Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann said he is retiring following the team's loss to the St Louis Cardinals in the Nationals League Division Series.

McCann made the announcement after Wednesday's 13-1 Game 5 rout in the NLDS and 15 MLB seasons.

The 35-year-old – a World Series champion with the Houston Astros in 2017 – return to the Braves this season.

"It's time to go," McCann told reporters post-game. "I had a long career. Fifteen years is a long time catching every day. And I got to do it my hometown."

The Georgia native made his major-league debut with the Braves back in 2005. He would spend nine years in Atlanta before signing a five-year, $85million contract with the New York Yankees prior to the 2014 season.

A seven-time All-Star and six-time Silver Slugger, McCann was then traded to the Astros after the 2016 season.

McCann returned to Atlanta on a one-year, $2m deal ahead of the 2019 campaign.

"That was a big reason I wanted to come back," McCann said. "I wanted to be a part of this again, put this uniform back on and play in front of my family every night."

McCann sported a .262/.337/.452 career line while hitting 282 homers and driving in 1,018 runs. He also posted a career 31.8 bWAR.

The St Louis Cardinals made light work of the Atlanta Braves as they reached the MLB's National League Championship Series for the first time since 2014.

St Louis humbled Atlanta, cruising to a crushing 13-1 victory in Game 5 of the NL Division Series in Atlanta on Wednesday – sealing a 3-2 success.

The Cardinals got on top 4-0 before Braves manager Brian Snitker pulled starter Mike Foltynewicz. And when the first inning was all said and done, St Louis led 10-0.

The game was over at that point. The largest comeback in a Division Series game is six and there was virtually zero chance the Braves were going to come back from 10 down.

Now the Cardinals await the winner of the Los Angeles Dodgers-Washington Nationals series that will be decided later on Wednesday.

 

Three takeaways from the Cardinals' series-clinching NLDS Game 5 win over the Braves

Flaherty shut it down

Let's be honest, Jack Flaherty did not have to do much in this game as he came in with a 10-0 lead, but that does not change the fact that he was great. After a Game 2 performance where he allowed three runs in seven innings of a 3-1 loss, Flaherty came back and was even better in Game 5 – allowing just one run in six innings of work. 

More importantly though, after that 10-run first inning, he left absolutely no doubt. He came out and worked around a single and a walk to post a scoreless inning, and immediately got rid of any idea that he would give the Braves an opportunity like the Cardinals were given in the top half of the inning.

Flaherty was fantastic to end the year and he has carried that into the playoffs. He is this team's ace and there is no doubt about it.

What year is it?

When 10 runs are scored in an inning, it must come with at least one home run right? In 2019 when MLB broke the home run record once again, that has to be the assumption. But believe it or not, that was not the case in Game 5.

The Cardinals, in fact, scored 13 runs through seven innings and did it without a single homer. That cannot be all that common. Especially for 2019. But it was not the most this season. St Louis were actually the team to pull that off as they scored 17 without a home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 9, according to NBC Sports Chicago.

However, it is not nearly the most ever scored without a run. In 1923, the Cleveland Indians scored 27 runs without a home run, according to Baseball Reference. But for 2019, 13 is one heck of a big number.

The beating goes on

It is tough being an Atlanta sports fan. Forget this miserable loss in a winner-take-all game but think about the longevity for a second. With this defeat for the Braves, Atlanta have now lost 10 straight postseason series.

The last win came in the 2001 NLDS when the Braves beat the Houston Astros in four games.

But the Braves have not really been all that close to winning a series either. Until this year, the last time they had a chance to win a Division Series was in the 2004 NLDS against the Astros which they lost in five games. Other than that, they had not won more than one game in a series until 2019.

It has been a rough go of it for Braves fans, and honestly, we feel for you.

The St Louis Cardinals levelled the National League Division Series and forced a deciding game after outlasting the Atlanta Braves 5-4 after 10 innings.

Monday saw the Cardinals survive a must-win showdown in St Louis to set up a mouth-watering Game 5 against the Braves in the MLB playoffs.

The Cardinals prevailed in extra innings thanks to a clutch performance from Yadier Molina.

 

Three takeaways from the Cardinals' Game 4 win over the Braves

Molina is clutch

We have said it once and we will say it again: Molina is clutch.

The Cardinals needed something, anything to stay alive in Game 4. Who better to deliver than Molina? He has been great when called upon and his at-bat in the bottom of the eighth, and again in the 10th, was exactly what St Louis needed.

When he stepped to the plate with the tying run on second base and two outs in the eighth, the Cards needed a big hit — and they got it.

Molina scored Paul Goldschmidt on a single. 

When the game went into extra innings, Molina stepped up to the plate in the 10th with the walk-off run waiting on third base. There was just one out when Molina sent a sacrifice fly to left field. It scored Kolten Wong and that was that.

Molina finished one-for-four with two RBI.

Swanson has been the star of the show for Atlanta

It has been quite a couple of days for the Braves shortstop. 

Dansby Swanson hit the game-tying RBI on Sunday and came out again to score Atlanta's first run on Monday. He is not only hitting but hitting with power. Each of Swanson's three hits Sunday had an exit velocity greater than 100 mph, according to MLB.com. While his bat was not as powerful Monday, Swanson still got on base three times, and scored twice.

He was brought home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ozzie Albies to put the Braves on the board in the third inning.

Swanson has had a great series for a player who missed last year's playoffs with an injury. He has seven hits in 14 at-bats.

Braves took advantage of another three-run inning

In Game 3, Atlanta staged a three-run rally in the ninth to tilt the series in their favour. Monday, the Braves again used a three-run inning to tilt the game in their favour.

They were trailing 3-1 with two outs in the top of the fifth when Swanson scored on an error and two batters later Albies hit a two-run homer to put Atlanta ahead.

Unfortunately, it would be part of the team's losing efforts, but one thing is clear: The Braves thrive under pressure.

In both games, the Braves' three-run rally came with two outs. They have outlasted the Cardinals before and could likely do so again with the crowd on their side in Atlanta for Game 5.

Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Atlanta Braves produced a dramatic late rally to edge the St Louis Cardinals 3-1 and take a 2-1 lead in the National League Division Series (NLDS) on Sunday.

Mike Soroka and veteran Adam Wainwright engaged in a pitcher's duel but ultimately the Braves came back to win after a late, and very impressive, rally with their backs against the wall.

The 22-year-old rookie Soroka impressed in his postseason debut and was virtually unhittable to help push the Braves ahead.

 

Three takeaways from Braves' late comeback

First, the rookie

While the Braves' offense was certainly impressive late, especially considering the blown lead in Game 1 of the NLDS, Soroka was the star of the show early.

It was a tall task for a first-year pitcher but Soroka took it in stride. He pitched a solid seven innings, allowing just one run on two hits while striking out seven and walking none.

The extra rest Atlanta gave him seemed to have worked. Soroka brought his great outings from the regular season into the playoffs and if the Braves move on, he will likely be a difference maker going forward.

Wainwright once again steps up in the postseason

Wainwright is no stranger to the postseason. He made his 13th career playoff start and 25th postseason appearance on Sunday. His experience helped St Louis skate through most of Game 3 with a narrow lead.

His career stats, ERA, WHIP, are all better in the postseason than his regular-season numbers. It breaks down to a 3.03 ERA in the postseason compared to a 3.39 career ERA in the regular season and a 1.09 WHIP in the postseason versus 1.23 in the regular season. 

That postseason mastery continued on Sunday, as Wainwright pitched 7.2 shut-out innings, striking out eight and giving up only four hits to a powerful Atlanta offense.

Wainwright was eventually pulled in the eighth after 120 pitches. His exit came after two consecutive walks, his only walks on the day, and to a standing ovation from a happy St Louis crowd. Wainwright, and those fans, deserved a better fate in the end.

 

The Braves capitalise on their final opportunity

After being shut down all game by Wainwright, the Braves made Cardinals closer Carlos Martinez pay for their frustration.

The Braves roughed up Martinez, with three hits and two walks fuelling a three-run rally, all of them coming with two outs.

After an intentional walk to Brian McCann, Dansby Swanson seemed to take that free pass personally, and drove in the tying run with a clutch double to left.

Adam Duvall then singled home Swanson and pinch-runner Rafael Ortega for the final margin.

The Braves looked overmatched at the plate most of the game, but they kept fighting and they now lead the NLDS 2-1 as a result.

The Atlanta Braves evened up the Nationals League Division Series (NLDS) against the St Louis Cardinals after a 3-0 win in Game 2 on Friday.

Jack Flaherty was very good for the Cardinals, but Mike Foltynewicz was even better for Atlanta.

The two teams will now head to St Louis for Game 3 on Sunday.

 

Three takeaways from Braves' series-tying Game 2 win over Cardinals

Sometimes a demotion is a good thing

When Foltynewicz was demoted in June after posting a 6.37 ERA through 11 starts, he was candid with reporters.

"I've got a 7 ERA on a first-place team," Foltynewicz said then. "It's just tough. I'm battling every night. It's just tough. It's just the person I am. I'm going to wear that stuff on my sleeve, especially when things aren't going my way. It's just tough. It's all my fault, too."

For a pitcher who was an All-Star in 2018 it was a seemingly tough moment, but he took it in stride and came back to be one of the Braves' best pitchers down the stretch.

Foltynewicz posted a 1.50 ERA in five September starts and then built on his performance with a stellar start in Game 2 on Friday as he went seven innings while allowing three hits and no runs while striking out seven and walking none. One day after the Braves used eight pitchers and lost one (Chris Martin) for the NLDS due to injury, Atlanta needed a start like this.

All it takes is one inning

Legendary manager Earl Weaver once said that many times the winning team will score more runs in one inning than the losing team do in the entire game. It is exactly what happened to the Cardinals on Friday, but simply on a small scale as Weaver was referring to the mythical "big inning" rather than what happened to the Cardinals.

Flaherty was nervous in his first career postseason start. He came out and struggled to find his arm slot for his fastball and saw a few two-seamers dip out of the zone which put him in some bad counts. As a result, after Ozzie Albies reached on an infield single, the second baseman advanced a base on a wild pitch and came around to score later on a Josh Donaldson single.

Flaherty put the Cardinals in a 1-0 hole they would never dig out of. And while the Braves would get to Flaherty for a few more runs in the seventh inning, that one inning got St Louis off to a start they never recovered from.

In the postseason a pitcher has to be on his game from the very beginning, Flaherty simply was not in Game 2.

 

The legend of Adam Duvall is growing

Speaking of players who were in the minors for the Braves this year, Adam Duvall actually started the season in Triple-A for Atlanta. He was then called up in the middle of the year and put up respectable numbers down the stretch.

He was then a somewhat surprising addition to the playoff roster, though with Ender Inciarte's injury, maybe it was not all that surprising. And Duvall made his addition worth it in Game 1 with a wonderful throw to the plate to nab the go-ahead run on a game-tying double in the eighth inning.

He would also add a single in the game in his lone at-bat, but his hitting prowess has not stopped there for the series. Duvall pinch hit for Foltynewicz in Game 2, which at the time could have been seen as a bit of a questionable decision by manager Brian Snitker.

Foltynewicz was only at 81 pitches for the game and with 7-8-9 due up in the order and seven shut-out innings under his belt, taking out the righty was a bold move by Snitker. But Duvall made it worth it as he smacked a two-run home run to center to blow what was a very close game wide open.

The St Louis Cardinals are 1-0 up in the National League Division Series (NLDS) after a 7-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.

Atlanta led 3-1 in the eighth, but a string of actions from earlier in the game and an unfortunate injury leading up to the start of that fateful inning forced the contest out of control.

Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman gave a valiant effort to tie the game in the night with a two-run homer and solo shot respectively, but the deficit was too much to overcome in the final half-inning.

Now the Cardinals send Jack Flaherty to the mound for Game 2 on Friday and the Braves are chasing.

Three takeaways from Cardinals' comeback Game 1 win over Braves

Over-managing costs Braves

The playoffs are all about getting pitchers out of the game too early rather than too late as well as matching up certain relievers with specific batters down the line. But the Braves simply overdid it in Game 1.

Now, it was not entirely their fault because setup man Chris Martin suffered an injury in the eighth inning, forcing manager Brian Snitker to put in Luke Jackson, which eventually led to Atlanta blowing a 3-1 lead, but Jackson could have been avoided entirely had Snitker just backed off a bit.

It started with Dallas Keuchel. He was taken out after just 74 pitches when the Cardinals had not made much hard contact on him the entire game. The Braves then only used Darren O'Day for one batter and brought in Shane Green to start the sixth. Atlanta were three pitchers in during the seventh inning and brought in starter Max Fried in relief. But then the Braves only left him in for one inning and then went to Martin.

This one was simple but you have to trust Keuchel to keep going in that situation. He is a veteran who knows how to battle in the postseason and the Cardinals had not figured him out yet. Their one run came on an infield hit, stolen base and ground ball.

This is a game Snitker would like to have a do-over on, but it is too late. Now the Braves are down 1-0 in the series and it is all because he did not trust his veteran lefty.

Everything changes in the playoffs

It is a cliche to say "everything gets turned up a notch in the playoffs" but it is also true. Nothing a player did in the regular season matters in the playoffs because adrenaline is running high, the pressure is increased and a lot of players' mental games change.

This was never more clear than in Game 1 of the NLDS. Just look at the first inning for the Cardinals. Miles Mikolas walked 32 batters all season (1.3 per nine innings). He walked the first two batters of the game. Yadier Molina's pop time this year was relatively mediocre for him at over two seconds. He caught Acuna stealing easily. Kolten Wong made nine errors all year and posted 14 defensive runs saved above average, according to Baseball Reference. He made an error that allowed a run to score.

Then in the fifth inning for the Braves, Keuchel – who did not allow a stolen base all year long – forgot about Harrison Bader at second which resulted in a steal of third and led to the Cardinals' first run of the game on a Dexter Fowler groundout.

 

The Cardinals allowed Keuchel to nibble

There is a formula to beating Keuchel – make him throw the ball in the strike zone. If a team do not do that he will beat them every single time.

During the regular season, Keuchel threw a mere 33.6 per cent of his pitches in the zone. The league average is around 45 per cent. When teams let him work out of the zone that plays into his advantage. The Cardinals did just that, routinely swinging at deliveries either just outside the zone or a good bit out which led to inning-ending double plays in both the third and fourth.

Keuchel tossed four scoreless innings to begin the game and allowed just one run in 4.2 innings pitched. Keuchel is a tough pitcher to crack because of the way he skirts the outside of the zone so it is hard to lay off of that stuff, but the Cardinals did not do themselves any favours by swinging at far too many borderline pitches.

The National League Division Series are set.

The Washington Nationals will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers after winning a dramatic wild-card game against the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3.

The St Louis Cardinals will battle the Atlanta Braves for a place in the Championship Series, and we have previewed both match-ups for you.

 

Key storylines

Will Dallas Keuchel be the key to the Braves taking the next step?

This is why the Braves went out and signed Keuchel in the middle of the season. The lefty got World Series experience with the Astros and made multiple appearances in the postseason with Houston. He gives the Braves a veteran for their rotation to send out in Game 1 of the NLDS and possibly for a second time in Game 4 or 5. But will he be what they need to advance to the next round? Or will he struggle as he did in his final few outings in the playoffs for Houston (4.43 ERA last four appearances)?

Can the Nationals hit consistently in their match-up with the Dodgers?

While Max Scherzer can catch some flak for lacklustre postseason performances with the Nationals, it has truly been the line-up that has let Washington down in the playoffs over the last few years. Since 2014, Washington have averaged 3.8 runs per game in the playoffs, scoring three runs or fewer in seven of their 15 games. The Dodgers have a solid pitching staff. Will the line-up do enough to support a rotation that will likely keep the Nationals in all of their games?

Players to watch

Jack Flaherty, SP, Cardinals

The 23-year-old righty might have been the best pitcher in MLB down the stretch in 2019. In the second half, Flaherty put up a 0.91 ERA and 0.71 WHIP in 99 1/3 innings. He will not get to start Game 1 on Thursday, but he will likely pitch Game 2 on Friday and will either have a chance to send the Cardinals back to St Louis tied 1-1 or up 2-0.

Kenley Jansen, CP, Dodgers

The Dodgers decided to stand pat at the deadline and did not go out and get either an additional closer in the market or at least a man who could step in and take over in case Jansen struggled. Los Angeles' closer posted a career-worst 3.71 ERA this year while blowing a career-high eight saves. This could easily be seen as an anomaly with hope that he will get over it in the playoffs, but in the last two years he has had some serious postseason breakdowns. He has posted a 3.55 ERA with four home runs allowed in nine appearances in the World Series over the last two years. Jansen struggled again during the regular season. The Nationals showed in the wild-card game they can get to good closers in the late innings. Will that factor into the series?

Predictions

Braves over the Cardinals in five games

The Braves have an odd advantage in this one: the Cardinals haven't faced Keuchel or Max Fried yet this season. The one pitcher they will definitely face in the playoffs is Mike Soroka and he dominated them to a tune of a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings (two starts) this season. But the Cardinals have had success with their pitching as well, so this will come down to the two line-ups. The Braves' line-up is better. They tasted the postseason last year and their young hitters have more experience under their belt. That will be the difference.

Nationals over the Dodgers in five games

The Nationals' starting rotation looks to strong to think they will lose with the way they are set up. The Dodgers have to face Patrick Corbin in Game 1. He shut out Los Angeles over seven innings in his lone start against them this season and the Dodgers showed massive vulnerability in match-ups against lefties in the playoffs last year. They addressed that by playing Cody Bellinger every day but this year the Dodgers were not as good against lefties as they were righties. But beyond that Los Angeles will have to face Stephen Strasburg in Game 2 and he is an absolute beast in the postseason. The Dodgers could easily be down 2-0 going back to Washington. But the Nationals still have to hit in this series. That is the x-factor. If they do not the Dodgers will win. But it is undeniable how well the Nationals' pitching sets up for the NLDS against the Dodgers.

The St Louis Cardinals claimed the MLB's National League Central title with a 9-0 rout of the Chicago Cubs.

Sunday's victory improved the Cardinals' record to 91-71, and they completed the regular season in dominant fashion to finish two games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers, who lost to the Colorado Rockies in 13 innings.

Paul Goldschmidt went three for four, hit a home run and tallied two RBIs for St Louis, while Matt Carpenter notched three RBIs of his own.

The Cubs, who before the game fired manager Joe Maddon, managed only three hits, with Jack Flaherty striking out six in seven scoreless innings.

The Cardinals now turn their attention to the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, which gets underway on Wednesday.

 

Lynn leads Rangers past Yankees

Lance Lynn tallied 10 strikeouts as the Texas Rangers topped the New York Yankees 6-1.

Brad Miller went four for five and hit two home runs but the Miami Marlins topped the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3.

Matt Thaiss hit a pair of home runs and drove in four in the Los Angeles Angels' 8-5 loss to the Houston Astros.

 

Reds win but Peraza struggles

Jose Peraza went 0 for five as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1.

Washington's Matt Adams went 0 for four in the Nationals' 8-2 win over the Cleveland Indians.

 

Wilkerson with a highlight-reel catch!

Baltimore Orioles outfielder Stevie Wilkerson hauls in arguably the most spectacular catch of 2019.

 

Sunday's results

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

 

Brewers at Nationals

Playoff baseball has finally arrived. Nationals ace Max Scherzer (11-7, 2.93 ERA) faces Brandon Woodruff (11-3, 3.62) in the wild-card clash.

The Nationals now have a crucial advantage in the National League wild-card game following their 10-7 win over the Cleveland Indians.

Saturday's victory against the already-eliminated Indians, the Nationals will host the MLB playoff contest at the beginning of October.

Gerardo Parra hit a grand slam in a whopping nine-run second inning to highlight the triumph, which is Washington's seventh consecutive win.

"I don't have to go home and pack," manager Dave Martinez said after the game, via ESPN. "Nice to stay at home. The boys wanted to stay at home, so they came out and swung the bats."

Nationals star Parra finished two of four for the night, along with Ryan Zimmerman, while Daniel Hudson earned the win after pitching one hitless inning.

 

Mets rookie Alonso sets record

Pete Alonso hit his 53rd home run on Saturday, which is more than any rookie in MLB history – surpassing Aaron Judge's record set in 2017. The New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 3-0.

Houston Astros star Justin Verlander struck out his 3,000th batter to become just the 18th pitcher to reach the milestone.

Hyun-jin Ryu pitched seven solid innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers claimed their 105th win. He allowed five hits while striking out seven in the 2-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

 

Rays struggle against Jays

The Tampa Bay Rays recorded only three hits in a 4-1 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rays had seven starters lay goose eggs, including Austin Meadows, Jesus Aguilar and Nate Lowe, who all went 0 for four.

Edwin Jackson gave up three runs on four hits in just three innings of work in the Detroit Tigers' 7-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Detroit split the doubleheader after a 4-3 victory.

 

Soler homers… again

What else do you expect from Kansas City Royals outfielder Jorge Soler? (P.S. This was his second home run of the game.)

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Villar has power and speed.

 

Saturday's results

Baltimore Orioles 9-4 Boston Red Sox
Minnesota Twins 4-3 Kansas City Royals
Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Chicago White Sox 7-1 Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers 4-3 Chicago White Sox
Washington Nationals 10-7 Cleveland Indians
Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 San Francisco Giants
Philadelphia Phillies 9-3 Miami Marlins
New York Mets 3-0 Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs 8-6 St Louis Cardinals
Texas Rangers 9-4 New York Yankees
Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies 3-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Houston Astros 6-3 Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics 1-0 Seattle Mariners
Cincinnati Reds 4-2 Pittsburgh Pirates

 

Brewers at Rockies

Sunday marks the last day of the regular season and there is a lot at stake. One of the biggest games will be a must-win contest for the Brewers. They trail the Cardinals by one game after losing on Saturday. A Brewers win along with a Cardinals loss will put the two teams in a tie for first place in the NL Central, which would force Game 163. That is not all. The Rays are hoping for a win of their own, and an A's loss, to force a tie-breaker to decide who gets home-field advantage for the American League wild-card game.

The Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics clinched the final two American League (AL) playoff spots on Friday, while the Cleveland Indians will miss the postseason for the first time since 2015.

The Indians lost to the Washington Nationals 8-2, which earned a wild-card spot for the Athletics. The Rays later punched their own wild-card ticket with a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. It will be their first postseason appearance since 2013.

The Rays exceeded expectations this year, thanks in part to Tyler Glasnow. Although he missed almost four months with a strained forearm, when healthy the 6-8 right hander has been a beast. He pitched 4.1 innings of no-hit ball against the Blue Jays on Friday, striking out four. He now has a 1.78 ERA in 12 outings this year.

Outfielder Austin Meadows, who came over to the Rays with Glasnow in the deal that sent Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the trade deadline last year, homered in the ninth to provide an insurance run.

"Wow. This is a wow factor what has taken place," Rays manager Kevin Cash told Fox Sports afterward. "We were really good last year, we got better this year."

 

Awesome Alonso

Mets slugger Pete Alonso hit his 52nd home run of the season, tying him with Aaron Judge for most home runs by an MLB rookie in New York's 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Outfielder Raimel Tapia crushed a pinch-hit grand slam in the sixth inning to break open the Colorado Rockies' game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Orioles right-hander Asher Wojciechowski stymied the Boston Red Sox, striking out six in six scoreless innings in a 4-1 Baltimore victory.

 

Goody struggles

Indians reliever Nick Goody gave up four runs in 0.2 of an inning as Cleveland fell to the Nationals and were eliminated from playoff contention.

 

Newman's well-timed blast

Kevin Newman walks it off for the Pirates against the Cincinnati Reds with his second home run of the game in a 6-5 Pittsburgh victory.

"He just bunted a double!" Cavan Biggio hustled for the most improbable two-base hit of the year. 

Albert Almora Jr. went up, up and up to rob a home run.

Friday's results

Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Miami Marlins
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 Cincinnati Reds
Washington Nationals 8-2 Cleveland Indians
Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles 4-1 Boston Red Sox
New York Mets 4-2 Atlanta Braves
New York Yankees 14-7 Texas Rangers
Colorado Rockies 11-7 Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins 6-2 Kansas City Royals
Chicago Cubs 8-2 St Louis Cardinals
Arizona Diamondbacks 6-3 San Diego Padres
Houston Astros 4-0 Los Angeles Angels
Seattle Mariners 4-3 Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Dodgers 9-2 San Francisco Giants

 

Cubs at Cardinals

The National League (NL) Central title was supposed to be on the line in this season-ending series, but the Cubs were eliminated from contention after inexplicably losing nine in a row. Yet the Cards and Brewers are still battling for the division crown. The Cardinals will go with Adam Wainwright, who gave up five earned runs in five innings in his last start against the Diamondbacks on Monday. Cole Hamels gets the start for the reeling Cubs.

The Milwaukee Brewers clinched the final National League (NL) playoff spot with a 9-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds in MLB on Wednesday.

Milwaukee dominated as they punched their ticket to the postseason just one day after the Washington Nationals secured a wild-card spot.

Ryan Braun made the most of his time at the plate.

While the Brewers outfielder only had one hit, it was a grand slam in the first inning.

Milwaukee ended up scoring six first-inning runs and cruised from there. 

Reds starter Tyler Mahle gave up eight runs (seven earned) in 2.1 innings before being pulled.

The Brewers can still catch the Cardinals and win the division. They trail St Louis by 1.5 games with four left to play. 

The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers have already secured division titles while Washington will play in the wild-card game. 

Fabulous Flores

Wilmer Flores went three for four with four RBIs as the Arizona Diamondbacks topped St Louis 9-7.

Rowdy Tellez hit two home runs in the Toronto Blue Jays' 3-2 win against the Baltimore Orioles.

Philadelphia's Drew Smyly tallied 10 strikeouts as the Phillies fell to the Nationals 5-2.

 

Garver battles for Twins

Mitch Garver struck out four times in the Minnesota Twins' 5-1 win against the Detroit Tigers.

The Cubs' Nicholas Castellanos was hitless in four at-bats in Chicago's 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

Suarez homers again

The Reds' Eugenio Suarez homered again.

Wednesday's results

Arizona Diamondbacks 9-7 St Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers 9-2 Cincinnati Reds
Minnesota Twins 5-1 Detroit Tigers
Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 Chicago Cubs
Washington Nationals 5-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Baltimore Orioles
New York Mets 10-3 Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox 10-3 Texas Rangers
Chicago White Sox 8-3 Cleveland Indians
Atlanta Braves 10-2 Kansas City Royals
San Francisco Giants 2-1 Colorado Rockies
Houston Astros 3-0 Seattle Mariners
Oakland Athletics 3-2 Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4 San Diego Padres

 

Cubs at Pirates

The Cubs had a strong chance to secure a wild-card spot just a few weeks ago, but they have lost eight in a row and were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Wednesday. Chicago will look to get back in the win column with Jose Quintana (13-8, 4.55 ERA) on the mound. Pittsburgh will counter with Joe Musgrove (10-12, 4.49 ERA).

The Washington Nationals eliminated the Philadelphia Phillies from playoff contention and punched their own ticket to the postseason with a doubleheader sweep on Tuesday.

The Nationals topped the Phillies 4-1 before beating them 6-5 later in the day.

Washington were not great offensively in the first matchup, but Anthony Rendon brought in two of the team's four runs with two sacrifice flies.

He leads MLB in RBIs with a total of 124 in 2019.

Philadelphia were more competitive in the second game and got two home runs and four RBIs from Brad Miller.

But that was not enough to overcome Trea Turner and Yan Gomes, who combined for two home runs and six RBIs in the victory.

The Nationals officially locked up a wild-card spot after the Chicago Cubs fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-2.

Brilliant Braun

Ryan Braun went two for three and hit a home run in the Milwaukee Brewers' 4-2 win against the Cincinnati Reds.

Nico Hoerner went two for four and drove in the Cubs' only two runs in their loss to the Pirates.

 

Poor Polanco

Jorge Polanco went 0 for five as the Minnesota Twins took down the Detroit Tigers 4-2.

The Baltimore Orioles' Jonathan Villar went one for six and struck out four times in his team's 11-4 win against the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

Creative White Sox

The Chicago White Sox showed some creativity.

Choi Ji-man hit a walk-off home run to give the Rays a 2-1, 12-inning win over the New York Yankees. Tampa Bay lead the Cleveland Indians by a 0.5-game for the second American League (AL) wild-card spot.

 

A long night at Chase Field

It was a long evening for fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Their contest against the St Louis Cardinals lasted 19 innings, making it the longest game in Chase Field history - the stadium having opened in 1998.

Eventually the Diamondbacks ran out 3-2 winners, Ildemaro Vargas pushing the winning run.

Tuesday's results

Washington Nationals 4-1 Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals 6-5 Philadelphia Phillies
Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 Cincinnati Reds
Minnesota Twins 4-2 Detroit Tigers
Pittsburgh Pirates 9-2 Chicago Cubs
Baltimore Orioles 11-4 Toronto Blue Jays
New York Mets 5-4 Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox 12-10 Texas Rangers
Cleveland indians 11-0 Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals 9-6 Atlanta Braves
Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Oakland Athletics
Houston Astros 3-0 Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Dodgers 6-3 San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies 8-5 San Francisco Giants
Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 St Louis Cardinals

 

Brewers at Reds

The Nationals have clinched a National League wild-card spot, and Milwaukee are right behind them. The Brewers are five games ahead of Chicago and have the chance to punch their own ticket to the postseason if they continue their hot streak.

The Houston Astros secured a third successive American League West title thanks to Sunday's 13-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels in MLB.

Houston boast one of the best line-ups in baseball and their power-hitting was on full display against Los Angeles.

George Springer hit three home runs and added four RBIs, while Alex Bregman and Aledmys Diaz also contributed homers.

Astros starter Justin Verlander allowed two runs over five innings and improved his record to 20-6 this season.

The Angels tallied eight hits and had two from Andrelton Simmons. Michael Hermosillo chipped in two RBIs.

 

Eric tames Pirates

Eric Thames hit two home runs as the Milwaukee Brewers topped the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3.

Luis Severino notched nine strikeouts in the New York Yankees' 8-3 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Christian Vazquez went three for five with three RBIs to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 7-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

Riley struggles against Giants

Austin Riley was hitless in four at-bats and struck out three times as the Atlanta Braves fell to the San Francisco Giants 4-1.

 

Cardinals flying into playoffs

The St Louis Cardinals clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 victory against the Chicago Cubs.

 

Sunday's results

Baltimore Orioles 2-1 Seattle Mariners
New York Yankees 8-3 Toronto Blue Jays
Miami Marlins 5-3 Washington Nationals
Boston Red Sox 7-4 Tampa Bay Rays
New York Mets 6-3 Cincinnati Reds
Detroit Tigers 6-3 Chicago White Sox
San Francisco Giants 4-1 Atlanta Braves
Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Houston Astros 13-5 Los Angeles Angels
Minnesota Twins 12-8 Kansas City Royals
St Louis Cardinals 3-2 Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers 8-3 Oakland Athletics
San Diego Padres 6-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-4 Colorado Rockies
Cleveland Indians 10-1 Philadelphia Phillies

 

Red Sox at Rays

Tampa Bay are still battling with Cleveland for the second American League wild-card spot. The Indians' upcoming series against the White Sox will not make things easy for the Rays, so they will need to hold off Boston on Monday.

The MLB American League wild-card race is heating up after the Tampa Bay Rays moved ahead of the Cleveland Indians.

Tampa Bay sit in second spot with a one-game lead over the Indians after their 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox in 11 innings. 

Cleveland, meanwhile, fell to the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-4 on Saturday.

The Rays' victory came courtesy of a Nate Lowe walk-off home run in the final frame against the Red Sox.

The two-run homer was Lowe's seventh of the season.

Tampa Bay earned an early 2-1 lead, but the Red Sox used a two-run homer in the eighth inning to send the game into extras.

Boston also scored again in the top of the 11th off a Mitch Moreland homer, but then Lowe followed it up with his game-winning heroics.

The Rays and Red Sox have two more matchups remaining in their four-game series. 

 

Paxton powers Yankees

James Paxton threw six scoreless innings and improved his record to 15-6 this season in the New York Yankees' 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Jose Abreu went three for five with two RBIs and a run scored as the Chicago White Sox topped the Detroit Tigers 5-3.

 

Kimbrel handed loss as Cubs fail to roar

Craig Kimbrel took the loss after allowing two runs, on two homers, in one inning of work as the Chicago Cubs fell to the St Louis Cardinals 9-8. 

Robinson Cano was 0 for four with three strikeouts in the New York Mets' 3-2 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds. 

 

Hiura hits homer

Keston Hiura sent this one over the left-centerfield fence in the Milwaukee Brewers' 10-1 demolition of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Stephen Strasburg can do it all was at his brilliant best as the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 10-4.

 

Saturday's results

New York Yankees 7-2 Toronto Blue Jays
St Louis Cardinals 9-8 Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds 3-2 New York Mets
Chicago White Sox 5-3 Detroit Tigers
Washington Nationals 10-4 Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Boston Red Sox
Los Angeles Angels 8-4 Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners 7-6 Baltimore Orioles
Philadelphia Phillies 9-4 Cleveland Indians
Milwaukee Brewers 10-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
Atlanta Braves 8-1 San Francisco Giants
Kansas City Royals 12-5 Minnesota Twins
Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 San Diego Padres
Oakland Athletics 12-3 Texas Rangers
Colorado Rockies 4-2 Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Cardinals at Cubs

The Cardinals have won the first three games of this series, extending Chicago's losing streak to five. The Cubs have fallen behind the Brewers in the race for the second National League wild-card spot and will need to get on track, quickly. They will send Yu Darvish (6-7, 4.02 ERA) to the mound while St Louis will counter with Miles Mikolas (9-14, 4.29 ERA).

The Atlanta Braves used a 6-0 shutout against the San Francisco Giants to take the top spot in the National League (NL) East for the second consecutive MLB season.

Ronald Acuna Jr. led Atlanta with a perfect night at the plate. He was two for two with two RBIs and three runs scored.

Mike Foltynewicz did the bulk of the work on the mound. He pitched a solid eight innings where he allowed just three hits while striking out seven.

Tyler Beede got tagged with the loss after six innings of work. He gave up six runs on seven hits.

Awesome Alonso

The New York Mets' Pete Alonso continued his impressive rookie season by becoming the first player in MLB this year to hit 50 home runs. Alonso is only the second rookie (Aaron Judge, 52, 2017) to complete the feat.

The Cardinals did not need much to hold off the Cubs 2-1 and Yadier Molina led the efforts with three of St Louis' four hits and both RBIs.

The Cleveland Indians remain in position to make it to the postseason with some help from Carlos Carrasco, who got his first save in five years in a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

 

Hernandez struggles

Felix Hernandez struggled in the Seattle Mariners' 5-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. He pitched five innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and only striking out three.

The Tigers barely took their bats off their shoulders against the White Sox. Detroit mustered just one run in a 10-1 loss to the White Sox.

 

Perfection from Crawford

The chase, the slide, the catch, Brandon Crawford made a perfect defensive play for the Giants.

Eloy Jimenez hit a grand slam for the White Sox.

Friday's results

St Louis Cardinals 2-1 Chicago Cubs
Baltimore Orioles 5-3 Seattle Mariners
Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 New York Yankees
New York Mets 8-1 Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Indians 5-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago White Sox 10-1 Detroit Tigers
Washington Nationals 6-4 Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Boston Red Sox
Atlanta Braves 6-0 San Francisco Giants
Houston Astros 6-4 Los Angeles Angels
Milwaukee Brewers 10-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
Minnesota Twins 4-3 Kansas City Royals
Oakland Athletics 8-0 Texas Rangers
Arizona Diamondbacks 9-0 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 12-5 Colorado Rockies

 

Red Sox at Rays

The Rays are trying to hold onto the second American League (AL) wildcard spot. The Indians' win on Friday now puts some pressure on the Rays, who are coming off a win themselves – a big win in fact, that knocked the Red Sox out of playoff contention. Boston seemingly have nothing left to play for while Tampa Bay want to keep their season going and look to Tyler Glasnow (6-1, 2.02 ERA) for a good start on the mound on Saturday.

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