MLB

MLB: Twins, Diamondbacks, Phillies, Rangers finish sweeps

By Sports Desk October 04, 2023

Sonny Gray and five relievers combined on a shutout and the Minnesota Twins advanced in the postseason for the first time in 21 years with a 2-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

Minnesota, which ended an 18-game playoff losing streak with a 3-1 win in Game 1, completed the sweep and moved on to face the defending World Series champion Astros in the best-of-five AL Division Series, starting Saturday in Houston.

The Twins snapped a nine-round losing streak that started with an ALCS defeat to the Angels in 2002. The Atlanta Braves (2001-2019) and Chicago Cubs (1910-1998) share the all-time mark with 10 consecutive series lost.

The Blue Jays lost their seventh straight playoff game, leaving nine runners on base in each game.

All the game’s offense came in the bottom of the fourth.

Royce Lewis drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on Max Kepler’s infield single against reliever Yusei Kikuchi.

After pinch-hitter Donovan Solano walked to load the bases, Carlos Correa singled home a run. Willi Castro then hit into a double play to make it 2-0.

Gray allowed five hits over five innings with two walks and six strikeouts.

Brock Stewart and Griffin Jax each worked one inning and Jhoan Duran struck out the side in the ninth to trigger the celebration.

 

Gallen, Diamondbacks complete sweep of Brewers

Ketel Marte highlighted a four-run sixth with a two-run single and the Arizona Diamondbacks finished a sweep of the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers with a 5-2 victory.

Two years after losing 110 games, the Diamondbacks advanced to the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Zac Gallen allowed two first-inning runs but settled down to toss six solid innings before Arizona’s bullpen finished with three scoreless frames, the final three outs coming from Paul Sewald.

Milwaukee has lost nine of its last 10 playoff games, a stretch that started with a Game 7 home loss to the Dodgers in the 2018 NLCS.

Freddy Peralta held Arizona hitless for 4 2/3 innings before Alek Thomas homered to make it 2-1.

The Diamondbacks knocked out Peralta and grabbed a 5-2 lead with four runs in the sixth.

After Marte singled home a pair of runs, the Diamondbacks got another run on Abner Uribe’s wild pitch and extended the advantage on Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s RBI single.

 

Stott hits slam as Phillies sweep

Bryson Stott hit the second grand slam in Phillies postseason history and Aaron Nola was masterful on the mound as Philadelphia rolled to a 7-1 win over the Miami Marlins for a two-game sweep.

J.T. Realmuto also went deep, and the Phillies will face the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS for the second straight season after last year’s series win in four games.

Nola limited Miami to three hits over seven scoreless innings, getting an inning-ending double play in the fifth.

Already leading 3-0, Stott’s blast off Andrew Nardi in the sixth all but assured the Phillies of advancing.

 

Rangers finish sweep of punchless Rays

Adolis Garcia and rookie Evan Carter homered to back Nathan Eovaldi’s stellar start as the Texas Rangers secured a spot in the AL Division Series with a 7-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rangers outscored the Rays 11-1 in a pair of wins and won a postseason series for the first time since 2011, when they reached the World Series.

Texas will open the ALDS on Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles.

Eovaldi gave up six hits over 6 2/3 innings while walking none with eight strikeouts to beat Tampa Bay for the third time this season.

The Rays’ postseason losing streak reached seven straight, as they were bounced in the Wild Card Series for the second consecutive year.

Garcia led off the fourth with a home run against Zach Eflin, igniting a four-run inning.

Leody Tavares singled with two outs, stole second and scored on Josh Jung’s triple. The 20-year-old Carter followed with a home run to right for a 4-0 lead.

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