The Boston Red Sox conquered rivals the New York Yankees 6-2 in Tuesday's Wild Card Game to set up an American League (AL) Division Series showdown with the Tampa Bay Rays.

A playoff berth was on the line in MLB after the Red Sox and Yankees both claimed dramatic last-gasp wins on the final day of the regular season to finish in the AL Wild Card spots, ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners.

The Red Sox welcomed the Yankees to Fenway Park and eased to a comprehensive victory, securing an ALDS clash with AL East champions the Rays, starting Thursday in Tampa.

Boston got to Gerrit Cole as the Yankees ace endured a nightmare outing – Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber both homering off the four-time All-Star, while Red Sox counterpart Nathan Eovaldi allowed just one run on four hits after striking out eight batters in 5.1 innings.

Cole lasted just two innings after giving up three runs, two homers and two walks on four hits as the Yankees' season came to an abrupt end – the storied franchise have not reached the World Series since 2009.

Bogaerts hit a first-inning home run off Cole before Schwarber heaped further misery on the 31-year-old starting pitcher in the third to help the Red Sox move 3-0 ahead.

Anthony Rizzo homered in the sixth to finally get the Yankees on the board as he and Schwarber became the second pair in history to hit home runs in a postseason game as team-mates (2015 NLDS) then later home in another playoff contest featuring for different teams after Carlos Ruiz and Jayson Werth in the 2016 NLDS, according to Stats Perform.

But the Red Sox scored two unanswered runs in the seventh and while Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton homered in the ninth, it was too little too late in Boston.

Alex Verdugo ended the game with three RBI to become the youngest Red Sox hitter with a three-RBI performance in a winner-takes-all clash since Dustin Pedroia in the 2007 ALCS Game 7.

 

Cardinals at Dodgers

The St Louis Cardinals will visit defending World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers in Wednesday's National League (NL) Wild Card contest. It will be a battle between St Louis' Adam Wainwright and Dodgers ace Max Scherzer.

The St Louis Cardinals extended their remarkable streak to 17 consecutive victories and clinched the second National League Wild Card spot with a 6-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.

The triumph seals a postseason spot for the Cardinals for the third consecutive year after a franchise-record run.

The Cardinals become the third team in the expansion era to win 17 straight within a season, behind only the 2017 Cleveland Indians (22) and the 2002 Oakland Athletics (20).

St Louis were forced to come back from a multi-run deficit for the sixth time during their streak after Luis Urias' two-run blast in the fourth inning.

The Cards responded immediately, with Adam Wainwright's bunt helping Harrison Bader tag to level it up.

Avisail Garcia's error from Tyler O'Neill's base hit allowed Paul Goldschmidt home, before home runs from Jose Rondon and Nolan Arenado sealed the win and another postseason berth.

Morton fires Braves past Phillies

Charlie Morton had 10 strikeouts as the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 to edge a step closer to the clinching a fourth consecutive NL East title.

The result means the Braves (84-72) are 3.5 games ahead of the Phillies (81-76).

In the battle for the NL West title, the San Francisco Giants (103-54) produced a four-run sixth-inning rally to win 6-4 over the Arizona Diamondbacks, while the Los Angeles Dodgers (101-56) survived a late scare to win 2-1 against the San Diego Padres.

The Seattle Mariners kept alive their hopes of reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2001 with a 4-2 win over the Oakland Athletics, with Mitch Haniger hitting his 100th career homer.

The Houston Astros stayed 4.5 games ahead of the Mariners with a 4-3 walk-off win over the Tampa Bay Rays, where J.T. Chargois walked the last two runs.

Salvador Perez claimed the outright lead for home runs in the majors with his 47th for the season in the Kansas City Royals' 6-4 over the Cleveland Indians.

Wind out of Red Sox's sails

The Boston Red Sox fluffed a 2-0 lead in a must-win game in the AL Wild Card race, going down 4-2 to the lowly Baltimore Orioles. Chris Sale had six strikeouts and none earned through five innings before the Orioles flipped the game on its head, leaving the Red Sox unstable at 88-69, marginally ahead of the Mariners (88-70) and the Toronto Blue Jays (87-70).

Stanton's hot streak continues

Giancarlo Stanton crushed an improbable 421-foot three-run home run as the New York Yankees secured a critical 7-2 win over the Blue Jays in the AL Wild Card hunt. In-form Stanton now has 13 RBI in his past four games, with his seventh-inning homer opening up a four-run lead for the Yankees in a crucial game. Stanton has also homered in four straight games.

Tuesday's results

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

Phillies at Braves

The Phillies get another chance to keep alive the race to win the NL East division when they face the Braves in the second game of their three-game series on Wednesday.

The New York Yankees are in pole position in the American League (AL) Wild Card race thanks to a sweep of rivals the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

An eighth-inning rally fuelled the Yankees to a 6-3 victory over the Red Sox and a sixth consecutive win in MLB.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer, while Aaron Judge doubled home two runs as the Yankees seized control from the Red Sox in the AL Wild Card chase.

Stanton became the first Yankees player with 10-plus RBI in a three-game series at Fenway Park, according to Stats Perform. The previous record for a Yankee was held by Joe DiMaggio and Hideki Matsui (nine).

With the three-game sweep, the Yankees (89-67) now lead the Red Sox (88-68) by one game for the top AL Wild Card berth with six games remaining, while the Toronto Blue Jays (87-69) are two games adrift following their 5-2 success against the Minnesota Twins.

 

Brewers crowned NL Central champs

The Milwaukee Brewers secured their second National League (NL) Central title in four years following an 8-4 win at home to the New York Mets. Willy Adames led the way with a two-run homer and three RBI.

Shohei Ohtani boosted his MVP credentials with a dominant display, despite the Los Angeles Angels losing 5-1 to the Seattle Mariners. After two triples on Saturday, two-way star Ohtani struck out 10 batters, while giving up just one run and five hits in seven innings without a walk. He is the first player to combine for multiple triples and 10-plus strikeouts in back-to-back team games since Chief Bender in 1905, per Stats Perform.

The St Louis Cardinals celebrated their 16th straight win by topping the Chicago Cubs 4-2. St Louis' franchise-record streak is the longest in MLB since the Cleveland Indians won 22 games in a row in 2017. The Cardinals are the first NL team to win 16 successive games since the New York Giants in 1951.

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers have won 100 games in a season for the eighth time in franchise history. The Dodgers blanked the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0.

 

Phillies' streak ends

The Philadelphia Phillies had their five-game winning streak snapped in a 6-0 shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In a blow to their playoff hopes, Phillies starter Hans Crouse gave up a home run on his first major league pitch. The 23-year-old allowed two hits and walked four batters in three innings.

 

A's walk it off

Mark Canha's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning saw the Oakland Athletics edge the AL West-leading Houston Astros 4-3 in a walk-off success.

 

Sunday's results

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

 

Athletics at Mariners

Monday is a battle between two teams still chasing a Wild Card spot in the AL. The Mariners (86-70) are two games behind the Red Sox, who occupy the second and final berth, while the Athletics (85-71) are three games off the pace. Chris Flexen will toe the mound for the Mariners, with A's pitcher Cole Irvin set to start.

The streaking St Louis Cardinals made history with their 15th successive victory, an 8-5 win against the Chicago Cubs in MLB action on Saturday.

St Louis set a franchise record by extending their winning run to 15 games behind a rallying effort, eclipsing the 14-game streak in 1935.

Harrison Bader, Tyler O'Neill and Paul DeJong homered for the in-form Cardinals, who hold the second National League (NL) Wild Card spot.

The Cubs led 4-2 after four innings before a three-run seventh ignited the Cardinals away at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

"It's an incredible feeling. It's a complete elation of knowing every time we come to the field that we're going to win," said Cardinals centerfielder T.J. McFarland said.

"It's that confidence – I don't want to say arrogance – but it's almost that motivation every time we come to the field, we're expecting to win, and we're rising to the occasion when we need to."

 

Rays crowned AL East's best again

For the second straight season, the Tampa Bay Rays clinched the American League (AL) East crown. The high-flying Rays made sure of the title via a 7-3 victory at home to the Miami Marlins.

Shohei Ohtani became just the second player in history with at least 45 homers, 20 stolen bases and six triples in a season, after Willie Mays in 1955. Ohtani hit consecutive triples to inspire the Los Angeles Angels to a 14-1 demolition of the Seattle Mariners, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.

Brandon Belt homered twice as the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants set a franchise record for home runs in a season during their 7-2 win over the Colorado Rockies. The Giants have homered 236 times in 2021, surpassing the 235 hit in 2001. San Francisco hold a two-game lead over World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were upstaged by the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2.

The Toronto Blue Jays – two games adrift in the AL Wild Card chase – beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1 behind Marcus Semien. The Blue Jays star tallied his 43rd home run of the season – tying the record for most single-season homers by a second baseman in MLB history, alongside Davey Johnson (1973).

 

Padres eliminated from playoff contention

Fernando Tatis Jr. and the San Diego Padres will not feature in the postseason following a 10-8 loss to the Atlanta Braves after 10 innings. Jorge Soler's go-ahead double eliminated the Padres from playoff contention. San Diego held a one-game lead for the second NL Wild Card berth on September 9 before spiralling out of form and out of the playoff mix.

 

Stanton slam boosts Yankees in Wild Card race

The New York Yankees moved into a tie with the Boston Red Sox for the AL Wild Card lead after Giancarlo Stanton's grand slam fuelled a 5-3 victory.

 

Saturday's results

St Louis Cardinals 8-5 Chicago Cubs
Philadelphia Phillies 3-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Oakland Athletics 2-1 Houston Astros
New York Yankees 5-3 Boston Red Sox
Detroit Tigers 5-1 Kansas City Royals
Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 Miami Marlins
Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Texas Rangers
Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 New York Mets
Toronto Blue Jays 6-1 Minnesota Twins
Cincinnati Reds 7-6 Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves 10-8 San Diego Padres
Cleveland Indians 6-0 Chicago White Sox
Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants 7-2 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels 14-1 Seattle Mariners

 

Blue Jays at Twins

The Blue Jays (86-69) will continue their Wild Card quest away to the Twins (69-86) on Sunday. Toronto ace Alek Manoah is set to start, with Minnesota's Jax Griffin to toe the mound.

The St Louis Cardinals continued their remarkable run of form, matching a franchise record amid the team's 14-game unbeaten streak in MLB.

On Friday, the streaking Cardinals swept their doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs 8-5 and 14-2 to equal St Louis' record for most consecutive victories, set in 1935.

St Louis reinforced their hold on the second National League (NL) Wild Card spot after improving to 85-69 this season.

Tyler O'Neill homered twice in the day, including a three-run shot with the Cards leading 3-2 in the second inning of the later game.

Lars Nootbaar hit two of the five homers in the evening game, helping the Cardinals complete the Cubs sweep.

"I've said it since even the offseason, day one of Spring Training and at any point in time I get the opportunity to talk about this group," said Cardinals manager Mike Shildt. "It's a special group."

Yankees move clear of Jays in Wild Card race, Franco extends streak

The New York Yankees claimed a critical win in the American League (AL) Wild Card battle, defeating rivals the Boston Red Sox 8-3 after plundering seven runs in the opening three innings. Giancarlo Stanton delivered a flat three-run homer in the third inning as part of his four-RBI performance which underlined the Yankees' win over the AL Wild Card leaders.

The Yankees – enjoying a four-game winning streak – enhanced their playoff hopes after the Toronto Blue Jays went down 3-1 to the Minnesota Twins. The Blue Jays are 85-69, level with the red-hot Seattle Mariners and two games adrift of the Yankees (86-67) in the race for the second AL Wild Card berth.

Tampa Bay Rays rookie Wander Franco returned and continued his historic 40-game on-base streak as the AL East leaders blanked the Miami Marlins 8-0. Reinstated from the 10-day injured list, Franco's streak is the second longest in AL-NL history by a player aged 20 or younger, only three games short of the all-time record set by Frank Robinson in 1956. Franco also broke a tie with Johnny Damon (2011) for the second longest overall on-base streak in franchise history.

A.J. Pollock took a super catch on the fence and hit a two-run home run as World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers won 4-2 over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his 41st home run of the season with a game-winning shot in the San Diego Padres' 6-5 triumph against the Atlanta Braves. The Braves would win the second game 4-0 with Max Fried sending down his second career shutout.

 

A's hammer Astros bullpen

The Houston Astros' bullpen had a difficult day in their 14-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics. With Zack Greinke on the IL, Brandon Bielak started but lasted three innings, allowing four hits and three runs. But the real damage came late, with Yimi Garcia, Brooks Raley and Seth Martinez copping the brunt as the A's piled on 11 runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

 

Giants reach rare century

The San Francisco Giants became the first time to reach 100 wins this season, eclipsing the Colorado Rockies 7-2 to improve their record to 100-54. It marks the first time since 2003 the high-flying Giants have reached triple figures in the win column, and eighth time in franchise history. Brandon Belt and Mike Yastrzemski also became the first pair of Giants team-mates with 25-plus home runs in a season since 2006.

Post the 100 win graphic pic.twitter.com/p7sEyoHzpj

— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 25, 2021

 

 

Friday's results

St Louis Cardinals 8-5 Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers 8-5 Baltimore Orioles
Philadelphia Phillies 8-6 Pittsburgh Pirates 
Cincinnati Reds 8-7 Washington Nationals
Tampa Bay Rays 8-0 Miami Marlins
New York Yankees 8-3 Boston Red Sox
San Diego Padres 6-5 Atlanta Braves 4-0
Kansas City Royals 3-1 Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox 1-0 Cleveland Indians
St Louis Cardinals 12-4 Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 New York Mets
San Francisco Giants 7-2 Colorado Rockies
Minnesota Twins 3-1 Toronto Blue Jays
Seattle Mariners 6-5 Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics 14-2 Houston Astros
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves 4-0 San Diego Padres

 

Yankees at Red Sox

On Saturday, the Red Sox and the Yankees will meet again in their crucial AL series which will go a long way towards determining Wild Card spots. Nick Pivetta is set to start for the Red Sox, while the Yankees will likely counter with Nestor Cortes.

Luis Severino made a successful return from long-term injury on the hill as the New York Yankees stayed in the American League (AL) Wild Card hunt with a 7-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

Giancarlo Stanton creamed a solo home run, with a recorded 118 mph exit velocity, to get the Yankees on their way to victory.

Joey Galllo homered for the 38th time this season, while Aaron Judge's three-run home run in the seventh inning put the Yankees up 7-1.

But with the game practically done and dusted, Severino's return was one of the game's big highlights.

The 27-year-old was making his first appearance since October 15, 2019 due to injuries, and produced two scoreless innings and two strikeouts.

The win keeps the Yankees (85-67) just behind the Toronto Blue Jays (85-66), who overcame the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2.

 

Rare air for 10-straight Cardinals

The St Louis Cardinals recorded their 10th straight win to further enhance their Wild Card hopes with a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The 10-game winning streak is the Cards' first since 2001, while they became the second team in the Wild Card era to move into a playoff spot with such a September run.

The Brewers almost snatched the win, down 2-1 in the ninth inning with bases loaded after Christian Yelich was walked, but Giovanny Gallegos struck out Pablo Reyes with a vicious breaking ball to close it out.

Xander Bogaerts had a game to remember, delivering his 23rd home run for the season and driving in four runs as the Boston Red Sox won 6-3 over the New York Mets to solidify their grip on an AL Wild Card spot.

LaMonte Wade Jr drove in Brandon Belt in the ninth inning as the San Francisco Giants got past the San Diego Padres 6-5 despite two homers from Manny Machado to hold sole possession of first place.

Albert Pujols drove in Gavin Lux for the game-winning run in the 10th inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers survived a scare to beat the Colorado Rockies 5-4.

Bryce Harper put on the jets to get home from J.T. Realmuto's right-field flyball to seal a crucial walk-off win for the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 over the Baltimore Orioles.

 

Reds miss golden opportunity

Nicholas Castellanos, Joey Votto and Kyle Farmer all fluffed a golden chance to press the Cincinnati Reds' National League (NL) Wild Card case, getting out on consecutive at-bats trailing 3-2 with bases loaded in the sixth inning. The Reds eventually went down 6-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates, leaving Cincinnati 78-74, trailing the Cards by four games in the race for the second NL Wild Card spot.

 

Ohtani homes in on more records

Shohei Ohtani homered for the first time since September 10 as the Los Angeles Angels went down 10-5 to the Houston Astros. Ohtani's solo shot was his 45th home run for the season, pulling him within one of the equal league lead alongside Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Salvador Perez. Ohtani is also now tied with Mike Trout in second for most homers in a single season in Angels franchise history.

 

Tuesday's results 

Detroit Tigers 5-3 Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians 4-1 Kansas City Royals
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Cincinnati Reds
Washington Nationals 7-1 Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees 7-1 Texas Rangers
Boston Red Sox 6-3 New York Mets
Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 Tampa Bay Rays
Minnesota Twins 9-5 Chicago Cubs
St Louis Cardinals 2-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 Colorado Rockies
Houston Astros 10-5 Los Angeles Angels
Seattle Mariners 5-2 Oakland Athletics
Atlanta Braves 6-1 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants 6-5 San Diego Padres

 

Blue Jays at Rays

The Blue Jays' (85-66) battle for the second AL Wild Card spot is getting tight, and they will look to round out their series with the Rays with another victory, with the Yankees (85-67) breathing down their necks.

The New York Yankees stayed hot in MLB on Monday, extending their winning streak to 10 games by seeing off the Atlanta Braves 5-1.

Giancarlo Stanton fuelled the streaking Yankees with a homer and three runs in Atlanta.

Yankees slugger Stanton homered in the second inning as the Braves had their nine-game winning run snapped.

 

Cubs snap skid

Rafael Ortega's walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning inspired the Chicago Cubs to a 6-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies. It ended the team's home losing streak at 13 games, the longest in franchise history.

According to Stats Perform, the Cubs are the first team in MLB history to hit a walk-off homer to end a 13-plus game home losing streak. The previous long home losing streak snapped by a game-ending home run was 12 in a row by the St Louis Browns in 1949.

The Toronto Blue Jays edged the Chicago White Sox 2-1 as Alek Manoah impressed on the mound. The Blue Jays starter allowed five hits and just one run while striking out five batters in six innings. His 78 strikeouts to date are the most ever by a Blue Jay in his first 13 career games.

With two outs in the ninth inning, Jake Bauers broke a tie via his two-run single to help the Seattle Mariners rally past the Oakland Athletics 5-3. In 25 of Seattle's 126 games this season, the Mariners earned the lead in their final at-bat to win the game (19.8 per cent). According to Stats Perform, only one team in American League (AL) history has had a higher percentage of their games end in a last at-bat victory – the Washington Senators in 1918 (20.0 per cent).

 

Royals pounce on Maton

It was a rough outing for the Houston Astros and reliever Phil Maton as the Kansas City Royals cruised to a 7-1 win. In just 0.2 innings of work, Astros pitcher Maton gave up three hits and three runs, one earned.

 

Shaw slam!

Travis Shaw was the hero as the Boston Red Sox outlasted the Texas Rangers 8-4 after 11 innings. A defensive replacement in the eighth inning, Shaw hit a walk-off grand slam to lift the Red Sox.

 

Monday's results 

Boston Red Sox 8-4 Texas Rangers
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 Arizona Diamondbacks
Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees 5-1 Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs 6-4 Colorado Rockies
Kansas City Royals 7-1 Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners 5-3 Oakland Athletics

 

Dodgers at Padres

Tuesday will see a battle between World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers and National League (NL) West rivals the San Diego Padres, who are both coming off defeats.

The New York Yankees have placed Giancarlo Stanton on the 10-day injured list with a quad strain.

Stanton's designation applies retroactively from May 14, dealing another blow to a Yankees team that has been beset by health issues.

Shortstop Gleyber Torres is still on the IL following a COVID outbreak that has also left them without three coaches and five staff members.

Center fielder Aaron Hicks' season may be over because of a wrist injury, while the Yankees hope second baseman Rougned Odor can return this week from a knee problem.

Relief pitcher Zack Britton is due to start a rehab assignment with the Double-A Somerset Patriots on Wednesday with a view towards a return in late May.

Meanwhile starting pitcher Luis Severino has begun throwing to hitters again following Tommy John surgery but is likely to still be at least six weeks away from a return.

Stanton is batting .282 with nine home runs and 24 RBI as the Yankees' designated hitter this season.

Despite their injury woes, the Yankees have won six of their last 10 and sit third in the American League East with a 22-18 record.

Fernando Tatis Jr. put on a show as the San Diego Padres scored seven unanswered runs to rally past World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-7 after 11 innings in another thrilling MLB showdown.

The Padres trailed National League (NL) West rivals the Dodgers 7-1 at the end of six innings, but Tatis fuelled the visitors to an epic extra-innings victory in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Tatis scored the game-winning run on Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly in the 11th inning as the Padres became the first team since the 1918 San Francisco Giants to win a game, despite being on the road, facing a side with a .700 per cent winning percentage, trailing by six-plus runs in the seventh inning or later, per Stats Perform.

San Diego's Tatis hit another home run after back-to-back multi-homer games against the Dodgers, making it five home runs in three appearances as the NL West blockbuster continues to provide postseason energy in April.

According to Stats Perform, Tatis became the first player in MLB history to have five-plus home runs and two-stolen bases in a road series.

Tatis has two games with at least one home runs and two stolen bases – Tony Gwynn is the only other player in Padres history to achieve the feat, while he is the eighth shortstop with at least one three-game span of five-plus homers.

Dustin May had a career-high 10 strikeouts for the Dodgers. Aged 23 years and 231 days, he is the youngest pitcher in franchise history with 10-plus strikeouts in a game since Clayton Kershaw (23 years and 169 days) in 2011.

 

Bumgarner dominates with unofficial no-hitter

Madison Bumgarner threw a seven-inning no-hitter to guide the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 7-0 shutout of the Atlanta Braves, clinching a sweep of the doubleheader. Bumgarner struck out seven batters, but it will not officially count as MLB rules stipulate such a game must be a contest of nine or more innings that ended with no hits. The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, became the first team to allow one or fewer hits in a doubleheader after Zac Gallen held the Braves to one hit in the 5-0 opener.

Trevor Story hit a grand slam – the third of his career – in a seven-run fourth inning as the Colorado Rockies routed the Philadelphia Phillies 12-2.

The Cleveland Indians defeated the struggling New York Yankees 7-3 behind Franmil Reyes' three-run homer, triple and first stolen base.

 

A's crash back down to earth

The Oakland Athletics and their 13-game winning streak was snapped by the Baltimore Orioles, who were 8-1 victors. It was Oakland's third longest winning streak since 1968.

Patrick Corbin was put to the sword in the Washington Nationals' 4-0 loss to the New York Mets. Corbin, who suffered his 10th consecutive decision, allowed four runs, seven hits and three walks in four-plus innings.

 

Oh-tani!

The Los Angeles Angels avoided a sweep against the Houston Astros thanks to some help from Shohei Ohtani. The two-way star crunched a 440-foot homer in the eighth inning to give the Angels a 3-2 lead. The Angels beat the Astros 4-2.

 

 

Sunday's results

Baltimore Orioles 8-1 Oakland Athletics
Kansas City Royals 4-0 Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Indians 7-3 New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox 5-3 Seattle Mariners
Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 Tampa Bay Rays
New York Mets 4-0 Washington Nationals
Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 Atlanta Braves
Arizona Diamondbacks 7-0 Atlanta Braves
Los Angeles Angels 4-2 Houston Astros
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox 8-4 Texas Rangers
St Louis Cardinals 5-2 Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers 6-0 Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies 12-2 Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants 4-3 Miami Marlins
San Diego Padres 8-7 Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Rockies at Giants

It will be an all-NL West clash when bottom team the Rockies (8-13) visit the high-flying Giants (14-8) on Monday. Only the Dodgers have a better record than the Giants in the division this season.

Fernando Tatis Jr. put on another show at Dodger Stadium, but it was the World Series champions who won out via small ball, defeating the San Diego Padres 5-4. 

After slamming a pair of home runs in Los Angeles on Friday, Tatis repeated that feat Saturday -- and had some fun with Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer along the way. 

In early March, Trevor Bauer spent most of the first inning of a spring training game against the Padres pitching with his right eye closed, calling it a training method he uses occasionally to challenge himself.

The Padres didn't forget about it. After Tatis homered off Bauer in the first inning Saturday, the San Diego star covered up his right eye with his hand as he rounded the bases. 

Tatis also went deep off Bauer in the sixth to give San Diego a 3-2 lead, but the Padres' relievers would give the game away in the bottom of the inning.

With San Diego starter Blake Snell out of the game, Los Angeles strung together three singles and a bases-loaded walk to Mookie Betts to tie the game, then took the lead on a two-run single by Corey Seager. 

Tatis had one last chance to be the hero in the ninth, coming up with the tying run on and one out, but Kenley Jansen got him to ground out, then struck out Trent Grisham to end it. 

 

Yankees' Cole almost untouchable

Gerrit Cole was spectacular for the Yankees in New York's 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians. The right-hander allowed just three hits and a run and did not walk a batter while striking out 11 to outpitch Shane Bieber (seven innings, four hits, two runs, nine strikeouts).

The Oakland Athletics won their 13th consecutive game after a 1-7 start, defeating the Baltimore Orioles 7-2. A three-run home run by Jed Lowrie in the fourth inning put the game out of reach for Oakland. 

The Houston Astros lost starter Jake Odorizzi after five pitches and one out due to an arm injury, but Kent Emanuel pitched the rest of the game in his MLB debut, allowing a pair of solo home runs in a 16-2 Astros win over the Los Angeles Angels. 

 

Reds hit bottom in NL Central

After spending more than two weeks with at least a share of first place in the National League Central, the Cincinnati Reds dropped to last in the division Saturday after their sixth consecutive lost, this one 2-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds managed only three hits, all singles, off John Gant and two St. Louis relievers in their latest setback. 

 

White Sox walk it off

Up until the final inning of the Rangers-White Sox game Saturday, the only run had come on a bases-loaded wild pitch in the sixth that gave Chicago a 1-0 lead, but things got interesting in the ninth. Willie Calhoun tied the game with a home run for Texas in the top of the inning, but the White Sox put together a rally in the bottom half and won 2-1 on Nick Madrigal's walk-off double. 

 

Saturday's results

Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 Chicago Cubs
Oakland Athletics 7-2 Baltimore Orioles
Kansas City Royals 2-1 Detroit Tigers
New York Yankees 2-1 Cleveland Indians
Seattle Mariners 8-2 Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals 7-1 New York Mets
Houston Astros 16-2 Los Angeles Angels
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox 2-1 Texas Rangers
St Louis Cardinals 2-0 Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies 7-5 Colorado Rockies
Miami Marlins 5-2 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 San Diego Padres
Atlanta Braves-Arizona Diamondbacks (postponed)
 

Padres at Dodgers

San Diego (12-11) send Joe Musgrove to the mound for the final game of their series against the Dodgers (15-6) on Sunday. Dustin May will get the ball for Los Angeles. 

Jacob deGrom produced a masterful performance amid 'MVP' chants to lead the New York Mets to a 6-0 shut-out win over the Washington Nationals.

DeGrom was dominant with bat and ball on Friday, firing a two-hitter for his second career shutout, setting a career best with 15 strikeouts against the Nationals in MLB.

The Mets ace also went two-for-four at the plate, the two-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner finishing with a double, two runs scored and an RBI.

DeGrom became the first MLB player to have 15-plus strikeouts and score two-plus runs in a game since Tom Seaver with the Mets in 1973, per Stats Perform.

The three-time All-Star also became the first player in the modern era with 15 strikeouts, two runs scored and no runs allowed, while he is the second pitcher in the modern era with 50-plus strikeouts and five or more base hits at the plate over any four-start span.

DeGrom's 50 strikeouts are the most by any pitcher across the first four starts of a season, surpassing the 48 of Shane Bieber (2021) and Nolan Ryan (1978).

 

A's stay hot

The Oakland Athletics extended their winning streak to 12 games by beating the Baltimore Orioles 3-1. The A's are in the midst of their longest streak since tallying a franchise-record 20 wins in a row in 2002.

Giancarlo Stanton hit two home runs to lead the struggling New York Yankees to a 5-3 victory at the Cleveland Indians.

Rookie sensation Yermin Mercedes had four hits, including a double in the seventh inning, as the Chicago White Sox topped the Texas Rangers 9-7. Yoan Moncada tallied three hits and a home run.

J.A. Happ flirted with a no-hitter in the Minnesota Twins' 2-0 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Happ lost his no-hit bid in the eighth inning. The 38-year-old walked two batters and struck out three.

 

Glasnow costly

Tyler Glasnow's seven-game winning streak, dating back to last year, came to an end in the Tampa Bay Rays' 5-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Glasnow became the second pitcher in MLB history to have four-plus strikeouts and allow four-plus runs in the same inning after Marcus Semien hit a three-run homer in the first inning, per Stats Perform. Rays ace Glasnow allowed five runs, five hits and struck out 10 in six innings.

 

Tatis takes down Kershaw's Dodgers

Fernando Tatis Jr. put on a show for the San Diego Padres, who trumped World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1. Tatis homered twice against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. On April 23 in 1999, father Fernando Tatis Sr. hit two grand slams in one inning at Dodger Stadium. They are the first father-son duo to each record a multi-homer game at the same venue on the same calendar date.

 

Friday's results

Chicago Cubs 15-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Oakland Athletics 3-1 Baltimore Orioles
Kansas City Royals 6-2 Detroit Tigers
New York Yankees 5-3 Cleveland Indians
Boston Red Sox 6-5 Seattle Mariners
Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 Tampa Bay Rays
New York Mets 6-0 Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves 5-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Houston Astros 5-4 Los Angeles Angels
Minnesota Twins 2-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago White Sox 9-7 Texas Rangers
St Louis Cardinals 5-4 Cincinnati Reds
Colorado Rockies 5-4 Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants 5-3 Miami Marlins
San Diego Padres 6-1 Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Padres at Dodgers

The Padres (12-10) will look to claim the four-game series against the Dodgers (14-6) in game three on Saturday. Blake Snell gets the start as the Dodgers counter with Trevor Bauer in Los Angeles.

Opening Day.

A term synonymous with baseball across the United States and the globe. For fans, it is nothing short of a national holiday.

The highly anticipated start to the season on April 1 is an occasion steeped in history, with tradition front and centre.

This year's Opening Day means more than most. It is the latest signal of American life and sport returning to normal amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic led to an enforced break and a reduced 60-game regular season schedule behind closed doors, with a limited number of fans allowed to attend the playoffs as the Los Angeles Dodgers went on to end their 32-year World Series drought.

But 2021 will see the return of the usual 162-game calendar and more importantly, spectators in the stands. All but one of the 30 teams will start at reduced capacity – the Texas Rangers hosting a full house for their home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays.

As America's pastime begins anew, we preview the upcoming season, in which the Dodgers look to defend their World Series crown, using Stats Perform data.
 

Kershaw gears up for a franchise-record start

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw – entering the final season of his three-year, $93million deal – will be on the mound when the Dodgers open their title defence against the Colorado Rockies.

It will be Kershaw's ninth Opening Day start – the most in franchise history – after injuries prevented him from beginning the 2019 and 2020 campaigns, the eight-time All-Star getting the nod ahead of Walker Buehler and high-profile recruit Trevor Bauer, the reigning National League (NL) Cy Young winner.

Future Hall of Famer Kershaw boasts a 5-1 record on Opening Day, with a 1.05 ERA (6/51.2), 59 strikeouts and eight walks. The 2014 NL MVP's only loss came in his previous start in 2018 as he allowed eight hits and one earned run, while tallying seven strikeouts in six innings against the San Francisco Giants.

Since 1913, when ERA became an official stat, Kershaw has managed the lowest Opening Day figure among pitchers with six starts – 1.05. The 32-year-old's ERA is ahead of Bob Feller (1.21), Jim Palmer (1.40), Hal Newhouser (1.41) and Walter Johnson (1.51).

As for the star-studded Dodgers, they are 74-62 (.544) all-time on Opening Day, winning nine of their 10 season openers since 2011, losing only in 2018.

Their 9-1 (.900) Opening Day record over this stretch is the best in the league, ahead of the Houston Astros (8-2), Baltimore Orioles (8-2), Seattle Mariners (7-3), Detroit Tigers (7-3) and New York Mets (7-3).
 

All eyes on Tatis and Padres

Fernando Tatis Jr. heads into the 2021 season fresh off signing his eye-popping 14-year, $340m contract with the San Diego Padres.

The Padres – winners of two NL pennants – are pinning their hopes on MLB's new poster boy delivering a first World Series to San Diego.

Tatis won a Silver Slugger award last year, having hit .277 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs in the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season.

The powerful 22-year-old is the first player in MLB history to have at least 35 home runs and 25 stolen bases within the first 150 games of his career.

Tatis – the youngest Padres player to debut on Opening Day (20 years and 85 days) in 2019 – became the fastest player in franchise history (24 team games) to reach the double-digit home run mark in a season in 2020 after hitting his 10th and 11th homers in August.

In the postseason, Tatis homered twice against the St Louis Cardinals in October, becoming the youngest Padre to ever homer in a playoff game (21 years and 273 days) and the third-youngest player in MLB history to homer twice in a postseason match, behind Carlos Correa (21 and 20 days old) and Andruw Jones (19 years, 180 days old).

When it comes to on-base plus slugging, Tatis stacks up well. Since 1920, Tatis (150.8) is only behind Juan Soto (153.9 – 2018-20), Albert Pujols (159.3 – 2001), Jimmie Foxx (160.0 – 1925-29), Ted Williams (161.5 – 1939-40) and Trout (165.0 – 2011-13) for highest OPS-plus up until the age of 21.

Across his two Opening Day appearances, Tatis has three hits in seven at-bats and two runs while slugging at .571. The Padres will be hoping he can improve on that when they host face the Arizona Diamondbacks.

By comparison, Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper and New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton love Opening Day.

Harper – the 2015 NL MVP and six-time All-Star – has nine hits, five homers and six runs in eight appearances, while 2017 NL MVP Stanton has 13 hits, four homers, 10 runs and 12 RBIs through 10 games.

Blue Jays recruit George Springer, a World Series winner with the Astros, has also impressed on Opening Day following five hits, three homers and six RBIs in six games.
 

Can Abreu and Freeman go back-to-back?

Chicago White Sox star Jose Abreu was crowned the American League's best in 2020.

Becoming the 28th player to win both the MVP and Rookie of the Year in his career, Abreu beat Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians and Yankees star DJ LeMahieu.

Abreu – the fourth White Sox player to win the award – was second in MLB with 19 home runs and fourth in the AL with a .317 batting average.

Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves trumped Dodgers star Mookie Betts and Padres sensation Manny Machado to the NL honour.

Freeman's 1.102 OPS was the second highest in MLB, trailing only Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, while he led the majors with 51 runs scored and was second in the NL in batting average (.341), on-base percentage (.462) and slugging percentage (.640).

Does it bode well for the pair in 2020?

In a season after winning the MVP award, a player averages 135.9 hits, 21.5 homers, 80.5 runs and 79.5 RBIs with a slugging percentage of .516.

There have been 13 players to win back-to-back MVPs; 11-time All-Star Miguel Cabrera (AL) was the last to do so in 2012 and 2013. The most recent player in the NL was Albert Pujols (2008-09).
 

The end of Cleveland as we know them

After 106 years, this will be the last season the franchise will be known as the Indians, following the example of the NFL's Washington Football Team, who dropped their Redskins nickname in 2020 amid a long-time controversy.

Since 1915, Cleveland have won two World Series – in 1920 and 1948 – with their current streak of 71 seasons without a World Series title the longest active run in the majors.

In 1954, Cleveland went 111-43 (.721) in the regular season, before being swept in the World Series by the Giants. It stands as the highest single-season win percentage in AL history, and the best by any MLB team in the past 100 years.

Cleveland have had a winning record in each of the past eight seasons (2013-20), making them one of four MLB teams with an active streak of eight-plus (also Yankees 28, Cardinals 13, Dodgers 10). It is tied for the second-longest streak of winning seasons in franchise history (10 straight 1947-56; eight in a row 1994-2001).

Three Cleveland players have won the AL MVP Award – George Burns (1926), Lou Boudreau (1948) and Al Rosen (1953) – while five have claimed the AL Cy Young Award: Gaylord Perry (1972), C.C. Sabathia (2007), Cliff Lee (2008), Corey Kluber (2014 and 2017) and Shane Bieber (2020).

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