The Houston Astros are one win from a World Series championship after fine pitching displays from Justin Verlander and Ryan Pressly held off the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 in Game 5 on Thursday.

Verlander claimed his first-ever World Series victory in his ninth start with six strikeouts across five innings before Pressly's five-out save at Bank Citizens Park.

The Astros' defense came up big when it mattered too, with first baseman Trey Mancini making a huge play from Kyle Schwarber's low line drive to close the eighth inning, along with outfielder Chas McCormick leaping and holding a J.T. Realmuto shot on the wall for the second out in the ninth.

Houston go 3-2 up ahead of Game 6 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, with the Game 5 winner when the World Series has been tied going on to win 30 of the previous 45 editions.

Jeremy Pena, who had three hits for the game, drove in Jose Altuve in the first inning, before Schwarber's leadoff homer over right field squared it up.

In the fourth, Pena blasted Phillies' starter Noah Syndergaard over Schwarber's head at left field for his fourth homer this postseason, becoming the first rookie shortstop to hit a blast in World Series history.

Altuve, who got on base three times, plated in the eighth inning from Yordan Alvarez's ground ball which first baseman Rhys Hoskins tried to charge.

Jean Segura's RBI single drove in Nick Castellanos in the bottom of the eighth, but Pressly held his nerve after replacing Rafael Montero, with Mancini's clutch play on first base closing the inning.

Alec Bohm's brilliant double play ended the Astros' ninth, but the Phillies were denied despite Bryce Harper getting on base for the fourth time in the game, with McCormick plucking a great catch before Castellanos hit to Pena who threw to Mancini to close it out.

The Houston Astros levelled up the World Series with Saturday's 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, but Jose Altuve's breakout performance may be the joker in the pack they need.

Altuve had a three-hit game, starting with a lead-off double as the Astros piled on three first-inning runs at Minute Maid Park to square the series after blowing a 5-0 lead in Game 1 on Friday, losing 6-5.

The second baseman is second on all-time postseason home runs list (23), but has struggled this postseason, averaging .171 with only seven hits from 41 at-bats, no RBIs and no home runs.

Altuve had been mired in a none-for-25 slump earlier in the postseason but has simplified his approach with Astros manager Dusty Baker sticking with him.

"If I say it every day, he's gotta have one of these days," Baker told reporters. "It's just how I feel about Altuve.

"His track record speaks for itself. He swung the bat great today. It's a good feeling to get him to lead off like he's been doing all year in the first inning. Boy it was great to see."

Alex Bregman added a two-run home run in the fifth inning to open up a 5-0 lead, but he praised Altuve for setting the tone.

"It was awesome," Bregman said. "I feel like that one swing of the bat to start off the game got the crowd into it, got our dugout into it, got our offense going."

"Early in the playoffs, I was swinging at everything and then getting slowly better at swinging at my pitch," Altuve said. "Yeah, I got a hit on a pitch almost above my head today. But it's a hit, so it's good."

The Phillies produced a sensational rally to win Game 1 after trailing 5-0 so Baker was rapt to square up the World Series at 1-1 before it heads to Philadelphia for Game 3 at Citizens Bank Park on Monday.

"It was almost a mathematical must [to win]," Baker said. "It's tough when you lose the first two games at home. But I've been on the other side of the things.

"It's good for the city, good for our fans that they went home happy after last night."

The Houston Astros responded to blowing a 5-0 lead in Game 1 with a fast start to set up their 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies to square the World Series on Saturday.

The Astros raced to a 3-0 first-inning lead, scoring two runs from the first four pitches from Phillies starter Zach Wheeler, before Alex Bregman's fifth-inning two-run blast shored up a 5-0 lead at Minute Maid Park.

The Phillies had rallied from that deficit on Friday but could not replicate that, despite plating runs in the seventh and ninth innings. Kyle Schwarber thought he had pulled it back to 5-3 with an eighth-inning two-run blast but that was called a foul after a replay review.

Framber Valdez was heroic, sending down 104 pitches before being retired in the seventh inning with nine strikeouts having allowed only four hits, three walks and one earned run.

Jose Altuve's lead-off double from the first pitch was followed by Jeremy Pena's left-field line drive from the second pitch to score the second baseman. Altuve put aside his postseason struggles with three hits for the game.

Two pitches later Pena scored when Yordan Alvarez's left-field shot sailed over Schwarber's head. Alvarez added the third in the inning from an error by shortstop Edmundo Sosa.

Wheeler corrected his early issues, allowing only two singles from 14 batters until Bregman's fifth-inning blast, his third of the postseason.

Nick Castellanos scored from Jean Segura's seventh-inning sacrifice fly, before Schwarber came close to halving the deficit twice, with his two-run blast overturned, followed by a right-field shot that was caught inches short by Kyle Tucker.

Astros first baseman's Yuli Gurriel error allowed Alec Bohm to score in the ninth but Ryan Pressly closed it out to square the World Series at 1-1.

The Houston Astros advanced to their fourth World Series in six years after completing an ALCS sweep of the New York Yankees with a 6-5 victory at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

Alex Bregman delivered the go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning before Ryan Pressly closed it out for the Astros, who improved to 7-0 this postseason having already swept the Seattle Mariners.

Houston are only the third team to have swept both the Divisional and Championship Series in MLB history, following the Colorado Rockies (2007) and Kansas City Royals (2014) whom both lost in the World Series. The Astros will face the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series, after they completed a 4-1 NLCS triumph earlier on Sunday.

The Astros rallied from a 3-0 deficit after two innings, with Jeremy Pena's three-run blast over left field leading their four-run third-inning rally.

The Yankees regained their lead with Harrison Bader's two-out solo homer in the sixth inning - his fifth blast of the postseason - only for Houston to rally again with a two-run seventh from Yordan Alvarez's RBI single followed by Bregman's go-ahead RBI, with a shot into right-center field to drive in Pena.

It marked the fourth time the Yankees, who had a 99-win regular season, have been swept in a best-of-seven series in franchise history.

The Astros' pitching staff were pivotal again, as they have been all postseason, with starter Lance McCullers Jr having six strikeouts across five innings, while the bullpen was stingy.

Second baseman Jose Altuve, who had not had a postseason hit until Game 3, re-discovered some touch with two hits and a walk, scoring two runs.

Astros manager Dusty Baker has the chance to end his record of most games managed without winning the World Series.

The New York Mets clinched their place in the MLB postseason for the first time since 2016 with Max Scherzer securing his 100th career win in a 7-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.

The 38-year-old Mets right-hander, reinstated from the injured list, struck out nine across six innings where he threw 68 pitches. Scherzer was pulled after six innings with a perfect game intact, with the Mets opting not to risk injury to the three-time Cy Young Award winner on his return from an oblique issue.

The win means the Mets have booked a postseason berth, guaranteed at least a spot in the National League (NL) Wild Card Game, holding a 94-55 record.

Pete Alonso's three-run homer in the fourth inning headlined five runs against NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes.

The Mets will be making only their 10th postseason appearance in the franchise's 61-season history.

"This is what you play the game for," Scherzer said. "You play to get into the postseason. There's a lot of ways for it not to work out. For us to be able to find a way to get into the postseason, that's awesome. That's what we celebrate. That's what you play the game for.

"We have a lot of things in front of us. We understand that. But you got to celebrate the good times, too."

Astros clinch fifth AL West title in six years

The Houston Astros secured the American League West title for the first time in the past six seasons with a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Jose Altuve's leadoff home run set the tone for the Astros, while Luis Garcia gave up two hits and four walks in five innings with four strikeouts as Houston claimed their 16th shutout.

The Astros also won for the eighth time in nine games ahead of their sixth straight postseason. Houston are assured of a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Kershaw dominates Diamondbacks

Clayton Kershaw tossed down 10 strikeouts as the Los Angeles Dodgers toppled the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2.

The Dodgers, who have already clinched the NL West, saw Joey Gallo blast a second-inning homer, before Chris Taylor's three-run blast opened up a 5-0 lead.

But Kershaw grabbed the headlines, managing to strike out at least 10 batters with no walks in a game for the 27th time in his career.

The Houston Astros received a big boost from new recruit Trey Mancini as he blasted a pair of home runs, punctuated by a grand slam, in his side's 9-3 away win against the Cleveland Guardians on Friday.

Mancini, who was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles this past week, has now hit a home run in each of his two starts for his new club. In doing so, he became the first player in the modern era to hit a home run in his first two starts for his first two teams, after also accomplishing the feat back when he began with the O's.

He struck first in the second inning, tying the game at 1-1 after Amed Rosario hit his own home run to begin the game for the Guardians, and Mancini's second home run of the game came with bases loaded in the third frame for the first grand slam of his career.

Arguably the best hitter in baseball this season Yordan Alvarez went two-for-five and notched his 73rd RBI for the season – the seventh most in the league – and his future Hall-of-Fame teammate Jose Altuve tallied one RBI from his three hits.

On the mound, Framber Valdez secured his 18th consecutive 'quality start' – defined by a pitcher going at least six innings while conceding three or fewer runs – finishing with three earned runs from seven hits and three walks in his six-and-a-third innings.

He now leads the league with 19 quality starts, and his streak of 18 consecutive is the longest since Jacob deGrom rattled off 26 in a row beginning in May 2018.

The win moves the Astros' record to 70-38 – one game behind the New York Yankees for the best record in the American League.

Yankees, Holmes blow late lead 

The New York Yankees led nearly the entire game before eventually falling 4-3 to the St Louis Cardinals, courtesy of a blown save from All-Star reliever Clay Holmes.

Josh Donaldson drove in a pair of runs for the Yankees, while AL MVP favourite Aaron Judge collected two hits and came home to score twice, giving their side a 3-2 lead heading into the eighth inning.

Determined to take no risks, the Yankees brought in Holmes an inning early to try and get to the ninth inning with their lead still in tact, but it was not to be as Holmes conceded a walk and two hits, the second being a two-run double from Paul deJong to steal the lead.

Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley made no such mistakes, closing the door and collecting the save.

Gibson produces near-perfect start for the Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson had a perfect game through six innings in his side's 7-2 win against the Washington Nationals.

Gibson retired the first 18 batters he faced, striking out three as he relied on strong fielding behind him to accumulate quick outs. His bid for a perfect game was eventually broken up by a hit-by-pitch to begin the seventh frame, and a single from the next batter ended the no-hitter.

He finished with one earned run from two hits and one walk in eight complete innings, while Kyle Schwarber hit his 34th home run of the season to help on the offensive side of the ball. Only Judge has more home runs this season than Schwarber.

The Kansas City Royals overcame the absences of 10 unvaccinated players beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 on the road on Thursday night.

Foreign nationals who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 are not allowed to enter Canada, while unvaccinated MLB players are not among the limited exemptions that also require a 14-day quarantine.

Many teams have been affected by the restrictions this season, but the Royals had a far bigger contingent than other MLB teams to this point, with a subsequent slew of promotions from the minor leagues to compensate.

Double-A callup Angel Zerpa pitched five innings to claim his first win as a starter in the major leagues, allowing only four hits despite only striking out two batters over 73 pitches.

With 2022 All-Star Andrew Benintendi unavailable, Bobby Witt Jr. hit the tie-breaking home run off Kevin Gausman in the fifth inning, before Nate Eaton added another in the closing frame.

Carrasco helps keep Cubs to zero

Carlos Carrasco was again in impressive form for the New York Mets, as they claimed an 8-0 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Carrasco allowed only one runner to advance past first base in six solid innings, striking out six and allowing five hits over 90 pitches, before Trevor Williams closed out the final three innings for his first save in the major leagues.

Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso scored home runs in the sixth and eighth innings respectively to cap off the win, maintaining the Mets' 2.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East, while moving to within three games of the NL-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pena propels Astros to win in Anaheim

Jeremy Pena drove in the game-winning run for the Houston Astros as they went into an extra inning, defeating the Los Angeles Angels 3-2.

The Astros effectively had to do it without eight-time All-Star selection Jose Altuve, who exited the game with a bruised left leg after he was hit with Reid Detmers' first pitch of the game.

Houston moved to within 3.5 games of the American League-leading New York Yankees, extending their record for the season to 58-30.

Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani's two-way selection for the second year in a row was the highlight of Sunday's All-Star Game roster reveal, while Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez was the only first-year player to earn the honour.

Ohtani, who learned Friday that he beat out the Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez in a fan vote for starter at DH, was also named to the AL roster as a pitcher. 

The reigning league MVP has posted a 0.27 ERA in winning his last five starts, and he threw a 1-2-3 first inning in starting last year’s All-Star Game, becoming the first two-way All-Star in baseball history. 

The Tampa Bay Rays’ Shane McClanahan, however, figures to start the game on the hill for the AL, as he leads the league in strikeouts (141) and ERA (1.73). 

Two New York Yankees starting pitchers were named All-Stars in Nester Cortes and Gerrit Cole, as well as Clay Holmes out of the bullpen. Catcher Jose Trevino was named an All-Star reserve giving New York an MLB-high six All-Stars – the first time the Bronx Bombers had that many since 2011 – with outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton already named starters. 

The two teams that squared off in last year’s World Series – the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros – were close behind with five All-Stars apiece, while the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays each have four. 

For the defending World Series champion Braves, starting outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. will be joined by pitcher Max Fried, catcher Travis d'Arnaud, shortstop Dansby Swanson and DH William Contreras. 

Contreras will not only be the starter with the fan-voted Bryce Harper on the injured list, but he also will be in the starting lineup with his brother after Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was voted in by the fans. 

They are the first brothers in the same All-Star Game since Aaron and Bret Boone in 2003, and the first brothers to start a Midsummer Classic since 1992, when Roberto and Sandy Alomar Jr. did it. 

The host of this year’s All-Star Game already had two starters in outfielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Trea Turner, and those Dodgers will be joined by Tony Gonsolin and Clayton Kershaw, who is on an All-Star Game roster for the ninth time. 

Gonsolin has an excellent chance to start the game on the mound in front of the fans in Los Angeles having gone 11-0 with an NL-best 1.62 ERA. 

The Miami Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara, however, also could make a case to take the ball first after he lowered his ERA to 1.73 with seven shutout innings on Sunday against the Mets. 

Mariners outfielder Rodriguez is the only rookie named to a roster and is one of 30 first-time All-Stars. 

Below are the full All-Star Game rosters: 

AL Starters, as voted on by fans 

Alejandro Kirk, C, Blue Jays 
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B, Blue Jays 
Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros 
Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox 
Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox 
Shohei Ohtani, DH, Angels 
Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees 
Mike Trout, OF, Angels 
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Yankees 

Reserves 

Yordan Alvarez, DH, Astros 
Miguel Cabrera, DH, Tigers (Special Selection) 
Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox 
José Ramírez, 3B, Guardians 
Jose Trevino, C, Yankees 
Luis Arraez, 1B, Twins 
Andrés Giménez, 2B, Guardians 
George Springer, OF, Blue Jays 
Byron Buxton, OF, Twins 
Andrew Benintendi, OF, Royals 
Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros 
Julio Rodríguez, OF, Mariners 

Starting Pitchers 

Shane McClanahan, LHP, Rays 
Nestor Cortes, LHP, Yankees 
Alek Manoah, RHP, Blue Jays 
Framber Valdez, LHP, Astros 
Martín Pérez, LHP, Rangers 
Paul Blackburn, RHP, A's 
Gerrit Cole, RHP, Yankees 
Justin Verlander, RHP, Astros 
Shohei Ohtani, RHP/DH, Angels 

Relief Pitchers 

Clay Holmes, RHP, Yankees 
Emmanuel Clase, RHP, Guardians 
Gregory Soto, LHP, Tigers 
Jorge López, RHP, Orioles 

NL Starters, as voted on by fans 

Willson Contreras, C, Cubs 
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Cardinals 
Jazz Chisholm Jr., 2B, Marlins 
Manny Machado, 3B, Padres 
Trea Turner, SS, Dodgers 
Bryce Harper, DH, Phillies 
Ronald Acuña Jr., OF, Braves 
Joc Pederson, OF, Giants 
Mookie Betts, OF, Dodgers 

Reserves 

William Contreras, C, Braves 
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Cardinals 
Pete Alonso, 1B, Mets 
Albert Pujols, DH/1B, Cardinals (Special Selection) 
Jeff McNeil, 2B, Mets 
Travis d'Arnaud, C, Braves 
C.J. Cron, 1B, Rockies 
Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves 
Kyle Schwarber, OF, Phillies 
Juan Soto, OF, Nationals 
Starling Marte, OF, Mets 
Ian Happ, OF, Cubs 

Starting Pitchers 

Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers 
Sandy Alcantara, RHP, Marlins 
Corbin Burnes, RHP, Brewers 
Luis Castillo, RHP, Reds 
Max Fried, LHP, Braves 
Tony Gonsolin, RHP, Dodgers 
Joe Musgrove, RHP, Padres 

Relief Pitchers 

Edwin Díaz, RHP, Mets 
Josh Hader, LHP, Brewers 
Ryan Helsley, RHP, Cardinals 
David Bednar, RHP, Pirates 
Joe Mantiply, LHP, Diamondbacks 

Los Angeles Angels superstars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout were among the players elected Friday to start in the MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on July 19. 

Mookie Betts and Trea Turner will represent the host Los Angeles Dodgers, while Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk, Miami Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr., San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and Turner were voted to start as first-time All-Stars. 

Sluggers Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers and Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals were added to the rosters by commissioner Rob Manfred under a provision in the sport’s new labor agreement. It will be the 11th All-Star selection for Pujols and the 12th for Cabrera. The two future Hall-of-Famers have combined for five MVPs, and both are members of the 3,000-hit club. 

''I've always looked up to Albert,'' Cabrera said. ''I've always followed his career. He's one of the best hitters I've ever seen in my life. To be part of this together is going to be great.'' 

Already named starters as the top vote-getters from the first round of balloting were outfielders Aaron Judge of the Yankees and Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves. Judge leads the majors with 30 home runs. 

Joining Judge in the AL outfield will be teammate Giancarlo Stanton, making them the first pair of Yankees to start in the outfield together since Rickey Henderson and Davie Winfield in 1988. 

The other AL starters are Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers and Ohtani as the designated hitter.  

The NL starters include Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado and an outfield of Betts, Acuna and Pederson.  

Philadelphia's Bryce Harper was elected as the National League's first DH following the expansion of the DH rule to both leagues, but will be replaced in the starting lineup after breaking his left thumb when hit by a pitch from San Diego's Blake Snell on June 25. Harper earned his seventh All-Star selection, his sixth as a starter. 

Pitchers and reserves will be announced Sunday. 

Yordan Alvarez hit a two-run home run and Kyle Tucker had three RBIs to give the Houston Astros an 8-2 win over the New York Mets in Tuesday's high-profile interleague matchup.

Jose Altuve and Jose Siri contributed solo home runs for Houston, who have only gone 6-4 over their past 10 games.

Altuve and Alvarez, who missed Sunday's win over the Chicago White Sox with injury, set up a 3-0 lead in the third inning, connecting off Trevor Williams. Tucker's three-run double extended the lead to 7-0, effectively securing the victory.

With the win, the Astros moved to 42-25 and only trail the New York Yankees in the American League, while the Mets lead the National League with a record of 45-25.

It was the first of nine straight games against the Mets and Yankees, with a trip to New York following this two-game stand at home.

Yaz stands up in Giants win

Mike Yastrzemski returned to form with an important two-run double, propelling the San Francisco Giants to an 8-7 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Claiming only one hit from his previous 16 at-bats, the 31-year-old drove Collin McHugh deep into right-field, putting the Giants up 8-7.

The Giants moved ahead of the reigning World Series champions in the Nationa League standings with the win, claiming their eighth win in the past 11 games.

Gimenez gets Guardians up over Twins

The Cleveland Guardians moved to the top of the AL Central standings, beating the Minnesota Twins 6-5 in 11 innings.

Leading the major leagues with a .362 batting average, Guardians' lead-off hitter Luis Arraez hit a three-run home run in the seventh, sending Eli Morgan over right-center field.

Andres Gimenez hit the important RBI single in the 11th, as Emmanuel Clase earned his 16th save in 18 attempts. The Guardians' 35-28 record (.556) now inches them ahead of the Twins on 38-31 (.551).

St Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas fell agonisingly short of a career-first no-hitter as his side won 9-1 over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.

Mikolas came within one strike of the rare feat, achieved only 10 times in Cardinals' history, with two outs and two strikes against the Pirates in the ninth inning.

It was Cal Mitchell who denied Mikolas in his no-no bid with a center-field hit that eluded Harrison Bader by inches and bounced over the wall.

Mikolas tossed down a season-high 129 pitches throughout the game, with six strikeouts.

"It kinda stinks to not finish that out," Mikolas said after the game. "I don’t have one yet. I've got friends who have one, it would’ve been nice to join that conversation but I can't say enough about our defense. I kinda feel like I let them down."

Mikolas overshadowed Mike Goldschmidt who had a four-hit, two-homer and five-RBI display in the second game of the double-header.

Goldschmidt sits atop the National League (NL) rankings for batting average (.349) and on-base plus slugging (1.073). He is second in the NL for RBIs (56) and tied for second for home runs (16).

The Cardinals won both games, triumphing 3-1 in the earlier match-up, with Yadier Molina reaching 14,865 putouts which is the most by a catcher in MLB history.

 

Voit leads Padres' turnaround against Cubs

The Chicago Cubs' slide continued despite boasting a 5-0 lead heading into the sixth inning as Luke Voit turned things around for the San Diego Padres in a 12-5 win.

Willson Contreras enjoyed his 10th career multi-home run game to help the Cubs lead 5-0 before Voit's two-run blast narrowed the gap, followed by another two runs in the sixth for the Padres.

Voit emptied the bases in the seventh inning, finishing the game with five RBIs along with his two hits and two runs from six at-bats.

 

Astros launch with eighth-inning rearguard

The Texas Rangers blew their shot at a fourth consecutive win after poor fielding cost them in the eighth inning, losing 4-3 to the Houston Astros.

The Rangers were leading 3-0 in the eighth when third baseman Ezequiel Duran misplayed, allowing Jose Altuve to get home despite a mix-up between bases from Alex Bregman's hit.

Two batters later, with Michael Brantley having added a second run, Kyle Tucker hit a two-run blast to clinch a 4-3 victory for the Astros. Tucker extended his active hitting streak to 13 games.

The New York Mets produced a remarkable ninth-inning comeback to stun the Philadelphia Phillies 8-7.

It was all Philadelphia early in front of their home fans, piling on four runs in the first inning, with Bryce Harper's RBI double to deep left-field the highlight.

Nick Castellanos also batted in one of the four early runs, and then added another in the second inning to make it 5-0 through two innings in a rough start for Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker. 

Walker's work came to an end at the end of the fourth inning after Harper and Castellanos both hit solo home runs, with Harper's 427-foot shot the biggest hit of the game, opening up a 7-0 lead.

Starling Marte finally got the Mets on the scoreboard with a solo home run in the sixth inning, but that would be all Phillies ace Aaron Nola would give up, pitching seven full innings for one earned run from three hits and one walk, striking out seven.

Leading 7-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, ESPN gave the Phillies a win probability of 99.9 per cent – but the ninth inning would be one to remember for Mets fans.

Marte led off the inning with an infield single, with Francisco Lindor driving him home with a two-run homer for two of the eight Mets hits in the final frame.

Pete Alonso doubled as the next man to the plate, and after an out, Jeff McNeil singled to put runners on first and third.

Mark Canha's infield single brought Alonso home, but a strikeout for the next batter still left the Mets trailing 7-4 with two outs.

J.D. Davis kept the game alive with a clutch double, bringing one more run home to leave runners on second and third, needing a base hit from Brandon Nimmo to tie the game.

Nimmo delivered, bringing home the two runners to tie the game at 7-7.

Not done there, Marte came back to the plate and collected his second hit of the inning, with his long double hitting the wall on the full to bring Nimmo home from first base and take the 8-7 lead, before the next batter grounded out.

Mets closer Edwin Diaz made no mistakes, retiring the last three batters in order for an unlikely victory.

Ohtani gives MVP performance

Shohei Ohtani showed why he could be in line to go back-to-back as the American League MVP, as he dominated the Boston Red Sox to give the Los Angeles Angels a 8-0 win.

Ohtani pitched seven shutout innings for the Halos in his pitching debut at Fenway Park, striking out 11 while only allowing six hits and no walks over 99 pitches.

He also went two-for-four with the bat, driving in a run with a base hit in the eighth inning.

Astros walk-off against Tigers

The Detroit Tigers gave the Houston Astros a scare in the ninth inning, but the Astros sent their fans home happy with a 3-2 walk-off win.

In a strong pitching showing from both teams, the only two runs through eight innings were solo home runs to Jose Altuve and rookie Jeremy Pena to give the Astros a 2-0 lead.

Jeimer Candalario tied the game in the top of the last inning with a two-run homer, but any hope of a win was short-lived as Kyle Tucker hit a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth.

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was surprised about long-time team-mate Carlos Correa's move to the Minnesota Twins.

The pair, who won the 2017 World Series together and were part of the Astros' side that lost last year's edition 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves, will be split up after Correa inked a bumper deal with the Twins.

Correa was declared a free agent for the first time in his career in November and rejected a qualifying offer from the Astros, before the Twins won the race to land him amid interest from several top teams.

Despite that interest and two-time All-Star Correa arguably being the most coveted free agent left on the market, the 27-year-old ended up with the Twins, who finished last in the American League (AL) Central last season with a 73-89 record.

"I was surprised. I wasn't expecting that," Altuve said. "Obviously we're going to miss him. He's a great player and a great guy inside the clubhouse. He was one of our leaders."

Altuve, who played alongside Correa since 2015, added: "Now that he's on another team, I'm happy for him. He got a great deal. Happy for him. I know he's going to play good. He's going to make the Twins better."

Shortstop Correa has reportedly signed with the Twins on a three-year, $105.3million deal, making him the MLB's highest paid infielder on average annual salary.

Correa is a career .277 hitter with 133 home runs, batting at .279 with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs last season, along with claiming his first Gold Glove. Puerto Rico-born Correa finished fifth in AL MVP voting last season.

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was surprised about long-time teammate Carlos Correa's move to the Minnesota Twins.

The pair, who won the 2017 World Series together and were part of the Astros' side that lost last year's edition 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves, will be split up after Correa inked a bumper deal with the Twins.

Correa was declared a free agent for the first time in his career in November and rejected a qualifying offer from the Astros, before the Twins won the race to land him amid interest from several top teams.

Despite that interest and two-time All-Star Correa arguably being the most coveted free agent left on the market, the 27-year-old ended up with the Twins, who finished last in the American League (AL) Central last season with a 73-89 record.

"I was surprised. I wasn't expecting that," Altuve said. "Obviously we're going to miss him. He's a great player and a great guy inside the clubhouse. He was one of our leaders."

Altuve, who played alongside Correa since 2015, added: "Now that he's on another team, I'm happy for him. He got a great deal. Happy for him. I know he's going to play good. He's going to make the Twins better."

Shortstop Correa has reportedly signed with the Twins on a three-year, $105.3million deal, making him the MLB's highest paid infielder on average annual salary.

Correa is a career .277 hitter with 133 home runs, batting at .279 with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs last season, along with claiming his first Gold Glove. Puerto Rico-born Correa finished fifth in AL MVP voting last season.

The Atlanta Braves are one win away from their first World Series championship since 1995 after rallying past the Houston Astros 3-2 in Game 4.

Atlanta hammered their way to within touching distance of a fourth World Series title thanks to back-to-back home runs from Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler on Saturday.

Swanson levelled the contest with a solo homer in the seventh inning before Soler put the Braves ahead one batter later as Atlanta hit back-to-back home runs in a World Series for the first time in franchise history.

Soler became the fourth pinch-hitter to launch a go-ahead homer in the World Series and first since Ed Sprague in 1992.

 

The Astros had led 2-0 on the road courtesy of star Jose Altuve's fourth-inning solo hit after he opened the scoring in the first.

But Eddie Rosario sparked Atlanta's rally in the bottom of the sixth inning before Swanson – just the second Braves shortstop to hit a home run in the World Series after Johnny Logan in 1957 – and Soler took control in the seventh, finishing the job.

Atlanta's Dylan Lee became the first pitcher to make his first major league start in the World Series and he struck out one batter while giving up one run in 0.1 innings.

Astros veteran Zack Greinke pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just four hits while striking out three before team-mate Cristian Javier gave up two homers in the seventh.

 

Astros at Braves

The Braves can wrap up the World Series with a win over the Astros in Atlanta on Sunday.

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