Kyle Schwarber hit another leadoff home run and All-Star Matt Strahm struck out Shohei Ohtani in a key spot as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 for their major league-leading 60th win on Wednesday night. 

The Phillies have won the first two games of this three-game series between division leaders. At 60-32, only the 1976 team (88 games) reached the 60-win mark faster in a season in franchise history.

Philadelphia won without All-Star slugger Bryce Harper, who sat out with a bruised left hand after he returned for Tureday’s10-1 win following a nine-game absence. Harper was hurt at an unspecified point, through he clearly grabbed his hand and hunched over in pain on a second-inning chopper by Miguel Rojas.

Strahm entered with one out in the seventh and the Phillies holding a 4-2 lead. With runners at the corners, he struck out Ohtani and retired Teoscar Hernandez on a fly out to escape the jam.

The Dodgers scored a run in the eighth on Rojas’ RBI single, but Jeff Hoffman tossed a scoreless ninth for his ninth save.

Schwarber’s homer off Gavin Stone was his 39th career leadoff homer and 18th overall this season.

Valdez pitches Astros past Marlins

Framber Valdez struck out a season-high 10 over seven stellar innings and rookie Joey Loperfido homered and tripled to propel the Houston Astros to their eighth straight home win, 9-1 over the Miami Marlins.

Valdez allowed six hits – all singles – and walked one to win his third straight decision.

Loperfido hit a two-run homer to highlight a four-run second off Bryan Hoeing and had his first career triple in the fourth.

Yainer Diaz had three hits and three RBIs for the Astros (48-44), who have won eight of 11 to match a season high at four games over .500.

Perez’s home runs help Royals sweep

Salvador Perez homered in both games and MJ Melendez hit a solo shot in the nightcap as the Kansas City Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-5 for a sweep of their day-night doubleheader.

Garrett Hampson had two-run double to back a strong start by Alec Marsh in the Royals’ 6-4 victory in the early game.

Kyle Isbel homered in the second game and James McArthur pitched the ninth for his second save of the day and 17th of the season.

Kansas City notched its 50th and 51st wins of the season after it totaled just 56 victories all last season.

Nolan Arenado, Alec Burleson and Paul Goldschmidt homered in the opener for the Cardinals, while Lars Nootbaar went deep in the nightcap. St. Louis entered the day having won four of five.

Brandon Nimmo drove in four runs and had three of the New York Mets' season-high 22 hits as Major League Baseball's hottest team rolled to a 14-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday.

Francisco Lindor went 4 for 4 and knocked in two runs as the Mets won their sixth consecutive contest while collecting their most hits in a game since recording 23 against the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 15, 2019.

Nimmo had a two-run homer among his three hits and DJ Stewart added a three-run blast as New York battered Texas starter Jon Gray for nine runs and 11 hits in just three-plus innings.

Pete Alonso, Mark Vientos and Francisco Alvarez also had three hits each to support a solid start from David Peterson, who allowed two runs and struck out six over six innings to move to 3-0.

After Lindor singled to open the game and later scored on Alonso's base hit to put the Mets up early, New York broke open the game with six runs in the second.

Lindor's single brought in Vientos for a 2-0 lead and Nimmo followed with a run-scoring hit of his own to extend the margin. Alonso made it 4-0 with his second RBI single of the night before Stewart launched Gray's pitch into the right field seats to cap the big inning.

Peterson served up Robbie Grossman's two-run homer in the third inning that got the Rangers on the board, but Nimmo followed Lindor's single in the fourth with his eighth home run of the season to give New York a 9-2 advantage.

The Mets struck two more times in the fifth as Lindor doubled in a run and Nimmo added another RBI single. Stewart singled in the sixth and later crossed the plate on Alvarez's hit to increase the lead to 12-2.

Alvarez had another run-scoring hit in the eighth as the Mets scored twice more during the inning.

The defending World Series champion Rangers lost their fourth in a row and dropped six games below .500 at 33-39.

Pirates' rookie Skenes bests Reds to stay unbeaten

Paul Skenes continued an outstanding start to his MLB career by throwing six sharp innings and leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds to open a three-game series.

Skenes improved to 4-0 by yielding just one run on six hits and striking out seven. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft now sports a 2.29 ERA through his first seven major league starts.

The heralded rookie's lone run allowed came in the top of the first inning, when Jeimer Candelario singled and scored on a double by Spencer Steer.

Pittsburgh countered with three runs off Carson Spiers in their half of the first, which began with a walk to Andrew McCutchen and Bryan Reynolds' ground-rule double.

Oneil Cruz then drove both runners home with a single and later moved to third on Rowdy Tellez's double before crossing the plate on Ke'Bryan Hayes' groundout.

The Pirates extended their advantage to 4-1 in the second inning on consecutive doubles by McCutchen and Reynolds, who finished with two hits along with Tellez.

Spiers (0-1) made his first start of the season for Cincinnati, which has now lost three straight. The right-hander worked six innings while permitting all four Pittsburgh runs.

Schwarber's two homers help Phillies extend Padres' road woes

Kyle Schwarber belted a pair of two-run homers to lead the way as the Philadelphia Phillies extended the San Diego Padres' road losing streak to eight games with Monday's 9-2 rout.

Alec Bohm added a three-run homer and went 3 for 5 to help the National League leaders bounce back after losing two of three games to the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend. Rafael Marchan finished 4 for 4 with two RBIs, while Trea Turner had a pair of hits in the Philadelphia shortstop's return from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him since early May.

The Phillies also received a strong start from Cristopher Sanchez (4-3), who held struggling San Diego to two runs - one earned - in seven innings.

San Diego entered Citizens Bank Park off three straight road losses to the New York Mets over the weekend, and fell behind 2-0 when Schwarber followed Marchan's third-inning single with a blast into the seats off Randy Vasquez.

Vasquez (1-4) walked Brandon Marsh to lead off the bottom of the fourth, which led to another run when the outfielder took second on a wild pitch and scored on Marchan's single.

An error by Marsh led to a run in the top of the fifth that got the Padres on the board, though the Phillies answered in their half when Bohm took Vasquez deep with Turner and Bryce Harper aboard.

Schwarber struck again in the sixth with a homer off Adrian Morejon that extended the lead to 8-2 and once again scored Marchan, who had reached on a single.

Both teams scratched home a run in the seventh inning, as San Diego's Donovan Solano brought in Jurickson Profar with a double and Marsh doubled and later scored on Marchan's fourth hit of the game.

Vasquez lasted just 4 1/3 innings and was lit up for six runs on 12 hits. 

 

Luis Gil won his ninth straight decision and Alex Verdugo homered and drove in four runs against his former team as the New York Yankees became the first team to 50 wins with an 8-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.

Gil allowed one run and four hits over five innings with four walks and six strikeouts in a season-high 104-pitch outing. The rookie is 9-0 with a 1.64 ERA in 11 starts since a loss at Toronto on April 15.

New York’s bullpen pitched one-hit ball with eight strikeouts over the final four innings.

Verdugo, who spent the previous four seasons with Boston before he was traded to the Yankees in December, hit the first pitch he saw from Brayan Bello for a two-run homer in the first inning, doubled home a run in the fifth and added an RBI single in the ninth.

Verdugo matched a career high with four RBIs, done twice earlier this season and three times with the Red Sox.

Bello was tagged for five runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Jose Trevino also homered for the major league-best Yankees (50-22), who won for the 13th time in 16 games. 

Bohm lifts Phillies over Orioles in 11th

Alec Bohm ripped a two-run double in the top of the 11th inning shortly after a 71-minute rain delay, and the Philadelphia Phillies topped the Baltimore Orioles, 5-3.

After the Orioles intentionally walked Bryce Harper to put runners at first and second with one out, Bohm followed with a drive to left-center that eluded Austin Hays that scored both runners.

Kyle Schwarber led off the game with a home run and Rafael Marchan hit his first of the season for the NL East-leading Phillies, who bounced back from consecutive losses at Boston to take the opener of a three-game series between two of baseball's top teams.

Anthony Santander hit a tying home run in the eighth, but the Orioles went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position in their second straight loss following a six-game winning streak.

Baltimore’s Kyle Bradish allowed two runs in five innings before exiting due to elbow pain. He missed the first month of the season with a sprained UCL and will have further tests.

Garver, Castillo keep Mariners surging

Mitch Garver hit a two-run homer to back a strong start by Luis Castillo and the Seattle Mariners extended their AL West lead with a 3-2 win over the Texas Rangers.

Castillo gave up two runs – both in the first inning - on four hits in six innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. He improved to 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last five home starts.

Mike Baumann and Andres Munoz each pitched a hitless inning before Ryne Stanek worked around a hit in the ninth for his sixth save.

Seattle took the lead for good in the third when J.P. Crawford scored on a fielder’s choice. Julio Rodriguez hit a grounder to third with runners at the corners and Crawford trotted home to make it 3-2.

The Mariners have won five of six and 14 of 19 to open a 6 ½-game lead over Texas in the West.

New York Yankees lead-off hitter Anthony Volpe started off Thursday's game against the Minnesota Twins with a home run.

That was all the run support Clarke Schmidt would need.

Schmidt pitched a career-high eight innings and the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Twins with a 5-0 win.

Schmidt permitted three hits without a walk while striking out eight as New York won for the 10th time in 12 games to become the first AL club to 30 wins.

The Yankees (30-15) posted back-to-back shutouts at Minnesota and extended their scoreless streak to 26 innings dating to the first inning of Tuesday's series opener.

Volpe's homer sparked a three-run first inning for New York, which outscored Minnesota 14-1 in the three games.

Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres each hit two doubles, while Anthony Rizzo, Austin Wells and Alex Verdugo all drove in one run.

The Twins (24-19) entered this series with only three losses in their previous 20 games before promptly being swept for the first time since April 15-17, at Baltimore.

Mets score two in 11th to edge Phillies

J.D. Martinez hit a go-ahead single in the 11th and later scored on a wild pitch to provide the final margin as the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies to avoid a four-game sweep in the home-and-home series.

The Phillies sent the game into extras after Bryson Stott tied the game with a single off Mets closer Edwin Díaz in the 9th.

It marked the second straight blown save for Díaz and his third in four opportunities since May 5.

Pete Alonso opened the scoring with a first-inning homer for the Mets (20-23), who had lost to the Phillies at home on Monday and Tuesday and then lost the opener of the two-game series in Phildelphia on Wednesday.

In a scheduling quirk, these teams played four consecutive games split between New York and Philadelphia, as part of the arrangement with the teams playing a two-game set in London on June 8-9.

Kyle Schwarber and Alec Bohm each had run-scoring doubles for the NL East-leading Phillies (31-14), who lost for only the fourth time in 20 games.

De La Cruz runs wild as Reds blank Dodgers

Elly De La Cruz had four hits, three runs and four stolen bases as the visiting Cincinnati Reds beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-2 in their series opener.

De La Cruz now has a major league-leading 30 steals - 13 more than the next-closest player (Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Jose Caballero).

Playing in Cincinnati's 44th game, he is the fastest player to 30 steals since 1996, when Kenny Lofton reached 30 steals in Cleveland's 41st game.

De La Cruz had has many hits as the Dodgers (29-17), who have now totalled one run in their last two games to lose consecutive games for the first time since April 19-20.

The Reds (19-25), who ended up using seven pitchers during a bullpen day, won for the second time in three games after going just 1-11 in their previous 12.

Kyle Schwarber hit a pair of home runs to back Aaron Nola’s stellar start and the Philadelphia Phillies rolled to a 10-0 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday for a 2-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.

Trea Turner also went deep and J. T. Realmuto drove in three runs to help the Phillies improve to 7-1 in these playoffs, including 6-0 at home.

Philadelphia will try to move closer to a second straight World Series appearance when the series shifts to Arizona for Game 3 on Thursday.

Nola gave up three hits over six innings without a walk and struck out seven. He is 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA in three playoff starts this season.

Turner’s one-out home run in the first off Merrill Kelly got Philadelphia started and Schwarber extended the lead in the third with his first blast of the night.

The Phillies tacked on four runs in the sixth and knocked out Kelly.

Schwarber led off with another home run and Turner walked before Kelly got the next two outs. Joe Mantiply relieved and surrendered Bryson Stott’s single and Realmuto followed with a two-run double into the gap in left-centre.

Brandon Marsh then doubled home Realmuto for a 6-0 advantage.

Alec Bohm had a two-run double, Realmuto singled home another run and Nick Castellanos added a sacrifice fly in Philadelphia’s four-run seventh.

The Phillies have hit .315 with 28 runs and 15 homers in the past four games.

Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos all homered to stake the Philadelphia Phillies to an early lead, and the defending National League champions held on for a 5-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Monday's Game 1 of the NL Championship Series.

The three solo homers helped back a solid six-inning start from Zack Wheeler as the Phillies handed the surprising Diamondbacks their first loss of this year's post-season. Arizona began the playoffs with five straight wins, including a three-game sweep of the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the previous round.

Harper added an RBI single on his 31st birthday to help provide Philadelphia a 5-0 lead as Wheeler held Arizona to just one hit through the first five innings.

Schwarber started the power surge by leading off the bottom of the first inning with his first homer of this postseason, and Harper made it 2-0 two batters later with his fourth homer in his last five games.

Castellanos, who homered twice in each of the final two games of Philadelphia's division series win over the Atlanta Braves, went deep again an inning afterward to pad the lead.

All three long balls came off Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen, who surrendered all five Philadelphia runs and eight hits over five innings.

The Phillies increased the margin when Trea Turner doubled in the third and scored on Harper's single, and the lead grew to 5-0 when Harper walked in the fifth and later came home on J.T. Realmuto's two-out single.

Wheeler, meanwhile, retired 15 straight Arizona hitters after permitting a single to Corbin Carroll to open the game. That streak ended when Evan Longoria led off the sixth with a single and Geraldo Perdomo followed with a two-run homer to get the Diamondbacks on the board.

The Phillies ace finished with eight strikeouts and yielded just three hits along with the two runs.

Seranthony Dominguez relieved Wheeler in the seventh and committed an error that led to an unearned run which brought Arizona within 5-3, but Jose Alvarado and Craig Kimbrel held the Diamondbacks scoreless over the final 2 1/3 innings.

Game 2 will take place Tuesday in Philadelphia, with the Phillies sending out Aaron Nola and Merrill Kelly getting the call for the Diamondbacks.

 

The Tampa Bay Rays improved to 6-0 with their second series sweep of the 2023 season, downing the Washington Nationals 7-2 on Wednesday.

The Rays' exceptional start has included winning all six games by four or more runs, outscoring their opponents by 31 runs (44-13) in the process.

Tampa Bay are the first team win their first six games by at least four runs since the St Louis Maroons in 1884, who managed 13 in a row.

It is Tampa Bay's best start in franchise history and the best start of any franchise in the majors since the Baltimore Orioles opened 7-0 in 2016.

It has been a spread of contributions for Tampa Bay as well, with starting pitcher Shane McClanahan having six strikeouts across six innings, with Wander Franco and Harold Ramirez hitting homers.

Franco's third-inning two-run shot opened up a 3-1 lead, with Ramirez's sixth-inning solo blast over center restoring their two-run lead at 4-2 with two outs.

The Rays added two further runs in the sixth, with Taylor Walls driving home Manuel Margot, before Jose Siri singled to right for Walls to score with Victor Robles losing the fly ball in the sun.

Walls along with Randy Arozarena both had two hits, while the latter took a fine leaping catch on Joey Meneses in the first.

Cole outpitches Nola as Phillies slump

Gerrit Cole piled more misery on the struggling Philadelphia Phillies with eight strikeouts in the New York Yankees' 4-2 win.

The Phillies had claimed their first win of the season against the Yankees on Tuesday but slumped to 1-5 with the defeat, where Jose Trevino's seventh-inning two-run shot opened up a 4-1 lead, with Gleyber Torres having three hits with two RBI singles.

Cole outpitched Phillies right-hander Austin Nola, who had seven Ks across six innings. The Yankees pitcher allowed one run with three hits and three walks across six-and-one-third innings.

The Phillies, who were NL champions last year, were held to two or less runs for the third time in four games with Kyle Schwarber hitting a ninth-inning consolation homer.

More Brewers blasts in walk-off win

Rookie Garrett Mitchell blasted a ninth-inning walk-off home run as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the New York Mets 7-6.

Leading off at the bottom of the ninth, Mitchell fell behind 1-2 in the count before unleashing his game-winning shot into the right-field stands, marking his third blast in his past two games.

The result means Milwaukee have won five games in a row, leading the NL Central division with a 5-1 record. The Brewers, who have homered seven times in two games, have scored 38 runs in their past 36 innings.

For the Mets, Pete Alonso hit a duo of two-run homers, the latter putting his side up 6-4 in the fifth.

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 Philadelphia Phillies blasted five home runs to open up a 2-1 lead in the World Series after winning Game 3 over the Houston Astros 7-0 on Tuesday.

The victory maintains the Phillies' perfect home postseason record, claiming six wins from six games at Citizens Bank Park ahead of Game 4 at the same venue. Philadelphia have also blasted 17 home runs in those six home games.

Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm, Brandon Marsh, Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins all slugged homers. Harper and Hoskins' blasts took them to six each this postseason, which is tied for the second-most in franchise history, behind only Jayson Werth with seven from 2009.

All seven runs came off Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr, who pitched four-and-one-third innings, allowing six hits and one walk with six strikeouts.

The Phillies were dominant throughout, with a brilliant Nick Castellanos' play from a sinking Jose Altuve line drive in the first inning, followed by Harper's two-run blast after Schwarber's leadoff walk.

In the second inning, Bohm blasted just above the left-field wall, followed by Marsh's solo shot to open up a 4-0 lead.

McCullers had retired seven straight batters Schwarber added a two-run center-field blast into the trees, which travelled 443 feet, in the fifth inning, with Hoskins homering shortly after too.

Phillies starter Ranger Suarez went five innings for four strikeouts, allowing three hits, no earned runs and one walk. Nick Nelson got out of a jam in the eighth after two walks, before Andrew Bellatti closed out the win.

The Game 3 winner when the series was tied has gone on to win 41 of the last 59 World Series.

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 Philadelphia Phillies are one win away from the World Series after tying a franchise record for their largest comeback in postseason history with a 10-6 Game 4 win over the San Diego Padres in the NLCS on Saturday.

The Padres raced ahead 4-0 in the first inning, but the Phillies responded to square the game by the fourth inning, before pulling away thanks to four home runs at Citizens Bank Park to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Rhys Hoskins played a key role in the comeback, blasting two two-run homers, the second tying the game up at 6-6 in the fifth inning, before a go-ahead single from Bryce Harper, who went two-for-four with two RBIs.

Kyle Schwarber and J.T. Realmuto both launched solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings to add insurance.

The Padres were two out in the first inning before Manny Machado led their early charge with a solo blast followed by Brandon Drury's two-run double and Kim Ha-seong's RBI.

Hoskins commenced an immediate response with his third home run of the postseason, before Harper's RBI cut the margin to one after the first inning.

Phillies shortstop Bryson Stott's base hit to left squared it up at 4-4 in the fourth inning before Juan Soto launched his first postseason homer, a two-run shot, to open up a 6-4 Padres' lead.

Hoskins blasted Sean Manaea over left-center field to tie it up, before Harper drove Realmuto home to take the lead.

The Phillies host the Padres again on Sunday, knowing only 14 of 91 teams have overcome a 3-1 deficit in a League Championship Series or a World Series to win.

Astros open up 3-0 lead with Yankees domination

The Houston Astros are also on the brink of clinching their fourth World Series berth in six seasons after a dominant 5-0 victory over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

The Astros' pitching staff did the damage, with starter Cristian Javier allowing only one hit with five strikeouts across five-and-one-third innings. Javier had led the Astros' combined no-hitter at Yankee Stadium earlier this season in June.

The victory improved the Astros' postseason record to 6-0, having swept the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS, while it was their second shutout of the postseason too.

Chas McCormick blasted a two-run homer in the second inning after Harrison Bader and Aaron Judge's outfield mix-up allowed Christian Vazquez on base from a sky-high pop-out with two out.

The Astros loaded the bases in the fifth inning, leading to Gerrit Cole's removal despite seven K's, before Trey Mancini's sacrifice fly and Vazquez's two-run single from reliever Lou Trivino to capitalise.

Astros catcher Vazquez's brilliant game included a spectacular throw to second base to out Bader when trying to steal with the game poised at 2-0 at the top of the fifth inning.

The Philadelphia Phillies rode an explosive start from slugger Kyle Schwarber to a 4-2 home victory in Game 3 of the NLCS on Friday, taking a 2-1 lead.

Only Aaron Judge (62) hit more home runs in the regular season than Schwarber (46), and he continued his spectacular season with his second of the postseason to snatch a 1-0 lead for the Phillies with a 405-foot bomb as their very first batter.

That lead would hold until the fourth inning, when Jake Cronenworth was able to bring Juan Soto home from third with a groundout to shortstop, but the Phillies wasted no time retaking the advantage.

In the bottom of the fourth, Jean Segura came through with a big two-run single to jump ahead 3-1, with Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott coming around to score.

Schwarber, Stott and Bohm were the three Phillies to collect multiple hits on the day, and Bohm's second was crucial, ripping a double to right-field in the sixth inning to again restore their buffer to 4-2, which their bullpen protected beautifully.

Zach Eflin and Jose Alvarado pitched the sixth and seventh inning, before Seranthony Dominguez saw out the final two frames, giving up just one baserunner while striking out three batters for a six-out save.

Phillies starter Ranger Suarez did enough to earn the win on the mound, getting through five innings for two earned runs in 68 pitches while only giving up two hits and no walks.

Game 4 and Game 5 will remain in Philadelphia, before the best-of-seven series heads back to San Diego for Game 6 and Game 7 if necessary.

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler was at his dominant best as he held the San Diego Padres scoreless through the first seven innings to set up a 2-0 road win in Game 1 of the NLCS.

With a trip to the World Series on the line, the Phillies got off to the perfect start thanks to starring performances from their marquee players.

Wheeler allowed only one hit and one walk in his seven innings, striking out eight batters, after a season where he posted the sixth-best ERA (2.82) in the National League.

His opposing number starting on the mound for the Padres, Yu Darvish, was not much worse, also pitching seven full innings, and while he only allowed three hits, two of them traveled over the fence to decide the game.

Two-time MVP Bryce Harper broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning, connecting on a 368-foot home run to left-field, and teammate Kyle Schwarber dwarfed that distance with his home run in the sixth.

Schwarber – who finished the season second in the majors with 46 home runs – blasted his longest of the year with a 488-foot nuke into the upper deck at right-field.

In a pitching masterclass, there were only four combined hits in the game, and with his performance, Wheeler became only the second player to ever have a playoff game with seven shutout innings, at least seven strikeouts and no more than one hit in less than 100 pitches. The only other instance was Don Larsen's perfect game for the New York Yankees back in 1956.

The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first National League (NL) side in 113 years to reach 110 wins in a single season after rallying for a 6-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday.

The last NL side to achieve that fear were the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1909. The Dodgers better their record still, with four regular-season games remaining.

The Dodgers also became just the seventh side in MLB history to record 110 wins in a single season, joining the 2001 Mariners (116), 1906 Cubs (116), 1998 Yankees (114), 1954 Cleveland (111), 1927 Yankees (110) and 1909 Pirates (110).

It was not easy this time, trailing 4-1 entering the seventh inning before a patient batting performance where they drew five straight walks, before Cody Bellinger's sacrifice fly tied the game.

Joey Gallo's sac fly put the Dodgers ahead in the eighth inning before Bellinger's RBI single padded the win.

The victory was the Dodgers' 47th comeback of the season, improving their overall record to 110-48.

Swanson steps up as Braves edge Mets

Dansby Swanson underlined his quality in the big moments with a game-changing two-run blast from Max Scherzer in the Atlanta Braves' crunch 4-2 win over the New York Mets in the NL East battle.

Trailing 2-1 at the bottom of the fifth inning with one out on a 3-2 pitch, Swansby blasted Scherzer over center field to homer for the second consecutive day.

The result means the Braves (99-59) lead the NL East by one game with four remaining, sitting ahead of the Mets (98-60).

Padres slug three home runs

Jake Cronenworth, Manny Machado and Juan Soto all crushed homers as the San Diego Padres sliced their magic number to one with a 5-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.

At 1-1 at the bottom of the sixth inning, Cronenworth deposited a slider from Cy Young hopeful Dylan Cease for a two-run blast over right field.

The Padres' win, combined with the Milwaukee Brewers' 4-3 loss to the Miami Marlins was significant in the NL Wild Card race.

San Diego are in the second slot with a 87-71 record, while the Brewers are fourth at 84-74, either side of the Philadelphia Phillies (85-73) who beat the Washington Nationals 8-2 after Kyle Schwarber's leadoff blast.

Albert Pujols blasted his 696th career home run to move into equal fourth on the all-time homers list as the St Louis Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 on Saturday.

Pujols levelled the game at the top of the sixth inning with his two-run blast, which moved him closer to the 700-homer mark, but also tied him up with Alex Rodriguez in fourth all-time behind only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

The 42-year-old is in his final season in the majors, but was less concerned about records and more focused on the win.

"I don't care who I tied," Pujols said. "At the end of the day, it's about tying [the game] for the team and giving them an opportunity to pick up a win... It's pretty special. I think I'm aware of where I am in the history of the game. But at the end of the day, 21 years ago when I make the ballclub, that wasn't something that I was chasing."

Pujols also had a double and a single to round out a strong game, with Nolan Arenado breaking the tie with a three-run double with two outs in the ninth inning.

The National League (NL) Central-leading Cardinals improve their record to 82-58, to remain eight games clear of the Milwaukee Brewers who won 5-1 over the Cincinnati Reds.

Trout makes Angels franchise history

Mike Trout set a franchise record after homering in a sixth consecutive game as the Los Angeles Angels won 6-1 over the Houston Astros.

Trout passed Bonds' mark with a three-run homer at the top of the second inning, bringing up his 34th blast of the season.

Shohei Ohtani was hot on the mound for the Angels, with seven strikeouts, yielding one run on six hits across five innings before exiting early due to a "blister on his right index finger".

Ohtani's 101.4 mph fastball to strike out Kyle Tucker was the fastest strikeout pitch by an Angels pitcher since 2008.

Harper breaks home run drought

Bryce Harper snapped a career-worst run of 102 plate appearances without a home run in the Philadelphia Phillies 8-5 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Harper, who had not homered since June 5, slugged an opposite-field game-tying two-run home run in the third inning.

Kyle Schwarber blasted his 37th homer of the year, topping the NL charts, and bringing up his first since August 29.

Page 1 of 2
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.