Pete Alonso and Bryce Harper were the stars in the batters' box as the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies split their double-header on Sunday.

In the first game, which the Phillies won 3-2, Harper crushed a first-inning home run against Mets ace Max Scherzer, before driving in a second run with a base hit in the third frame.

The Mets grabbed two runs back in the sixth inning through a James McCann ground-out and a Francisco Lindor double, but it was not enough.

Scherzer pitched six full innings for seven strikeouts and three earned runs but took the loss. Kyle Gibson was credited with the win, giving up two runs in his six innings from six hits and no walks, striking out three.

Just hours later, it was Alonso's turn to be the game-winner in the Mets' 6-1 win, driving in five runs.

Alonso blasted a first-inning two-run homer, and then topped that with a 426-foot, three-run bomb in the fifth frame.

Chris Bassitt continued his terrific season on the mound for New York, conceding just one run from five-and-two-thirds innings, moving his ERA for the season to 2.45 from six starts.

Alfaro's dream come true

San Diego Padres catcher Jorge Alfaro lived every young baseball fan's dream in his side's 3-2 home win against the Miami Marlins.

After the Marlins pitching staff controlled the entire contest, holding the Padres scoreless through eight-and-two-thirds innings, the home side worked two runners on base, trailing 2-0 with two outs in the last inning.

Needing a hero, the Padres called on Alfaro to come off the bench and pinch-hit – and he delivered. He blasted the first pitch he saw 449 feet over the center-field wall for a walk-off, three-run home run.

Torres delivers walk-off for Yankees

Gleyber Torres made sure the New York Yankees did not waste a gem of a performance from ace pitcher Gerrit Cole, beating the Texas Rangers 2-1.

After Cole struck out 10 batters in six-and-a-third innings, conceding just one run from five hits and one walk, the Yankees were tied at 1-1 heading into the last inning.

Torres, in the lead-off spot, made sure the home fans did not have to wait long, ending the game with one swing of the bat as he sent a home run over the short right-field wall with an opposite-field blast.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the only team remaining in the MLB without five losses, with Sunday's 10-2 win against the San Diego Padres moving their record to 11-4.

It was another near-spotless start for Dodgers ace and future Hall-of-Famer Clayton Kershaw, conceding just one run and four base runners in five complete innings.

Padres starter Sean Manaea is a Cy Young award contender in his own right, but he did not have his best outing against a formidable Dodgers line-up, conceding six earned runs in just over four innings.

The runs were started with a Justin Turner sacrifice-fly to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the opening inning, before Freddie Freeman smashed a 425-foot home run to score two more runs in the third frame.

Los Angeles' Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run of his own the next inning, and then went again with a three-run bomb in the fifth to increase the margin to 8-1.

Buxton blasts in extra innings

Minnesota Twins center-fielder Byron Buxton hit the longest walk-off home run in the MLB Statcast era to defeat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 in extra innings.

Buxton was the hero on two occasions on Sunday, tying the game at 3-3 in the seventh inning with a 366-foot home run that barely made it over the wall, before leaving no doubt in the last at-bat of the game.

After the White Sox went up 4-3 in the top of the 10th inning, Buxton stepped to the plate trailing by one, with two runners on base. His 469-foot, three-run blast is the longest game-winner since at least 2015 when Statcast began tracking.

Cole and Rizzo lead Yankees to Guardians sweep

Gerrit Cole bounced back from his poor start against the Detroit Tigers as the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Guardians 10-2, claiming a sweep of their three-game series.

Not even lasting two innings against the Tigers - the shortest start of his career - Cole pitched into the seventh against the Guardians, striking out nine and allowing only four hits over 92 pitches.

Anthony Rizzo's two-run home run in the first inning tied him for the American League lead with five. It was the Yankees' fifth win in the past six, heading into a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles, who sit bottom in the AL East.

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge hit two home runs to guide his side to a 4-1 win against the Cleveland Guardians at Yankee Stadium on Friday.

Judge, 29, has been vocal about his decision to test free agency ahead of next season after he and the Yankees failed to come to an agreement on a contract extension before Opening Day.

Demonstrating his value, he stepped up with two outs and one runner on base in the third inning, and crushed a fastball back over Guardians pitcher Eli Morgan's head to center-field.

His very next at-bat, Judge did it again, blasting a high fastball into the right-field bleachers for a solo shot, giving the Yankees a 4-1 lead.

The New York pitching staff did an excellent job of defending the lead throughout, as Jameson Taillon started and pitched five strong frames for five strikeouts, and one run from seven hits with no walks. He was relieved by Michael King for the sixth inning, and he was even better, striking out eight of the 10 batters he faced, conceding just one hit.

Aroldis Chapman finished things off with a save, hitting 101mp/h with the last pitch of the night for a strikeout.

Wander whacks a pair

The jewel of the Tampa Bay Rays and one of the best prospects in all of baseball, Wander Franco, hit a pair of home runs in a 4-3 home loss against the Boston Red Sox.

Franco, 21, was named the number one prospect in the majors prior to his debut, and he has done nothing to change anyone's mind as he is sporting a batting average of .393.

He hit a solo home run in the first inning, and another in the fifth inning, but the Red Sox scored twice in the opening frame and never allowed the Rays to tie things up.

Mookie mashes for the Dodgers

Mookie Betts joined the list of stars to hit two home runs on Friday in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 6-1 win against the San Diego Padres.

In a clash between two of the best teams in the league, Julio Urias put in a terrific starting pitching performance, allowing just one run and five baserunners in five innings.

The Dodgers did not take the lead until the fifth inning, when Mookie Betts bombed a 420-foot solo shot to lead off the inning and tie the game at 1-1, before Max Muncy also sent a towering fly ball over the fence just three batters later.

Muncy drove in another two runs in the seventh, before Betts put the finishing touches on in the ninth inning with his second homer.

After 12 seasons in the MLB, former Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta has officially announced his retirement.

Arrieta, 36, only spent five seasons with the Cubs after arriving in 2013, but was spectacular at his peak.

He won the 2015 NL Cy Young award – finishing sixth in MVP voting that season – leading to a 2016 season where he earned his only All-Star appearance and led the Cubs to their first World Series in 108 years, breaking the league's longest drought.

In the World Series against Cleveland, Arrieta was at the top of his game, going 2-0 in his two starts with an ERA of 2.38 to cement his legacy with the club.

He started his career with the Baltimore Orioles, and signed a three-year, $75million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies after his Cubs success, before finishing up his career with the San Diego Padres.

National League Rookie of the Year favourite Seiya Suzuki registered a hit in the eighth consecutive start of his career after a home run in the Chicago Cubs' 6-4 away win against the Colorado Rockies.

The 27-year-old, who arrived from the Hiroshima Carp this off-season on a five-year, $85million deal made more history with his home run, becoming the second Japanese player to ever start his career with an eight-game hitting streak, and the third Cubs player in the past 100 years to start a season that way,

With a hit in his next game, Suzuki will tie Akinori Iwamura for the record for longest hitting streak to start a MLB career for a player coming from Japan, which happened in 2007 for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Suzuki's home run was his fourth of the season – trailing only C.J. Kron and Vladimir Guerrero Jr (five each) for most home runs in the entire MLB.

It came at an important time on Sunday, after the Rockies had cut the Cubs' 5-0 lead back to 5-3 going into the seventh inning, before Suzuki tacked on the extra insurance run.

Nick Madrigal was also terrific for the Cubs, going three-for-five at the plate, including a double, while the biggest hit of the game was Ryan McMahon's 447-foot two-run blast for the Rockies in the sixth inning.

Freeman and Heaney fit right in as Dodgers sweep Reds

Freddie Freeman had four hits and three RBIs as the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, claiming a 9-1 win on Sunday.

Andrew Heaney struck out 11 over six innings in a scoreless home debut, while Max Muncy, Will Smith and Chris Taylor.

Heaney was dominant, posting his 15th career start with at least 10 strikeouts, while walking three and only allowing a double from Kyle Farmer in the third inning.

Darvish bounces back against Braves

Yu Darvish pitched into the seventh inning as the San Diego Padres beat the Atlanta Braves 2-1 with only three hits.

Following the shortest outing of his career, not even covering two innings against the San Francisco Giants on the prior Tuesday, the 35-year-old allowed his only run against the reigning World Series champions via Marcell Ozuna's home run in the seventh.

Taylor Rogers closed out the four-hitter for San Diego, to save what was an otherwise off day at the plate for the Padres, with Jake Cronenworth particularly going zero-for-three.

Alyssa Nakken simply said "this is my job" after becoming the first female to coach on the field in a regular season Major League Baseball game.

Nakken arrived to coach first base in the San Francisco Giants' clash against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday in the third inning following the ejection of Antoan Richardson.

The 31-year-old was warmly greeted by the fans at Oracle Park and was offered a handshake by Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer. She also received a hug from Giants catcher Curt Casali after returning to the dugout in the bottom of the third.

Speaking after the landmark moment, Nakken said: "I think we're all inspirations doing everything that we do on a day-to-day basis and I think, yes, this carries a little bit more weight because of the visibility, obviously there's a historical nature to it.

"But again, this is my job. We needed a coach to coach first base. Our first-base coach got thrown out.

"I’ve been in training as a first-base coach for the last few years. I work alongside Antoan, so I stepped into what I've been hired to do."

Giants manager Gabe Kapler added Nakken had "prepared for this moment" as part of her work since becoming the first woman to coach in MLB when she was hired in January 2020.

"It's not a foreign spot on the field for her," he said. "She does so many other things as well that aren't seen.

"So, it's nice to see her be right there in the spotlight and do it on the field."

The Giants beat the Padres 13-2 to move to 3-2 for the season.

The moment came just four days after Rachel Balkovec became the first woman to manage a minor league affiliate of an MLB team, guiding the New York Yankees' Class A Tampa club to victory.

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.

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.

San Diego Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr had surgery on his broken left wrist on Wednesday, and is expected to be out of action for three months.

Padres general manager A.J. Preller said the team believes Tatis sustained the injury early in the off-season, but that he only started noticing the symptoms when he started swinging a bat again.

While it has not been confirmed by the organisation, there were reports that Tatis was involved in a motorcycle accident in the Dominican Republic in December.

Tatis, 23, is entering the second year of his 14-year, $340million deal after an incredible start to his career.

Despite missing time in 2021 due to left shoulder inflammation, Tatis still managed to lead the National League with 42 home runs in just 130 games.

He hit .282, stole 25 bases and had the league's third-highest OPS at .975, finishing the year third in the NL in MVP voting.

All-Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. could be sidelined up to three months with a fractured left wrist that will likely require surgery, San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller said on Monday.

The 23-year-old Tatis hurt his wrist earlier in the offseason, according to Preller, and the injury reappeared when he intensified baseball activities leading up to the start of spring training.

The injury is a major let-down for one of the brightest young stars in baseball on a Padres team hoping to make a return to the playoffs in 2022 after collapsing down the stretch last season, finishing 79-83.

Despite missing time in 2021 due to left shoulder inflammation, Tatis still managed to lead the National League with 42 home runs in just 130 games.

He hit .282, stole 25 bases and had the league's third-highest OPS at .975, finishing the year third in the NL in MVP voting.

The Padres are scheduled to begin the season on April 7 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and will play their home opener a week later against the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves.

San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler has been fired after a hugely disappointing 2021 season.

Tingler guided the Padres back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006 in his first year in the job in 2020, encouraging hopes for a title challenge this season.

But San Diego will now look elsewhere in pursuit of that long-term goal after they failed to even make the postseason.

A highly competitive NL West saw the 107-55 San Francisco Giants and the 106-56 Los Angeles Dodgers both reach the playoffs with the best two records in the major leagues.

That left the Padres in third, but even then they finished 11 games back in the Wild Card race.

Within the NL West, Tingler's team were 34-42, including 8-11 versus the Giants and 7-12 against the Dodgers.

San Diego have aspirations of mixing it with these teams, leading to their decision to cut ties with Tingler, who still had a year to run on his contract.

"Jayce accomplished a great deal in his two seasons with the Padres, leading our team through an unprecedented pandemic and into the postseason for the first time in 15 years," general manager AJ Preller said in a statement.

"I have tremendous respect for him as a coach, colleague and friend.

"After much thought and consideration over the last several weeks, we felt change was necessary at this time to ultimately reach our championship potential in San Diego."

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.

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