Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr treated his home fans to a 3-2 walk-off win against the New York Yankees in extra innings.

Guerrero, 23, is considered one of the best young hitters in the sport, and he was one of only three players in the game to tally more than one hit on Monday.

After a Gleyber Torres sacrifice-fly and an Isiah Kiner-Falefa solo home run gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead heading into the fourth inning, singles to Bo Bichette and Guerrero set the table for Teoscar Hernandez's game-tying two-run double.

That 2-2 score would hold for the rest of regulation as both bullpens delivered five consecutive scoreless innings, and the Blue Jays had no interest in dealing with AL MVP favourite Aaron Judge in the 10th frame.

With runners on first and second base and two outs, the Blue Jays opted to intentionally walk Judge as he remains one home run away from the Yankees' and American League single-season record of 61, set 61 years ago by Roger Maris in 1961. The next batter, Anthony Rizzo, would harmlessly ground-out with bases loaded.

New York could have walked Guerrero with two outs and a runner on second base, but chose to pitch to him, and were punished with a walk-off single.

The win trimmed the Yankees' lead in the AL East to seven-and-a-half games, although the Blue Jays will likely make the playoffs regardless as they lead the race for the AL Wildcard spots.

Braves rookie pitches a shutout

The Atlanta Braves appear to have unearthed another stud rookie pitcher, with 23-year-old Bryce Elder pitching a complete game shutout in his side's 8-0 win against the Washington Nationals.

In just the eighth start of his career, Elder made it through all nine innings in 106 pitches, allowing six hits and one walk with six strikeouts. His emergence is a bonus for the Braves, who already have both contenders for National League Rookie of the Year in starting pitcher Spencer Strider and center-fielder Michael Harris II.

Albeit a small sample size, Elder now boasts an ERA of 2.76, and he has rattled off four consecutive quality starts, including a 10-strikeout outing against the Miami Marlins.

Santander hits two homers in high-scoring Orioles win

Anthony Santander hit two of the Baltimore Orioles' four home runs in a 14-8 win against the Boston Red Sox, with the two sides combining for 29 hits.

Of the 18 starters from both sides, only three players failed to get a hit in the game, while Santander, Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, Rougned Odor and Kyle Stowers all collected at least two each for the Orioles.

Star 21-year-old prospect Gunnar Henderson also had a strong day for Baltimore, hitting a two-run home run and drawing three walks.

The New York Yankees took advantage of an outrageous three-run error to defeat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 on the road on Wednesday.

With the game scoreless entering the fifth inning, a fielding error allowed Aaron Hicks to reach base safely for the Yankees, and after Aaron Judge got on base as the next batter with an infield single, the Red Sox committed a costly mistake.

Gleyber Torres hit a regulation single to right-field, and while Hicks came around to score, Red Sox catcher Connor Wong tried to pick Torres off at first base, but instead sent his wild throw wide and back into the outfield, allowing Torres and Judge to both round the bases and score.

Instead of a 1-0 game, it was a 3-0 score, with those two runs proving to be the difference.

Wong would do his best to make up for the error later in the fifth inning, driving in a run with his double, but the poor fielding continued throughout the night.

The Red Sox were gifted a run in the eighth inning to cut the margin to 4-2, before another error in the ninth inning handed the Yankees an insurance run, with Clay Holmes coming in to collect the save.

Torres finished three-for-five at the plate, and he was the only player to register more than one hit.

On the mound, Nestor Cortes was credited with his 10th win of the season as he went five innings, allowing one run from three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

Brayan Bello took the loss for the Red Sox, despite having no earned runs in his five innings, striking out six batters in five innings.

With the win, the Yankees are now six games clear of the Toronto Blue Jays in the race for the AL East, and six games behind the Houston Astros for the best record in the American League.

J-Rod makes more history in Mariners win

Seattle Mariners standout rookie Julio Rodriguez became the first player to ever reach 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases in their first season, nabbing his 25th base and 26th home run in his side's 6-1 win against the San Diego Padres.

The heavy Rookie of the Year favourite hit a home run as the very first Mariners batter of the game, and after being hit by a pitch in the fifth inning, he stole second base to accomplish the feat. Mike Trout in 2012 and Chris Young in 2007 both technically reached 25 and 25 as rookies, but it was their second season after both debuted at the tail end of the previous campaigns.

It was another tremendous start for the Mariners' big addition at the trade deadline, with Luis Castillo pitching six scoreless innings, striking out nine batters while only allowing five baserunners.

Guerrero, Harper bring up milestones

Both Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr and reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies brought up home run milestones on Wednesday.

Guerrero became the 10th-youngest player to reach 100 home runs after turning 23 in March. He reached triple figures in 486 games, which is 48 games more than it took his father, Vladimir Guerrero Sr, although Senior was two years older.

Meanwhile, Harper hit his 100th home run as a member of the Phillies after arriving in 2019, bringing his career total to 283.

The Phillies beat the Miami Marlins 6-1, and the Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1.

Aaron Judge stole the show in the New York Yankees' 7-4 win against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, blasting yet another home run as he pushes for Roger Maris' 61-year-old record.

Maris hit 61 home runs in the 1961 season, setting a new record for a Yankees player, and with 32 games remaining, Judge is now up to 51. It is the second straight day he has hit a home run, and he has five in his past eight games.

His long-ball proved to be the difference between the two teams, with his three-run shot in the fourth inning extending his side's lead from 4-2 to 7-2.

It was the third Yankees home run of the night after Andrew Benintendi connected as the second batter of the game, giving him his second home run since being traded to New York at the deadline.

Anthony Rizzo followed suit in the second inning with his own solo homer to make it 2-0, before Los Angeles' Max Stassi tied things up later in the frame with a two-run home run.

Judge now has 15 more home runs than second-placed Kyle Schwarber from the Philadelphia Phillies as he makes his case as the AL MVP, while his biggest competitor for the award – the Angels' Shohei Ohtani – finished two-for-four at the plate with a double. 

The Yankees are seven games clear of the Toronto Blue Jays for the AL East lead.

Valdez dishes up another quality start

Houston Astros pitcher Framber Valdez produced a terrific start on the mound to help his side to a 4-2 road win against the Texas Rangers, collecting his league-leading 23rd quality start of the season.

From Valdez's 25 starts this season, 23 have been considered quality starts, meaning at least six innings pitched with no more than three earned runs, and he did it in style.

Valdez ended up pitching eight full innings, striking out eight batters while only allowing two runs, while future Hall-of-Fame teammate Jose Altuve provided run support with his 22nd home run of the campaign.

No other starting pitcher has more than 19 quality starts, with five players on that number – including Valdez's Astros teammate Justin Verlander.

Vladdy stars for the Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr went three-for-four at the plate with a home run in his side's 5-3 home win against the Chicago Cubs.

Guerrero batted in the Blue Jays' first run with an RBI single in the fifth inning, and after a three-run homer to Teoscar Hernandez in the sixth, Guerrero added a final insurance score with a solo blast in the seventh frame.

On the mound, Kevin Gausman was strong for Toronto, striking out nine batters in his six innings while giving up two runs.

Albert Pujols produced a career-first as he blasted his 690th home run with a pinch-hit grand slam in the St Louis Cardinals' 13-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday.

The 42-year-old slugger, who will retire at the end of this season, came off the bench to deliver the slam at the bottom of the third inning to extend the Cards lead to 10-0.

The 374-foot blast was Pujols' 11th home run of the season and his 16th career grand slam, tying him with Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Dave Kingman at 10th overall, but it was his first ever as a pinch-hitter.

Pujols drove in five for the game, with two hits from three at-bats, as the Cards flexed their muscle with their fourth win in a row and 12th from their past 13 games.

The victory improved the Cards' record to 66-51, to lead the Milwaukee Brewers (63-54) by three games in the National League Central division.

Right-hander Adam Wainwright helped shut out the Rockies on the mound with seven strikeouts across seven innings, allowing only three hits.

Bregman career-high in Astros barrage

Alex Bregman led the way as the Houston Astros made an emphatic statement with a 21-5 barrage over the Chicago White Sox.

Bregman had a 12-total base day, going four-for-six at-bats with two home runs and two doubles, with a career-high six RBIs.

Houston scored in seven of the nine innings and tied a franchise record with 25 hits, while the 21 runs was joint second-most in Astros history.

Springer and Vlad lead Jays past Yankees

George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr starred to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 9-2 win over the slumping New York Yankees in a key victory for their American League Wild Card hopes.

Springer went five-for-five with two runs and one RBI, while Guerrero blasted a three-run homer in a five-run second inning as the Jays improved to 63-54.

Jose Berrios impressed on the mound with nine strikeouts across six-and-two-third innings, allowing two runs as the Yankees lost for the 13th time in their past 17 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. 

Madison Bumgarner was ejected in bizarre circumstances as the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Miami Marlins 8-7 on Wednesday.

Giving up a lead-off home run to Jon Berti in the first inning, Bumgarner retired the next three batters before he was called for a foreign substance check by first-base umpire Dan Bellino.

The notoriously fiery Bumgarner responded angrily to a prolonged check, with Bellino staring at him, and was consequently ejected for swearing at the umpire.

Daulton Varsho homered for the D-Backs, who claimed a three-game series sweep against the Marlins with the win.

After a sluggish start to the season, Arizona have claimed seven wins in their past nine games – including victories over the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals – to get back to .500.

Dodgers dominate in NL West battle

The Dodgers claimed their second win of a two-game home series against the San Francisco Giants, earning a comfortable 9-1 victory.

Mookie Betts and Max Muncy homered and Freddie Freeman hit a two-run triple as the Dodgers broke the game open late, scoring six runs in their final two at-bats.

With the Giants dropping these two games, they now sit two and a half games behind the Dodgers, who top the NL West.

Blue Jays break Yankees streak

In another big division matchup on Wednesday, the Toronto Blue Jays ended the New York Yankees' 11-game win streak with a 2-1 victory.

Matt Chapman homered in the second inning for Toronto against their AL East rivals, before Vladimir Guerrero scored the winning RBI single in the third. 

Blue Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi pitched solidly, striking out seven and giving up only three hits over 78 pitches in a season-high six innings.

Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium turned into the Vladimir Guerrero Jr show in the Toronto Blue Jays' 6-4 win against the New York Yankees.

Guerrero started the game off with a bang, opening the scoring with a home run in the first inning off Yankees ace Gerrit Cole. 

It would be his first of three home runs on the night, slogging his second in the third inning, before his longest ball came in the eighth inning, traveling 443 feet.

Guerrero finished four-for-four with four RBIs, while star teammates Bo Bichette, George Springer and Matt Chapman all collected hits of their own.

After only being able to record one out in his first start, Blue Jays ace Jose Berrios found some form, striking out five batters in five innings while giving up three earned runs on six hits.

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge shouldered no blame in the loss, going two-for-four with a home run.

 

Ramirez pays for himself

After signing a five-year, $124million extension in the pre-season, Jose Ramirez continued showing he is worth every penny, as he helped the Cleveland Guardians beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-3.

Ramirez had a home run, a double, a single and was hit by a pitch to get on-base in four of his five at-bats, while starting pitcher Triston McKenzie pitched four scoreless innings, striking out six and giving away no walks.

Meanwhile, rookie sensation Steven Kwan was walked with bases loaded to get the Guardians off the mark.

Torkelson's first tank

Top overall pick from the 2020 MLB Draft, Spencer Torkelson, hit his first career home run as his Detroit Tigers lost to the Boston Red Sox 9-7.

The game was in control of the Red Sox from the fourth inning when they piled on six runs with extra-base hits from Jackie Bradley Jr, Enrique Hernandez and Rafael Devers.

Torkelson's big moment came in the seventh inning with two outs, turning around a fastball to pull it over the left-field fence, going two-for-four in the game.

Baseball's best rivalry delivered once again on Friday as the New York Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 6-5 in extra innings at Yankee Stadium.

In the first game of the season for both sides, sparks flew in the opening inning as Rafael Devers hit a two-run bomb over the fence, before J.D. Martinez made it 3-0 for the Red Sox with a RBI double.

The Yankees wasted little time striking back as Anthony Rizzo launched a 414-foot two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning, and three innings later a Giancarlo Stanton solo shot tied proceedings at 3-3.

After the Red Sox manufactured a run in the sixth inning to take the lead, the Yankees tied things up once again with another solo home run, this time from D.J. LeMahieu in the eighth frame to take things to extra innings.

Boston scored first in the 10th inning through a Xander Bogaerts RBI single, only for Gleyber Torres to extend the game a further inning with a sacrifice fly, setting the table for Yankee debutant Josh Donaldson.

In his first game for New York, Donaldson delivered the game-winning walk-off base hit to bring Isiah Kiner-Falefa around to score in the bottom of the 11th inning.

AL Cy Young favorite Gerrit Cole was disappointing for the Yankees, getting pulled after four innings and 68 pitches after allowing three earned runs from four hits and a walk, while Michael King was credited with the win for pitching both extra frames.

Dodgers make winning start

The most expensive team in baseball, and World Series favorites, the Los Angeles Dodgers received strong contributions from their big names in a 5-3 away win against the Colorado Rockies.

Mookie Betts and Trae Turner collected RBI knocks, while new signing Freddie Freeman had one hit, one walk and scored a run from his four at-bats.

Dodgers ace Walker Buehler pitched a solid outing, giving up two runs from four hits and two walks, while racking up five strikeouts in five innings.

 

Blue Jays mount massive comeback

In the top of the fourth inning, the Toronto Blue Jays trailed the Texas Rangers 7-0, before the home side caught fire and stormed back to win 10-8.

Blue Jays starter and ace pitcher Jose Berrios was only able to record one out before getting pulled as the Rangers scored four runs off him, before the bullpen took over, only giving up one run in the last five innings.

Vladimir Guerrero had a pair of RBI base hits, Bo Bichette also had a multi-hit game and the duo of Teoscar Hernandez and Danny Jansen both blasted long home runs.

Angels off to slow start

Boasting arguably the best two players in the league – Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout – the Los Angeles Angels are off to a disappointing start after getting blown out by the Houston Astros 13-6.

The Astros used an eight-run seventh inning to blow the game open as Jeremy Pena and Kyle Tucker both hit home runs in the frame, while Jose Altuve, Aledmys Diaz and Alex Bregman all finished the game with multiple RBIs.

For the Angels, Ohtani registered a hit and scored a run, while Trout was withdrawn for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.

 

Friday's results

New York Yankees 6-5 Boston Red Sox

Detroit Tigers 5-4 Chicago White Sox

Philadelphia Phillies 9-5 Oakland Athletics

Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Baltimore Orioles

Colorado Rockies 3-5 Los Angeles Dodgers

Minnesota Twins 1-2 Seattle Mariners 

San Francisco Giants 6-5 Miami Marlins

Washington Nationals 3-7 New York Mets

Toronto Blue Jays 10-8 Texas Rangers

Atlanta Braves 7-6 Cincinnati Reds

Los Angeles Angels 6-13 Houston Astros

Arizona Diamondbacks 0-3 San Diego Padres

 

Red Sox at Yankees

Boston versus New York remains the biggest rivalry in the sport, and the Red Sox will look to even the ledger in the second of the three-game series.

After a chaotic offseason, which included a lockout and pushing back Opening Day, baseball is almost back.

With a new collective bargaining agreement in place, two new playoff spots up for grabs and plenty of big-name player movement, it is shaping up to be an enthralling MLB season.

The defending champion Atlanta Braves may have improved, despite losing star Freddie Freeman to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Yankees' position as the best team in New York could soon be under threat. 

With so many storylines, the most logical place to begin is right at the very top.

 

Can the Braves go back-to-back?

As is often the case, the World Series race is wide open, but Atlanta is at least in the mix as far as the pre-season odds go.

Some would consider the Braves' run last season a fluke – they won 88 games in the regular season, while the 91-win Toronto Blue Jays and 90-win Seattle Mariners missed out on playoff berths entirely.

However, they were missing superstar Ronald Acuna Jr for a large chunk of the year, and made meaningful additions at the trade deadline including Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson, and their playoff surge indicated that the record was not an accurate reflection of their talent.

While they lost franchise legend Freeman to the Dodgers, the Braves are arguably getting an upgrade at first base in the form of Matt Olson, who is four years younger and was a two-time Gold Glove winner with the Oakland Athletics before being traded for a four-player package of young Braves prospects.

Max Fried and Charlie Morton comprise a stout top of the rotation while Mike Soroka is out injured, and they have some strong bullpen arms including Tyler Matzek and Collin McHugh.

The Braves are a team without a clear weakness and will be full of confidence, so expect them to be fighting it out at the top of the NL East against the second-most expensive team in baseball, the New York Mets, as they bid to become the first team to win consecutive World Series since the Yankees in 1999 and 2000.

 

Are the Mets the best team in New York?

Since 2001, the New York Mets have only finished with a better record than the Yankees twice, in 2015 and 2016.

During that span, the Mets have never had a more expensive payroll than their local rivals – until this year.

The Mets are projected to come into Opening Day trailing only the Dodgers with the second-highest payroll in the league at $251million, while the Yankees are third at $239m.

It represents more than just deep pockets for second-year owner Steve Cohen, it shows that the Mets are no longer the 'little brother', and are willing to spend what it takes to be taken seriously against the most decorated franchise in major league history.

Buck Showalter will be the man tasked with turning the money into wins in his first year in the role, the former three-time AL Manager of the Year known for maximising talent on a limited budget with the Baltimore Orioles from 2010 to 2018, a stint that included a playoff series win over the Yankees.

Ultimately, what the Mets' season will hinge on is the health of their starting pitchers, with Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer (who turns 38 this season) comprising the best one-two punch in baseball after Marcus Stroman left as a free agent to join the Chicago Cubs. DeGrom has already been sidelined for four weeks with a shoulder injury.

The rotation also includes 2021 All-Star Taijuan Walker, who tailed off late last season, but showed impressive ability when fresh.

Francisco Lindor remains the young jewel of the franchise – now two seasons into a 10-year, $341m contract extension – and along with power-hitting Pete Alonso and rangy center-fielder Starling Marte, there is plenty of quality stepping into the batters' box.

The Yankees will have one of the highest-ceiling batting line-ups when they roll out sluggers Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Gallo, but they also play in the league's toughest division in the AL East, and could be candidates for regression after losing pitcher Corey Kluber and trading away bats Gio Urshela and Luke Voit.

 

 

Did the best team in baseball not make the playoffs in 2021?

It may be hard to believe, but given the meat grinder that is the AL East, the Toronto Blue Jays are bookmakers' second-favourite to win the World Series despite not making the playoffs this past season.

The Blue Jays were top three in runs scored in 2021 and should again be one of the most explosive teams in the league this time around.

Toronto will also be able to enjoy a homecoming season, returning to Rogers Centre after the Blue Jays were forced to play their 2021 home games in Buffalo due to pandemic restrictions.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Bo Bichette are franchise cornerstones, last year's big signing George Springer was enormous in an injury-shortened debut campaign, and they have the luxury of adding Matt Chapman this season, who has two Platinum Gloves to his name as one of the best defensive players in the league.

Pitching remains the question mark in Toronto, with AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray departing for Seattle in a serious blow to a rotation with plenty to prove.

Nobody should be surprised if the Blue Jays jump up from fourth in their division all the way to the top, and are one of the teams with real World Series aspirations this season.

 

Which top prospect will establish themselves as a star? 

There will be some elite prospects finding their way in the majors this season, but will any of them burst onto the scene as a star?

In 2017, Judge did more than just win Rookie of the Year, he led the AL in home runs and finished second in AL MVP voting.

While there is always a chance that an unheralded rookie emerges as the premier prospect, there is a relatively clear top-tier consisting of three players entering the season.

Kansas City Royals infielder Bobby Witt Jr, Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez.

Rutschman will hit for average from both sides of the plate while projecting as an elite defensive catcher, Witt is the five-tool stud who will make eye-popping plays with his glove at shortstop, and Rodriguez is the big, power-hitting corner outfielder.

At 24 years old, Rutschman is the senior of the class, while the other two are considerably younger at 21, but all three will have a chance to prove themselves early in the year as franchise-altering stars – and potentially become the biggest story of this 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 New York Yankees produced their biggest comeback of the season fueled by Aaron Judge's three-run homer as they eclipsed the Minnesota Twins 6-5 in extra innings in MLB on Monday.

The Yankees trailed 5-0 in the sixth before a rally capped by Judge crushing a game-tying home run, which was his 33rd homer of the season.

The win came with an ounce of luck in the eighth inning with Brett Gardner fortunate to be walked on a close call with two strikes, two outs and the Yankees 5-2 down before Judge stepped up to the plate.

In the 10th inning, Gary Sanchez ripped a single down the line to get Gleyber Torres home for the walk-off win.

Earlier, Miguel Sano hit a two-run homer for the Twins, who led 4-0 after the first inning, while Max Kepler made a super catch on DJ LeMahieu in the sixth.

The win improves the Yankees to 80-64 and they are hanging on for the second Wild Card spot in the American League (AL) despite having lost eight of their last 10 games.

 

Giants book playoff spot, Guerrero tops charts

The San Francisco Giants locked in their first playoff spot since 2016 with an impressive 9-1 win over the San Diego Padres, set up after a five-run opening inning.

Home runs by Evan Longoria, Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Belt highlighted the Giants win as Yu Darvish struggled again on the mound for the Padres, conceding eight earned runs, three walks and six hits in four innings.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr leapfrogged Shohei Ohtani into top spot on the MLB home run charts as the in-form Toronto Blue Jays won 8-1 over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Guerrero laced his 45th homer of the season with a liner into the left-field corner as the Jays won their 12th game from their past 13 in their battle for a Wild Card spot in the American League.

Clayton Kershaw returned to the hill for the first time since July 3 due to forearm tightness, tossing down five strikeouts in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 5-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Mitch Haniger hit a home run for the third consecutive game to help the Seattle Mariners beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 and keep alive their Wild Card aspirations.

 

Rangers hammered as Siri makes history

It has been a tough season for the Texas Rangers and a 15-1 hammering from the Houston Astros added to that as Jose Siri made history in his first start with five RBIs and two homers. The Rangers allowed 16 hits, trailing 9-0 after three innings. Spencer Howard surrendered six hits and six runs early, while AJ Alexy conceded four walks, four hits and six earned runs.

 

Wainwright proves age no barrier

Adam Wainwright may be 40 years old but the St Louis Cardinals right-hander is not slowing up, pitching six shutout innings in their 7-0 win over the New York Mets. The veteran only allowed four hits while recording four strikeouts, helping the Cardinals stay firmly in the National League Wild Card race. Wainwright improved to 16-7 and lowered his ERA to 2.88.

 

Monday's results 

New York Yankees 6-5 Minnesota Twins
Miami Marlins 3-0 Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays 8-1 Tampa Bay Rays
St Louis Cardinals 7-0 New York Mets
Houston Astros 15-1 Texas Rangers
San Francisco Giants 9-1 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 5-4 Boston Red Sox

 

Rays at Blue Jays

The in-form Blue Jays (81-63) have piled on 42 runs in their past four games and take on the Rays (89-55) for the second time in their three-game series in a crunch AL East clash.

The Toronto Blue Jays continued their red-hot form with an eighth consecutive win after taking down the slumping New York Yankees 6-4 in MLB.

The Blue Jays (77-62) boosted their Wild Card chances with another victory, sweeping American League (AL) East rivals the Yankees (78-62) on Thursday.

Toronto are now within a half-game of the Yankees – who have lost six straight games – for the final AL Wild Card spot.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. landed a solo home run in the ninth inning, bringing up his 100th RBI for the season.

The Blue Jays All-Star finished the four-game series with three homers, marking the eighth time this year he has hit three or more homers in a series. According to Stats Perform, it is the most by any player in a season in AL history and second most in MLB history, behind Giancarlo Stanton (nine times in 2017).

Guerrero Jr.'s run of homers has seen him close within one of two-way Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani, who tops the list for most home runs this season.

Toronto's Bo Bichette starred with three hits including two RBI, while he homered from the ninth pitch of the game when leading off.

Blue Jays ace Jose Berrios had eight strikeouts, with his game only blemished by Anthony Rizzo's moon shot.

 

Pederson walks it off for Braves

Joc Pederson's single completed a 7-6 walk-off win for the Atlanta Braves over the Washington Nationals. With bases loaded, Pederson hit a single to left field to get Ozzie Albies home in a game where five homers were scored.

Nicky Lopez starred for the Kansas City Royals as they won 6-0 against the Baltimore Orioles, hitting an early home run and driving in Hunter Dozier in the eighth, going three-for-five.

The St Louis Cardinals made up ground in the Wild Card race with a 2-1 win over World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, where Tyler O'Neill hit a tie-breaking home run.

 

Phillies let it slip late

The Philadelphia Phillies led 2-1 heading into the ninth inning but allowed three Colorado Rockies runs to lose 4-3, denting their Wild Card aspirations. With two out, closer Ian Kennedy's breaking ball was clubbed for a two-run homer by Ryan McMahon. Sam Hilliard backed that up with a towering moon shot off Kennedy and the Phillies could not reel that in.

 

Manaea fans nine for A's

Oakland Athletics left-handed Sean Manaea struck out nine over seven innings of one-run ball as the A's beat the Chicago White Sox 3-1. Manaea may be deputy to Frankie Montas but he looms as a capable co-anchor. The A's are now 76-64 and second in the AL West.

 

Thursday's results 

St Louis Cardinals 2-1 Los Angeles Dodgers
Oakland Athletics 3-1 Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians 4-1 Minnesota Twins
Miami Marlins 3-2 New York Mets
Colorado Rockies 4-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Kansas City Royals 6-0 Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 New York Yankees
Atlanta Braves 7-6 Washington Nationals

 

Yankees at Mets

A crucial Subway Series between the Yankees and New York Mets (70-71) gets underway on Friday. Jordan Montgomery starts for the Yankees, while city rivals the Mets send Tylor Megill to the mound.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Astros get on top of Kikuchi

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

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

 

Segura hits memorable slam

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

 

 

Monday's results 

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

 

Rays at Red Sox

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

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made history with the Toronto Blue Jays after homering in an 8-0 demolition of MLB rivals the New York Yankees.

Guerrero Jr. hit his 40th home run of the season as the in-form Blue Jays routed the Yankees on Monday to further boost their Wild Card chances.

The 22-year-old All-Star became the youngest Blue Jays hitter to reach 40 homers in a season and one of just 10 in franchise history, while he and his Hall of Fame father Vladimir Guerrero are one of only two father-son duos to hit 40 home runs, along with Price Fielder and Cecil Fielder.

"I have front-row seats to watch this whole season," said Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo, who was a team-mate of Vladimir Guerrero Sr. with double-A Harrisburg in 1996.

"What he's done, that's not easy to do. This guy he's going to be one of the best players in baseball. Actually, he already is and it's been fun to watch somebody that young be that good at the plate."

Guerrero Jr. is also on a career-high 14-game hit streak with the Blue Jays, who have won five straight games to be three games adrift in the American League (AL) Wild Card race.

The 2021 All-Star boasts a .414 batting average, 1.090 OPS, four homers and nine RBIs during that run.

Guerrero Jr. became the 10th player in MLB history with 40 homers in his age-22 season, and first since Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. in 2019.

"That's amazing," Blue Jays team-mate Marcus Semien said. "I knew when we took BP, it was a good day to hit to right field. He didn't hit on the field but I mentioned that to him. He's so good he did it in his first at-bat. It's something special."

It was also a special outing for Semien against the slumping Yankees in New York, where he launched his 36th and 37th home runs of the season.

Semien delivered a grand slam in the ninth inning as he set the franchise record for most home runs by a middle infielder in a single season.

"For me, when my mechanics and timing are sound, I think I see the ball better and I'm more confident," Semien said. "I'm seeing that with everybody in the cage when they work. This time of year, you really get a good feel for what you're doing. You see the results."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baez stars for Mets, Gausman finds form

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

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

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

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

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

Mejia tough shift for Indians

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

Rizzo makes Yankees history

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

Wednesday's results 

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

 

Mariners at Yankees

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

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