MLB: Orioles beat Red Sox to clinch AL East title with 100th win

By Sports Desk September 28, 2023

A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.

Two days after the death of all-time great third baseman Brooks Robinson, the Baltimore Orioles have cause to smile.

The Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 2-0 Thursday to set off a raucous celebration at Camden Yards as Baltimore clinched its first AL East title since 2014, guaranteed themselves home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs.

Baltimore, which lost 110 games in 2021, completed a stunning turnaround with its 100th win, accomplished for the first time since 1980.

Dean Kremer pitched 5 1/3 sterling innings and DL Hall, Yennier Cano, Cionel Perez and Tyler Wells pitched well out of the bullpen as the O’s held the Red Sox to just three hits – all singles.

Anthony Santander went deep off Chris Sale in the first inning, and Heston Kjerstad added some late insurance with a pinch-hit double in the eighth that plated Adam Frazier.

There was even more excitement at Camden Yards during the game when the team announced on the scoreboard that it had reached agreement with the state to keep the Orioles in Baltimore for at least the next 30 years.

The team’s lease at Camden Yards was set to expire at the end of 2023.


Crawford’s clutch hit gives Mariners vital win

J.P. Crawford singled home the tying and winning runs with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Seattle Mariners to a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers entered the bottom of the ninth with a 2-1 run lead, but Aroldis Chapman gave up singles to Cal Raleigh and Dylan Moore.

Both runners moved up on a wild pitch and Ty France walked to load the bases before Chapman was replaced by Jonathan Hernandez. After Mike Ford popped out and Josh Rojas fouled out, Crawford lined a 1-1 pitch to the wall in left to give Seattle a much-needed win.

The Mariners pulled within one game of Houston for the final AL wild card.

Adolis Garcia and Leody Taveras homered for Texas, which could’ve clinched a playoff berth with a win.


Olson hits 54th homer as Braves win again

Matt Olson extended his major league lead with his 54th home run and the Atlanta Braves clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason with a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Austin Riley had three hits and scored twice as Atlanta won for the sixth time in seven games and secured the best record in baseball.

Olson’s two-run blast gave him a team-record 136 RBIs, surpassing the 135 for Eddie Matthews in 1953.

The Cubs have lost three straight and 13 of 19 to fall one-half game behind Miami for the final NL wild card.

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  • MLB: Mariners pull even with Astros in AL West MLB: Mariners pull even with Astros in AL West

    The Seattle Mariners overcame an injury to Julio Rodriguez and a cycle by Houston's Yordan Alvarez to earn a 6-4 win over the Astros in Sunday's finale of an important three-game series.

    Luke Raley had a three-run homer and Jorge Polanco added a solo shot while going 2 for 4 as the Mariners avoided a series sweep and moved back into a virtual tie with Houston for first place in the American League West.

    Seattle also halted a season-high five-game losing streak despite Rodriguez exiting the contest in the sixth inning. The star center fielder sustained an ankle injury when he crashed into the outfield wall while attempting a play on a ball hit by Alvarez that resulted in a triple.

    Alvarez went 4 for 4 and knocked in two runs to record the 10th cycle in Astros history. The All-Star slugger singled in the first inning and homered in the top of the fourth, with the 429-foot blast off Seattle starter Bryan Woo cutting Houston's deficit to 2-1. 

    The Mariners had gone ahead on Dylan Moore's two-out triple in the second inning that brought in Josh Rojas and Raley. Rojas had reached on a ground-rule double before Houston starter Ronel Blanco walked Mitch Haniger, who was thrown out at second on Raley's fielder's choice grounder. 

    Polanco's homer off Blanco in the bottom of the fourth increased Seattle's lead, though the Astros moved within 3-2 when Mauricio Dubon doubled in the top of the sixth and scored on Alvarez's triple that injured Rodriguez.

    The Mariners answered in their half of the sixth, however. Polanco and Haniger reached on singles before Raley launched the first pitch he saw from Seth Martinez into the right field seats for a 6-2 Seattle advantage.

    After Houston got closer on Jeremy Pena's solo homer in the seventh, Alvarez completed his cycle with a double in the eighth and later crossed the plate on Chas McCormick's single that cut the lead to 6-4.

    The Astros would get no closer, however, as Mariners' closer Andres Munoz struck out the side in the ninth to record his 16th save.

    Woo improved to 4-1 on the season after allowing two runs on four hits while striking out five in 5 2/3 innings.


    Ohtani's mammoth homer helps Dodgers sweep Red Sox

    The Los Angeles Dodgers belted a season-high six home runs, including a titanic blast from Shohei Ohtani that cleared the Dodger Stadium bleachers, in a 9-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox that finished a three-game series sweep.

    Ohtani's 30th homer of the season, a massive drive off Kutter Crawford in the fifth inning that travelled an estimated 473 feet, highlighted a power barrage that carried the National League West leaders to their first three-game sweep since June 24-26 against the Chicago White Sox. The Dodgers entered the series having lost six of their final seven games before the All-Star break.

    Fellow All-Stars Freddie Freeman and Teoscar Hernandez also went deep for Los Angeles, as did Gavin Lux, Austin Barnes and Jason Heyward. Lux added a run-scoring double while finishing 3 for 4.

    All-Star Game MVP Jarren Duran knocked in four runs for the slumping Red Sox, two of which came on a first-inning home run off James Paxton that staked Boston to a brief 2-0 lead.

    Freeman answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning before the Dodgers quickly tied the game on consecutive doubles from Andy Pages and Lux.

    Hernandez, the 2024 Home Run Derby champion, put Los Angeles ahead in the third with his 20th homer of the season, and Lux reached the seats in the fourth to extend the Dodgers' advantage to 4-2.

    Barnes continued the power surge with a lead-off homer in the fifth that preceded Ohtani's monstrous shot, the fifth home run surrendered by Crawford (6-8) on the night.

    Crawford allowed six runs in all over five innings, while the ex-Red Sox hurler Paxton overcame a shaky beginning to limit his former team to three runs across five-plus innings to improve to 8-2 on the season.

    Paxton was removed after permitting a walk to Connor Wong and a Masataka Yoshida single to open the sixth, with Wong later scoring on Ceddanne's Rafaela's single off reliever Joe Kelly that brought Boston within 6-3.

    The Dodgers' offence came back to life in the eighth, however. Lux singled, stole second and came home on Cavan Biggio's single before Heyward followed with a two-run homer off former Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen for a 9-3 lead.

    Boston then threatened in the ninth, with Duran's two-run double off Evan Phillips cutting into the margin. Phillips later issued a pair of walks to load the bases before giving way to Daniel Hudson, who got Yoshida to hit into a fielder's choice that scored Duran and closed the gap to 9-6.

    Hudson then retired Wilyer Abreu on a fly ball with the tying run at the plate to end the game and pick up his sixth save of the season.


    Rookie Phillips stars as Phillies end Pirates' win streak

    Tyler Phillips cooled off the Pittsburgh Pirates' hot bats with six outstanding innings as the Philadelphia Phillies prevented a three-game series sweep by their Pennsylvania rivals with Sunday's 6-0 victory.

    Phillips (2-0), a rookie making his second career MLB start, yielded just four hits and a walk to help the NL leaders end a three-game skid and halt the surging Pirates' season-high six-game winning streak.

    Pittsburgh had totalled 23 hits in the series' first two meetings and scored 27 runs over its previous four games. 

    The Phillies gave Phillips all the support he needed by reaching Pittsburgh starter Marco Gonzales for a pair of runs on three hits in the second inning.

    Alec Bohm led off the second with a single and took third on Edmundo Sosa's one-out double before scoring the first run on Weston Wilson's sacrifice fly. Garrett Stubbs followed with a single that plated Sosa for a 2-0 lead.

    Gonzalez (2-2) held the Phillies scoreless over the remainder of his 4 2/3-inning stint, but a costly error by Pittsburgh shortstop Oneil Cruz allowed Philadelphia to break the game open in the seventh.

    With one on and one out, Cruz dropped a relay throw on a potential double-play grounder off the bat of Kyle Schwarber. Trea Turner then drove in a run with a single before Schwarber scored on Bryce Harper's groundout for a 4-0 advantage, and Turner came home on a Bohm single to further increase the margin.

    Nick Castellanos accounted for the Phillies' final run with a solo homer in the ninth. Castellanos, Bohm and Stubbs each recorded two hits in the win.


  • MLB: Ortiz, Cruz lead Pirates to 6th straight win MLB: Ortiz, Cruz lead Pirates to 6th straight win

    Luis Ortiz pitched seven scoreless innings and Oneil Cruz homered and drove in three runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates won their season-high sixth straight game, 4-1 over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.

    Ortiz allowed three hits in a season-high seven innings with two walks and two strikeouts.

    Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the eighth and David Bednar gave up Bryce Harper’s home run in the ninth.

    The Pirates scored the game’s first runs with a pair in the sixth off All-Star Cristopher Sanchez.

    Andrew McCutchen led off with a 431-foot home run and Bryan Reynolds singled before Connor Joe hit into a double play. Nick Gonzales then singled and came home on Cruz’s double off the wall in right.

    Cruz extended the lead with a two-run blast – his 15th homer - in the eighth off Matt Strahm.

    Pittsburgh (50-48) moved two games over .500 for the first time since late April and sent the major league-best Phillies to a season high-tying third straight loss.


    Orioles back Rodriguez with three homers

    Grayson Rodriguez struck out eight over six innings to become the first 12-game winner in the American League and was backed by three home runs in the Baltimore Orioles’ 8-4 win over the Texas Rangers.

    Rodriguez (12-3) struck out the side in the sixth to end his night after 103 pitches. He allowed his only three hits and two runs in a four-batter span in the second before retiring 13 of the last 14 he faced.

    Only Atlanta’s Chris Sale (13) has more wins in the majors than the second-year right-hander.

    Jordan Westburg had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Ramon Urias added three hits and a pair of RBIs. Cedric Mullins and Ryan O’Hearn had solo shots for the Orioles, who won their third straight following five consecutive losses.

    Mullins became the eighth Baltimore batter with 10 home runs.

    The Orioles lead the majors with 156 home runs, 16 more than the second-place Yankees.

    Max Scherzer lasted just two innings, giving up four runs and five hits with two walks.


    Meyers, Diaz homer in Astros’ win

    Jake Meyers hit a go-ahead two-run homer and Yainer Diaz also went deep to lead the Houston Astros to a 4-2 victory over the reeling Seattle Mariners.

    Houston has won six of eight to take over sole possession of the AL West lead for the first time this season, while Seattle dropped its fifth straight and fell out of first for the first time since May 11.

    Julio Rodriguez provided all the offence for the Mariners with a two-run homer in the sixth inning, but Seattle fell to 8-17 in its last 25 games.

    After Framber Valdez gave up two runs on three hits in 5 2/3 innings, Houston’s bullpen held the Mariners hitless the rest of the way.

    Bryan Abreu, Ryan Pressly and Josh Hader struck out five over the final three innings.

    George Kirby limited the Astros to one run and four hits in six innings with six strikeouts and left with a 2-1 lead.

    Ryne Stanek walked Jeremy Pena to open the seventh and Meyers drove a 1-2 pitch over the wall in right-center field for his 11th homer to give Houston a 3-2 lead. 

    Diaz’s homer in the eighth off Trent Thompson bounced off the top of the wall.

  • MLB: Astros shut out Mariners to tie for AL West lead MLB: Astros shut out Mariners to tie for AL West lead

    Hunter Brown and three relievers combined on a four-hitter and the Houston Astros moved into a tie for the AL West lead with a 3-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

    Yainer Diaz delivered the big blow with a two-run single and the Astros (51-46) won for the 18th time in 24 games. They trailed the Mariners by 10 games and were seven games under .500 on June 18.

    Seattle, meanwhile, has stumbled to an 8-16 mark during that span and turned in a listless effort against a division rival coming out of the All-Star break that led to boos from the home fans after the final out.

    Brown allowed four hits with three walks and five strikeouts to win for the sixth time in seven starts.

    Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly each worked a perfect inning and Josh Hader pitched the ninth for his 19th save.

    Houston did all its scoring in the third against Luis Castillo.

    Trey Cabbage doubled, then scored as Jose Altuve reached on a bunt single and a bad throw by Josh Rojas got away from first baseman Ty France. Alex Bregman was hit by a pitch and Yordan Alvarez walked to load the bases.

    Diaz then jumped on Castillo’s first pitch for a two-run single and a 3-0 lead.

    Pirates rally, walk-off Phillies

    Nick Gonzales delivered a walk-off single and the surging Pittsburgh Pirates completed a rally from a three-run deficit for an 8-7 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Pittsburgh trailed 7-4 but pulled to within one in the seventh on an RBI infield single by Oneil Cruz and Rowdy Tellez’s sacrifice fly.

    Jose Alvardo was called on to protect the slim lead in the ninth, but Connor Joe led off with a single and Andew McCutchen walked. After a double steal, Bryan Reynolds struck out and Cruz brought home the tying run on a fielder’s choice.

    Gonzales then sent a first-pitch cutter through the left side of the infield to give the Pirates their fifth straight win and seventh in eight games.

    Pittsburgh (49-48) moved over .500 for the first time since April 24.

    Trea Turner homered and Weston Wilson had a career-high three hits, including his first home run of the season, for the major league-best Phillies, who lost their third in four games.  

    Freeman’s slam lifts Dodgers

    Freddie Freeman drilled a grand slam in the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bullpen worked four scoreless innings in a 4-1 win over the Boston Red Sox.

    Nick Pivetta limited the Dodgers to two hits over six scoreless innings, but the Dodgers got to Boston’s bullpen in the eighth.

    Miguel Vargas drew a leadoff walk against Zach Kelly and Chris Taylor struck out before Brennan Bernadino entered. He gave up a ground-rule double down the left-field line to Shohei Ohtani and Will Smith was intentionally walked to load the bases.

    Freeman followed by sending an 0-1 slider over the wall in right field for his 15th home run and seventh career grand slam.

    Gavin Stone allowed one run and six hits over five innings before Anthony Banda, Alex Vesia and Ryan Yarbrough each pitched a scoreless frame. Daniel Hudson pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

    All-Star MVP Jarren Duran homered for the Red Sox, who entered the break with 10 wins in 14 games.  

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