in the Dodgers' 7-0 win against the Minnesota Twins, Kershaw had faced 21 batters and retired them all.

But he would be denied his chance at history when he did not return to the mound for the eighth inning, getting pulled to allow the bullpen to finish off the win.

Kershaw, 34, said there were a number of factors to blame for his withdrawal from the game, but not his manager's decision-making.

"Blame it on the lockout, blame it on me not picking up a baseball until January," he said. "My slider was horrible the last two innings. It didn’t have the bite – it was time.

"At the end of the day, those are individual things, those are selfish goals. We’re trying to win. That’s really all we’re here for. 

"As much as I would have wanted to do it, I’ve thrown 75 pitches in a [simulated] game. I hadn’t gone six innings, let alone seven. 

"Sure, I would have loved to do it, but maybe we get another chance. Who knows?"

Kershaw became only the second player to ever get pulled that late into a perfect game – with Roberts pulling the plug on the first instance too, with Rich Hill in 2016.

Speaking about his decision after the game, Roberts said it was a decision no manager likes to make, but he feels it was the correct call.

"I love the idea that we’re preventing runs in that particular game," he said. "It’s not a great spot as far as the decision, ultimately, that I have to make.

"But I think if I can look back and I feel it’s the best decision – in the best interest of the player’s health and for the ball club – looking out, then I feel good about it. 

"But those guys make it tough on me – but we have good players.

"[Kershaw is] pretty honest and understanding of where he was at, how he was feeling, what’s at stake – the win, the no-hitter, the potential health risk, all that stuff matters.

"There’s no right, 100 per cent answer, but in this case I felt it was very clear to me the right decision was."

Juan Soto made history with his 100th career home run in the Washington Nationals' 16-4 loss to world champions, the Atlanta Braves, on Tuesday.

Soto, 23, became the youngest player in franchise history to reach 100 career home runs with a moon shot at the top of the sixth inning.

The homer, which travelled 451 feet according to Statcast to right-center field, was the fourth longest of his career.

"It just comes to me. I never tried to hit a homer, or anything like that," Soto told reporters. "I’m one of the guys who just tries to hit singles every day. So for me to become consistent hitting homers, it’s just impressive and it tells how good I’ve been working on my body and everything."

Soto is the seventh active player to blast 100 homers at age 23 or younger, having first homered as a 19-year-old in 2018.

The Braves ultimately got the win after 10 runs in three innings to open up a 10-1 lead after four innings, but Soto finished with two hits, one run, one walk and one RBI.

Ozzie Albies, who finished with three hits, two runs and three RBIs, blasted his first homer of the 2022 season in the fourth inning.

Giancarlo Stanton continued his remarkable home-run hitting form against the Boston Red Sox as the New York Yankees won 4-2 on Saturday.

Yankees slugger Stanton homered for the sixth consecutive game against the Red Sox, hitting the go-ahead two-run homer to left center field in the sixth inning.

Boston had gone ahead in the second inning from Alex Verdugo's two-run homer, before Anthony Rizzo equalled the feat in the fourth inning to level the game up.

The victory means the Yankees have begun the new season with a 2-0 start, ahead of the third and final game of their series against the Red Sox on Sunday.

"I can’t say it’s the rivalry or anything," Stanton said about his record against the Red Sox. "I’m doing my homework and getting the ball over the plate."

 

Dodgers offense shut down

The Los Angeles Dodgers struggled on offense as they slumped to a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies, who were sparked by an eighth-inning Connor Joe homer.

Rockies closer Daniel Bard shut down the Dodgers in the ninth inning to round out the win, striking out Justin Turner, Edwin Rios and Cody Bellinger.

Austin Barnes had two hits and an RBI for the Dodgers, while Mookie Betts had an eighth-inning RBI single to tie the game up, before Joe's go-ahead blast.

 

Alonso hits career-first grand slam

Pete Alonso clubbed a fifth-inning grand slam to lead the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 5-0. That marked 27-year-old's first career grand slam and comes after Alonso had been left with a bloodied lip after being struck by a Mason Thompson fastball earlier in the series.

The benches cleared in the Chicago Cubs' 9-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers after tempers flared between the division rivals when right-hander Keegan Thompson hit Andrew McCutchen in the hip with a fastball.

Dylan Cease stepped in for the Chicago White Sox with eight strikeouts across five innings in their 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cease remarkably boasts a 9-0 record against the Tigers in 10 starts.

 

Saturday's results

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

 

Astros at Angels

The Los Angeles Angels take on the Houston Astros in the final game of their thrilling four-game series, with Shohei Ohtani potentially back on the mound after being rested for the past two games.

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was surprised about long-time team-mate Carlos Correa's move to the Minnesota Twins.

The pair, who won the 2017 World Series together and were part of the Astros' side that lost last year's edition 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves, will be split up after Correa inked a bumper deal with the Twins.

Correa was declared a free agent for the first time in his career in November and rejected a qualifying offer from the Astros, before the Twins won the race to land him amid interest from several top teams.

Despite that interest and two-time All-Star Correa arguably being the most coveted free agent left on the market, the 27-year-old ended up with the Twins, who finished last in the American League (AL) Central last season with a 73-89 record.

"I was surprised. I wasn't expecting that," Altuve said. "Obviously we're going to miss him. He's a great player and a great guy inside the clubhouse. He was one of our leaders."

Altuve, who played alongside Correa since 2015, added: "Now that he's on another team, I'm happy for him. He got a great deal. Happy for him. I know he's going to play good. He's going to make the Twins better."

Shortstop Correa has reportedly signed with the Twins on a three-year, $105.3million deal, making him the MLB's highest paid infielder on average annual salary.

Correa is a career .277 hitter with 133 home runs, batting at .279 with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs last season, along with claiming his first Gold Glove. Puerto Rico-born Correa finished fifth in AL MVP voting last season.

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was surprised about long-time teammate Carlos Correa's move to the Minnesota Twins.

The pair, who won the 2017 World Series together and were part of the Astros' side that lost last year's edition 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves, will be split up after Correa inked a bumper deal with the Twins.

Correa was declared a free agent for the first time in his career in November and rejected a qualifying offer from the Astros, before the Twins won the race to land him amid interest from several top teams.

Despite that interest and two-time All-Star Correa arguably being the most coveted free agent left on the market, the 27-year-old ended up with the Twins, who finished last in the American League (AL) Central last season with a 73-89 record.

"I was surprised. I wasn't expecting that," Altuve said. "Obviously we're going to miss him. He's a great player and a great guy inside the clubhouse. He was one of our leaders."

Altuve, who played alongside Correa since 2015, added: "Now that he's on another team, I'm happy for him. He got a great deal. Happy for him. I know he's going to play good. He's going to make the Twins better."

Shortstop Correa has reportedly signed with the Twins on a three-year, $105.3million deal, making him the MLB's highest paid infielder on average annual salary.

Correa is a career .277 hitter with 133 home runs, batting at .279 with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs last season, along with claiming his first Gold Glove. Puerto Rico-born Correa finished fifth in AL MVP voting last season.

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will meet in the American League (AL) Wild Card showdown after winning late to deny the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners.

Four teams were vying for two AL Wild Card berths on a chaotic finale to the MLB's regular season, with the possibility of a four-way tie.

While the Mariners went down to the Los Angeles Angels 7-3, the Blue Jays crushed the lowly Baltimore Orioles 12-4 to give themselves a chance of forcing a Game 163 as they watched the Yankees and Red Sox contests anxiously.

But the Yankees and Red Sox produced two clutch hits to secure their spot in the play-offs.

Aaron Judge drove home the winning run in the ninth inning of the Yankees' 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, while the Red Sox overturned a 5-1 deficit to trump the Washington Nationals 7-5 behind Rafael Devers' two-run homer in the ninth.

 

Giants win NL West on final day

The San Francisco Giants clinched the National League (NL) West title for the first time since 2012 with a 11-4 rout of the San Diego Padres. San Francisco denied World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers thanks to their franchise-record 107th victory of the season, eclipsing the 1904 New York team. The Dodgers topped the Milwaukee Brewers 10-3 to settle for an NL Wild Card meeting with the St Louis Cardinals.

Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (48) – alongside Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals – and Padres sensation Fernando Tatis Jr. (42) ended the regular season as the home run leaders in their respective leagues. It is the first time in AL-NL history both leagues were led by players aged 22 or younger thanks to Guerrero and Tatis.

Dodgers star Trea Turner became the first NL player to lead the league in hits in back-to-back seasons since Terry Pendleton in 1991 and 1992. On the back of his second grand slam in 48 hours, Turner finished with 195 hits. He also won the NL batting title (.328), ahead of Washington's Juan Soto. Yuli Gurriel (.319) of the Houston Astros claimed the AL title.

Corbin Burnes became the first Brewers pitcher to earn an ERA title, having topped the NL at 2.43, beating Dodgers starters Max Scherzer (2.46) and Walker Buehler (2.47) to the honour. Toronto's Robbie Ray (2.84) led the AL's ERA standings.

 

Injury worries

The Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers all have injury concerns heading into the Wild Card round. Yankees star DJ LeMahieu landed on the injured list due to a hip/groin problem ahead of Sunday's game. Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez exited in the sixth inning with a sprained left ankle. Meanwhile, Dodgers slugger Max Muncy is "very unlikely" to feature in the NL Wild Card Game because of a left elbow injury sustained in the third inning.

 

Guerrero breaks record

Having earned a share of the AL home run title, Guerrero made history. His 48 homers are the most in a season by a player aged 22 or younger, eclipsing Eddie Matthews (47 in 1953).

 

 

Sunday's results

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

 

Yankees at Red Sox

The famous Yankees and Red Sox rivalry will take centre stage for Tuesday's AL Wild Card blockbuster in Boston. Gerrit Cole will face Nathan Eovaldi in a mouth-watering pitching matchup. The winner will face the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Division Series (ALDS), starting Wednesday.

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 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.

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