The Minnesota Twins' Rocco Baldelli and St Louis Cardinals' Mike Shildt were named Managers of the Year in tight votes on Tuesday.

Baldelli became the eighth rookie manager to win the award after the Twins claimed the American League (AL) Central title before falling short in the AL Division Series.

The 38-year-old finished with 106 points to win AL Manager of the Year, just ahead of the New York Yankees' Aaron Boone (96), while the Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Cash (33) was third.

"You take on a responsibility, and it's one that you take seriously when you take on the role of manager," Baldelli said, via the Twins' website.

"You don't do it for anything that points back to yourself. You don't do it for awards. You do it to bring a group together in the best possible way you can.

"When you do get acknowledged for something individual, it's an interesting feeling, but you are certainly floored by being acknowledged in that way."

The National League race was also close, with Shildt (95 points) finishing ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers' Craig Counsell (88) and Atlanta Braves' Brian Snitker (45).

The Cardinals reached the NL Championship Series before being swept by eventual World Series champions the Washington Nationals.

The New York Yankees reached the American League Championship Series thanks to a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Monday's win saw the Yankees sweep the Twins 3-0 in the MLB's AL Division Series.

Luis Severino and New York's bullpen silenced the Twins thanks to some great defensive plays as the Yankees moved within one step of their first World Series since 2009.

Now, the Yankees advance to face the winner of the ALDS clash between the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays.

On the other hand, the Twins extended their MLB-record postseason losing streak to 16 games, with 13 of those losses coming to the Yankees. 

 

Three takeaways from the Yankees' series-clinching win over the Twins in ALDS Game 3

Yankees are more than a one-dimensional team

New York won plenty of games this year simply by bludgeoning the other team at the plate. The Yankees led the majors in runs and finished just one homer behind the Twins' MLB-record 307 homers. But their pitching and metrics were average to below average.

Yet the Yankees are far from a one-dimensional team. Starter Severino pitched four shut-out innings, striking out four, and the bullpen shut down the Twins the rest of the way in Game 3 on Monday.

And New York pitchers benefited from some spectacular plays behind them. The gem of the night: Second baseman Gleyber Torres made a diving stop in right field to throw out Eddie Rosario in the sixth, with a great scoop by first baseman DJ LeMahieu.

An inning later, Aaron Judge caught what looked like a sure RBI double off the bat of Miguel Sano.

And in the ninth, shortstop Didi Gregorius made a diving catch to save a run and snuff out a last-gasp rally by the Twins.

The Yankees held a loaded Twins line-up to only seven runs in three games. In short, these Yankees do far more than just crush home runs and trot around the bases.

Things will get tougher for Yankees in ALCS

No disrespect to the Twins, who earned 101 regular-season victories and have a foundation to return to the postseason next year. But they are not the Astros, the Yankees' presumed opponent in the ALCS — the Astros lead the Rays 2-1 in their ALDS, with Tampa Bay hosting Game 4 on Tuesday. The Astros can match the Yankees' offensive firepower, and in Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke, have arguably the most dominating trio of postseason starters in MLB history.

The Yankees outscored their opponents by 204 runs, an impressive feat and the third-highest mark in baseball. The Astros outscored their opponents by 280 runs.

A potential Yankees-Astros ALCS is the series that baseball fans have been drooling over for months. The Rays can spoil that dream showdown, but even against the Rays, the Yankees would face a formidable trio of starters in Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton and Blake Snell. Things get much tougher for the Yankees moving forward.

Twins picked a bad time for strikeouts to spike

For a team that set the MLB season home run record this term, the Twins were remarkably tough to strike out in 2019, ranking 25th in baseball in strikeouts.

Unfortunately, it seems the Twins were saving all their strikeouts for the postseason. Minnesota struck out 27 times in the first two games of the ALDS, far above their season average of about eight Ks per game. After the Twins loaded the bases with nobody out in the second inning, Sano popped out, but Severino then struck out Marwin Gonzalez swinging and Jake Cave was called out on strikes.

With runners on first and second the next inning, Mitch Garver struck out to end the threat.

Then, with two runners on and nobody out in the bottom of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman struck out two batters to lock down the victory.

With the Twins' season hanging in the balance, the ALCS was a bad time for a spike in strikeouts.

The New York Yankees are on the brink of moving on to their second American League Championship Series (ALCS) in three years after taking down the Minnesota Twins 8-2 in Game 2 in the ALDS on Saturday.

New York lead the series 2-0 ahead of going to Minnesota for Game 3. Jake Odorizzi was passed over for the start in Game 2 by the Twins but he will likely toe the rubber in Game 3 on Monday.

The Yankees will likely counter with Luis Severino.

 

What we learned from Yankees' ALDS Game 2 win over Twins

Masahiro Tanaka's regular seasons don't matter

It seems like every year there is panic about Masahiro Tanaka and his lulls during the regular season.

But sometimes some pitchers just show up when the lights are brightest. For example, Brandon Backe had a career 5.23 ERA with the Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros over eight seasons. But in the postseason he had a 2.95 ERA. He showed up when he needed to.

Tanaka has struggled over the past few years as he is constantly managing his iffy elbow. He gave up six runs in 0.2 of an inning against the Boston Red Sox in London. Panic ensued and it continued when he finished the year with a 4.45 ERA. But Tanaka always shows up in the postseason.

He threw five innings and allowed one run in Game 2 against one of this year's best and most clutch lineups – Minnesota were second in MLB with a .292 batting average with runners in scoring position. Tanaka now has a 1.54 ERA in 35 career postseason innings.

Matchups don't always pan out

The Twins played purely a matchup in Game 2 by starting rookie Randy Dobnak over Odorizzi. The rookie came into the game with a 53 per cent groundball rate, which would have been fifth in MLB had he pitched enough innings to qualify. Odorizzi had a 35 per cent groundball rate, which was the third-worst in all of baseball.

Minnesota wanted to avoid the fly ball at Yankee Stadium, so they started Dobnak. He did avoid the fly ball, but he also gave up six hits and four runs in two innings of work. He kept the ball in the yard, but he also aided New York in jumping out to an 8-1 lead in three innings.

Dobnak was the better matchup in Yankee Stadium than Odorizzi was on paper. But pitching Odorizzi was the right decision due to his age and experience. Throwing in a rookie to pitch in the Bronx is not a good idea. As much as modern-day analytics say clutch does not matter, psychology entirely disagrees.

The rookie struggled a big part due to nerves. Odorizzi should have been the play here, but the Twins stuck too close to the paper.

 

Did Didi Gregorius bust through his slump or was this an anomaly?

Didi Gregorius showed up in Game 2. He went two for three, but most importantly, he smacked a grand slam in the third inning to bust the game wide open.

Gregorius came into this game mired in a two-for-25 slump. He had not hit a home run since September 10 and finished the year with a .238/.276/.441 slash line.

So is Gregorius out of his slump or was he simply put in favourable spots to succeed?

He hits better against righties, better in wins, likes pitchers like Tyler Duffey and Dobnak, hits well with runners in scoring positions, hits pitchers the first time well and also well with bases loaded.

A lot of things went in his favour in Game 2. Could his slump be broken? Absolutely. But he was put in some good spots on Saturday.

The New York Yankees have had the Minnesota Twins' number come October and that continued on Friday.

The two teams know each other well, especially in the postseason where they have faced each other six times since 2003. In those matchups, New York have always come away with a series – and even wild-card game – win.

The Yankees won all four American League Division Series (ALDS) against the Twins and a 2017 wild-card contest. This time around, they are up one game after their 10-4 win at Yankee Stadium.

Both teams were battling less-than-ideal situations after dipping into their bullpens with the game tied through five innings, but it was DJ LeMahieu who had yet another big night to help push New York ahead.

There will be a quick turnaround for Game 2 which is scheduled for Saturday.

 

Three takeaways from the Yankees' ALDS Game 1 win

James Paxton wasn't the James Paxton the Yankees know and love

The left-handed pitcher may be in his seventh MLB season, but he was in unfamiliar territory. No, it was not the location. James Paxton has gotten more than comfortable during his first season in New York, especially in the second half of the season. But it did have to do with the setting.

Paxton, who had spent all six of his previous seasons with the struggling Seattle Mariners, made his postseason debut on Friday. He was well aware of his inexperience and sought out veteran team-mates with playoff chops for advice leading up to the start.

"Luckily, a lot of [Yankees] players have had experience in the postseason," Paxton said on Thursday. "I've been talking to team-mates and asking them what it's like, what it's like to pitch in the postseason."

Paxton was entering the game after winning a career-best 10 consecutive starts before leaving his final regular-season start with tight glute muscle. The injury might have been a "non-issue" but the Twins' at-bats certainly were a problem. In 4.2 innings of work, Paxton allowed three runs off five hits while striking out eight and walking one. It was not an ideal start and far from what he has been doing late in the regular season. If it is simply playoff nerves, Paxton will need to shake them off if he wants to help propel the Yankees in the AL.

 

Choose your fighter: The Bronx Bombers or the Bomba Squad

It should have been a slugfest as these two bomb squads started their series. It looked as if it would start that way after Jorge Polanco hit a home run in the first inning to give the Twins an early lead, but the heavy-hitting stayed one-sided – until a LeMahieu homer got the Yankees rolling.

Both the Yankees and the Twins hit a massive amount of home runs during the regular season. Their respective bats were so hot they became the first two teams to ever hit more than 300 home runs in a single season. But, it did not translate into the postseason – at least not yet.

There were a humble five homers hit on Friday including two more from the Twins and two total from the Yankees.

 

LeMahieu was the difference maker

It was almost fitting that the Yankee to hit the first home run – and his first postseason home run ever – also broke the game open.

LeMahieu pushed New York's lead to 10-4 after seven innings en route to the Game 1 win to start his first postseason with the team.

He led the way for the Yankees this season recording the most hits (197), having the highest batting average (.327) as well as tallying a team-high 102 RBIs and 109 runs.

But it was not until a three-run double in the seventh that he really showed his stuff. LeMahieu is 11-16 with 27 RBIs with the bases loaded this season, including Friday.

He finished three of five at the plate with a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored.

The American League Division Series are set.

After the Tampa Bay Rays' convincing 5-1 win in the wild-card game over the Oakland Athletics, they will begin their clash with the Houston Astros on Friday.

The other teams battling it out for a place in the Championship Series will be the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins, and we have previewed both match-ups.

 

Key storylines

How will the Rays' starting pitching perform?

On paper, the Rays match up with the Astros one through three. It sounds crazy but just look at the first series of the season. Houston beat Blake Snell but then lost to Charlie Morton and Tyler Glasnow in back-to-back games. Houston did not have Carlos Correa or Zack Greinke that time, so this series will be a touch different, but in terms of pitching talent, the Rays do match up with the Astros' staff. The big question is health, as Glasnow and Snell are recently back from injuries and not fully extended like Tampa Bay would like them to be. But if they can pitch enough to get to their stellar bullpen, then this series could be very, very tough for the Astros.

Will the Twins' home-run prowess continue?

This is a bit of a one-sided question just because the same thing could be asked of the Yankees, but New York have proved they can hit in the postseason. The Twins hit 307 homers this year, but we have no idea if that will continue in the postseason when everything gets harder. Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco and Mitch Garver all had career years at the plate. If they can do what they did during the regular season they can keep up with a more proven line-up in New York. They were not able to do it in the 2017 wild-card game. Will they do it in a five-game series?

Players to watch

Carlos Correa, SS, Astros

Correa missed 87 games this season with back and rib injuries and was out for the final seven matches of the year after his back stiffened up on a flight to Seattle. Correa was one of the Astros' most clutch players at the plate in the 2015 and 2017 postseasons, hitting seven home runs and driving in 18 runs in 24 games. While Houston can win without him, they are undoubtedly worse when he is not in the line-up and 100 per cent fit. He is supposed to play in Game 1 on Friday but there are doubts he will get on the field.

Luis Severino, SP, Yankees

Severino made just three starts this year and it is unclear what shape he will be in for the postseason. But if he can give the Yankees five good innings against the Twins, Minnesota's chance in this series will be dealt a blow. If Severino is healthy, he and James Paxton present an imposing top two in a rotation for a potential ALCS and World Series.

Predictions

Astros over the Rays in five

While the Rays can match up with the Astros pitching-wise, the odds are Tampa Bay will not be able to beat Houston in three out of four games with Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Greinke starting. Tampa Bay's line-up is unlikely to be able win three games against that rotation and will probably have to if the Rays are to progress to the ALCS.

Yankees over Twins in four

Severino, Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka. That should be enough to win the first three games for the Yankees, but Minnesota could get one at home. New York should have too much firepower and are as healthy as they have been all year.

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 Seattle Mariners lost 3-1 to the Oakland Athletics as Felix Hernandez made his final start for the MLB team on Thursday.

Mariners fans at T-Mobile Park literally cheered every strike from the 33-year-old – one of the most beloved players in Seattle history – honouring the veteran nicknamed 'King Felix'.

Hernandez exited the game to a standing ovation with one out in the sixth inning, after 106 pitches. He gave up three earned runs on five hits, striking out three and walking four.

The performance was a microcosm of Hernandez's final couple of seasons with Seattle. The six-time All-Star and 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner has battled injuries and ineffectiveness, winning only one of his past 25 starts dating to July 1, 2018.

His 6.40 ERA this season is so un-King like for a pitcher who twice led the league in ERA and holds the Mariners' all-time record for victories with 169.

But Thursday was a final chance to remember the King Felix who left Mariners fans with so many great memories through the years. Fans showed their love for the popular pitcher throughout the night. They cheered wildly as he walked from the bullpen and took the mound before the game.

And when Hernandez struck out Sean Murphy for his first strikeout in the second inning, the crowd erupted, and he immediately pointed at fans along the left-field line in the "King's Court," who held up "K" signs.

As he exited the game, fans chanted "Felix! Felix!" as he walked to the dugout, acknowledging the crowd.

Hernandez's future is unclear as he enters free agency this offseason. But for one night, Seattle fans treated him like a King one final time.

 

Astudillo leads Twins

Minnesota Twins third baseman Willians Astudillo homered and had four hits, scored four runs and drove in two in a 10-4 win over the Detroit Tigers.

Danny Santana homered and had four RBIs as the Texas Rangers topped the Boston Red Sox 7-5.

 

Indians silenced by White Sox

The Cleveland Indians' playoff hopes are on life support, but the team's bats fell silent against the Chicago White Sox. Five Chicago hurlers in a bullpen-by-committee performance shut out the Indians on four hits, striking out 10 in an 8-0 victory.

 

Haseley says no to Gomes!

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Adam Haseley stole a home run from Yan Gomes and made it look easy in a 6-3 loss to the Washington Nationals.

Cincinnati Reds players saluted long-time announcer Marty Brennaman, who called the final game of his 46-year broadcast career against the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.

 

Thursday's results

Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 Cincinnati Reds
Minnesota Twins 10-4 Detroit Tigers
Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 San Diego Padres
Texas Rangers 7-5 Boston Red Sox
Washington Nationals 6-3 Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants 8-3 Colorado Rockies
Pittsburgh Pirates 9-5 Chicago Cubs
Miami Marlins 4-2 New York Mets
Chicago White Sox 8-0 Cleveland Indians
Los Angeles Angels 4-3 Houston Astros
Oakland Athletics 3-1 Seattle Mariners

 

Indians at Nationals

The Indians, who are fighting for a wild-card spot, send right-hander Zach Plesac (8-6, 3.82) to the mound against the Nats, who have already punched their postseason ticket.

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.

The play-off chasing Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers boosted their wild-card hopes in MLB action on Thursday.

Cleveland moved back into a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild-card spot in the American League with a 7-0 win over the Detroit Tigers.

The Brewers moved one game up on the Chicago Cubs by virtue of their 5-1 win over the San Diego Padres and Cubs' 5-4 loss to the St Louis Cardinals.

The Cubs made an exciting late push in their game, rallying from three runs down to tie it up 4-4 in the ninth inning, but a Matt Carpenter homer in the 10th off Craig Kimbrel – who was making his return from injury – put the game out of reach.

The race in the National League Central is now all but settled for the Cubs. St Louis lead by four games with six matchups with Chicago remaining in the season. The Cubs would have to go 5-1 in those games just to tie the Cardinals.

However, the Brewers do remain just three games behind, and if the Cubs were to go 5-1, they could possibly take the lead in the division.

 

Elmore powers Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jake Elmore went three for five with a double and two RBIs in the team's 6-5 defeat to the Seattle Mariners in extra innings.

Boston Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez tossed six innings while allowing one unearned run and striking out 10 in a 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants. The win was Rodriguez's 18th of the year.

Brett Gardner went two for three with a home run, three runs scored and three RBIs as the New York Yankees won 9-1 against the Los Angeles Angels to clinch their first AL East title since 2012.

 

Padres pair struggle

Wil Myers and Hunter Renfroe combined to go 0 for eight with two strikeouts in the Padres' loss to the Brewers.

 

Acuna nearing MLB feat

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. is now three stolen bases away from a 40/40 season as he hit his 40th home run of the year in a 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

 

Thursday's results

Atlanta Braves 5-4 Philadelphia Phillies
Seattle Mariners 6-5 Pittsburgh Pirates
Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 San Diego Padres
Boston Red Sox 5-4 San Francisco Giants
Toronto Blue Jays 8-4 Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees 9-1 Los Angeles Angels
Cleveland Indians 7-0 Detroit Tigers
St Louis Cardinals 5-4 Chicago Cubs
Minnesota Twins 8-5 Kansas City Royals

 

Phillies at Indians 

The Phillies are just about out of the wild-card race as they sit four games adrift of the Brewers for the second spot, but as John Belushi famously asked: "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" Of course not. The Phillies technically have time to get back into a playoff spot, but they have to be just about perfect. The problem is the Indians are also fighting for a playoff spot so they will not be an easy out.

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