Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich made history on Wednesday with his third career cycle, but it came in a high-scoring 14-11 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Yelich's cycle began with an automatic double in the first inning, before he blasted a three-run home run his next time up in the third frame.

A single in the fifth inning meant he just needed a triple to accomplish the rare feat, and after a fly-out in the seventh, Yelich connected on a first-pitch changeup in the last inning, hooking it into the right-field corner and hustling around to third base to complete his cycle.

He is now one of six players to ever hit for the cycle on three occasions and, incredibly, all three have come against the Reds. He is the only player to have three cycles against one team.

The action from the game did not stop with Yelich as there were 29 combined hits between the two sides, including six home runs.

For the Brewers, as well as Yelich, Hunter Renfroe hit two home runs, while Jace Peterson and Mike Brosseau hit one each.

Colin Moran was the only Reds player to go deep as the team with the worst record in baseball (7-24) found another way to win, manufacturing runs with consecutive singles and walks.

In the most eye-catching stat-line of the game – other than the cycle – Reds relief pitcher Dauri Moreta conceded five runs from five hits, including two home runs, while failing to get a single out before being pulled.

 

Torres stays hot for the Yankees

After hitting a walk-off home run against the Texas Rangers earlier in the week, New York Yankees second-baseman Gleyber Torres was the hero again in his side's 5-3 win against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Torres drove in all five Yankees runs, with a three-run home run in the fourth inning, and a base hit in the sixth inning when runners were on second and third base.

Yankees starting pitcher Jameson Taillon was credited with the win, with two earned runs from six hits and one walk in five-and-a-third innings, striking out four.

Angels waste quality Ohtani start

Reigning AL MVP and Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani pitched a gem against the Tampa Bay Rays, but it was not enough as the visiting Rays won 4-2 in extra innings.

Ohtani pitched six full innings, allowing just one run from two hits and two walks, but a lack of run support meant his side was trailing 1-0 when he was withdrawn.

Shane McClanahan was also nearly flawless on the mound for the Rays to win the pitching duel, finishing with seven shutout frames, striking out 11 batters and allowing two hits with one walk.

Rookie pitcher Reid Detmers pitched the second no-hitter of the MLB season on Tuesday, as the Los Angeles Angels shut the Tampa Bay Rays out 12-0.

The 22-year-old struck out two on the way to 108 pitches over the full nine innings, recording the Angels' 12th no-hitter in franchise history.

There was no let up from an offensive standpoint for the Halos, either, with Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, Jared Walsh and Brandon Marsh all claiming multiple hits at the top of the order.

Trout and Anthony Rendon scored three RBIs respectively, as the Angels moved to 21-11 for the season.

They hold a one-game lead over the Houston Astros at the top of the American League (AL) West, making up two of the three best records in the AL.

Judge rules out Blue Jays stand against Yankees

The New York Yankees maintained the best record in the AL, meanwhile, defeating the divisional-rival Toronto Blue Jays 6-5.

Aaron Judge scored the first walk-off home run of his career with a three-run home run off Jordan Romano to secure a big comeback win.

This came after Giancarlo Stanton's own three-run shot in the sixth inning, as the Yankees moved four games clear of the Rays atop the AL East with the victory.

Wood wins it for Giants

Alex Wood pitched into the sixth inning for the San Francisco Giants, who defeated the Colorado Rockies 9-2.

Wood allowed seven hits and struck out four in five-and-a-third innings for the Giants, who kept within touching distance of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.

Curt Casali contributed three hits and two RBIs, with the Giants claiming a fourth consecutive win to bounce back from a five-game losing stretch.

The Cleveland Guardians pulled off a spectacular comeback to beat the Chicago White Sox 12-9 on the road in extra innings, as Josh Naylor finished with a remarkable eight RBIs.

After an action-packed first inning, highlighted by Gavin Sheets' three-run home run for Chicago, the White Sox led 4-1.

There would be no more runs over the next five innings as Cleveland's Zach Plesac and Chicago's Michael Kopeck found a nice rhythm, with both starters withdrawn at the beginning of the seventh inning.

This also happened to be when the action picked back up, with the White Sox adding another run via a Tim Anderson double to make it 5-1 going into the eighth.

Naylor collected his own RBI double in the eighth to peg back one run, but the game appeared to be done when the White Sox's AJ Pollock blasted a three-run homer to make it 8-2 with one inning to play.

The Guardians had other ideas, as Andres Gimenez led off the inning with a solo home run, and a pair of errors first allowed Amed Rosario to advance from first base to third, and then brought him home, making it 8-4 with no outs.

After the next two batters were retired, a walk and a single loaded the bases for Naylor to be the hero. Naylor blasted the first pitch he saw over the right-centre wall for a grand slam, tying the game and sending it to extra innings.

Gimenez added a run in the top of the 10th inning, which was matched by Reese McGuire's RBI in the bottom of the frame, forcing an 11th innings.

With two outs, capping off an outrageous day at the plate, Naylor hit a three-run home run, giving him eight RBIs with three hits and a walk from six at-bats.

Stars shine in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Angels' two MVP hopefuls put on a show in their 11-3 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

After a fourth-inning solo home run for Tampa Bay's Randy Arozarena, Angels stars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout collected back-to-back hits later in the inning, setting the table for Jared Walsh to blast a three-run homer.

There was more back-to-back magic in the sixth inning, as Trout stepped up and blasted a two-run home run, before Ohtani came out next and sent a 407-foot shot over the wall at left-centre.

Trout would drive in another run an inning later with his bases-loaded walk, before Ohtani once again followed him in style, bombing a 413-foot grand slam.

Yankees no-hitter broken up late

New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes took his no-hit bid into the eighth inning as his side beat the Texas Rangers 1-0.

Through seven complete innings, the score was tied at 0-0, with the Rangers' four base-runners for the game all reaching via walk.

After the first batter of the eighth inning was struck out, Texas' Eli White finally broke up the no-hitter with a base hit to centre-field, before New York's Anthony Rizzo drove in the one and only run for the contest later in the same frame. Cortes finished with 11 strikeouts from his seven-and-a-third innings.

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge hit two home runs to guide his side to a 4-1 win against the Cleveland Guardians at Yankee Stadium on Friday.

Judge, 29, has been vocal about his decision to test free agency ahead of next season after he and the Yankees failed to come to an agreement on a contract extension before Opening Day.

Demonstrating his value, he stepped up with two outs and one runner on base in the third inning, and crushed a fastball back over Guardians pitcher Eli Morgan's head to center-field.

His very next at-bat, Judge did it again, blasting a high fastball into the right-field bleachers for a solo shot, giving the Yankees a 4-1 lead.

The New York pitching staff did an excellent job of defending the lead throughout, as Jameson Taillon started and pitched five strong frames for five strikeouts, and one run from seven hits with no walks. He was relieved by Michael King for the sixth inning, and he was even better, striking out eight of the 10 batters he faced, conceding just one hit.

Aroldis Chapman finished things off with a save, hitting 101mp/h with the last pitch of the night for a strikeout.

Wander whacks a pair

The jewel of the Tampa Bay Rays and one of the best prospects in all of baseball, Wander Franco, hit a pair of home runs in a 4-3 home loss against the Boston Red Sox.

Franco, 21, was named the number one prospect in the majors prior to his debut, and he has done nothing to change anyone's mind as he is sporting a batting average of .393.

He hit a solo home run in the first inning, and another in the fifth inning, but the Red Sox scored twice in the opening frame and never allowed the Rays to tie things up.

Mookie mashes for the Dodgers

Mookie Betts joined the list of stars to hit two home runs on Friday in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 6-1 win against the San Diego Padres.

In a clash between two of the best teams in the league, Julio Urias put in a terrific starting pitching performance, allowing just one run and five baserunners in five innings.

The Dodgers did not take the lead until the fifth inning, when Mookie Betts bombed a 420-foot solo shot to lead off the inning and tie the game at 1-1, before Max Muncy also sent a towering fly ball over the fence just three batters later.

Muncy drove in another two runs in the seventh, before Betts put the finishing touches on in the ninth inning with his second homer.

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.

Early National League Rookie of the Year favourite Seiya Suzuki continued the remarkable start to his MLB career on Monday with another two hits in the Chicago Cubs' 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Suzuki, 27, was named National League Player of the Week in his first full week in the majors, and with his first of two hits on Monday, he tied Akinori Iwamura for the longest hitting streak by a Japanese player to start their career at nine games.

He is also the first Cub to hit safely in the first nine games of their career (with an official at-bat) since 1943. He sits fifth in the majors in batting average (.429) and is tied for fourth in home runs (four).

Of the Cubs' four runs, Suzuki scored two, as he was driven in by a Patrick Wisdom two-run homer in the second inning, before getting hit by a pitch in the seventh inning, eventually coming around to score again off an Ian Happ hit.

With the Cubs up 3-2 in the eighth inning, Frank Schwindel gave Chicago a little breathing room with a solo home run for the last score of the game.

Despite the loss, it was a terrific performance on the mound for Rays Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan, striking out nine batters in six innings, allowing only four hits and no walks for one earned run.

Yelich grand slams for Brewers

Leading 2-1 in the fourth inning, Christian Yelich stepped up to the plate with bases loaded and slogged a massive 429-foot grand slam to give the Milwaukee Brewers their 6-1 final score against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Brewers starting pitcher Eric Lauer was excellent, striking out five batters in six innings, conceding only one run and six baserunners in the process.

Freeman goes deep against old friends

After spending the first 12 years of his MLB career with the Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman hit a home run against them in the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 7-4 home win against his visiting former team.

From just the second pitch he faced against his old side, Freeman hammered it for a 386-foot home run to center field for the early lead.

The Braves rallied in the sixth frame to get Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw out of the game with seven strikeouts and four earned runs through five complete innings, but it was not enough to deny the Dodgers their seventh consecutive win to move to the best record in the majors at 8-2.

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.

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.

Wander Franco wants to bring a World Series title to the Tampa Bay Rays following his record-setting contract extension with the MLB franchise.

Franco finalised a mouth-watering 11-year, $182million contract in Tampa, where the deal includes a club option for the 2033 season, on Saturday.

It is the largest financial commitment to a player in the Rays' 24-year history, while it is also the biggest deal in MLB history for a player with less than a year of major league service time.

Franco, who made his debut in June, enjoyed a remarkable season after recording a 43-game on-base streak to tie Cincinnati's Frank Robinson (1956) for the longest in MLB history among player aged under 21.

The 20-year-old shortstop helped the Rays win the American League (AL) East – Tampa Bay clinching back-to-back titles for the first time in franchise history with a record 100 victories before falling to the Boston Red Sox in the AL Division Series (ALDS).

"I'm really happy for this opportunity, and the one thing I want to do is bring a championship to the organisation," Franco said during Monday's news conference as the Rays target a maiden World Series championship.

"With this, I can help my family and have nothing in my mind when I'm playing on the field … and be happy with this opportunity."

Franco also finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting after slashing .288/.347/.463 with 18 doubles, five triples and seven home runs in 2021.

"The Rays have given me the support that I need, the development, the people that they have here," Franco said. "I wish to stay here for my whole career."

Rays president of baseball operations Erik Neander added: "The chance for a homegrown star to be with the club for the foreseeable future, that in and of itself is a really big deal.

"Our on-field goal is to win a World Series, and as we've said many times over now, our desired approach to making that happen is to be as competitive as possible in as many years as possible.

"This commitment certainly increases our confidence that we're going to continue to be competitive and eventually be that last team standing."

San Francisco Giants boss Gabe Kapler and Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays were named Managers of the Year for 2021 in MLB.

Kapler scooped National League (NL) honours after leading the Giants to a franchise-record 107-win season and the best winning percentage (66.0) since 1913.

The 46-year-old guided the Giants to their first NL West title since 2012, dethroning the Los Angeles Dodgers before losing to their rivals in the NL Division Series (NLDS).

Prior to Kapler – who signed a contract extension through to 2024 – the only other Giants manager to win the award was Dusty Baker in 1993, 1997 and 2000, having held off Milwaukee Brewers skipper Craig Counsell and former St Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt.

Cash, meanwhile, became the first American League (AL) manager to receive the award in back-to-back seasons.

Tampa Bay's Cash – in his seventh season as manager – beat out Baker of the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais.

The Rays clinched back-to-back AL East title for the first time in franchise history with a record 100 victories before falling to the Boston Red Sox in the AL Division Series (ALDS).

Tampa Bay Rays star Randy Arozarena and Cincinnati Reds sensation Jonathan India were named MLB's Rookies of the Year for 2021.

Rays outfielder Arozarena scooped American League (AL) honours after beating out team-mate Wander Franco and Luis Garcia of the Houston Astros on Monday.

Arozarena led all rookies with a 4.1 WAR while compiling a .815 OPS as he hit 20 home runs and stole 20 bases – the 26-year-old becoming the third rookie in the last decade to compile a 20-20 campaign.

After helping the Rays clinch back-to-back AL East titles for the first time in franchise history with a record 100 wins before falling to the Boston Red Sox in the AL Division Series (ALDS), Arozarena became the fourth Tampa Bay player to win the Rookie of the Year.

"I know last year I had a pretty good year – a great year, actually," Arozarena said. "I know I was the favourite to be the Rookie of the Year this year. But my mind wasn't set on winning the award.

"My goal was to have another good year. There has been a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifices along the way, and the results at the end of the year made it a well-deserved prize."

In the National League (NL), Cincinnati second baseman India claimed the ROTY prize.

The 24-year-old India edged Miami Marlins left-hander Trevor Rodgers and Dylan Carlson of the St Louis Cardinals to the award.

India – the eighth Reds player to receive the honour – led all MLB rookies in on-base percentage (.376), doubles (34), walks (71), runs scored (98) and games played (150), while ranking second in OPS (.835).

"I said at the beginning of the year this was my goal, my personal goal," said India, who became the first Reds second baseman to debut on Opening Day since 1963. "I don't set many personal goals for myself. I just had a feeling this was what I wanted."

The Boston Red Sox found more Fenway Park magic Monday, knocking a Tampa Bay Rays team that posted the best record in the American League during the regular season out of the playoffs with a thrilling 6-5 victory. 

Kike Hernandez's sacrifice fly with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning brought home pinch-runner Danny Santana with the winning run in Game 4 as Boston took the Division Series 3-1. 

Earlier in the game, it appeared the Red Sox might cruise to victory. Rafael Devers crushed a three-run homer to spark a five-run third inning for the Red Sox with Rays starter Collin McHugh already out of the game after just two innings. 

But the Rays, who went 100-62 during the regular season, were not done yet. They began chipping away with a run in the fifth, then rookie sensation Wander Franco hit a two-run homer in the sixth. 

Run-scoring hits from Kevin Kiermaier and Randy Arozarena tied the game in the eighth and Kiermaier ensured it stayed that way in the bottom of the inning, gunning down Alex Verdugo with an outrageous throw from center field to third base for a double play that ended a Red Sox threat. 

The reprieve was short-lived for the Rays, as Christian Vazquez led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to left and Christian Arroyo bunted him to third. A misplayed grounder off the bat of Travis Shaw put runners on the corners and Hernandez drove in Santana to set off a wild celebration at the venerable ballpark.

The Red Sox have won eight consecutive games in which they had a chance to clinch a postseason series. Only the Oakland Athletics have a longer such streak, nine in a row between 1973 and 1990. 

Boston will face the Houston Astros or Chicago White Sox in the American League Championship Series. 

 

Longoria, Giants edge Dodgers in Game 3

Evan Longoria's fifth-inning home run off Max Scherzer was the difference as the San Francisco Giants edged the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 to put the reigning World Series champions on the brink of elimination. 

Longoria homered on a 0-2 fastball to lead off the fifth, virtually the only blemish for the Dodgers pitching staff as they limited the Giants to just three hits in Game 3. But that was enough, as San Francisco's pitching and defence made it stand up.

Starter Alex Wood and three relievers held the Dodgers to five hits with some significant help from their fielders, as Brandon Crawford in particular made a pair of stellar plays to rob Mookie Betts of hits. 

A Christian Vazquez home run in bottom of the 13th inning gave the Boston Red Sox a 6-4 walk-off win over the Tampa Bay Rays, who believed they had taken the lead in the top half of the inning only to see their hopes dashed. 

Sunday's win gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead in the American League Division Series (ALDS) in the best-of-five series, and Boston can close it out with a victory at Fenway Park on Monday.

That outcome seemed unlikely in the top of the 13th inning after Tampa Bay's Kevin Kiermaier drove a ball off the top of the wall in right field with Yandy Diaz running from first base. 

With Diaz about to round third and head for home, the ball caromed off Boston right fielder Hunter Renfroe's right hip and back over the wall. 

After all six umpires consulted as a group and two of them talked to MLB replay officials afterward, they put Kiermaier at second base and Diaz at third, and Mike Zunino struck out for the fourth time in the game to end the threat with the scored still tied 4-4. 

The umpires made the correct call, with MLB Rule 5.05(a)(8) stating "the batter and all runners shall be entitled to advance two bases" when a fielder deflects a fair ball over a fence, but the Rays felt hard done by considering Diaz would have scored easily on the play.

Umpire Sam Holbrook told reporters afterward it was "very simple from an umpire's standpoint", noting that they would only have been able to exercise their own discretion about where to place the runners if they determined Renfroe knocked the ball out of play intentionally. 

Rays manager Kevin Cash did not argue once umpires explained the situation to him, but his team could not extend the game from there. 

In the bottom of the 13th, Renfroe walked with one out and Vazquez homered to end it, becoming the first Red Sox player to hit a play-off walk-off homer since Marry Ramirez in 2007.

Despite a shaky start in Chicago, the White Sox stayed alive in their best-of-five series with an action-packed 12-6 win over the Houston Astros. 

White Sox starter Dylan Cease recorded only five outs before being pulled from the game as the Astros built a 5-1 lead after the top of the third inning with their eyes on a sweep. 

The Chicago offence suddenly woke up, exploding for five runs in the bottom of the inning on homers by Yasmani Grandal and Leury Garcia, then adding three more the following inning. 

By the time Chicago tacked on an additional three runs in the eighth, every hitter in the White Sox line-up had recorded at least one hit as they scored double-digit runs in a postseason game for the third time in franchise history, after 2005 (14) and 1959 (11).

 

Rays at Red Sox

Tampa Bay (100-62) won five more games than anyone else in the American League (AL) during the regular season, but the Rays' postseason could come to an end with a loss to the Red Sox in Game 4 on Monday. 

The San Francisco Giants shut out the prolific Los Angeles Dodgers led by Logan Webb as they secured a 4-0 win and a 1-0 lead in the National League Division Series on Friday.

The Dodgers, who were shut out just five times in the regular season, could not convert any of their five hits on Friday, while the Giants delivered three home runs.

Seven-time All-Star Buster Posey got the Giants on the board with a two-run blast in the first inning from Walker Buehler, who allowed six hits across six-and-one-third innings.

Buehler still managed five strikeouts on the mound for the Dodgers but he was over-shadowed by Giants right-hander Webb, who tossed down 10 Ks across seven-and-two-thirds scoreless innings.

Kris Bryant, who had three hits to mark an outstanding game, padded the Giants' lead in the seventh inning with a left-field home run from a tiring Buehler.

Brandon Crawford, who had 24 home runs across the regular season added, another in the eighth inning, recording his second career post-season homer to add insurance.

 

Astros launch into 2-0 lead

The Houston Astros produced a five-run rally in the seventh inning to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the American League Division Series (ALDS) against the Chicago White Sox with a 9-4 victory.

But the Astros had to come from behind, trailing 4-2 after Luis Robert, who had two runs, three hits and one RBI for the game, touched down at the top of the fifth inning.

Jose Altuve, who had a great defensive game in the field, and Alex Bregman levelled it from a Yuli Gurriel base hit, before the five-run rally in the seventh underlined by Kyle Tucker's two-run shot.

With two out and two on leading 5-4, Carlos Correa's powerful shot to right-field eluded Leury Garcia, driving in two runs before Tucker padded the advantage.

 

Sale loses his puff

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale endured a nightmare first inning, allowing four hits and five earned runs as the Tampa Bay Rays opened up an early 5-2 lead. Sale was pulled after that before the Red Sox launched an admirable fightback in a run-fest 14-6 victory over the Rays to square up their ALDS. Tanner Houck steadied on the mound, with five strikeouts across five innings allowing only one run and two hits.

 

 

Burnes still on fire

Corbin Burnes continued his excellent regular season form in the Milwaukee Brewers' opening game of their NLDS with six scoreless innings and six strikeouts in a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. Burnes, who finished the regular season with an MLB-best 2.43 ERA, set up the victory before Josh Hader closed it out, with Rowdy Tellez scoring a two-run homer in the seventh inning.

 

Saturday's results

Houston Astros 9-4 Chicago White Sox
Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Atlanta Braves
Boston Red Sox 14-6 Tampa Bay Rays
San Francisco Giants 4-0 Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Dodgers at Giants

The Dodgers will look to bounce back in Game 2 against the Giants, with Julio Urias and Kevin Gausman starting on the mound for the respective sides.

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