The New York Yankees came through in the ninth inning to win a hard-fought pitching duel 3-2 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery was strong through five innings, conceding two runs from six hits and no walks, striking out five. For the Blue Jays, Ross Stripling gave up two runs from five hits and no walks in four innings.

It was a scoreless first three frames, before the Yankees finally found the breakthrough when Gleyber Torres stepped up to the plate with Josh Donaldson on first base and two outs, sending a blast over the right-field wall to make it 2-0.

The lead was short-lived, as George Springer led off the bottom of the fourth with a base hit, before coming home with Bo Bichette's double to left-field. Bichette was then brought home by Matt Chapman's two-out base hit, tying the game at 2-2.

It would be another four scoreless innings as both bullpens, particularly the Blue Jays', were lights out, not allowing the Yankees another baserunner until the ninth inning.

Giancarlo Stanton led off the last frame with a single to center-field, before he was withdrawn from the game, replaced by speedy pinch-runner Tim Locastro in a game-winning decision.

Locastro instantly stole second base, breaking up what would have been a double-play when the next batter up grounded out, and made his way into scoring position in the process. 

Aaron Hicks' strikeout brought Torres back to the plate with two outs, and he delivered once again, sending a base hit to right-field to bring Locastro to home plate for a 3-2 lead.

Yankees closer Chad Green closed the door in style, striking out two of the three batters he faced to collect the save.

Angels batters issued Cease and desist 

Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease pitched a gem in his side's 3-0 shutout win against the Los Angeles Angels.

Cease got through seven complete innings in 93 pitches, striking out 11 while conceding just one hit and no walks.

He did not have to wait long for run-support either, as the White Sox jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning after A.J. Pollock and Jake Burger drove in one each.

Pitchers put on a show in St Louis

Kansas City Royals starter Zach Greinke only allowed three hits, no walks and one run in his six innings, but was still credited with the loss as his side went down 1-0 against the St Louis Cardinals.

Steven Matz was even better for the Cardinals, pitching six scoreless frames, conceding four hits and no walks.

Paul Goldschmidt put the Cardinals ahead with a solo home run in the opening inning, for the first and last run of the night. 

Two home runs from New York Yankees superstar Aaron Judge carried his side to a 6-4 road win against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

After the game started with an 11-pitch ground-out from Yankees lead-off hitter D.J. LeMahieu, Judge stepped up next and sent the second pitch he saw – a fastball down the middle from Daniel Lynch – 453 feet over the center-field wall for a 1-0 lead.

That lead held until the bottom of the third inning, when Royals lead-off hitter Michael Taylor smoked the first pitch he saw for a solo home run, igniting a three-run frame for the home side. Kansas City extended their lead to 4-1 after a throwing error from Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson an inning later.

New York grabbed two runs back in the fifth after Isiah Kiner-Falefa brought Miguel Andujar home with an RBI double, before scoring himself from a LeMahieu single to cut the margin back to 4-3.

Two walks and a hit-by-pitch gave the Yankees life in the seventh inning, loading the bases with no outs to allow Judge to drive in a run by grounding out to the pitcher, before Donaldson drove in one more to grab a 5-4 lead.

With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, clinging to a one-run buffer, Judge let New Yorkers breathe easy as he sent a towering shot over the opposite-field wall for his second homer of the game, sealing the win.

Judge – who will be a free agent at the end of this season after failing to come to terms on a long-term extension with the Yankees – finished with three RBIs, going two-for-five from the plate, and now sits one home run off the major league leader, teammate Anthony Rizzo (nine).

Julio Rodriguez announces his arrival

Seattle Mariners rookie sensation Julio Rodriguez hit his first career home run in a 7-3 away win against the Miami Marlins.

Rodriguez was listed as a top-five prospect in all of baseball before being promoted to the majors at the start of this season, and while he has two more stolen bases than anyone else in the league (nine), he has had some early struggles with the bat.

His big moment came in the sixth inning as he stepped up to the plate with two runners on base and two outs, driving a ball 450 feet over the center-field wall to turn a 2-0 lead into a 5-0 lead. It came after the Marlins opted to intentionally walk the batter before Rodriguez, daring him to make them pay.

The Mariners pitchers finished the job thanks to another strong start from Logan Gilbert, who after conceding just one earned run in five-and-two-thirds is now second in the majors for ERA at 0.68 – giving up two runs through five starts and 28 innings.

Mets give Max some runs

The New York Mets gave ace pitcher Max Scherzer some handy run-support to take a 10-6 win against the Philadelphia Phillies in the Sunday night primetime fixture.

New York's 15 hits set a new season-high for the club, and 10 runs also equalled the Mets' most, as Dominic Smith starred with four hits from four plate appearances.

Smith drove in three runs, as did teammate Starling Marte, giving Scherzer a buffer when he left the game after six complete innings, allowing four runs from five hits and a walk while striking out nine.

Gerrit Cole was once again in impressive form for the New York Yankees, as they beat the Kansas City Royals 3-0 on Saturday.

The 2021 Cy Young runner-up claimed his second win in as many starts this season, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out six in 91 pitches over a dominant six innings.

Cole's performance on the mound was particularly important, given his team did not hit any home runs this time around.

The Yankees (29) only trail the Toronto Blue Jays (30) for home runs this season, and the top of the order in DJ LeMahieu, Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rizzo claimed one hit out of a combined 11 at-bats.

Aroldis Chapman worked a hitless ninth for his fifth save of the season, moving the Yankees to 15-6 and the top of the American League East.

Undermanned Giants still make light work of Washington

The San Francisco Giants are keeping pace with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West despite a number of Covid-19 enforced absences, claiming a 9-3 win over the Washington Nationals.

Not scoring a home run before this series against the Nats, Jason Vosler went deep for the second consecutive day – hitting the famous Bay at Oracle Park - while Darin Ruf had three hits from five at-bats.

The hitting performance came at an ideal time, with Giants starter Logan Webb giving up a career-high 11 hits and striking out three in 95 pitches over six innings.

Orioles break losing streak in extra innings

The Baltimore Orioles claimed a shock win in extra innings, defeating the Boston Red Sox 2-1 at home to end a five-game losing streak.

Jorge Mateo scored the winning run for the Orioles, after a Robinson Chirinos bunt with runners on first and second forced an error from Red Sox pitcher Hirokazu Sawamura, launching the ball past third baseman Rafael Devers.

Orioles reliever Jorge Lopez came up big, pitching two hitless innings before retiring Alex Verdugo in the extra inning with two outs and runners on first and third.

Max Fried starred with eight strikeouts across seven innings as the Atlanta Braves won 3-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Braves left-hander Fried went perfect across the first five innings, before allowing two hits, while Freddie Freeman was quelled against his former side.

The Dodgers' only run of the game, scored by Chris Taylor, came in the eighth inning once Fried had been relieved, with Kenley Jansen closing it out in the ninth.

Travis d'Arnaud hit a solo home run at the top of the second inning, before Orlando Arcia's RBI double in the fourth and Austin Riley's single on a line drive for Ozzie Albies to score in the fifth.

 

Franco's maiden 2022 blast... at last

Wander Franco blasted his first home run of 2022 in a three-hit game as the Tampa Bay Rays won 6-5 over the Chicago Cubs.

Franco had missed Monday's game to rest his right quad but returned in style with a two-run homer on a 2-0 pitch in the third inning.

The young Rays star has now had seven multi-hit performances across 11 games this Major League season. Franco is a joint leader in the majors for hits, with 19.

"He's unique, special, talented, and we're seeing it in every part of his game," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

 

Vintage Scherzer and Perez

Reliever Clarke Schmidt stepped up for the New York Yankees after Gerrit Cole's early struggles by tossing down six strikeouts in their 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cole had walked four batters, included with base loaded.

Max Scherzer was at his vintage best with 10 strikeouts in the New York Mets' 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants, which backed up their earlier 5-4 victory on a double-header.

Salvador Perez put aside blurry vision to slug two home runs as the Kansas City Royals won 4-3 over the Minnesota Twins.

Juan Soto made history with his 100th career home run in the Washington Nationals' 16-4 loss to world champions, the Atlanta Braves, on Tuesday.

Soto, 23, became the youngest player in franchise history to reach 100 career home runs with a moon shot at the top of the sixth inning.

The homer, which travelled 451 feet according to Statcast to right-center field, was the fourth longest of his career.

"It just comes to me. I never tried to hit a homer, or anything like that," Soto told reporters. "I’m one of the guys who just tries to hit singles every day. So for me to become consistent hitting homers, it’s just impressive and it tells how good I’ve been working on my body and everything."

Soto is the seventh active player to blast 100 homers at age 23 or younger, having first homered as a 19-year-old in 2018.

The Braves ultimately got the win after 10 runs in three innings to open up a 10-1 lead after four innings, but Soto finished with two hits, one run, one walk and one RBI.

Ozzie Albies, who finished with three hits, two runs and three RBIs, blasted his first homer of the 2022 season in the fourth inning.

With his one hit and two walks in the Cleveland Guardians' 10-7 away win against the Kansas City Royals, rookie Steven Kwan broke a record that dates back to the early days of baseball.

He became the first player since at least 1901 to reach base 15 times in his first four career games, after also setting the record for most times on-base in his first three games with 12.

While personal accomplishments are always nice, Kwan's record-breaking moment came at the biggest stage in the game as his side led 6-5 in the top of the eighth inning, with two outs and the bases loaded.

Up stepped Kwan with a chance to ice the game, and he did so, sending his hit deep into the right corner of the outfield for a bases-clearing triple to put his side up 9-5 with only six more outs needed to end the game.

It was a less impressive outing for Royals AL Rookie of the Year favorite Bobby Witt Jr, who went hitless in his four at-bats, but scored a run when he walked in the ninth inning and was brought around by an Andrew Benintendi consolation home run.

By the end of Monday's game, Kwan is yet to swing and miss at a pitch in his Major League career, after not striking out at all in Spring Training.

 

Mets meltdown

It was a classic New York Mets meltdown in their 5-4 loss against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets played a near-flawless first seven frames, leading 4-0 going into the eighth inning after Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar batted in runs.

But everything fell apart in the eighth inning as the Phillies collected five hits – including a home run from J.T. Realmuto – to score five runs in the inning and set the table for Brad Hand to close the show with a save.

 

Yankees get shutout 

In a highly-anticipated matchup between World Series contenders and divisional foes, the Toronto Blue Jays shutout the New York Yankees 3-0 to win the opening game of their four-game series.

Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah was at the top of his game, pitching six innings and giving up just one hit and four walks to go with seven strikeouts.

All three runs were batted in by leadoff hitter George Springer, who hit a two-run home run in the third inning and a RBI double in the seventh.

Giancarlo Stanton continued his remarkable home-run hitting form against the Boston Red Sox as the New York Yankees won 4-2 on Saturday.

Yankees slugger Stanton homered for the sixth consecutive game against the Red Sox, hitting the go-ahead two-run homer to left center field in the sixth inning.

Boston had gone ahead in the second inning from Alex Verdugo's two-run homer, before Anthony Rizzo equalled the feat in the fourth inning to level the game up.

The victory means the Yankees have begun the new season with a 2-0 start, ahead of the third and final game of their series against the Red Sox on Sunday.

"I can’t say it’s the rivalry or anything," Stanton said about his record against the Red Sox. "I’m doing my homework and getting the ball over the plate."

 

Dodgers offense shut down

The Los Angeles Dodgers struggled on offense as they slumped to a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies, who were sparked by an eighth-inning Connor Joe homer.

Rockies closer Daniel Bard shut down the Dodgers in the ninth inning to round out the win, striking out Justin Turner, Edwin Rios and Cody Bellinger.

Austin Barnes had two hits and an RBI for the Dodgers, while Mookie Betts had an eighth-inning RBI single to tie the game up, before Joe's go-ahead blast.

 

Alonso hits career-first grand slam

Pete Alonso clubbed a fifth-inning grand slam to lead the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 5-0. That marked 27-year-old's first career grand slam and comes after Alonso had been left with a bloodied lip after being struck by a Mason Thompson fastball earlier in the series.

The benches cleared in the Chicago Cubs' 9-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers after tempers flared between the division rivals when right-hander Keegan Thompson hit Andrew McCutchen in the hip with a fastball.

Dylan Cease stepped in for the Chicago White Sox with eight strikeouts across five innings in their 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cease remarkably boasts a 9-0 record against the Tigers in 10 starts.

 

Saturday's results

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

 

Astros at Angels

The Los Angeles Angels take on the Houston Astros in the final game of their thrilling four-game series, with Shohei Ohtani potentially back on the mound after being rested for the past two games.

St Louis Cardinals ace pitcher Adam Wainwright was nearly flawless as he led his side to a 9-0 Opening Day shutout of the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

Wainwright pitched six scoreless innings, giving up five hits and no walks before being relieved to begin the seventh inning, finishing with 81 pitches.

It was far from a stressful game for the home side, scoring in the first inning through a Tyler O'Neill RBI single, before O'Neill smashed a three-run bomb over the wall an inning later to lead 4-0 through two frames.

The middle innings moved quickly as neither team was able to string baserunners together, but the Cardinals gave the home fans some more to cheer for in the eighth inning with home runs to Tommy Edman and Nolan Arenado.

J.T. Brubaker took the loss for the Pirates, finishing with four hits, three walks and four earned runs in three innings of work.

Super Suzuki wins debut

The Chicago Cubs' high-profile international signing, Seiya Suzuki, collected a hit and two walks from four at-bats in a 5-4 home win against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kyle Hendricks pitched well for the home side, conceding one earned run to go with seven strikeouts before being withdrawn in the sixth inning.

The big moment for Suzuki came as he led-off the fifth inning, sending a base hit to shallow left field for his first career knock after signing a five-year, $85million deal out of the Japanese league this off-season.

The Bobby Witt Jr era begins in Kansas City

While Suzuki is favourite to take home the NL MVP, the Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr is the favourite in the AL, and delivered on debut in his side's 3-1 home win against the Cleveland Guardians.

After three outs from his first three at-bats, Witt delivered when it mattered, finding the gap with a RBI double in the eighth inning to give his side a 2-1 lead, and then came around and scored himself to finish it off.

Ohtani makes history in Angels loss    

It was not a great Opening Day for the Los Angeles Angels, but reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani made history once again.

In the Angels' 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros, Ohtani became the first player to start on the pitchers' mound and lead-off the batting, throwing and facing Los Angeles' first pitch of the season.

He finished with nine strikeouts and one earned run before being withdrawn in the fifth inning after 80 pitches, while going zero-for-four from his plate appearances.

 

Thursday's results

Atlanta Braves 3-6 Cincinnati Reds

St Louis Cardinals 9-0 Pittsburgh Pirates

Kansas City Royals 3-1 Cleveland Guardians

Chicago Cubs 5-4 Milwaukee Brewers

New York Mets 5-1 Washington Nationals

Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 San Diego Padres

Los Angeles Angels 1-3 Houston Astros

 

Red Sox at Yankees

The two historic rivals will kick off their seasons at Yankee Stadium on Friday in the first scheduled game of the day.

After a chaotic offseason, which included a lockout and pushing back Opening Day, baseball is almost back.

With a new collective bargaining agreement in place, two new playoff spots up for grabs and plenty of big-name player movement, it is shaping up to be an enthralling MLB season.

The defending champion Atlanta Braves may have improved, despite losing star Freddie Freeman to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Yankees' position as the best team in New York could soon be under threat. 

With so many storylines, the most logical place to begin is right at the very top.

 

Can the Braves go back-to-back?

As is often the case, the World Series race is wide open, but Atlanta is at least in the mix as far as the pre-season odds go.

Some would consider the Braves' run last season a fluke – they won 88 games in the regular season, while the 91-win Toronto Blue Jays and 90-win Seattle Mariners missed out on playoff berths entirely.

However, they were missing superstar Ronald Acuna Jr for a large chunk of the year, and made meaningful additions at the trade deadline including Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson, and their playoff surge indicated that the record was not an accurate reflection of their talent.

While they lost franchise legend Freeman to the Dodgers, the Braves are arguably getting an upgrade at first base in the form of Matt Olson, who is four years younger and was a two-time Gold Glove winner with the Oakland Athletics before being traded for a four-player package of young Braves prospects.

Max Fried and Charlie Morton comprise a stout top of the rotation while Mike Soroka is out injured, and they have some strong bullpen arms including Tyler Matzek and Collin McHugh.

The Braves are a team without a clear weakness and will be full of confidence, so expect them to be fighting it out at the top of the NL East against the second-most expensive team in baseball, the New York Mets, as they bid to become the first team to win consecutive World Series since the Yankees in 1999 and 2000.

 

Are the Mets the best team in New York?

Since 2001, the New York Mets have only finished with a better record than the Yankees twice, in 2015 and 2016.

During that span, the Mets have never had a more expensive payroll than their local rivals – until this year.

The Mets are projected to come into Opening Day trailing only the Dodgers with the second-highest payroll in the league at $251million, while the Yankees are third at $239m.

It represents more than just deep pockets for second-year owner Steve Cohen, it shows that the Mets are no longer the 'little brother', and are willing to spend what it takes to be taken seriously against the most decorated franchise in major league history.

Buck Showalter will be the man tasked with turning the money into wins in his first year in the role, the former three-time AL Manager of the Year known for maximising talent on a limited budget with the Baltimore Orioles from 2010 to 2018, a stint that included a playoff series win over the Yankees.

Ultimately, what the Mets' season will hinge on is the health of their starting pitchers, with Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer (who turns 38 this season) comprising the best one-two punch in baseball after Marcus Stroman left as a free agent to join the Chicago Cubs. DeGrom has already been sidelined for four weeks with a shoulder injury.

The rotation also includes 2021 All-Star Taijuan Walker, who tailed off late last season, but showed impressive ability when fresh.

Francisco Lindor remains the young jewel of the franchise – now two seasons into a 10-year, $341m contract extension – and along with power-hitting Pete Alonso and rangy center-fielder Starling Marte, there is plenty of quality stepping into the batters' box.

The Yankees will have one of the highest-ceiling batting line-ups when they roll out sluggers Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Gallo, but they also play in the league's toughest division in the AL East, and could be candidates for regression after losing pitcher Corey Kluber and trading away bats Gio Urshela and Luke Voit.

 

 

Did the best team in baseball not make the playoffs in 2021?

It may be hard to believe, but given the meat grinder that is the AL East, the Toronto Blue Jays are bookmakers' second-favourite to win the World Series despite not making the playoffs this past season.

The Blue Jays were top three in runs scored in 2021 and should again be one of the most explosive teams in the league this time around.

Toronto will also be able to enjoy a homecoming season, returning to Rogers Centre after the Blue Jays were forced to play their 2021 home games in Buffalo due to pandemic restrictions.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Bo Bichette are franchise cornerstones, last year's big signing George Springer was enormous in an injury-shortened debut campaign, and they have the luxury of adding Matt Chapman this season, who has two Platinum Gloves to his name as one of the best defensive players in the league.

Pitching remains the question mark in Toronto, with AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray departing for Seattle in a serious blow to a rotation with plenty to prove.

Nobody should be surprised if the Blue Jays jump up from fourth in their division all the way to the top, and are one of the teams with real World Series aspirations this season.

 

Which top prospect will establish themselves as a star? 

There will be some elite prospects finding their way in the majors this season, but will any of them burst onto the scene as a star?

In 2017, Judge did more than just win Rookie of the Year, he led the AL in home runs and finished second in AL MVP voting.

While there is always a chance that an unheralded rookie emerges as the premier prospect, there is a relatively clear top-tier consisting of three players entering the season.

Kansas City Royals infielder Bobby Witt Jr, Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez.

Rutschman will hit for average from both sides of the plate while projecting as an elite defensive catcher, Witt is the five-tool stud who will make eye-popping plays with his glove at shortstop, and Rodriguez is the big, power-hitting corner outfielder.

At 24 years old, Rutschman is the senior of the class, while the other two are considerably younger at 21, but all three will have a chance to prove themselves early in the year as franchise-altering stars – and potentially become the biggest story of this season.

Zack Greinke is returning to where he started his major league career, agreeing to a one-year, $13 million contract with the Kansas City Royals, pending a physical, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The Royals selected Greinke with the sixth overall pick of the 2002 draft and he made his MLB debut for the club two years later.

Spending his first seven seasons in Kansas City, Greinke won the 2009 AL Cy Young Award with a league-leading 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts in 229 1/3 innings.

Pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015, he won his second ERA title, recording a 1.66 ERA, and finished second in NL Cy Young voting.

The 38-year-old, who has been selected to six All-Star Games and has won six Gold Gloves, has also pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks and spent the last three seasons with the Houston Astros.

In 29 starts and one appearance out of the bullpen last season, the right-hander went 11-6 with a 4.16 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in a team-leading 171 innings.

The ERA and WHIP were both his highest since 2016, when he posted a 4.37 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in his first season for Arizona.

He ranks 23rd on the all-time strikeout list with 2,809 and third behind Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander among active pitchers, but his strikeout rate of 6.32 per nine innings last season was his lowest since it was at 5.61 during his second year in the majors in 2005.

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will meet in the American League (AL) Wild Card showdown after winning late to deny the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners.

Four teams were vying for two AL Wild Card berths on a chaotic finale to the MLB's regular season, with the possibility of a four-way tie.

While the Mariners went down to the Los Angeles Angels 7-3, the Blue Jays crushed the lowly Baltimore Orioles 12-4 to give themselves a chance of forcing a Game 163 as they watched the Yankees and Red Sox contests anxiously.

But the Yankees and Red Sox produced two clutch hits to secure their spot in the play-offs.

Aaron Judge drove home the winning run in the ninth inning of the Yankees' 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, while the Red Sox overturned a 5-1 deficit to trump the Washington Nationals 7-5 behind Rafael Devers' two-run homer in the ninth.

 

Giants win NL West on final day

The San Francisco Giants clinched the National League (NL) West title for the first time since 2012 with a 11-4 rout of the San Diego Padres. San Francisco denied World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers thanks to their franchise-record 107th victory of the season, eclipsing the 1904 New York team. The Dodgers topped the Milwaukee Brewers 10-3 to settle for an NL Wild Card meeting with the St Louis Cardinals.

Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (48) – alongside Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals – and Padres sensation Fernando Tatis Jr. (42) ended the regular season as the home run leaders in their respective leagues. It is the first time in AL-NL history both leagues were led by players aged 22 or younger thanks to Guerrero and Tatis.

Dodgers star Trea Turner became the first NL player to lead the league in hits in back-to-back seasons since Terry Pendleton in 1991 and 1992. On the back of his second grand slam in 48 hours, Turner finished with 195 hits. He also won the NL batting title (.328), ahead of Washington's Juan Soto. Yuli Gurriel (.319) of the Houston Astros claimed the AL title.

Corbin Burnes became the first Brewers pitcher to earn an ERA title, having topped the NL at 2.43, beating Dodgers starters Max Scherzer (2.46) and Walker Buehler (2.47) to the honour. Toronto's Robbie Ray (2.84) led the AL's ERA standings.

 

Injury worries

The Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers all have injury concerns heading into the Wild Card round. Yankees star DJ LeMahieu landed on the injured list due to a hip/groin problem ahead of Sunday's game. Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez exited in the sixth inning with a sprained left ankle. Meanwhile, Dodgers slugger Max Muncy is "very unlikely" to feature in the NL Wild Card Game because of a left elbow injury sustained in the third inning.

 

Guerrero breaks record

Having earned a share of the AL home run title, Guerrero made history. His 48 homers are the most in a season by a player aged 22 or younger, eclipsing Eddie Matthews (47 in 1953).

 

 

Sunday's results

Los Angeles Angels 7-3 Seattle Mariners
Boston Red Sox 7-5 Washington Nationals
Cincinnati Reds 6-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Cleveland Indians 6-0 Texas Rangers
San Francisco Giants 11-4 San Diego Padres
New York Yankees 1-0 Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays 12-4 Baltimore Orioles
Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers 5-2 Chicago White Sox
Los Angeles Dodgers 10-3 Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins 7-3 Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros 7-6 Oakland Athletics
Miami Marlins 5-4 Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago Cubs 3-2 St Louis Cardinals
Atlanta Braves 5-0 New York Mets

 

Yankees at Red Sox

The famous Yankees and Red Sox rivalry will take centre stage for Tuesday's AL Wild Card blockbuster in Boston. Gerrit Cole will face Nathan Eovaldi in a mouth-watering pitching matchup. The winner will face the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Division Series (ALDS), starting Wednesday.

The American League (AL) Wild Card race is set for a chaotic conclusion after the New York Yankees failed to clinch as the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners all won in MLB action on Saturday.

In New York, the Yankees were prevented from securing their Wild Card berth following a 12-2 rout at the hands of AL East champions the Tampa Bay Rays.

Brandon Lowe hit three home runs to thwart the Yankees, who are now level with the Boston Red Sox atop the AL Wild Card standings heading into Sunday's regular-season finale.

The Red Sox topped the Washington Nationals 5-3, while the Blue Jays and Mariners – who have celebrated 90-plus wins for the first time since 2003 – are a game adrift following respective wins over the Baltimore Orioles (10-1) and Los Angeles Angels (6-4).

There is a chance for a four-way tie if the Yankees (91-70) and Red Sox (91-70) both lose and the Blue Jays (90-71) and Mariners (90-71) win, which would leave the quartet with 91 victories apiece.

The 2021 AL East is the second division ever with four 90-plus win teams (the Rays, Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays) and first time since the split to three divisions per league.

 

Urias keeps Dodgers alive in NL West battle

Julio Urias became the first pitcher in his age-24 season or younger to win 20-plus games in a campaign since future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw in 2011 after leading World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers to an 8-3 success against the Milwaukee Brewers. Urias pitched one-run ball into the seventh inning to help the Dodgers (105-56) remain in the hunt for a ninth successive National League (NL) West title after leaders the San Francisco Giants (106-55) lost 3-2 to the San Diego Padres. The 2021 NL West is the first ever division to have two teams with 105 or more wins in a season.

Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease became the second set of Chicago White Sox team-mates to each record 200-plus strikeouts in a season, joining Tom Bradley (206) and Wilbur Wood (210) in 1971. The White Sox edged the Detroit Tigers 5-4.

 

Blackburn battered

Paul Blackburn was put to the sword as the Houston Astros secured home-field advantage in the AL Division Series (ALDS) with a 10-4 win at home to the Oakland Athletics. A's pitcher Blackburn was tagged for a season-high six runs on seven hits in just two innings.

 

Blue Jays set franchise record

With their 258th home run, the Blue Jays set a new single-season franchise record for homers in the win over the lowly Orioles. Danny Jansen's bomb in the bottom of the fifth inning broke the team's record. Blue Jays star and MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also equalled the record for most home runs in a season by a player aged 22 or younger, joining Eddie Matthews (1953), with his 47th homer. Seven Blue Jays players have 20-plus home runs this season, tying a team record.

 

 

Saturday's results

Tampa Bay Rays 12-2 New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays 10-1 Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox 5-3 Washington Nationals
San Diego Padres 3-2 San Francisco Giants
Miami Marlins 3-1 Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates 8-6 Cincinnati Reds
Texas Rangers 7-2 Cleveland Indians
Chicago White Sox 5-4 Detroit Tigers
Minnesota Twins 4-0 Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros 10-4 Oakland Athletics
Chicago Cubs 6-5 St Louis Cardinals
Atlanta Braves 6-5 New York Mets
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-2 Colorado Rockies
Seattle Mariners 6-4 Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 Milwaukee Brewers

 

NL West title in balance

The NL West champion will be crowned on Sunday as the Dodgers host the Brewers on the final day of the regular season, while the Giants entertain the Padres. The Dodgers must win and hope the Giants lose to tie for the title and force a deciding Game 163 in San Francisco on Monday.

The New York Yankees missed the chance to seal an American League (AL) Wild Card spot going down 4-3 to the Tampa Bay Rays despite a late rally on Friday.

The Yankees needed to win and hope either the Boston Red Sox or the Toronto Blue Jays lose to be assured of a Wild Card berth but could not uphold their end of the bargain, ensuring the race remains open.

Rookie Wander Franco drove in two runs at the top of the ninth inning to put the Rays up 4-1 but the Yankees did not wilt.

With one out, Joey Gallo bunted to get Giancarlo Stanton home, before Brett Gardner's double brought in Gallo to make it 4-3.

But Gary Sanchez and Rougned Odor were struck out by Rays closer Andrew Kittredge.

 

Back-to-back jacks for Red Sox

The Red Sox have been on the slide lately, losing five of their past six games, but they claimed an important win, 4-2 over the Washington Nationals to stay in the AL Wild Card hunt.

Hunter Renfroe (three-run home run) and Bobby Dalbec delivered back-to-back jacks in the sixth inning to earn the win for the Red Sox.

The Blue Jays stayed in contention with a 6-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles with Danny Jansen driving in three runs and Steven Matz having five strikeouts across seven innings.

The San Francisco Giants moved a step closer to securing the National League (NL) divisional title with a 3-0 win over the San Diego Padres.

Two runs in the first inning set up the win, with Darin Ruf's jack and Mike Yastrzemski driving in Brandon Crawford.

 

Packed house sees Mariners miss chance

The Seattle Mariners failed to capitalise on the Yankees' defeat, going down 2-1 to the Los Angeles Angels despite taking an early lead in front of a full house after Jarred Kelenic's double in the second inning. Seattle have not made the postseason since 2001 and this result does not help their hopes of ending that wait, with Angels left-hander Jose Suarez throwing five strong innings. The Mariners (89-71) are now a game behind the Red Sox (90-70) for the second AL Wild Card spot.  

 

In-form Turner crushes grand slam

Trea Turner crushed a game-tying grand slam as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied from 5-1 down to win 8-6 over the Milwaukee Brewers to keep the pressure on the Giants in the NL division race. Turner finished the game with two hits, two runs and five RBI. From his past six games, Turner has two multi-homer games, five total home runs, seven extra-base hits, eight runs scored, 10 RBI and has reached base 13 times.

 

Friday's results

Pittsburgh Pirates 9-2 Cincinnati Reds
Boston Red Sox 4-2 Washington Nationals
Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 Baltimore Orioles
Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 Miami Marlins
New York Mets 4-3 Atlanta Braves
Cleveland Indians 9-6 Texas Rangers
Chicago White Sox 8-1 Detroit Tigers
Oakland Athletics 8-6 Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals 11-6 Minnesota Twins
St Louis Cardinals 4-3 Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies 9-7 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants 3-0 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-6 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Angels 2-1 Seattle Mariners

 

Rays at Yankees

The Yankees will go again in their pursuit of a confirmed Wild Card spot when they host the Rays in their penultimate game.

The Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves became the latest MLB teams to clinch postseason spots with wins Tuesday. 

Houston wrapped up the American League (AL) West title with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, with Carlos Correa's three-run homer in the fourth inning doing all the damage for the Astros. 

Lance McCullers held the Rays without a hit through the first five innings before Tampa Bay got on the board in the sixth with a two-run homer by Brandon Lowe, but that was all the AL East champions could muster. 

While Houston (93-66) reached the playoffs for the sixth time in the last seven seasons, the Braves (86-72) locked down their fourth National League (NL) East title in a row. 

Atlanta got home runs from Jorge Soler and Austin Riley to back a strong start by Ian Anderson in a 5-3 defeat of the second-place Philadelphia Phillies to clinch the division. 

The Braves will face the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Division Series, while the Astros are set to play the Chicago White Sox in the AL. 

 

Yankees down Blue Jays, Giants rally again

The New York Yankees closed in on securing an AL wild-card spot by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2. New York got to Toronto's Cy Young Award candidate Robbie Ray in the sixth inning as Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres hit home runs to erase a 2-1 deficit. The Yankees (91-68) can clinch a playoff spot Friday with a win against the Rays and a Toronto loss to the Baltimore Orioles. 

LaMonte Wade's bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth gave the San Francisco Giants a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, bringing the team with MLB's best record one step closer to taking the NL West title. Giants starter Scott Kazmir lasted only six batters as San Francisco fell in a 3-0 first-inning hole, but the home side chipped away throughout the game until Wade's walk-off hit. San Francisco (105-54) can clinch the division Friday with a win against the San Diego Padres and a Los Angeles Dodgers (103-56) loss to the Brewers. 

 

Red Sox drop series to Orioles

The Boston Red Sox continue to flounder with a postseason berth on the line, falling 6-2 to the lowly Orioles (52-107) for their fifth defeat in the last six games. The Red Sox (89-70) dropped into a tie with the idle Seattle Mariners for the final AL wild-card spot as they head to Washington to face the Nationals in the final three games of the regular season. 

 

Tatis hits one out of Dodger Stadium

Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a monstrous 467-foot home run that cleared the left-field pavilion at Dodger Stadium, a highlight in another disappointing game for the Padres as they fell 8-3 in Los Angeles. 

 

Thursday's results

St Louis Cardinals 4-3 Milwaukee Brewers
Texas Rangers 7-6 Los Angeles Angels
Chicago Cubs 9-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles 6-2 Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees 6-2 Toronto Blue Jays
New York Mets 12-3 Miami Marlins
Atlanta Braves 5-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Detroit Tigers10-7 Minnesota Twins
Cleveland Indians 6-1 Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros 3-2 Tampa Bay Rays
San Francisco Giants 5-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 San Diego Padres

 

Angels at Mariners

The Seattle Mariners (89-70) open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels (75-84) with an AL wild-card spot hanging in the balance. 

The Toronto Blue Jays kept the American League (AL) Wild Card race wide open after ending the New York Yankees' seven-game winning streak with an entertaining 6-5 victory on Wednesday.

Bo Bichette homered twice as the Blue Jays recovered from blowing a 4-0 lead after the Yankees tied the MLB clash up in the seventh inning midweek.

Bichette's second home run of the game, with scores tied at 5-5 at the bottom of the eighth inning, proved decisive, with the 23-year-old getting a curtain call.

The result improved the Blue Jays to 88-70 to be a game adrift of the second and final Wild Card berth, while the Yankees are 90-68 in the four-team race for two spots, alongside the Boston Red Sox (89-69) and the Seattle Mariners (89-70).

Earlier, Blue Jays star Marcus Semien hit his 44th home run of the season, meaning he has the most homers in a season by a primary second baseman in MLB history.

Bichette and Semien both ticked over 100 RBI for the season, meaning the Blue Jays are the first team with four players (Teoscar Hernandez and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) with 100-plus RBI in a season since the Atlanta Braves in 2003.

 

Brewers thwarts Cardinals' winning run

The St Louis Cardinals' extraordinary winning streak ended at 17 games after a 4-0 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals secured their postseason berth on Tuesday with their 17th straight win but home runs from Daniel Vogelbach and Manny Pina earned the National League (NL) Central division winners the run-ending victory. St Louis' winning streak will go down as the third longest by any team in the expansion area, behind the Cleveland Indians (22 in 2017) and the Oakland Athletics (20 in 2002).

The Braves moved a step closer to securing the NL East title thanks to a 7-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, with Dansby Swanson starring with a three-hit game including a two-run single in the seventh inning.

AL East champions the Tampa Bay Rays clinched top seed and home-field advantage via a 7-0 shutout of the Houston Astros aided by Ji-man Choi's three-run jack in the fifth inning. The victory also brought up the Rays' 98th for the season, setting a new franchise record.

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers piled on five runs in the eighth inning to keep pace with the San Francisco Giants for NL seeding courtesy a come-from-behind 11-9 win over the San Diego Padres. The Giants stayed two games clear following a 1-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Mariners stayed firmly in the AL Wild Card hunt with a 4-2 win over the Athletics. 

Reds season fizzles out

The Cincinnati Reds' promising season has petered out, with the NL Wild Card hopes officially over and a 6-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox underlined that. The Reds managed just four hits for the game, with their only run coming in the ninth inning.

 

Red Sox snap their skid

The Red Sox boosted their AL Wild Card aspirations as they ended their four-game losing span with a 6-0 triumph over the Baltimore Orioles. J.D. Martinez had three RBI, including a 444-foot home run, while Nathan Eovaldi had six scoreless innings and seven strikeouts on the mound.

 

Wednesday's results

Colorado Rockies 10-5 Washington Nationals
Chicago Cubs 3-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Boston Red Sox 6-0 Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 New York Yankees
Miami Marlins 3-2 New York Mets
Atlanta Braves 7-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Minnesota Twins 5-2 Detroit Tigers
Milwaukee Brewers 4-0 St Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Angels 7-2 Texas Rangers
Kansas City Royals 10-5 Cleveland Indians
Tampa Bay Rays 7-0 Houston Astros
Chicago White Sox 6-1 Cincinnati Reds
San Francisco Giants 1-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 4-2 Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Dodgers 11-9 San Diego Padres

 

Yankees at Blue Jays

On Thursday, the Blue Jays host rivals the Yankees for the penultimate time in their series in a critical game for the AL Wild Card race. After that, Toronto face the Orioles, while the Yankees meet the Rays.

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