Shohei Ohtani starred with a home run in his second consecutive game as the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-1 on Sunday.

After becoming the third Japanese-born player to hit 100 home runs in the major leagues, the 27-year-old went deep over right-field in the first inning off Frankie Montas. Mike Trout also scored after his single ahead of Ohtani.

It was the reigning American League MVP's eighth home run of the season, trailing Trout by one among the Halos, while the team leads baseball in that category with 49 for the season so far.

Patrick Sandoval pitched into the seventh inning for Los Angeles, striking out four and giving up four hits over 101 pitches.

The Halos moved to 24-13 for the season with the win, five games behind the AL West-leading Houston Astros, while the A's remain bottom of the division on 15-22.

Pujols pitches ninth as Cardinals run riot

Albert Pujols pitched for the first time in his major league career, with the St. Louis Cardinals routing the San Francisco Giants 15-6.

Brendan Donovan and Corey Dickerson were the only Cardinals not to claim hits in the lineup, while Yadier Molina got two hits and four RBIs from three at-bats, as their team went 15-2 up heading into the final frame.

It meant Pujols, the Cardinals' designated hitter, went to pitch for the first time in his 22-year career. The 42-year-old gave up a three-run homer to Luis Gonzalez and a solo shot to Joey Bart, but managed to get the final three outs for the win.

Lux lights up late as Dodgers defeat Phillies

Gavin Lux earned late redemption for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies

The second baseman's fielding error allowed the Phillies to gain a 4-0 lead in the second inning, but Lux scored in the eighth inning to move the Dodgers to 4-3 after the eighth.

He then drove the winning two runs home with a walk-off shot deep into the right-field corner to deny the Phillies a four-game sweep at Dodger Stadium.

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

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

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

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

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

Flores leads Giants to win over Cards

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

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

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

Polanco propels Twins to victory

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

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

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

Tensions between the St Louis Cardinals and New York Mets boiled over on Wednesday as the benches cleared for a brawl, before the Cardinals won 10-5.

J.D. Davis had to leave at the top of the eighth inning after he was hit in the foot by a Genesis Cabrera pitch, making for the 19th time a Mets hitter has struck by a pitch this season, the most in MLB so far.

Mets reliever Yoan Lopez retaliated against Nolan Arenado later in the eighth inning, launching a fastball near the Cardinals DH's head. Arenado demanded he do it again, before the benches cleared, and he was ejected from the game.

The 31-year-old nine-time Gold Glove winner had an otherwise great day out for the Cardinals, claiming three hits and three RBIs in as many at-bats.

Mets starter Carlos Carrasco had one to forget, though, giving up eight hits and as many runs in 78 pitches, not making it past the fourth inning.

Stanton propels Pinstripes to victory

Giancarlo Stanton hit his 350th career home run, as well as the go-ahead sacrifice fly, with the New York Yankees defeating the Baltimore Orioles 5-2.

Stanton ended a 14-game drought with a two-run drive off Tyler Wells in the first inning, while Joey Gallo notched his third straight game with an RBI, and homered for the second consecutive game.

Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery gave up four hits and two runs over 71 pitches, before making way for Michael King in the sixth inning.

Gallen gives Diamondbacks a shock win

Zac Gallen pitched six scoreless innings as the Arizona Diamondbacks claimed an upset 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 26-year-old starter allowed only two hits and managed five strikeouts with 90 pitches in those six innings.

D-Backs short stop Nick Ahmed homered in the fifth inning, while Mark Melancon claimed his fourth save, not giving up a hit in the final frame.

A Bo Bichette grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning propelled the Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-2 home win against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.

It was a quiet game offensively early on as both clubs had their ace pitchers working on the mound, with only one combined run through the first six innings.

Toronto's Jose Berrios finished with two earned runs and four strikeouts from just six baserunners in seven complete innings, while Nathan Eovaldi also pitched seven innings for two earned runs, allowing five hits and no walks with his five strikeouts.

The deadlock was broken in the fifth inning through a Lourdes Gurriel Jr solo home run for the Blue Jays, hooking it over the left-field wall, before Matt Chapman doubled the advantage with one swing in the seventh inning.

Chapman's 422-foot bomb to center-field was the biggest hit of the game, but not the most important, as the Red Sox manufactured two runs in the top of the eighth inning to set the table for Bichette.

After three consecutive hits from Santiago Espinal, Bradley Zimmer and George Springer – who took one of the catches of the year earlier in the game – up stepped Bichette with bases loaded and one out in a tie game.

Bichette connected with a sinker over the heart of the plate and sent it to the opposite-field corner, clearing the wall for a grand slam and giving the Jays a 6-2 lead and the win.

Mets rally in the ninth

With a runner on first base and two outs in the ninth inning, the New York Mets trailed 2-0 – and ended up beating the St Louis Cardinals 5-2.

After the Cardinals allowed the runner on first to take second base unopposed, he came around to score after nine-time Gold Glove winner Nolan Arenado committed a rare throwing error in a play that would have finished the game.

Down 2-1, Jeff McNeil doubled to put runners on second and third, setting up pinch-hitter Dominic Smith to drive them both in with an infield hit after he won the race to first base due to some poor fielding from pitcher Giovanny Gallegos.

Brandon Nimmo put the icing on the cake as the next batter, driving in Smith with a two-run homer.

Gonzalez wins it with first career homer

Luis Gonzalez was the hero for the San Francisco Giants in their 4-2 win against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Giants' win was in spite of the best efforts of Brewers ace Corbin Burnes, who pitched a gem, with 11 strikeouts, no earned runs and only four base runners through six-and-two-thirds innings.

When Burnes was eventually pulled after 106 pitches, the Giants' offense woke up, with a two-run Joc Pederson home run in the eighth inning, before Gonzalez's first career home run brought home another two runs to break the 2-2 tie, allowing Camilo Duval to clean up the save.

The Milwaukee Brewers rode a quality start from Brandon Woodruff to a 5-1 home win against the St Louis Cardinals.

After a horrible first showing where he conceded seven runs in less than four innings, Woodruff was terrific in a bounce-back performance on Thursday, pitching five scoreless frames and allowing only four baserunners.

Milwaukee was always in control of the contest, leading 4-0 after three innings thanks to a big home run from Omar Narvaez and RBI hits to Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Renfroe.

However, the best hit of the game belonged to the Cardinals, as Tommy Edman blasted a big 423-foot consolation home run in the eighth inning for the visiting side's only score.

After going one-for-four with a double, Brewers star Christian Yelich now has hits in five of his past six games as he looks to return to form following two down seasons by his standards.

Ohtani gets grand-slammed

Reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani was on the receiving end of a Jonah Heim grand slam as the Los Angeles Angels lost to the Texas Rangers 10-5.

Ohtani, who was the Angels' starting pitcher and lead-off hitter, was disappointing on the mound on Thursday, giving up six runs in less than four innings, and finished the game one-for-four in the batter's box after a ninth-inning double.

It was a frustrating game for the Angels after it started so well, as Mike Trout hit one of the biggest home runs of his career in the first inning, travelling 472 feet.

Yankees get out of a jam

Leading 3-0 heading into the ninth inning, the New York Yankees found themselves in a sticky situation when closer Aroldis Chapman walked three consecutive Toronto Blue Jays batters to load the bases with no outs.

Chapman was pulled from the game and replaced with Michael King, who struck out George Springer. 

King then got Bo Bichette to line out to second base for a game-ending double play as Matt Chapman got caught too far away from first base when the catch was made.

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.

Albert Pujols looks to be preparing for his final MLB season after returning to the St. Louis Cardinals, who hope he can help take them back to the World Series.

Future Hall of Famer Pujols has signed a one-year, $2.5million contract back in St. Louis, where he started his career in 2001.

In 11 seasons with the Cardinals, the 42-year-old won three National League MVPs, made nine All-Star Game appearances and claimed two World Series titles.

Now, after nine and a half seasons with the Los Angeles Angels before ending last year on the Los Angeles Dodgers, he is ready for one final push.

"This is it for me," Pujols said. "This is my last run."

Pujols appears set to play in a part-time role, as a designated hitter against left-handed pitchers and as a late-game pinch-hitter.

He added: "I think I am here for a reason. They believe I can still play this game."

Pujols may no longer be the difference-maker he was in those two title runs, but the Cardinals have not added to their 11 World Series wins since then, losing to the Boston Red Sox in 2013.

Yadier Molina, the 39-year-old catcher who was a team-mate for both championships and has spent his entire career in St. Louis, is delighted to be reunited with Pujols.

"I'm happy for him to be here," he said. "It's going to be a fun year. We've only got one thing in mind – winning another championship."

Albert Pujols has reportedly agreed a deal to return to the St. Louis Cardinals.

According to ESPN's Aidan Gonzalez, the future Hall of Famer signed a one-year, $2.5million contract to return to the club where he made his name and possibly bookend his career.

Once the 42-year-old completes his physical, Pujols will officially return to the Cardinals, where he won three National League MVPs, made nine All-Star Game appearances and claimed two World Series titles between 2001 and 2011.

He subsequently spent nine and a half seasons with the Los Angeles Angels before ending last year on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Back in St. Louis, Pujols appears set to play in a part-time role, as a designated hitter against left-handed pitchers and as a late-game pinch-hitter.

In his MLB career to date, Pujols has tallied 3,301 hits, 679 home runs and 2,150 RBIs in 21 seasons.

St. Louis Cardinals have parted company with manager Mike Shildt owing to "philosophical differences", president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has announced.

Shildt guided the Cardinals to three straight playoff appearances in his four seasons in charge and was named National League (NL) Manager of the Year in 2019.

The Cardinals earned the second NL Wild Card spot this season after an impressive run of form, though they lost 3-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers last week on a walk-off home run.

Shildt still had another year to run on his contract, but Mozeliak revealed on Thursday that the 53-year-old has been relieved of his duties.

"We decided internally it would be best to separate now," Mozeliak said at a news conference. 

"We have determined that we have a philosophical difference in the direction of our Major League club. 

"Where we felt the team was going, we were struggling to get on the same page."

Shildt, who replaced Mike Matheny in July 2018 after 14 years working in other positions, departs the Cardinals with a record of 252-199.

Los Angeles Dodgers' match-winner Chris Taylor was only trying to hit a single before his walk-off home-run in Wednesday's 3-1 win over the St Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild Card Game.

Taylor, who did not start the game, came up with the decisive moment from Cardinals closer Alex Reyes at 1-1 in the ninth inning with Cody Bellinger on base.

The 31-year-old, who was a 2021 All Star before losing form late in the season, hit the fifth walk-off winner in a winner-take-all game in majors' history.

Taylor became the first player with a walk-off home run in a winner-take-all game since Edwin Encarnacion in the 2016 Wild Card game.

" I was taking that pitch all the way," Taylor told ESPN after the game. "Let him [Bellinger] get in a scoring position. Once he got there [to second base], I was honestly only trying to hit a single.

"Not try to do too much. He gave me a good sighter to hit and I was able to get it up in the air."

Taylor finished the regular season batting at .254, with 20 home runs, 129 hits and 73 RBIs, with a .782 OPS, although he had not homered in his past 15 games.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts opted not to start Taylor due to his form but praised him for his impact.

"Honestly the openness from a lot of the players and being ready when called upon," Roberts said.

"I know it sounds trite and easy, to be ready to perform when your number gets called. You might not start the game but you can still impact the game. Clearly you saw Chris Taylor won the game for us."

It was also the second walk-off win to advance in the postseason for Dodgers in their history, with the previous time occurring in 1978 in the NL Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The result means the Dodgers will take on the San Francisco Giants in the NL Division Series, marking the first time two teams with 105-plus regular season wins have met in the postseason.

"That's going to be fun," Taylor said. "Two of the best regular season records of all time. We've been battling all year. I expect a hard-fought series."

Justin Turner also homered to level the game in the fourth inning after Tommy Edman got home in the first inning to give the Cardinals an early lead. Turner's home run extended his franchise record for postseason homers with 13.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Red Sox at Rays

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Giants win NL West on final day

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

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

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

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

 

Injury worries

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

 

Guerrero breaks record

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

 

 

Sunday's results

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

 

Yankees at Red Sox

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

The American League (AL) Wild Card race is set for a chaotic conclusion after the New York Yankees failed to clinch as the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners all won in MLB action on Saturday.

In New York, the Yankees were prevented from securing their Wild Card berth following a 12-2 rout at the hands of AL East champions the Tampa Bay Rays.

Brandon Lowe hit three home runs to thwart the Yankees, who are now level with the Boston Red Sox atop the AL Wild Card standings heading into Sunday's regular-season finale.

The Red Sox topped the Washington Nationals 5-3, while the Blue Jays and Mariners – who have celebrated 90-plus wins for the first time since 2003 – are a game adrift following respective wins over the Baltimore Orioles (10-1) and Los Angeles Angels (6-4).

There is a chance for a four-way tie if the Yankees (91-70) and Red Sox (91-70) both lose and the Blue Jays (90-71) and Mariners (90-71) win, which would leave the quartet with 91 victories apiece.

The 2021 AL East is the second division ever with four 90-plus win teams (the Rays, Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays) and first time since the split to three divisions per league.

 

Urias keeps Dodgers alive in NL West battle

Julio Urias became the first pitcher in his age-24 season or younger to win 20-plus games in a campaign since future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw in 2011 after leading World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers to an 8-3 success against the Milwaukee Brewers. Urias pitched one-run ball into the seventh inning to help the Dodgers (105-56) remain in the hunt for a ninth successive National League (NL) West title after leaders the San Francisco Giants (106-55) lost 3-2 to the San Diego Padres. The 2021 NL West is the first ever division to have two teams with 105 or more wins in a season.

Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease became the second set of Chicago White Sox team-mates to each record 200-plus strikeouts in a season, joining Tom Bradley (206) and Wilbur Wood (210) in 1971. The White Sox edged the Detroit Tigers 5-4.

 

Blackburn battered

Paul Blackburn was put to the sword as the Houston Astros secured home-field advantage in the AL Division Series (ALDS) with a 10-4 win at home to the Oakland Athletics. A's pitcher Blackburn was tagged for a season-high six runs on seven hits in just two innings.

 

Blue Jays set franchise record

With their 258th home run, the Blue Jays set a new single-season franchise record for homers in the win over the lowly Orioles. Danny Jansen's bomb in the bottom of the fifth inning broke the team's record. Blue Jays star and MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also equalled the record for most home runs in a season by a player aged 22 or younger, joining Eddie Matthews (1953), with his 47th homer. Seven Blue Jays players have 20-plus home runs this season, tying a team record.

 

 

Saturday's results

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

 

NL West title in balance

The NL West champion will be crowned on Sunday as the Dodgers host the Brewers on the final day of the regular season, while the Giants entertain the Padres. The Dodgers must win and hope the Giants lose to tie for the title and force a deciding Game 163 in San Francisco on Monday.

The New York Yankees missed the chance to seal an American League (AL) Wild Card spot going down 4-3 to the Tampa Bay Rays despite a late rally on Friday.

The Yankees needed to win and hope either the Boston Red Sox or the Toronto Blue Jays lose to be assured of a Wild Card berth but could not uphold their end of the bargain, ensuring the race remains open.

Rookie Wander Franco drove in two runs at the top of the ninth inning to put the Rays up 4-1 but the Yankees did not wilt.

With one out, Joey Gallo bunted to get Giancarlo Stanton home, before Brett Gardner's double brought in Gallo to make it 4-3.

But Gary Sanchez and Rougned Odor were struck out by Rays closer Andrew Kittredge.

 

Back-to-back jacks for Red Sox

The Red Sox have been on the slide lately, losing five of their past six games, but they claimed an important win, 4-2 over the Washington Nationals to stay in the AL Wild Card hunt.

Hunter Renfroe (three-run home run) and Bobby Dalbec delivered back-to-back jacks in the sixth inning to earn the win for the Red Sox.

The Blue Jays stayed in contention with a 6-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles with Danny Jansen driving in three runs and Steven Matz having five strikeouts across seven innings.

The San Francisco Giants moved a step closer to securing the National League (NL) divisional title with a 3-0 win over the San Diego Padres.

Two runs in the first inning set up the win, with Darin Ruf's jack and Mike Yastrzemski driving in Brandon Crawford.

 

Packed house sees Mariners miss chance

The Seattle Mariners failed to capitalise on the Yankees' defeat, going down 2-1 to the Los Angeles Angels despite taking an early lead in front of a full house after Jarred Kelenic's double in the second inning. Seattle have not made the postseason since 2001 and this result does not help their hopes of ending that wait, with Angels left-hander Jose Suarez throwing five strong innings. The Mariners (89-71) are now a game behind the Red Sox (90-70) for the second AL Wild Card spot.  

 

In-form Turner crushes grand slam

Trea Turner crushed a game-tying grand slam as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied from 5-1 down to win 8-6 over the Milwaukee Brewers to keep the pressure on the Giants in the NL division race. Turner finished the game with two hits, two runs and five RBI. From his past six games, Turner has two multi-homer games, five total home runs, seven extra-base hits, eight runs scored, 10 RBI and has reached base 13 times.

 

Friday's results

Pittsburgh Pirates 9-2 Cincinnati Reds
Boston Red Sox 4-2 Washington Nationals
Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 Baltimore Orioles
Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 Miami Marlins
New York Mets 4-3 Atlanta Braves
Cleveland Indians 9-6 Texas Rangers
Chicago White Sox 8-1 Detroit Tigers
Oakland Athletics 8-6 Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals 11-6 Minnesota Twins
St Louis Cardinals 4-3 Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies 9-7 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants 3-0 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-6 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Angels 2-1 Seattle Mariners

 

Rays at Yankees

The Yankees will go again in their pursuit of a confirmed Wild Card spot when they host the Rays in their penultimate game.

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