Exciting Seattle Mariners youngster Julio Rodriguez has been rewarded for his spectacular rookie season as one of the three American League (AL) outfielders named as Silver Sluggers on Thursday.

Rodriguez, 21, had arguably the best rookie season since Aaron Judge finished MVP runner-up with his debut campaign for the New York Yankees back in 2017.

In 132 games, Rodriguez led all rookies with 28 home runs, and became the third rookie to ever tally at least 25 homers and 25 stolen bases in their first year. He is the fourth rookie outfielder to ever win a Silver Slugger, joining fellow Mariner Ichiro Suzuki (2001), three-time MVP Mike Trout (2012) and Judge (2017).

Likely this season's AL MVP, New York's Judge joined Rodriguez in the outfield to collect his third Silver Slugger, with Trout filling the third outfield spot. 

Texas Rangers first-baseman Nathaniel Lowe, Houston Astros second-baseman Jose Altuve, Cleveland Guardians third-baseman Jose Ramirez and Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk complete the AL infield. Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez is in the designated hitter spot, and Atlanta Braves batting champion Luis Arraez was named as the utility.

The San Diego Padres landed three players in the NL team, with Juan Soto named in the outfield, while Josh Bell took the DH slot and Brandon Drury is the utility.

Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Trea Turner (shortstop) and Mookie Betts (OF) made the cut, as did St Louis Cardinals duo Paul Goldschmidt (first base) and Nolan Arenado (third base).

The Philadelphia Phillies had both J.T. Realmuto (catcher) and Kyle Schwarber (OF), and New York Mets second-baseman Jeff McNeil completed the line-up.

Exciting Seattle Mariners youngster Julio Rodriguez has been rewarded for his spectacular rookie season as one of the three American League outfielders named as Silver Sluggers on Thursday.

Rodriguez, 21, had arguably the best rookie season since Aaron Judge finished MVP runner-up with his debut campaign for the New York Yankees back in 2017.

In 132 games, Rodriguez led all rookies with 28 home runs, and became the third rookie to ever tally at least 25 homers and 25 stolen bases in their first year. He is the fourth rookie outfielder to ever win a Silver Slugger, joining fellow Mariner Ichiro Suzuki (2001), three-time MVP Mike Trout (2012) and Judge (2017).

Likely this season's AL MVP, New York's Judge joined Rodriguez in the outfield to collect his third Silver Slugger, with Trout filling the third outfield spot. 

Texas Rangers first-baseman Nathaniel Lowe, Houston Astros second-baseman Jose Altuve, Cleveland Guardians third-baseman Jose Ramirez and Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk complete the AL infield. Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez is in the designated hitter spot, and Atlanta Braves batting champion Luis Arraez was named as the utility.

The San Diego Padres landed three players in the NL team, with Juan Soto named in the outfield, while Josh Bell took the DH slot and Brandon Drury is the utility.

Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Trea Turner (shortstop) and Mookie Betts (OF) made the cut, as did St Louis Cardinals duo Paul Goldschmidt (first base) and Nolan Arenado (third base).

The Philadelphia Phillies had both J.T. Realmuto (catcher) and Kyle Schwarber (OF), and New York Mets second-baseman Jeff McNeil completed the line-up.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are heading into the playoffs on the right foot after a convincing 6-1 home win against the Colorado Rockies in their regular season finale on Wednesday.

With the win, the Dodgers finished the season 111-51, setting a new franchise record as they totaled the fourth-most wins in MLB history and the most by a National League (NL) team since 1906.

The NL record is held by the Chicago Cubs from 1906 with 116 wins. The Dodgers' 111-win season is the equal fourth best in MLB history.

It was a stylish final outing for Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who gave up one run from one hit and one walk in his five innings, striking out nine batters. 

At the plate, Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman did all he could in his last-gasp attempt to win the National League batting title, going three-for-four with a home run to raise his batting average to .325 – finishing .001 behind the New York Mets' Jeff McNeil (.326).

Fellow All-Star Trea Turner also hit a home run for the Dodgers as he went two-for-four with three RBIs, and center-fielder Cody Bellinger collected a deep-ball of his own as five of the Dodgers' six runs scored via home runs.

The Dodgers will play the winner of the Wild Card game between the Mets and the San Diego Padres in the NLDS.

Arraez wins the AL batting title

Luis Arraez risked losing the American League (AL) batting title by suiting up in the Minnesota Twins' 10-1 win against the Chicago White Sox.

Arraez came into the day with the lead at .315, with his only threat, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees at .311 and not playing on the final day.

But fittingly, Arraez did not record an out, collecting two walks and a double before being pulled. 

Incredibly, it is the third-best batting average from Arraez's four years in the league, posting a .334 in 2019 before going .321 on a small sample size in 2020. His 'down' year in 2021 was still a very strong .294.

Ohtani, Trout end the season in fitting fashion

As has been the story of their time with the Los Angeles Angels, both Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout were excellent, but could not stop their team from losing 3-2 against the Oakland Athletics.

Ohtani only gave up one run from one hit and one walk in his five innings on the mound, lowering his ERA for the season to a magnificent 2.33. It is the sixth-lowest ERA in the league, while he is also 11th in home runs hit with 34.

He went one-for-four with a single at the plate, while Trout hit his 40th home run of the season to finish tied for third in the majors. No other player in the top 15 has played fewer than 130 games, while Trout played 119.

In a feel-good story, after announcing his retirement, Oakland's Stephen Vogt hit a home run with his last ever swing on a day where his children were allowed to do his introduction over the PA system at the start of the game.

The Los Angeles Angels made the wrong kind of history on Thursday, becoming the sixth team in MLB history to hit seven home runs in a loss, going down 8-7 at home against the Oakland Athletics.

It was also the first time ever that a team has scored seven runs with every run coming courtesy of a solo long-ball.

As has been a recurring theme of superstar Shohei Ohtani's tenure with the Angels, he put on a dazzling display only for his team to fall short. The reigning AL MVP opened the scoring with a solo blast in the first inning, and added a second homer later in the contest.

Kurt Suzuki, Taylor Ward, Jo Adell, Jared Walsh and Mickey Moniak all sent a ball over the fence for the Angels, but it was not enough as starting pitcher Janson Junk struggled mightily.

Junk gave up six earned runs in just the third inning as Ramon Laureano and Sean Murphy hit back-to-back two-RBI doubles, followed by a two-run homer from Seth Brown. Laureano later added his own two-run shot, giving him four RBIs in the contest.

The loss relegates the Angels to a disappointing 44-61 record, while Ohtani is now top-five in the American League in home runs (24) as a batter, and strikeouts as a pitcher (152 in 18 starts).

All-Star Dodgers duo flex their power

Known primarily for their contact, speed and defense, Los Angeles Dodgers All-Stars Mookie Betts and Trea Turner both showed off their power in a 5-3 win against the San Francisco Giants.

In a game where starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw was forced to leave his start after four innings due to lower-back pain, the offense picked up the slack, with a three-run launch from Betts in the fourth inning turning a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.

The Dodgers would never allow the Giants back into the game, and Turner got in on the action in the seventh inning with a 419-foot whack for the longest hit of the game.

Betts, Turner and Freddie Freeman – who also had a hit for the Dodgers – are all considered candidates for the National League MVP.

Verlander dominates for the Astros

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander showed why he is the American League Cy Young Award favourite, keeping the Cleveland Guardians quiet in a 6-0 victory.

Verlander held the Guardians to just two hits and one walk in his six scoreless frames, striking out five batters in the process. He is expected to battle it out for the AL's best pitcher award with Tampa Bay Rays star Shane McClanahan.

With the bat, Fabio Maldonado and Chas McCormick collected three RBIs each, with key trio Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez and Jeremy Pena also combining for six hits and three walks.

League leader Aaron Judge continued his remarkable form after the All-Star Game with his 43rd home run of the season as the New York Yankees flexed with a 7-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

Judge made majors history with his 10th home run since the All-Star Game, joining Albert Belle in achieving that feat in only 12 games after the break.

The Yankees outfielder had hit a first-inning double, before Anthony Rizzo's three-run blast – his 26th home run of the season – opened up an early 3-0 lead.

Judge took center stage in the second inning with his home run putting the Yankees up 5-1, marking 12 blasts in his past 14 games.

Jose Trevino got in on the act, after a lean month, with home runs in the fourth and eighth innings for his first career multi-homer game.

The result keeps the Yankees top of the American League (AL) East with a 70-34 record, while the Mariners are second in the AL West with a 55-49 record.

Judge leads the majors for home runs this season with 43 with a league-high .680 slugging percentage, batting at .299 with 89 runs, 115 hits and 93 RBIs.

 

Hot property Soto stars as Mets see off Nats

Amid trade speculation, Juan Soto underlined his value with the Washington Nationals with a fine all-round performance in their 7-3 loss to the New York Mets.

Soto showed off his speed around the bases to score for 1-0 in the first inning, before some brilliance from the outfield saw him throw out runner Tomas Nido on the home plate.

After Pete Alonso's 27th blast of the season put the Mets 4-1 up, Soto returned fire with his own home run in the fourth inning, his 21st of the year.

Francisco Lindor's sixth inning homer rounded out the win for the Mets who improve to 65-37.

 

Dodgers too strong for Giants

Max Muncy and Trea Turner both homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers proved too good for National League (NL) West rivals San Francisco Giants 8-2.

Muncy's second-inning two-run blast put the Dodgers ahead after Darin Ruf scored in the first, with Freddie Freeman driving in Mookie Betts in the fourth to open up a 4-1 lead.

Turner unleashed his 17th home run of the season at the top of the seventh inning with a fly ball to center field to settle the contest, helping the Dodgers move to 69-33 at the top of the NL West.

Justin Verlander was in impressive form as he reached his MLB-leading 12th win of the season, leading the Houston Astros to a 5-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

Verlander put in a solid shift on the mount, striking out 10 while allowing just six hits and a walk over 106 pitches in six innings, lowering his ERA to 1.89, third in the major leagues.

The 39-year-old moved past Curt Schilling (3,116) and Bob Gibson (3,117) to 3,121 career Ks with his 10 on the night, moving to a 15th-ranked 108 for the season.

Martin Maldonado also hit a grand slam in the second inning, blasting A's rookie Jared Koenig over his head past centre-field for the third four-run shot of his career.

Moving to 59-31 for the yeat, the Astros extended their lead atop the American League West to 10 games over the Seattle Mariners, while the A's hold the AL's worst record on 31-61.

Yankees smash Red Sox to build momentum

Aaron Judge and Matt Carpenter led the way for the New York Yankees as they gave the Boston Red Sox 14-1 belting in the Bronx.

The team with the MLB's best record lost five of the previous six games and it threatened to be another glum night, at home to their fierce rivals, after Rafael Devers' home run off Jameson Taillon in the first inning.

Judge and Carpenter more than steadied the ship, however. Judge scored two home runs while also Carpenter went long twice, driving in seven runs on the night as the Yankees moved to 63-28 for the year.

Dodgers beat city rivals

Julio Urias and Trea Turner propelled the Los Angeles Dodgers to their 60th win of the season, routing the Los Angeles Angels 7-1.

Trea Turner hit two home runs on the night, including a two-run shot to set up a five-run third inning for the Dodgers, who had the same amount of hits as the Angels with seven.

Julio Urias gave up five of those, but struck out eight Angels batters over 91 pitches in seven innings, moving his ERA to 2.89 for the season.

Freddie Freeman also recorded his 1,000th career RBI as the Dodgers moved to 60-30 for the year, extending their lead over the New York Mets atop the National League to three games.

Los Angeles Angels superstars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout were among the players elected Friday to start in the MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on July 19. 

Mookie Betts and Trea Turner will represent the host Los Angeles Dodgers, while Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk, Miami Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr., San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and Turner were voted to start as first-time All-Stars. 

Sluggers Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers and Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals were added to the rosters by commissioner Rob Manfred under a provision in the sport’s new labor agreement. It will be the 11th All-Star selection for Pujols and the 12th for Cabrera. The two future Hall-of-Famers have combined for five MVPs, and both are members of the 3,000-hit club. 

''I've always looked up to Albert,'' Cabrera said. ''I've always followed his career. He's one of the best hitters I've ever seen in my life. To be part of this together is going to be great.'' 

Already named starters as the top vote-getters from the first round of balloting were outfielders Aaron Judge of the Yankees and Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves. Judge leads the majors with 30 home runs. 

Joining Judge in the AL outfield will be teammate Giancarlo Stanton, making them the first pair of Yankees to start in the outfield together since Rickey Henderson and Davie Winfield in 1988. 

The other AL starters are Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers and Ohtani as the designated hitter.  

The NL starters include Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado and an outfield of Betts, Acuna and Pederson.  

Philadelphia's Bryce Harper was elected as the National League's first DH following the expansion of the DH rule to both leagues, but will be replaced in the starting lineup after breaking his left thumb when hit by a pitch from San Diego's Blake Snell on June 25. Harper earned his seventh All-Star selection, his sixth as a starter. 

Pitchers and reserves will be announced Sunday. 

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.

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.

Entering Friday's series opener in Philadelphia, the New York Mets had been in sole possession of first place in the National League (NL) East every day since May 9. 

They headed home on Sunday sitting third in the division after managing only two hits in a 3-0 loss to the surging Phillies, who have won eight in a row. 

Former Met Zack Wheeler went the distance for Philadelphia (59-53), retiring 27 of the 30 batters he faced while striking out 11. 

On the day the Phillies honored the late Hall of Famer Roy Halladay, Wheeler became the first Philadelphia pitcher to retire as many as 22 consecutive batters in a start since Halladay's May 29, 2010 perfect game against the Marlins. 

The Phillies got solo home runs from Jean Segura, J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper for all the scoring they needed against New York starter Taijuan Walker. 

As the Phillies expanded their lead with the sweep, the Atlanta Braves (57-55) moved a half-game in front of the Mets (56-55) with a 5-4 win over the Washington Nationals. 

 

Springer, Jays power past Red Sox

George Springer's three-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Toronto Blue Jays past the Boston Red Sox 9-8, recording their ninth win of an 11-game homestand at Rogers Centre. Boston had led 7-2 after four, knocking out Toronto starter Hyun Jin Ryu, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s 35th home run started the rally before Springer's big blow later finished it. 

Brett Phillips' second home run of the game, a grand slam in the eighth, lifted Tampa Bay past the Baltimore Orioles 9-6 as the Rays extended their division lead to four games over the Red Sox.

Brandon Belt tied the game with a two-run homer in the seventh and Tommy La Stella provided the winning margin with an RBI single in the eighth, giving the San Francisco Giants a 5-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers to improve their MLB-best record to 71-41.

 

Hess mess for Marlins

Reliever David Hess served as the "opener" for the Miami Marlins against the Colorado Rockies and saw his ERA nearly double. Hess surrendered three homers in his one inning of work, allowing seven runs as his ERA jumped from 4.32 to 7.64. 

 

Turner flies past Angels

Trea Turner showed off his wheels to his new home crowd at Dodger Stadium, scoring from first base on a grounder that barely reached the outfield.

 

Sunday's results 

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

 

Reds at Indians

The Cincinnati Reds (61-51) have won five in a row and 10 of their last 12 heading into a makeup game from a May 9 rainout at the Cleveland Indians (54-55).

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.

Washington Nationals short-stop Trea Turner has been pulled mid-game on Tuesday after testing positive to COVID-19.

Turner had already hit an infield single and scored on a home run in Tuesday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The 28-year-old went down the tunnel after touching down on home plate and did not re-appear to take to the field at the bottom of the first inning.

The Nationals later confirmed that Turner's premature removal was due to testing positive to COVID-19.

Turner, who has hit .320/.368/.519 in 95 games this season with 124 hits and 18 home runs, has been linked with a move away from Washington ahead of Friday's MLB Trade Deadline.

The Atlanta Braves have under-achieved all season, but they unleashed some frustration on Wednesday in a 20-2 demolition of the New York Mets. 

After falling behind immediately on Pete Alonso's two-run homer in the top of the first inning, the Braves tied it up in the bottom half on a Ronald Acuna Jr. home run and an Ozzie Albies single and never looked back. 

The game turned into a runaway in the fourth, when Atlanta sent 12 men to the plate and scored seven times to take an 11-2 lead. 

The Braves tacked on six more in the eighth, capped by Albies' second home run of the night and 15th of the season.

It was the 17th time Acuna and Albies have homered in the same game, which is the most all-time by team-mates 24 or younger according to Stats Perform. 

Impressive as Atlanta's offensive outburst was, this was not their largest margin of victory this season, but this game and the Braves' 20-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 21 make them the first National League team to win multiple games by at least 18 runs in a season since the 1901 Brooklyn Superbas. 

 

Angels stun Yankees with late rally 

Shohei Ohtani's highly anticipated first start on the mound at Yankee Stadium did not go according to plan, as New York drove the Los Angeles Angels star from the game with seven first-inning runs. But Ohtani's team-mates waited out a two-hour, 13-minute rain delay, then scored seven runs in the top of the ninth after Aroldis Chapman walked the bases loaded to claim a stunning 11-8 victory with Jared Walsh's game-tying grand slam the big blow. 

Trent Grisham had two homers, including a grand slam, and Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his 26th of the season as the San Diego Padres beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-5 in a rain-shortened game. 

The Detroit Tigers swept a doubleheader from the Indians in Cleveland for the first time since September 1977 as Miguel Cabrera capped off the second game with his 494th career home run, moving him into 28th on the all-time list. 

 

Cubs collapse quickly after hot start

The Chicago Cubs scored seven runs in the top of the first inning but trailed 14-7 by the end of the fourth in a 15-7 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. According to Stats Perform, it's the first time in MLB's modern era (since 1900) that both teams have held leads of at least seven runs in the first four innings of a game. 

The Houston Astros saw their American League (AL) West lead cut to a half-game after falling 5-2 to complete a three-game sweep at home by the Baltimore Orioles, who still have the worst record in the AL. 

 

Turner's happy birthday

Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals celebrated his 28th birthday in style, collecting a single, double, home run and triple in the first six innings of a 15-6 defeat of the Tampa Bay Rays to hit for the cycle for the third time in his career. He is the fifth player in MLB history to do that, joining John Reilley, Bob Meusel, Babe Herman and Adrian Beltre.

 

Wednesday's results

Los Angeles Angels 11-8 New York Yankees
Detroit Tigers 9-4 Cleveland Indians 
Detroit Tigers 7-1 Cleveland Indians 
Miami Marlins 11-6 Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals 15-6 Tampa Bay Rays
Seattle Mariners 9-7 Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox 6-2 Kansas City Royals
San Diego Padres 7-5 Cincinnati Reds
Atlanta Braves 20-2 New York Mets
Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Houston Astros
Milwaukee Brewers 15-7 Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox 13-3 Minnesota Twins
St Louis Cardinals 7-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies 6-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Oakland Athletics 3-1 Texas Rangers
 

Mets at Braves

The New York Mets (41-35) are not likely to surrender 20 runs again with Jacob deGrom on the mound as they face Ian Anderson and the Braves (38-41) in Atlanta. 

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