Dodgers streak stopped at six, Yankees back in Wild Card spot after Blue Jays slip out

By Sports Desk September 18, 2021

The Los Angeles Dodgers had their six-game winning streak snapped by the Cincinnati Reds in MLB on Friday.

Already bound for the playoffs via at least a Wild Card berth, World Series champions the Dodgers were upstaged as the Reds won 3-1 in Cincinnati.

Luis Castillo outduelled Walker Buehler, striking out 10 batters, while he did not allow a runner past second base in 6.2 innings of work.

Castillo gave up five hits and two walks as Dodgers ace Buehler finished with three runs on six hits and two walks in six innings.

 

Yankees soar into Wild Card positions

The New York Yankees blanked the Cleveland Indians 8-0 behind two-time American League (AL) Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, who produced six scoreless innings. Joey Gallo homered as the Yankees (83-65) leapfrogged the Toronto Blue Jays (82-65) for the second AL Wild Card position. The Boston Red Sox (84-65) are first in the AL Wild Card race following their 7-1 rout of the Baltimore Orioles.

Jarred Kelenic (22 years and 63 days) became the youngest Seattle Mariners hitter with a multi-homer game since Alex Rodriguez in 1996. The Mariners topped the Kansas City Royals 6-2.

The Tampa Bay Rays were 7-4 winners against the Detroit Tigers. Austin Meadows recorded his 100th RBI to become the first Rays player with a century of RBIs in a season since Evan Longoria in 2010.

Brandon Crawford tied a career high with his 21st home run of the season to guide the San Francisco Giants past the Atlanta Braves 6-5.

 

A century of defeats

The Arizona Diamondbacks suffered their 100th loss of the season, a 4-3 defeat to the Houston Astros after 10 innings. Arizona's only other 100-loss season came in 2004 when the franchise tallied 111 defeats.

The Orioles also crashed to defeat number 100 for the season. Baltimore have lost at least 100 games in each of the last three 162-game campaigns.

 

Guerrero homers… again

The Blue Jays went down 7-3 to the Minnesota Twins but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. stayed hot as he reclaimed the homer lead. He homered in a losing effort, tying Joe DiMaggio for the second most home runs (46) in a season by a player aged 22 or younger. Guerrero only trails Eddie Matthews (47).

 

Friday's results 

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

 

Dodgers at Reds

The Dodgers (94-54) will look to bounce back against the Reds (77-71) on Saturday. Dodgers ace Max Scherzer is set to start as the Reds send Sonny Gray to the mound.

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    Maybe that would have happened if the series had gone seven games, but Rosario made sure it did not, hitting his third home run of the NLCS to give the Atlanta Braves a 4-2 win Saturday and secure MVP honours. 

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    Rosario went 14 for 25 in the series for a staggering .560 batting average, driving in nine runs and scoring six himself. 

    "We just couldn't figure him out," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "He beat us the other way. He beat us to the pull side. He got hits off lefties, off righties. We tried to spin him. We went hard.

    "We just didn't have an answer for him and when you've got that big guy [Freddie Freeman] looming behind him it's just kind of tough to pitch around him, who was clearly hot. But, yeah, we just didn't have an answer for him."

    Rosario tied an MLB record for the most hits in a postseason series, but he could lay claim to owning it outright.

    The four men he shares the mark with – Marco Scutaro (2012 NLCS), Kevin Youkilis (2007 ALCS), Albert Pujols (2004 NLCS) and Hideki Matsui (2004 ALCS) – all needed seven games to reach 14 hits. 

    "It's just amazing how locked-in he is," Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Rosario. "It's been something else."

    Atlanta acquired Rosario from the Cleveland Indians on July 30, just under three weeks after losing star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. for the season with a knee injury, but they knew they would have to wait for the newcomer to join the lineup. 

    Rosario had been out since July 5 with an abdominal strain and would not become a regular fixture in the Braves lineup until mid-September, but no one is taking him out now. 

    Though the 30-year-old has postseason experience from his time with the Minnesota Twins, he has never experienced anything like the last week or so. 

    "This is obviously my greatest accomplishment of my career so far, this [MVP] trophy and this award, so it's something to definitely be proud of," Rosario said. 

    "It's truly a great moment, not just in my career, but in my life as well, but I want more. I want to win the World Series."

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    Will Smith came on to close it out in the ninth before a roaring sellout crowd of 43,060 at Truist Park, where the Braves have won 10 of their last 11 games, and got Pollock to ground out to shortstop Dansby Swanson for the final out. 

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    Dusty Baker said "there was never a doubt" in the Houston Astros' minds that they would top the Boston Red Sox and reach the World Series.

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    Kyle Tucker's three-run homer settled the contest in the eighth inning as the 2017 World Series champions prepare to face either the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers.

    "Pitching, defense and timely hitting," veteran manager Baker said of how the Astros came back to claim the series against the Red Sox.

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    Baker is heading back to the World Series for the first time in 19 years – the only manager to go longer between consecutive World Series appearances was Bucky Harris (1925 with the Senators then 1947 with the Yankees).

    Baker will be aged 72 years and 133 days old for Game 1 of the World Series, the second oldest manager to reach the Fall Classic behind only Jack McKeon (73 years and 329 days in 2003).

    Yordan Alvarez was crowned ALCS MVP after becoming the fifth Astros player with a four-hit game in a potential postseason clincher after driving in the opening run before scoring to double the lead in the sixth inning of the Game 6 clash.

    "It means everything," Alvarez told reporters. "I think there are a lot of things that I could say that's behind the trophy, but all I can say is it just means everything."

    Luis Garcia starred on the mound for the Astros, allowing just one hit and striking out seven batters across 5.2 innings.

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