Monday, October 29, 2018

David Price, Steve Pearce Send Red Sox To Ninth Championship With 5-1 Win Over Dodgers

Players of the Day for Sunday, October 28, 2018

World Series Game 5: Boston Red Sox 5 LA Dodgers 1
Pearce: Series MVP

In a fitting end to the 2018 baseball season, the American League's Boston Red Sox thumped the Los Angeles Dodgers, representing the National League, 5-1, ending the World Series, four games to one.

David Price pitched a solid seven-plus innings for the win, allowing one run on three hits, fanning five and walking three, the sole Dodger run coming on the first pitch Price threw to David Freese to open the bottom of the first inning. Freese blasted a Price fastball into the stands in right field.

For the Dodgers, Freese's homer supplied some hope after Steve Pearce rocked LA starter, Clayton Kershaw, for a two-run home run in the top of the first.

Following Freese's home run and a walk to Justin Turner, Price delivered the best mound effort of the series. Starting with a double play to erase Turner and batter Enrique Hernandez, he then struck out Manny Machado to end the inning with Boston holding a slim, one-run lead.
Price: Game 5 winner

Price allowed a single by Yasiel Puig in the second, and a David Freese triple on a misplayed fly ball by J.D. Martinez in the third, after which he set down the Dodgers in order, retiring 14 straight Dodger batters. He was relieved by Joe Kelly after walking Chris Taylor to lead off the Dodger eighth.

By then, however, the lead had grown to 5-1, on solo homers by Mookie Betts in the sixth, Martinez in the seventh, and a second home run by Pearce. Kelly struck out the side in the eighth, and Chris Sale did the same in the ninth, getting Turner, Hernandez and Machado swinging to close out the game, the series and the 2018 season.

In addition to his game two win, Price won his second game of the series and was 3-1 in the post-season with a 3.46 ERA. Steve Pearce was named World Series MVP. During the post-season, he batted .289 with four homers and 11 RBI. In the five games against the Dodgers, he batted .333 (4-for-12) with three home runs and eight RBI.

The Red Sox won 108 games during the regular season, took out the Yankees in four games in the ALDS, and wiped away the Houston Astros in five games in the best-of-seven AL championship series.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Steve Pearce's 4 RBI Deliver Game Four Red Sox Win; Boston Leads World Series, 3-1

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 27, 2018

World Series Game Four: Boston Red Sox 9 LA Dodgers 6

Pearce: 2-4, 2B, HR 4RBI
Just when it seemed the Dodgers had found new life, the Red Sox hammered another nail in the coffin, erasing a 4-0, sixth-inning LA lead with nine runs in the final three frames for a 9-6 victory and a three games to one lead in the best-of-seven series.

After Yasiel Puig had put the Dodgers up 4-0 with a three run blast off Boston starter, Eduardo Rodriguez, Boston bats came to life. Mitch Moreland socked a three-run, pinch-hit home run to close the gap to one run in the seventh and Steve Pearce's solo shot tied it in the eighth. With Boston hurlers keeping the Dodgers off the bases, the Red Sox struck for five runs in the ninth to put the game away.

Rafael Devers singled home Brock Holt from second base to give the Red Sox the lead and Pearce delivered again, stroking a bases-loaded double in the right-center gap, driving in three additional runs. Xander Bogaerts delivered Pearce with an RBI single to complete the Boston scoring.

The Dodgers' responded with two runs via an Enrique Hernandez home run in the bottom of the ninth, but it was not nearly enough, sending the series to game five, Sunday night in LA, 8:15 pm ET.

A Boston win on Sunday would finish the series and give the Red Sox their ninth championship and fourth in the 21st century. Boston has won the World Series in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2004, 2007, and 2013.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Max Muncy's 18th-Inning Homer Lifts Dodgers Over Boston; Red Sox Lead Series, 2-1

Players of the Day for Friday, October 26, 2018

World Series Game Three: LA Dodgers 3 Boston Red Sox 2 (18 innings)

Muncy: Game-winning HR in 18th
The longest game in World Series history came down to one pitch, a 3-2 offering from Nathan Eovaldi to Max Muncy, a two-seam fast ball that Muncy deposited in the left field stands at Dodger Stadium.

It was well after midnight in Los Angeles (after 3:00 am ET) when Muncy finalized the 18-inning marathon, giving the Dodgers new life with a 3-2 win and the Red Sox up two games to one. Muncy, who scored a tying run in the 13th after Boston had taken a 2-1 lead in the top of the inning, socked his third post-season home run with no outs and the bases empty.

Eovaldi was starting his seventh inning of relief work after being called out of the bullpen by manager Alex Cora to start the 12th inning. He was the ninth Boston pitcher to go to the mound. The Dodgers also employed nine hurlers. Alex Wood worked a hitless top of the 18th for Los Angeles to receive the win.

Muncy finished the game 2-for-6 with two runs and the lone RBI from his walk-off homer. His other hit was a two-out, ground rule double in the 10th inning, but he was left stranded when Manny Machado popped out to short. Muncy had come close to ending the game in the bottom of the 15th when he lofted a fly ball down the right field line that hooked just short of the foul pole and into the stands.

The game lasted seven hours and 20 minutes, and was four innings longer than the previous record of 14, which had been done three times, according to USA Today. In 1916, Game 2, the Brooklyn Robins beat the Red Sox, 2-1. In 2005, Game 3, the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros, 7-5, and in 2015, Game 1, the Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets, 5-4.

Noteworthy numbers:

  • Red Sox hitters went 7-for-57; LA batters were 11-for-61.
  • There were three home runs, all solo shots: one by Boston's Jackie Bradley Jr. which tied the game in the eighth inning at 1-1, and two by the Dodgers: Joc Pederson's third inning blast, and Muncy's game-winner.
  • 18 pitchers were used, nine by each side
  • Red Sox hurlers threw 283 pitches, 186 for strikes, struck out 15 and issued five walks.
  • Dodger pitchers threw 278 pitches, with 173 strikes. They fanned 19 and walked seven.

Game four is scheduled for 8:09 pm ET Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Eovaldi had been scheduled to start for the Red Sox, but he threw 97 pitches in relief. Left-hander Rich Hill starts for the Dodgers. The Red Sox will likely start Drew Pomeranz, who was 2-6 during the regular season.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

J.D. Martinez Drives In Two As Boston Doubles Up On Dodgers, 4-2, Leads Series Two Games To None

Players of the Day for Wednesday, October 24, 2018

World Series Game Two: Boston Red Sox 4 LA Dodgers 2

J.D. Martinez
Taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven World Series, the Boston Red Sox doubled up on the Dodgers again, with a 4-2, game two win after steamrolling to an 8-4 win in game one.

Boston's J.D. Martinez had the key hit. Singling to right with score tied and the bases loaded in the fifth, Martinez drove in a pair of runs to put the Red Sox up 4-2, allowing starter David Price and a trio of relievers to hold the Dodgers hitless for the final four innings.

Price earned the win, allowing three hits and two runs while fanning five and walking three. Joe Kelly, Nathan Eovaldi, and Criag Kimbrel respectively worked perfect seventh, eighth, and ninth innings after Price set the side down in order in the top of the sixth.

Mookie Betts had three hits and scored a run; Martinez, who was 1-for-4, is batting .429 in the series and is at .333 with two homers and 13 RBI in the 2018 post-season. Martinez led the AL in RBI with 130 during the regular season and was second in batting and home runs at .330 and 43.

After a day off Thursday, the series resumes Friday in Los Angeles. Games three is scheduled for an 8:09 pm ET start.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Red Sox Take World Series Game One Over Dodgers; Andrew Benintendi 4-for-5

Players of the Day for Tuesday, October 23, 2018

World Series Game One: Boston Red Sox 8 LA Dodgers 4

Benintendi: 4-5, RBI, 3R
With superstars like Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez surrounding him in the Boston lineup, left fielder Andrew Benintendi doesn't get much attention, but he came to play in game one of the World Series, going 4-for-5 with three runs and an RBI to help the Red Sox gain an early edge in the best-of-seven series.

Benintendi drove in the first Boston run with a single in the first inning, driving in Betts and taking second on Yasiel Puig's errant throw to the plate. He scored when Martinez lashed a single up the middle, giving Boston a quick 2-0 lead.

He singled again in the third, but was put out at second on a fielder's choice. In the fifth, Benintendi singled again, coming around to score on Rafael Devers' two out single, as Boston plated two runs to break a 3-3 tie.

After the Dodgers had cut the lead to 5-4, Benintendi smacked a ground rule double to lead off the seventh inning and was aboard when Eduardo Nunez broke the game open with a three-run homer.

Benintendi is batting .304 in the 2018 post-season, with five RBI and 12 runs.

Boston has been making a habit of winning opening games in World Series. Their game one win was the sixth straight time they've done it, dating back to 1975.

The Red Sox outhit the Dodgers, 11 to 8, and worked out five walks to three for LA. Matt Kemp's solo homer in the first inning was the Dodgers' only extra-base hit. Manny Machado drove in three of LA's four runs, with a single, a ground out and a sac fly.

Game two is scheduled for an 8:09 start Wednesday night at Fenway Park. Hyun-Jin Ryu will be on the hill for the Dodgers. David Price gets the start for Boston.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Yasiel Puig, Cody Bellinger Power Dodgers Over Brewers In NLCS Game Seven

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 20, 2018

National League

NL Championship Series Game 7: LA Dodgers 5  Milwaukee Brewers 1

Puig: 3-for-4, 3-run HR
The Los Angeles Dodgers advanced to the World Series with a 5-1, game seven win over the Brewers in Milwaukee Saturday. Cody Bellinger socked a two-run home run in the bottom of the first and Yasiel Puig's sixth-inning, three-run homer sealed the deal for Dodger starter, rookie Walker Buehler, and five relief pitchers.

Bellinger: 2-run homer
Buehler worked 4 1/3 innings and did not get the win. That went to Ryan Madsen, the only reliever to allow a hit, for his 1 2/3 innings in the sixth and seventh. Dodger relievers allowed one hit over the final 4 2/3 innings, striking out seven. Buehler gave up six hits and the only run for the Brewers - Christian Yelich's first-inning solo shot - while fanning seven. 14 of the 27 Milwaukee outs were strikeouts.

Kenley Jansen struck out three in 1 1/3 hitless innings, and Clayton Kershaw closed out the win with a perfect ninth inning, fanning two of the three batters he faced.

The Dodgers will be off until Tuesday when they open the World Series at Fenway Park in Boston. Game one is slated for a 8:09 pm ET start at Fenway Park. Every game of the World Series will be televised exclusively on FOX. Game two is also in Boston, while games three, four, and five (if necessary) will be played in Los Angeles. Should the series extend to games six and seven, they would be back in Boston.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Jesus Aguilar Delivers, Milwaukee Forces NLCS Game Seven

Players of the Day for Friday, October 19, 2018

National League

NL Championship Series Game six: Milwaukee Brewers 7 LA Dodgers 2

Aguilar: 3-for-4, 2R, 3RBI
With elimination staring them in their collective faces, the Milwaukee Brewers proved undaunted, getting a huge effort from one of the players that carried them through the regular season, Jesus Aguilar.

Largely frustrated by the Rockies and Dodger pitchers, Aguilar hadn't been much of a factor in any of Milwaukee's eight postseason games - 5-for-29 (.172) 2 HR, 3 RBI - until Friday night. Going 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI, Aguilar factored in five of the seven Brewers' runs.

After the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead on David Freese's first-inning home run, Aguilar responded in the bottom of the frame with a two-run double and later scored, as the Brewers plated four off Dodger starter, Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Nursing a 5-2 lead, Aguilar led off the seventh inning with his second double, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch by Kenta Maeda. In the eighth, Aguilar singled in Lorenzo Cain with the Brewers' final run.

Aguilar had a excellent regular season, batting .274 with 35 homers and 108 RBI.

Milwaukee's win evened the series at three games apiece, bringing up game seven and a trip to the world series to face the AL champion Boston Red Sox. Game time is 8:09 pm ET in Milwaukee. The pitching match-up is the same as game three with Walker Buehler on the mound for Los Angeles against Milwaukee's Jhoulys Chacin. The Brewers won game three, 4-0, behind 5 1/3 inning of shutout ball by Chacin, who is unscored upon this postseason.

Friday, October 19, 2018

David Price, Rafael Devers Send Boston To World Series

Players of the Day for Thursday, October 18, 2018

American League

AL Championship Series Game Five: Boston Red Sox 4 Houston Astros 1

Price: 6IP, 3H, 0ER, 9K
Boston's David Price and Houston's Justin Verlander dueled through six innings until Red Sox third baseman, Rafael Devers, delivered the winning blow, a three-run sixth-inning homer that effectively finished off Verlander and the Astros, sending the Red Sox to a 4-1 win and a trip to the world series.

Verlander suffered his first loss of this post-season, previously notching two wins, over Cleveland in game one of the ALDS and game one against Boston in the championship series. It was Houston's only win against Boston as the Red Sox won four straight.

Devers: 3-run homer
Price evened his 2018 post-season record at 1-1, tossing six innings of shutout ball, nursing a 1-0 lead from the third inning on J.D. Martinez's solo homer run. Price allowed just three hits, didn't issue any walks and fanned nine. The Astros never threatened. With Price on the mound, they never had more than one baserunner per inning, none advancing past second and they went down in order in the third, fifth. and sixth.

This will be the first Red Sox world series appearance since they defeated St. Louis in 2013, four games to two. Boston's experience in the 21st century has been a positive one, winning the World Series in all of their appearances, previously winning in 2004 and 2007. They swept the Colorado Rockies in 2007 and also swept the Cardinals in 2004, taking the title for the first time since 1918.

National League

The NL Championship Series continues Friday in Milwaukee with game five beginning at 8:39 pm ET. The Dodgers lead the Brewers, three games to two.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Jackie Bradley Jr. Homers In Boston Victory; Clayton Kershaw Dominates Brewers As Dodgers Take Game Five

Players of the Day for Wednesday, October 17, 2018

American League

AL Championship Series Game Four: Boston Red Sox 8 Houston Astros 6

Bradley Jr. does it again!
Jackie Bradley Jr. did it again. The Boston center fielder belted a two-run homer in the sixth inning, turning a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 Boston lead that the Red Sox would never relinquish.

Bradley Jr. has become an instant superstar, reminiscent of the Reggie Jackson heroics in the 70s that earned him the name "Mr. October."

In four games against Houston in the Championship Series, Bradley is hitting only .250 (3-for-12), but his hits have been timely and game-changing. In game two, he doubled and drove in three runs. Game three's grand slam sealed Boston's win and another homer put Boston ahead in game four.

The win leaves Boston with a 3-1 lead in the series, with game five scheduled for Thursday at 8:09 pm ET in Houston. A Boston win sends the Red Sox to the World Series. A Houston victory sends the series back to Boston for game six and, if necessary, game seven.

National League

NL Championship Series Game Five: LA Dodgers 5 Milwaukee Brewers 2

Kershaw: 7IP, 3H, 1R, 9K
Clayton Kershaw was at his best, holding the Brewers to one run over seven innings, taking the Dodgers to the brink of their second straight World Series appearance with a 5-2 win over Milwaukee and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven championship series.

On Lorenzo Cain's double with two aboard, the Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the third, but that was all they would get off Kershaw, who struck out Christian Yelich, walked Ryan Braun, and struck out Jesus Aguilar to end the bases-loaded threat. After that, he was perfect, retiring the next twelve batters in order from the fourth through seventh innings. He walked two and fanned nine.

During that stretch, the Dodgers rallied with a run in the fifth inning, two in the sixth, and two more in the bottom of the seventh. Kershaw walked in the seventh and came around to score on Justin Turner's single.

With the lead safely in hand, the Dodgers went to the bullpen, needing four relievers to hold down the Brewers. Milwaukee struck for a run in the ninth, but, with Curtis Granderson on second base, Kenley Jansen fanned Jesus Aguilar to shut down the rally and end the game.

The Dodgers find themselves one win away from the World Series as the series heads back to Milwaukee on Friday for game six and seven, if necessary, on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Red Sox Hammer Astros, 8-2, On Jackie Bradley Jr. Grand Slam; Cody Bellinger Evens Series For Dodgers

Players of the Day for Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Bradley Jr.: Grand Slam
American League

AL Championship Series Game Three: Boston Red Sox 8  Houston Astros 2

Nursing a 3-2 lead provided by Steve Pearce's solo homer in the sixth, the Red Sox struck for five runs in the eighth, when they loaded the bases, scored a run on a hit batsman and Jackie Bradley Jr. put the game out of reach, mashing a grand slam over the right field wall.

Bellinger: Game winner
The victory put the Red Sox up, two games to one, over the reigning world champion Astros. Game four is on tap for Wednesday, 8:39 pm ET.

National League

NL Championship Series Game Four: LA Dodgers 3  Milwaukee Brewers 2, 13 Innings

In the bottom of the 13th, Cody Bellinger lined a single to right, scoring Manny Machado with the winning run as the Dodgers evened the NLCS at two games apiece.

Game five starts at 5:05 pm ET.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

NLCS: Jhoulys Chacin Shuts Down Dodgers In 4-0 Milwaukee Win

Players of the Day for Monday, October 15, 2018

National League

NL Championship Series Game Three: Milwaukee Brewers 4 LA Dodgers 0

Chacin: 2nd playoff win
Jhoulys Chacin tossed 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball, lifting the Brewers to a two-games-to-one lead in the NL Championship series Monday night in Los Angeles.

Chacin, who has yet to be scored upon in the post-season, shut down the Dodgers on three hits, walking two and striking out six for his second playoff win this season. He worked five innings on October 5th, when the Brewers took game two of the divisional series versus Colorado, 4-0.

The Brewers scored single runs in the first and sixth innings, adding two more on Orlando Arcia's seventh inning home run.

The series resumes Tuesday in Los Angeles with game four scheduled to start at 9:09 pm ET.

American League

There were no AL games on Monday. Game three of the ALCS is on for Tuesday in Houston, 5:09 pm ET. The Astros and Red Sox are tied, one game apiece.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. Drive Boston Past Houston, Evening NL Championship Series, 1-1

Players of the Day for Sunday, October 14, 2018

American League

AL Championship Series Game Two: Boston Red Sox 7 Houston Astros 5

Bradley Jr.: 2B, 3 RBI
Trailing 4-2 with the bases loaded in the third inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. lofted a double down the left field line off the Green Monster to bring home three runs, putting the Red Sox ahead for good and tying up the championship series at a game apiece.
Betts: 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI

Boston added a run in the seventh inning when Mookie Betts walked, took second on a wild pitch, third on a passed ball and scored on yet another passed ball. In the eighth, Betts doubled in another Red Sox run to extend the lead. Craig Kimbrel picked up the save despite allowing a run in the ninth.

The series shifts to Houston for games three, four, and five, starting Tuesday, October 16 at 5:09 pm ET.

National League

There were no games in the National League.

Game three of the NLCS between Milwaukee and the LA Dodgers is Monday in Los Angeles, 7:39 pm ET.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Justin Verlander Hurls Astros Past Red Sox; Justin Turner's HR Powers Dodgers In Game 2 Win

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 13, 2018

American League

Justin Verlander
AL Championship Series Game One: Houston Astros 7 Boston Red Sox 2

Houston took the opening game of the AL Championship Series behind the capable arm of Justin Verlander, who worked six innings, allowing two hits and two runs for the victory.

Game two is Sunday at Boston's Fenway Park.
Justin Turner

National League

NL Championship Series Game Two: LA Dodgers 4 Milwaukee Brewers 3

Justin Turner's eighth inning, two-run homer proved decisive as the Dodgers rebounded from a 3-0 deficit to take game two of the NLCS, 4-3. Turner's blast ended the Brewers' 12-game winning streak which had extended back into the final eight games of the regular season and included a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies in the divisional series.

With the series tied at a game apiece, game three shifts to Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Brewers Take NLCS Game One Behind Stellar Relief Of Brandon Woodruff, Josh Hader

Players of the Day for Friday, October 12, 2018

National League

AL Championship Game 1: Milwaukee Brewers 6 LA Dodgers 5

Milwaukee extended their winning streak to 12, taking game one of the NL Championship Series over the visiting LA Dodgers, 6-5.

Brandon Woodruff
The Brewers' hot bats got the better of Dodger starter, Clayton Kershaw, scoring five runs in the first four innings off the three-time Cy Young award winner.

Kershaw did not record an out in the fourth, allowing five runs on six hits over three-plus innings. Milwaukee starter, Gio Gonzalez, was lifted after just two innings, allowing one run, but relievers Brandon Woodruff and Josh Hader blanked the Dodgers through the seventh.

Woodruff was the first to get to Kershaw, socking a solo homer to lead off the third inning. The Brewers soared another run in the frame and sent Kershaw packing when Domingo Santana singled in two more runs with no outs in the fourth.

Josh Hader
Santana scored on Ryan Braun's single later in the inning, the run credited against Kershaw. Jesus Aguilar's solo homer in the seventh inning completed Milwaukee's scoring.

Woodruff, besides homering in his first post-season at-bat, didn't allow a hit or walk in his two innings of work, fanning four, picking up the win. Hader worked three hitless innings, also without walking a batter, striking out four.

The Dodgers struck for three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth, but eventually fell short. After giving up a run, Corey Knebel ended the game by striking out Justin Turner with Chris Taylor stranded at third.

Game two is 4:09 pm ET at Milwaukee's Miller Park.

American League

There were no games scheduled for Friday in the AL. The Championship series between the Astros and Red Sox opens Saturday night, 8:09 pm ET, at Boston's Fenway Park.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Red Sox Eliminate Yankees Behind Rick Porcello

Players of the Day for Tuesday, October 9, 2018

American League

Red Sox 4 Yankees 3

Porcello: Game 4 winner
Despite a shaky inning, Craig Kimbrel induced a game-ending ground ball from Gleyber Torres, sending the Boston Red Sox on to the AL championship series.

Kimbrel got the final out of the game in the bottom of the ninth, but not before he had walked two, given up a single, hit a batsmen with the bases loaded and surrendered a sac fly, leaving the tying run on second and the winning run on first base with two outs.

Remarkably, Kimbrel earned his second save of the series, nearly ruining the fine effort put in by starting pitcher, Rick Porcello.

Last appearing in a relief role in game one, Porcello worked five innings as the Red Sox built their lead, finally giving up a run in the bottom of the fifth, when Brett Gardner drove in Gary Sanchez from third with a sac fly.

Otherwise, Porcello was tough as nails, allowing four hits, no walks, striking out one. The victory was his first in post-season play after losing three games in 11 appearances with Detroit and Boston.

Porcello was 17-7 during the regular season, a stalwart hurler in the best season ever for the Red Sox franchise. Boston won 108 games, taking the AL East by eight games.

The Red Sox will host games one and two of the championship best-of-seven series with Houston, champions of the AL West. The Astros were 103-59 and eliminated the Cleveland Indians in three games.

Game one is scheduled for Saturday, October 13, at 8:09 pm ET.

National League

There were no National League games on Tuesday. The NL championship series begins Friday in Milwaukee with the Brewers hosting the Dodgers. Game time is 8:09 pm ET.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Brock Holt First To Hit For Post-Season Cycle In Boston Rout; George Springer Leads Astros; Manny Machado Powers Dodgers Into NLCS

Players of the Day for Monday, October 8, 2018
Holt hits for cycle

American League

Brock Holt became the first player ever to hit for the cycle in the post-season, completing his historic feat in the ninth inning with a home run off Yankee emergency reliever, catcher Austin Romine.

Romine was called to the mound due to the game's out-of-control condition, as Boston handed the Yankees the worst post-season loss in their long history, whipping the home squad 16-1.

Holt, batting seventh, didn't begin his assault on Yankee pitching until the fourth inning. After grounding out harmlessly in the second, Holt led off the fourth with a scratch single to center and later scored on a bases-loaded walk to Mookie Betts. Later in the frame, he tripled in a pair of runs as the Red Sox plated seven runs.

After grounding out to first in the sixth inning, Holt lashed a ground rule double to center in the eighth, driving in two more runs and smacked his homer with one on base in the ninth.

The win left the Yankees down in the series two games to one, facing elimination when the teams meet at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Game time is 8:07 pm ET. C.C. Sabathia goes to the mound for New York. Rick Porcello is the starter for the Red Sox.

Springer: 2 HR, 2 RBI

Houston will be returning to the AL championship series for the second straight year after sweeping the Indians, finishing off the Central division champs with an 11-3 romp.

George Springer led a 13-hit attack with two solo homers and a single in six at-bats. He hit .429 over the three-games of the divisional series.

The Astros completely outclassed the Indians in the sweep, outscoring their opponent by a combined score of 21-6.

Machado: 2-4, HR, 4 RBI
Houston awaits the winner of the Boston-New York series in their quest to win a second straight AL championship.

National League

The Dodgers dusted off the Braves in game four of the divisional series with a 6-2 victory, as Manny Machado led the way, going 2-for-5 with four RBI.

Machado got the Dodgers going with an RBI double in the first, driving in Max Muncy, and finished off the Braves with a three-run homer in the seventh.

LA returns to the NL championship series for the third straight season, meeting the Brewers for the right to go to the world series. The best-of-seven series begins Friday in Milwaukee.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman Lead Braves Past Dodgers; Jesus Aguilar Helps Brewers Eliminate Rockies

Players of the Day for Sunday, October 7, 2018

National League

Milwaukee 6  Colorado 0
Jesus Aguilar

Milwaukee eliminated the Rockies with a shutout victory Sunday, as Wade Miley and five relief pitchers combined to blank the Rockies on four hits. Miley worked 4 2/3 innings, allowing three hits, and the Brewer bullpen took care of the rest.

Jesus Aguilar socked a fourth-inning solo home run to give he Brewers a 2-0 lead. Orlando Arcia and Keon Broxton belted back-to-back solo shots in the ninth inning to seal the deal.

Acuna Jr.: Grand Slam
Red hot late season, the Brewers won eight straight to close out the regular season, capturing the Central division and achieving the best record in the National League. Their sweep of the Rockies left their winning streak at 11. They will host the winner of the Dodgers-Braves series in the NL Championship.

Freddie Freeman

Atlanta 6  LA Dodgers 5

Staving off elimination, the Atlanta Braves won a close one at home, as Ronald Acuna Jr. smacked a second inning grand slam and Freddie Freeman unknotted a 5-5 tie in the sixth with a solo shot.

Atlanta's win left the Dodgers up two games to one, with game four scheduled for Monday in Atlanta. First pitch is slated for 4:30 pm ET.

American League

There were no games in the American League on Sunday.

Houston will be looking to eliminate the Indians in game three of their best-of-five divisional series, Monday, 1:30 pm, in Cleveland.

With the series tied, 1-1, Boston is at New York for game three between the Red Sox and Yankees, Monday at 7:40 pm ET.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Gary Sanchez Homers Twice As Yankees Even Series With Boston; Gerrit Cole Stymies Indians In Houston Win

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 7, 2018
Sanchez: 2 HR, 4 RBI

American League

Yankees 6 Red Sox 2

Gary Sanchez socked a pair of homers and drove in four runs as the Yankees evened their series at Boston at a game apiece. After Aaron Judge homered in the first, Sanchez belted a solo shot in the second to put the Yankees up 2-0. With New York leading, 3-1, in the seventh, Sanchez delivered the kill shot, blasting a three-run, 479-foot bomb to center field. Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were aboard for the ride.

Masahiro Tanaka picked up the win for the Yanks, allowing one run on three hits over five innings. Boston starter, David Price, lasted just 1 2/3 innings, surrendering three runs on three hits and a pair of walks.

The series shifts to New York on Monday for game three.

Cole: 7 IP, 1 ER. 12 K

Astros 3 Indians 1

Gerrit Cole spun magic on the mound as Houston took a two-games-to-none lead over the visiting Cleveland Indians in the AL divisional series, working seven innings for the win.

Cole allowed a mere three hits and one run, fanning 12 without surrendering a walk. Cole threw 70 of 98 pitches for strikes, most of which the Cleveland batters could not handle, their only run coming on a third inning solo home run by Francisco Lindor. After the Lindor homer, Cole retired 13 of the next 14 batters he faced, striking out the side in the fourth and fanning two each in the fifth and sixth innings.

Alex Bregman homered for the second straight game, socking a solo shot in the seventh inning. Marwin Gonzalez went 4-for-4 and drove in two runs with a double in the sixth that gave Houston a 2-1 lead.

Houston will be seeking a sweep of the five-game series when the teams meet Monday in Cleveland for game three.

National League

There were no games in the National League on Saturday. The Dodgers lead the Braves, two games to none, and the Brewers have the same edge over the Rockies.

Both series continue Sunday, with the Dodgers at Atlanta (8:07 pm ET) and the Brewers at Colorado (4:37 pm ET). A win by either Los Angeles or Milwaukee would constitute a sweep of the best-of-five series.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

J.D. Martinez Lifts Boston Past New York; Clayton Kershaw Blanks Braves

Players of the Day for Friday, October 5, 2018

Martinez: 3-run homer
American League

Boston took a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five division series with a 5-4 win over the New York Yankees.

J.D. Martinez got the Red Sox on the board in the bottom of the first inning with a three-run homer over Fenway Park's famous Green Monster and Boston added two more runs in the third, for an early 5-0 lead. Yankee starter, J.A. Happ allowed all five Boston runs, lasting only into the third inning, failing to get any outs in that frame.

The Yankee bullpen shut the door on Boston's hitters after that, but New York could only muster enough runs to make the game interesting. Aaron Judge's solo homer in the ninth was all the Yankees managed off closer Craig Kimbrel. Chris Sale picked up the win.

The teams tangle again in game two of the series, Saturday, 8:15 pm ET

Houston won the opener of their divisional series with the visiting Indians, topping Cleveland, 7-2. Justin Verlander turned in 5 1/3 solid innings and Houston batters got the best of Cleveland ace, Cory Kluber, nicking him for six hits and four runs over 4 2/3 innings. Alex Bregman, George Springer, and Jose Altuve each hit solo homers off Kluber.

Game two is Saturday at 4:37 pm ET.

National League
Kershaw: 8IP, 2H, 0ER

Clayton Kershaw put the Dodgers up 2-0 in the NL divisional series, with a brilliant post-season start, limiting the Atlanta Braves to two hits over eight innings in a 3-0 Dodger victory.

Kershaw, a seven-time all star and three time NL Cy Young award recipient, needed just 84 pitches to keep the Braves off the bases and the scoreboard. After a leadoff double to Ronald Acuna Jr., Kershaw retired 14 straight batters, going into the fifth inning before surrendering his second hit.

Manny Machado staked Kershaw to an early lead with a two-run, first-inning homer. The series moves to Atlanta for game three, Sunday at 8:07 pm ET.

Jouyls Chacin and four relievers blanked the Colorado Rockies on six hits as the Milwaukee Brewers took a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five NL division series with a 4-0 win. Game three is in Denver, Sunday at 4:37 pm.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Christian Yelich Leads Brewers Over Rockies; Max Muncy's 3-Run Homer Enough For Dodgers' Win Over Braves

Players of the Day for Thursday, October 4, 2018

National League
Yelich stars again

Milwaukee's 3-2 win over Colorado took 10 innings but when Mike Moustakas singled home the game winner, guess who scored the winning run?

Who else? It was none other than Christian Yelich skipping home run Milwaukee's third run after he had walked to open the inning, took second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on Curtis Granderson's fielder's choice.

Not only did Yelich reach base safely four of the five times he appeared at the plate, he was also responsible for the Brewers' first two runs, socking a third-inning, two-run homer which, until the ninth inning, had held up.

The Rockies plated a pair of runs in the ninth inning to tie the game, but Yelich and Moustakas made sure their hard work didn't go for naught.

The win gives the Brewers a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series, with game two slated for Friday, 4:15 pm ET.

Muncy: 3-run homer

In Los Angeles, the Dodgers grabbed game one from the visiting Braves, 6-0.

Max Muncy's three-run homer in the second inning provided more than enough runs for LA, as Hyun-Jin Ryu worked seven scoreless innings, giving up just four hits, fanning eight Braves.

Muncy had 35 homers and 79 RBI during the regular season. Braves hurlers couldn't deal with the second year first baseman, walking him the other three times he appeared at the dish.

Game two is Friday, 9:37 pm ET.

American League

There were no games in the American League on Thursday. The two division series open on Friday with Cleveland at Houston at 2:05 pm ET and the Yankees at Boston at 7:32 pm ET.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Aaron Judge Homers, Sends Yankees To ALDS Vs. Red Sox

Players of the Day for Wednesday, October 3, 2018

American League

Judge: HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI
Aaron Judge socked a two-run homer in the first inning and Luis Severino and the Yankee bullpen made it stand up as the Yankees downed the Oakland A's, 7-2, in the AL Wild Card game.

Judge, who was sidelined with a broken wrist much of the second half of the season, lifted a 2-1 pitch from Oakland's Liam Hendriks 427 feet into the left field stands. Andrew McCutchen, who walked to lead off the inning, was on first base when Judge set off his blast. Judge finished the game 2-for-3, adding a double and scoring in the sixth inning when the Yankees tacked on four more runs.

Severino only lasted into the fifth, but he didn't allow a hit through the first four, pitching out of a bases-loaded jam on an error and two walks in the fourth, the Yankee ace gave up two singles in the fifth before getting any outs and was replaced by Dellin Betances, who got the win, throwing two hitless, scoreless innings.

The Athletics finally struck in the eighth on a two-run homer by Khris Davis, but by then the Yankees had built the lead to six runs. Giancarlo Stanton finished the scoring with his first post-season home run, a solo shot in the Yankee eighth.

Boston, which finished the regular season with the best record in the majors (108-54), awaits their arch-rival in the division series which begins Friday at Fenway Park. Game time is 7:32 pm ET. Houston hosts Cleveland in the other division series. Game one is Friday at 2:05 pm ET.

National League

There were no games in the National League on Wednesday.

The NL division series starts Thursday. The Colorado Rockies play at Milwaukee (5:07 pm ET) and Atlanta is at Los Angeles (8:37 pm ET).

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Tony Wolters Singles Home Game-Winner In 13th As Rockies Oust Cubs; A's-Yankees Wild Card Wednesday

Players of the Day for Tuesday, October 2, 2018

National League

Wolters singles in 13th
It took thirteen innings and four hours and 55 minutes, but the Colorado Rockies finally finished off the Chicago Cubs in the NL wild card game, 2-1, to move to the next round of the playoffs.

Rockies' starter, Kyle Freeland, held the Cubs scoreless over 6 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and fanning six. Freeland made the one run the Rockies scored in the first inning - on a sac fly by Nolan Arenado which plated Charlie Blackmon - stand up through seven.

In the eighth, the Cubs scored what would be their only run of the game. Javier Baez, the Cubs' most reliable batter throughout the regular season, doubled home Terrance Gore, who was pinch-running for Anthony Rizzo.

The game remained knotted at 1-1 until the 13th inning when the Rockies put two aboard with two outs on back-to-back singles by Gerardo Parra and Trevor Story. Tony Wolters delivered a sharp single to center, sending Story home with the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the frame, reliever Scott Oberg - who fanned Kris Bryant for the third out in the 12th - set the Cubs down in order, striking out Gore, Baez, and Albert Almora Jr. to finish the game and send the Rockies further into the playoffs.

The Rockies move on to the division series with the NL Central champion Brewers, which begins Thursday in Milwaukee. The Dodgers host Atlanta in the other NL division best-of-five series, also starting Thursday night.

American League

There were no American League games on Tuesday. The AL wild card game is scheduled for an 8:08 pm EDT start Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. The Oakland As' start Liam Hendriks against Yankee hurler, Luis Severino.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Orlando Arcia 4-for-4 As Brewers Dump Cubs; Walker Buehler Blanks Rockies, Dodgers Win West

Players of the Day for Monday, October 1, 2017

Arcia: 4-for-4, 2 runs
National League

The Milwaukee Brewers completed their run-down of the Cubs in the NL Central, winning their eighth straight game to capture the division title with a 3-1 tie-breaker win at Chicago Monday.

Orlando Arcia stroked four singles in four at-bats and scored two of Milwaukee's runs in the division-clincher. Arcia came home on Christian Yelich's single in the third to open the game's scoring and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth after Chicago's Anthony Rizzo had tied it at 1-all in the fifth. Lorenzo Cain delivered Arcia, and also scored an insurance run in the eighth on a Ryan Braun single.

Josh Bader worked a two-inning save, putting the Cubs down in order in the eighth and surrendering a two-out single to Jose Baez in the ninth. Rizzo flied out to right field to end the game.

Buehler: 6 2/3 scoreless
Rookie hurler, Walker Buehler, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and gave up just one hit, blanking the Rockies over 6 2/3 innings as the Dodgers wrapped up the NL West with a 5-2 victory over Colorado in the single-game tie-breaker.

Charlie Blackmon broke up the no-hit bid with a single through the infield with one out in the sixth.

Thanks to two-run homers by Cody Bollinger and Max Muncy in the fourth and fifth innings and another run in the sixth, Buehler worked into the seventh with a five-run lead, getting two outs before walking Carlos Gonzalez. He was lifted for reliever, Pedro Baez, who walked Ian Desmond but finished the frame by getting Matt Holliday to pop out to short, ending the threat.

Buehler struck out three and walked three throwing 93 pitches, 59 of which went for strikes.

The Rockies finally did hit the scoreboard in the top of the ninth, on back-to-back home runs by Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story off Dodger closer Kenley Jansen, but the Dodger pitcher regrouped and finished the job, making the Dodgers the NL West champion for the sixth straight season.

The Cubs will host the Rockies in the NL wild card game Tuesday at 8:00 pm EDT, while the Brewers, thanks to their late-season surge, will have home field advantage throughout their NL playoff run. Milwaukee will host the winner of the wild card game in one of the two division series, while the the Dodgers will host the Atlanta Braves in the other. The Atlanta-LA series begins Thursday.

American League

There were no games in the American League on Monday. The AL wild card game is Wednesday, October 3, at Yankee Stadium in New York City with the Yankees playing the Oakland A's.

Rockies' Charlie Blackmon Hits For Cycle; NL West, Central Still Undecided; Boston's Mookie Betts Captures AL Batting Crown

Players of the Day for Sunday, September 30, 2018

American League
Betts: AL batting champ

While Boston's 10-2 win over the Yankees in the regular season finale meant nothing in terms of the post-season, it did provide conclusive confirmation of the AL batting champion, Mookie Betts, who went 1-for-2, finishing the regular season with a .346 batting average.

Betts finished ahead of teammate J.D. Martinez, who ended the season second to Oakland's Khris Davis with 34 home runs to Davis' 38. Martinez did lead in RBI, however, with 130. Davis was second with 123.

The Yankees claimed another record in the game. Miguel Andujar tied the AL rookie record for doubles in a season with his 47th, equalling Boston's Fred Lynn 1974 mark. Lynn won the AL MVP award that season, and, while Andujar has been sensational, he's likely to win only the rookie of the year award. Betts or Martinez are favored to be named league MVP.

The Yankees host the Oakland A's in the wild card game on Wednesday. Boston will play the winner in the AL division series.

National League

Blackmon hits for cycle
The Rockies are in the playoffs, but whether they'll be a wild card or the NL west champion still needs to be decided.

Charlie Blackmon hit for the cycle and the Rockies closed out the regular season with a 12-0 romp over the Washington Nationals. The Dodgers, who entered the day in a flat-footed tie with Colorado atop the NL West, also romped home with a 14-0 defeat of the Giants in San Francisco.

Likewise, the NL Central ended in a tie for first place as the Cubs and Brewers both finished in style, the Cubs topping the Cardinals, 10-5, while the Brewers routed the Tigers 11-0. There will be a pair of one-game playoffs to determine post-season seedings.

Blackmon, batting in his usual leadoff spot, got the hardest part of the cycle out of the way on the second pitch he saw from Nationals' starter Erick Fedde, tripling to right field in the bottom of the first. He scored on Nolan Arenado's home run, beginning the slaughter. Arenado's home run was his 37th, enough to lead the NL in home runs. Matt Carpenter of St. Louis, Milwaukee's Christian Yelich and Arenado's teammate, Trevor Story each ended the season with 36.

In the third inning, Blackmon's 29th homer brought in two runs for a 4-0 lead. He beat out an infield single in the fifth and scored again on David Dahl's three-run homer. After striking out in the sixth, Blackmon doubled, driving in two runs, to complete the cycle.

Blackmon batted .289 for the season, with 70 RBI and led the league in runs. His 119 runs scored was one more than Milwaukee's Christian Yelich, who captured the batting title with a .323 average.

The Rockies play at Los Angeles Monday at 4:00 pm EDT to determine the division champion and wild card. At 1:00 pm EDT, the Cubs host the Brewers for the Central division title. The loser of that game will host Wednesday's NL wild card game.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Juan Soto Helps Washington Rip Rockies, Sending NL Into Chaos; Miguel Andujar Breaks DiMaggio Record As Yankees Down Red Sox

Players of the Day for Saturday, September 29, 2018

American League

Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?
Andujar breaks NY record

Thanks to rookie third baseman, Miguel Andujar, part of him, at least, has gone down a memory hole as Andjusr shattered a record held since 1936 by the Yankee Clipper.

Andujar lashed a pair of doubles and drove in two runs as the Yankees defeated Boston, 8-5, at Fenway Park. DiMaggio's Yankee rookie record of 44 doubles in a season was broken as Andujar hit one on Friday to tie it and upped his total to 46 with his two doubles Saturday.

Andujar should easily capture the AL rookie of the year award.

The Yankees set a major league record in the win. With home runs by Gleyber Torres and Giancarlo Stanton, they surpassed the record set in 1997 by the Seattle Mariners for most home runs by a team in a single season. The previous record was 264, which was tied when Aaron Judge launched the last of four Yankee homers Friday night. The new record of 266 - to which the Yankees can add on Sunday in their regular season finale - also includes a footnote. The Yankees became the first team to get at least 20 home runs from each of the nine batting positions when Gleyber Torres broke the record with his fourth-inning smash.

The Yankees and Red Sox complete the regular season Sunday at Fenway.

National League

Soto: 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI
The Washington Nationals aren't headed to the post-season, but, in the best baseball tradition, they played spoiler on Saturday by hammering the Colorado Rockies, 12-2, sending the NL West into a tie for first place between the Rockies and Dodgers. Los Angeles defeated the Giants, 10-6, leaving the two teams at 90-71 each with one game left to play.

Rookie outfielder, Juan Soto, got the Nationals on the bard early, knocking in two runs with a double in the first inning. From there on, the Nationals continued to pour it on, racking up 18 hits against five Colorado pitchers as the game got away.

Soto drove in two more runs, one with a solo homer in the fifth (his 22nd), and another on a ground out in the eighth inning. His four RBI gave hime 70 on the year. Soto's numbers, which include a .294 batting average, make him the leading candidate for rookie of the year.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, St. Louis was eliminated from the wild card race, despite their 2-1 win over the Cubs in Chicago. With Milwaukee downing Detroit, 6-5, that left the Cubs and Brewers tied for the lead in the NL Central, at 94-67.

With the Atlanta Braves having already clinched the NL East, the other four post-season positions are up for grabs. The Cubs host St. Louis, the Rockies host Washington, LA is at San Francisco and Milwaukee hosts Detroit. The games are all the last of the regular season for the teams involved. If ties are produced in either division, an additional playoff game would be needed to determine the winner. Either the Cubs or Brewers will host the wild card game against the second place team in the West, either the Dodgers or Rockies.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Ian Desmond Lifts Rockies Past Nationals; Aaron Judge Homers, Yankees Wrap Up Wild Card

Players of the Day for Friday, September 28, 2018

Aaron Judge
American League

The suspense is over.

The New York Yankees - by virtue of their 11-6 win at Boston and Oakland's 8-5 loss to the Angels - will host the al wild card game on Wednesday, October 3.

Tearing through the Boston pitching staff with 13 hits, every Yankee player had at least one hit, including Aaron Judge, recently returned from the disabled list, who went 2-for-4, including his first home run since July 21.

Judge finished off the scoring for the Yankees with a booming solo homer to Fenway Park's center field. He had been sidelined with a fractured wrist since July 24, coming off the DL on September 14. Earlier, the Yankee right fielder had walked and singled, scoring in both the third and fourth innings as the Yankees piled on the runs. They led 8-0 before Boston struck for four runs in the sixth on Steve Pearce's grand slam.

Miguel Andujar stroked his 44th double in the fourth inning, tying Joe DiMaggio for the most doubles by a rookie in Yankee history. DiMaggio hit his 44 in 1936.

Now that the wild card locale has been decided, all positions in the AL are set in stone. Boston, Houston and Cleveland are division champions, with the Yankees and A's set to duel in the single-elimination game next week. The winner of the wild card game would open the division series in Boston while the Indians would will travel to Houston. Both series would begin on Friday, the 5th of October.

National League

Ian Desmond
Getting hot at the most opportune time has taken the Colorado Rockies from playoff wannabes to a possible game away from claiming the National League West division crown. Winners of eight straight, the Rockies rocketed past the Cardinals in the wild card and beyond the Dodgers into first place in the division in just over a week.

Friday's 5-2 win over the visiting Nationals was testimony to their timely play and grit under pressure.

Starting pitcher, Kyle Freeland, worked out of jam after jam in his six innings of work, allowing just two runs on 11 hits and one walk. Freeland, 17-7, worked himself into and out of bases-loaded situations in the second and third innings without surrendering a run, but Trea Turner's two-out triple in the fourth plated a pair of runs for the Nationals. Freeland gave up a single in the fifth and a double in the sixth, leaving the game with a 4-2 lead thanks to a Charlie Blackmon solo homer in the third, Ian Desmond's two-run fifth inning blast, followed directly by Chris Iannetta's solo homer.

In the bottom of the sixth, Dan Dahl stroked a solo homer to complete the scoring. It was the fifth consecutive game in which Dahl has gone yard, With his solo shot in the sixth, joining Dante Bichette (1995), Larry Walker (1999) and Arenado (2015) as Rockies' players to accomplish the unique five-in-five feat.

Desmond, who played for Washington from 2009 through 2015, came back to bite his former team, his homer turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 Colorado lead that the Rockies would never relinquish. Desmond's homer was his 22nd of the season, to go with 88 RBI and 20 stolen bases.

With the Dodgers winning, 3-1, at San Francisco, the Rockies maintained their one game lead in the division. St. Louis lost their fourth straight, dropping an 8-4 decision at the Chicago Cubs, leaving the Cardinals with almost no hope of post-season play. The Cubs remain a game behind Milwaukee in the Central, as the Brewers knocked off Detroit, 6-5.

Colorado can clinch at least a tie for the division title with a win or an LA loss on Saturday. Any combination of Colorado wins and Dodger losses equalling two would clinch the division outright. The regular season ends Sunday with all games starting between 3:05 and 3:20 pm EDT.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Yankees Closer To Hosting Wild Card As Giancarlo Stanton Belts Two HRs; Cubs' Jon Lester Blanks Pirates Over Six

Players of the Day for Thursday, September 27, 2018

American League
Stanton smacks a pair of HRs

The New York Yankees took another step closer to hosting the single-elimination wild card game against the Oakland Athletics with a 12-1 rout of Tampa Bay, taking three of four at Tropicana Field from the Rays.

Giancarlo Stanton could not be kept off the base paths. The Yankee outfielder, acquired in the off-season from Miami, walked twice and scored three times, twice on solo homers, his 36th and 37th of the season.

Stanton, who's numbers haven't been quite up to his usual eye-popping figures, is still having a very solid season, batting .262 with 97 RBI. Last season, Stanton had 59 homers and 132 RBI with the Marlins.

The win left the Yankees two games up on the idle A's, with three left to play. The Yankees need any combination of two wins or two A's losses to wrap up the top wild card spot. That may be hard to come by, as the Yankees open a season-ending three-game series at Boston, while the A's wrap things up with three games in LA with the Angels.

National League

Lester: 6 scoreless
The Cubs got a big effort at an opportune time from starter Jon Lester, who blanked the Pirates for six innings in the finale of their four-game series, leading to a 3-0 Chicago win at wrigley Field.

After the Pirates took the first two games of the series, the red-hot Brewers began breathing down Chicago's neck, closing to within a half game of the division leaders. Taking the third and fourth game of the series, the Cubs improved their lead to one game over the Brewers, who were idle on Thursday.

Lester improved to 18-6 on the year, pitching in and out of trouble most of his six innings. Lester walked four, struck out three, but allowed only three hits. Pittsburgh threatened, with runners on base in each of the first four innings, but failed to get anybody across home plate. Lester finished up by putting the side down in order in the fifth and sixth.

Starting Friday, the Cubs host the Cardinals for three games to end the season. St. Louis trails the Dodgers by one game for the second wild card spot. Milwaukee has already clinched the top wild card spot and will host the single game unless they get some help from St. Louis and nip the Cubs for the division title.

The same condition exists in the West, where the Dodgers trail the Rockies by one game. All teams have three games left. The Rockies host the Nationals, the Dodgers are at San Francisco, while the Brewers host the Detroit Tigers to close out the regular season.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Trevor Story Leads Rockies To 1st Place In West; Rafael Devers Drives In 6 In Boston's 19-3 Rout Of Baltimore

Players of the Day for Wednesday, September 26, 2018

American League

The Orioles managed to win the second game of their doubleheader at Boston, 10-3, but it came after they dropped the day game, 19-3.
Devers: 4-5, 2B, 2HR, 6RBI

In the opener, the Red Sox hammered out 22 hits against five Baltimore hurlers. Rafael Devers had himself an active afternoon, going 4-for-5 with a single, double, two home runs, and six RBI.

Devers got the Red Sox rolling with a bases-full double that plated three in the first inning. After singling home Ian Kinsler in the fifth inning, Devers hit solo homers in the seventh and eighth, his 20th and 21st of the season. The win was Boston's 107th, extending their franchise record for wins in a season. Baltimore lost its 112th game.

Elsewhere, the Yankees fell sloppily at Tampa Bay, 8-7, while the A's walloped Seattle, 9-3, cutting the Yankees' wild card lead to 1 1/2 games. Both Oakland and New York will be wild cards, all that needs to be determined is where the game will be played.

The Yankees play a final game at Tampa Bay before heading up to Boston to close out the regular season with a three-game series. Oakland has Thursday off and finishes out the season at LA, playing the Angels three times over the weekend.

National League

Story: 3-4, 3R, HR, 3RBI
Colorado won their sixth straight game, dropping a 14-0 rip on the visiting Phillies taking their third straight over the East division represenative. During the winning streak the Rockies moved from wild card hopeful to division leader, as the Dodgers, losers of two straight, gave up first place in the NL West with a 7-2 loss at Arizona and the Cardinals lost three straight to the Brewers. The Rockies took a half game lead over LA in the West division.

Knocking out 16 hits, the Rockies got a big effort from Trevor Story, who tripled and scored Colorado's first run on a second inning Carlos Gonzalez sacrifice fly, socked a two-run homer in the fifth, and singled and scored in the seventh.

Having an MVP-like season, Story is batting .290 with 34 home runs and 104 RBI. His numbers place him in a tie for second in homers (Matt Carpenter leads with 36), and in a tie for fourth with Milwaukee's Christian Yelich in the RBI tally. Javier Baez leads the league, driving in 111 runs.

In the Central division, the Brewers completed their sweep of the Cardinals in St. Louis with a 2-1 win, dropping the Cardinals a game behind the Dodgers for the second wild card. The Cubs continued to cling to a half game lead over the Brewers, winning, 7-6, in 10 innings over Pittsburgh.

With three games remaining on their slate, the Cardinals, Brewers and Dodgers all have Thursday off, while the Rockies finish up with the Phillies and the Cubs host the Pirates. Over the final weekend, St. Louis is at Chicago, the Rockies host Washington, the Dodgers are at San Francisco, and Milwaukee hosts Detroit. All are three-game series which begin Friday and finish the regular season on Sunday.