MLB

Dodgers close gap on Giants, White Sox clinch division title

By Sports Desk September 24, 2021

The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a terrible time in extra-inning games all season, but they picked up a critical win Thursday when Max Muncy's 10th-inning home run gave them a 7-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies. 

The Dodgers (98-55) had been 5-13 in extra-inning games prior to Thursday, compared to 10-7 for the team they have chased all summer, the rival Giants.

But San Francisco fell in extras, 7-6 to the San Diego Padres on a walk-off single in the 10th by Victor Caratini, narrowing the Giants' division lead to one game. 

The Giants have held at least a share of first place in the National League (NL) West all but one day since May 31, and the pair appear set to battle it out over the final nine games of the regular season, though they will not face each other head-to-head. 

 

White Sox clinch division title

The Chicago White Sox split a double-header with the Cleveland Indians, but they only needed to win one to clinch the American League Central title and they did that with a 7-2 triumph in the opener. Tim Anderson homered in the first and second innings, while Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez also went deep in the second as the Sox drove Cleveland starter Aaron Civale from the game. This is the first time the White Sox have reached the postseason in successive years in a franchise history that dates to 1901. 

St Louis Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright gave up a grand slam to Tyrone Taylor in the first inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder added a solo shot in the fourth. That was all Milwaukee had, though, as the Cardinals got their offence going late and rolled to an 8-5 victory punctuated by a pair of Paul Goldschmidt homers. It was the 12th win in a row for the Cardinals, who hold a commanding lead on the second NL wild-card spot. 

The Seattle Mariners remained in the American League wild card hunt with a comeback victory of their own, 6-5 over the Oakland Athletics. Home runs by Cal Raleigh, Mitch Haniger and Luis Torrens brought Seattle back from a 4-1 deficit to leave the Mariners two games back of the idle New York Yankees for the second wild card berth. 

The Philadelphia Phillies fell behind the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-0 before roaring back for a 12-6 victory that left them just two games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. A three-run homer by Ronald Torreyes in the sixth inning put Philadelphia over the top, and J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius also homered for the Phillies. It was the third time this month the Phillies have come back from a deficit of at least six runs to win, the first time any MLB team in the modern era has done that. 

 

Double setback for Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays not only lost a chance to gain ground on the idle Yankees and Boston Red Sox in their 7-2 defeat to the Minnesota Twins, they also saw a key player go down with a freak injury. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. left the game in the fifth inning when team-mate Randal Grichuk stepped on his right hand on a play in the field. X-rays were negative but Gurriel needed two stitches in his right middle finger to close the wound. Gurriel is hitting .364 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs in September. 

 

Soto still unstoppable

Juan Soto's remarkable run at the plate continued as the young Washington Nationals star hit two more home runs, his 28th and 29th of the season, in his team's 3-2 defeat of the Cincinnati Reds. Soto walked and singled in his other two trips to the plate and has reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances. It was the 24th time this season Soto has reached base at least four times in a game. The only MLB players ever to top that number are Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams and Barry Bonds. 

 

Thursday's results

Chicago White Sox 7-2 Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians 5-3 Chicago White Sox
Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 Atlanta Braves
Seattle Mariners 6-5 Oakland Athletics
San Diego Padres 7-6 San Francisco Giants
Minnesota Twins 7-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals 3-2 Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies 12-6 Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles 3-0 Texas Rangers
St Louis Cardinals 8-5 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-5 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Houston Astros

 

Yankees at Red Sox

The top two teams in the AL wild-card race open a weekend series as Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees (86-67) visit Nathan Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox (88-65) at Fenway Park. 

Related items

  • James after reaching 40,000 NBA points: 'Records are always meant to be broken' James after reaching 40,000 NBA points: 'Records are always meant to be broken'

    LeBron James cannot discount another player going on to reach 40,000 NBA points, as he celebrated reaching the milestone despite a Los Angeles Lakers loss.

    The Lakers lost 124-114 to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, though with a haul of 26 points, James reached 40,017 points.

    When James reached nine points, he was presented with the game ball and received an ovation from the crowd at the Crypto.com arena.

    Coincidentally, James surpassed the 40,000 mark on the 62nd anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks.

    While teammate Anthony Davis believes no other player will come close to matching James' points haul, James himself warned records are there to be broken, even though no other active player has yet reached 30,000 career points.

    "Obviously we have a lot of great guys in our league that can score the ball, and if they were to stay healthy and they would play a long time, then they can eclipse it," James said.

    "And then, records are always meant to be broken. You can never say never for any record. At one point we said that Big O's [Oscar Robertson's] triple-double record would never be broken and Russ [Westbrook] did it, and now looks like Joker [Nikola Jokic] and Luka [Doncic], they're doing it every night.

    "I feel like I'm still that threat out on the floor and I am still able to do the things that I was doing 10 years ago. And some things I was doing 20 years ago, which is weird to say."

    Davis did joke, though, that James' record-setting games usually come in defeats for the Lakers.

    "I was just telling him in the locker room he might have to stop breaking records because we always lose any time he breaks a record," Davis said. "And he said the same thing."

    Indeed, that streak is quite something. James was on the losing side when he reached his 30,000th and 35,000th career points. When he became the all-time leading NBA points scorer last year, the Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    "For me, the main thing is always the main thing, and that's the win," James said.

    "I hated that it had to happen in the defeat, especially versus the team that plays extremely well. We played some good basketball tonight, but weren't able to close it out. So, bittersweet but enjoyed every moment tonight on the floor."

  • Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls

    Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 46 points as he became the player with the most wins in the Milwaukee Bucks' history on Friday, with the Chicago Bulls beaten 113-97 at United Center.

    For Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers, however, the focus is squarely on preparing for the postseason as the Bucks eye their third NBA Championship.

    Antetokounmpo surpassed the 40-point mark for the eighth time this season, also adding 16 rebounds and six assists, as the Bucks recorded their fifth straight victory.

    The win was the 489th of Antetokounmpo's Bucks career including both regular-season and playoff games, taking the two-time NBA MVP clear of Sidney Moncrief as the winningest player in franchise history.

    "Everybody has to be on the same page, and I feel like the last couple of games, we're doing that and that's why our defense has taken a step," Antetokounmpo said after the win. 

    "Hopefully, we can keep it up. Right now, it's just about trust. We've just got to trust one another. That's it, win or lose, we have to have the same trust."

    For coach Rivers, who has led the team to an 8-7 run since replacing Adrian Griffin in January, all that matters is ensuring Milwaukee are ready for the postseason.

    "We're winning games, but for us, it's not about that right now," Rivers said. "Our whole key is getting ready. That's the first thing I told the players. 

    "We still have work to do, we're still pushing, we've got to get better. It's nicer to get wins than to lose, but we're not where we want to be yet."

    Milwaukee, who sit third in the Eastern Conference with a 40-21 record, are back in action against the 38-20 Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. 

    They then embark on a four-game California road stretch on Wednesday, when they face the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. 

  • 'I feel 40' – Birthday boy Doncic dispatches Raptors 'I feel 40' – Birthday boy Doncic dispatches Raptors

    Luka Doncic quipped he feels like he is 40 years old after he celebrated his 25th birthday in style.

    Doncic became the first player in NBA history to finish with a triple-double on their birthday as he led the Dallas Mavericks to a 136-125 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

    He finished with 30 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season.

    Doncic has now had 39 30-point triple-doubles, which sees him surpass LeBron James in the all-time list for that feat.

    When asked if he considered his 25th birthday as a milestone, Doncic joked: "I feel like [I'm] 40, so no."

    Doncic was 11 for 23 from the field and missed 7 of 8 from 3-point range in his 67th career triple-double.

    "Just a normal game, triple-double," Jason Kidd said.

    "He was really good. I guess 25 means he's still going to be really good as he gets older here."

    Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and P.J. Washington Jr. added 23 points for Dallas, as they bounced back from back-to-back defeats.

    "Kyrie and Luka, they had such a poise in important moments to make the right plays," said Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic after his team saw a three-game winning streak snapped.

    Doncic added: "We just played aggressive on defense, got out on transition, that's it. 

    "My team knows when I'm engaged. Everybody helps everyone to be engaged.

    "I'm having so much fun. Back-to-back is always tough, a great win today, I've got to get some rest now."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.