MLB

MLB: Atlanta Braves' Matt Olson reaches 50 homers

By Sports Desk September 12, 2023

Matt Olson extended his major-league lead with his 49th and 50th home runs of the season, but the Philadelphia Phillies chased Kyle Wright and beat the Atlanta Braves, 7-5, on Monday to split a doubleheader between the National League East's top two teams. 

In the opener, Braves closer Raisel Iglesias blew a save opportunity by allowing two runs in the ninth, but Kevin Pillar and Orlando Arcia had RBI hits in the 10th to lift Atlanta to a 10-8 win.

Olson had a three-run homer in the third inning and a solo shot in the sixth to become the first left-handed hitter to reach the 50-home run milestone since Chris Davis had 53 for the Baltimore Orioles in 2013.

The first baseman is only the second player in Braves history to hit the mark along with Andruw Jones, who hit 51 in 2005. 

The Phillies hung six runs on Wright in three-plus innings and Brandon Marsh had a solo homer in the fifth to add insurance as Philadelphia stayed atop the NL wild card standings. The Phillies' lead over Chicago for the top spot was trimmed to two games, however, after the Cubs rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies. 

Atlanta's win in the opener reduced the Braves' magic number to four to capture their sixth straight NL East title, which they can clinch by winning the final two contests of this four-game series. 

 

Heim's grand slam highlights Rangers' rout of Blue Jays

Jonah Heim capped a five-run seventh inning with a grand slam as the Texas Rangers pulled away for a 10-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of a key four-game series between American League playoff contenders.

The victory put the Rangers a half-game ahead of slumping Seattle for the AL's final wild card spot and allowed Texas to close the gap on first-place Houston in the AL West. The Astros were dealt a 4-0 loss by the Oakland Athletics, while the Mariners suffered their fourth straight loss with an 8-5, 11-inning defeat to the Los Angeles Angels.

Texas is now two games back of the Astros and also moved within a half-game of Toronto for the AL's second wild card.

Heim also had an RBI double in the top of the sixth inning before connecting for his third career grand slam, a blast off Genesis Cabrera that staked the Rangers to a 10-3 lead.

Evan Carter added two hits, including his first major league home run, to back six solid innings from Rangers starter Dane Dunning. Corey Seager and Robbie Grossman also finished with two hits and an RBI.

Dunning struck out seven while allowing three runs to record his 10th win of the season. 

Cavan Biggio homered for Toronto and drove in two of the Blue Jays' four runs.

 

Woodruff throws first shutout as NL Central-leading Brewers trounce Marlins

Brandon Woodruff spun a six-hitter for his first career shutout and the Milwaukee Brewers racked up 17 hits in a 12-0 rout of the Miami Marlins that opened a four-game series.

Woodruff struck out seven while issuing just one walk in a 106-pitch masterpiece that helped Milwaukee to its third win in four games. The Brewers maintained a three-game edge on the second-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central standings.

The right-hander got plenty of offensive support as the Brewers battered Miami starter Jesus Luzardo for six runs in five innings, then scored five times off the Marlins' bullpen in the sixth.

Willy Adames led the charge with three hits and four RBIs, while Tyrone Taylor went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and Mark Canha homered among his two hits.

The Marlins entered the series having won eight of 10 to get back into the NL wild-card race, where they now trail Arizona by 1 1/2 games for the final spot. The Diamondbacks came through with a 4-3 win over the New York Mets on Monday. 

 

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