Mitch Haniger has been scooped up by the San Francisco Giants in free agency, signing a three-year, $43.5million contract as he bids farewell to the Seattle Mariners.

Haniger, who turns 32 later this month, finished fifth in the American League for home runs in the 2021 season, blasting a career-high 39 with 100 RBIs in 157 games.

He battled a series of injuries this year and could only suit up for 57 games – a recurring theme in his career, including a lengthy absence after a ruptured testicle in 2019 – but he got healthy just in time to help the Mariners reach their first postseason since 2001.

The Giants are also a leading candidate to land the top outfielder in this year's free agent market, Aaron Judge, and according to ESPN's Jeff Passan their decision to sign Haniger will have no impact on those negotiations.

Haniger hit 31 home runs in the 2022 season, batting at .246/.308/.737 across 224 at-bats for the Mariners, who ended their 21-year postseason drought.

The MLB announced more award winners on Monday, with budding Seattle Mariners superstar Julio Rodriguez named the American League Rookie of the year, while the National League version went to Atlanta Braves center-fielder Michael Harris II.

It is the third major honour bestowed upon the 21-year-old Rodriguez in his first year, as he was also named as the only rookie to make the All-Star game, and last week became one of the three AL outfielders to win a Silver Slugger.

Batting .284 with an OPS of .853, Rodriguez became the only first-year player to ever tally at least 25 home runs and at least 25 stolen bases.

He was one first-place vote away from taking the AL's best rookie unanimously, claiming 29 of the 30 first-place votes, with the other going to impressive Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman.

Cleveland Guardians outfielder Steven Kwan was a clear third, with the Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr and the Houston Astros' World Series MVP Jeremy Pena also collecting some third-place votes.

In the National League, Harris received 22 of the 30 first-place votes, and the other eight went to his Braves teammate, starting pitcher Spencer Strider.

Strider's 202 strikeouts was 11th-most in the majors, and his rate of 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings was the best figure among starting pitchers this season.

However, voters preferred what Harris could provide every day with the bat and glove, batting .297 with an identical OPS to Rodriguez at .853. He also hit 19 home runs with 20 stolen bases, and boasted a fielding percentage of .992, with two errors from 257 chances.

Exciting Seattle Mariners youngster Julio Rodriguez has been rewarded for his spectacular rookie season as one of the three American League (AL) outfielders named as Silver Sluggers on Thursday.

Rodriguez, 21, had arguably the best rookie season since Aaron Judge finished MVP runner-up with his debut campaign for the New York Yankees back in 2017.

In 132 games, Rodriguez led all rookies with 28 home runs, and became the third rookie to ever tally at least 25 homers and 25 stolen bases in their first year. He is the fourth rookie outfielder to ever win a Silver Slugger, joining fellow Mariner Ichiro Suzuki (2001), three-time MVP Mike Trout (2012) and Judge (2017).

Likely this season's AL MVP, New York's Judge joined Rodriguez in the outfield to collect his third Silver Slugger, with Trout filling the third outfield spot. 

Texas Rangers first-baseman Nathaniel Lowe, Houston Astros second-baseman Jose Altuve, Cleveland Guardians third-baseman Jose Ramirez and Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk complete the AL infield. Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez is in the designated hitter spot, and Atlanta Braves batting champion Luis Arraez was named as the utility.

The San Diego Padres landed three players in the NL team, with Juan Soto named in the outfield, while Josh Bell took the DH slot and Brandon Drury is the utility.

Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Trea Turner (shortstop) and Mookie Betts (OF) made the cut, as did St Louis Cardinals duo Paul Goldschmidt (first base) and Nolan Arenado (third base).

The Philadelphia Phillies had both J.T. Realmuto (catcher) and Kyle Schwarber (OF), and New York Mets second-baseman Jeff McNeil completed the line-up.

Exciting Seattle Mariners youngster Julio Rodriguez has been rewarded for his spectacular rookie season as one of the three American League outfielders named as Silver Sluggers on Thursday.

Rodriguez, 21, had arguably the best rookie season since Aaron Judge finished MVP runner-up with his debut campaign for the New York Yankees back in 2017.

In 132 games, Rodriguez led all rookies with 28 home runs, and became the third rookie to ever tally at least 25 homers and 25 stolen bases in their first year. He is the fourth rookie outfielder to ever win a Silver Slugger, joining fellow Mariner Ichiro Suzuki (2001), three-time MVP Mike Trout (2012) and Judge (2017).

Likely this season's AL MVP, New York's Judge joined Rodriguez in the outfield to collect his third Silver Slugger, with Trout filling the third outfield spot. 

Texas Rangers first-baseman Nathaniel Lowe, Houston Astros second-baseman Jose Altuve, Cleveland Guardians third-baseman Jose Ramirez and Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk complete the AL infield. Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez is in the designated hitter spot, and Atlanta Braves batting champion Luis Arraez was named as the utility.

The San Diego Padres landed three players in the NL team, with Juan Soto named in the outfield, while Josh Bell took the DH slot and Brandon Drury is the utility.

Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Trea Turner (shortstop) and Mookie Betts (OF) made the cut, as did St Louis Cardinals duo Paul Goldschmidt (first base) and Nolan Arenado (third base).

The Philadelphia Phillies had both J.T. Realmuto (catcher) and Kyle Schwarber (OF), and New York Mets second-baseman Jeff McNeil completed the line-up.

The San Diego Padres delivered an unbelievable five-run seventh-inning rally to progress to the NLCS for the first time in 24 years and end the Los Angeles Dodgers' record-breaking season prematurely.

The Padres had lost Game 1 of the NLDS and trailed 3-0 halfway through the seventh inning in Game 4 against the Dodgers, who have dominated them for the past decade and had notched a franchise-best 111-51 regular season.

But San Diego found a way in front of the largest crowd in Petco Park history, booking their maiden NLCS appearance since 1998, where they will take on the Philadelphia Phillies, after they beat the Atlanta Braves 8-3 on Saturday.

Jake Cronenworth delivered a go-ahead two-run single as the Padres rallied with five hits and five runs in the seventh inning after managing only four hits in six innings prior to that.

Freddie Freeman lined a two-run double in the third inning before Will Smith's seventh-inning sacrifice fly for Mookie Betts had put the Dodgers 3-0 up, the latter marking the first run the Padres bullpen had conceded all series.

San Diego responded in a crazy inning, with Austin Nola bouncing to the right side to plate Jurickson Profar, before Kim Ha-seong's left-field line drive drove in Trent Grisham to make it 3-2.

Juan Soto tied the game up with a shot into right field, before Jake Cronenworth's go-ahead two-run double turned the crowd raucous.

Closer Josh Hader struck out Freeman to clinch the win and slay the dragon from down the road at long last.

The defeat ended the campaign for the Dodgers, whose 111 regular-season wins were the fourth-most wins in MLB history and the most by a National League (NL) team since 1906.

Yankees facing elimination after Gonzalez walkoff

Oscar Gonzalez stole the show and the win for the Cleveland Guardians with a two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning to earn a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees and a 2-1 ALDS lead.

Gonzalez hit the walk-off shot when he lined a 1-2 pitch from Clarke Schmidt through the middle to bring home Stevan Kwan and Amed Rosario.

That came after the Yankees had rallied from an early 2-0 deficit as Aaron Judge snapped his postseason skid with a two-run home run. New York had carried a 5-3 lead into the ninth inning.

The Yankees bullpen flopped, meaning they are facing an early exit when the ALDS resumes on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

Astros advance after Pena ends epic

Jeremy Pena blasted an 18th-inning solo shot to advance the Houston Astros to the ALCS for the sixth straight season, ending an epic 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners and completing the sweep.

Luis Garcia closed out six hours and 22 minutes of prolonged postseason action, after Pena sent Penn Murfee into the seats over left-center field with a 415-foot blast.

Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby had been brilliant with five strikeouts across seven innings, but Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr overcame illness to send down seven K's across six innings, while Houston's bullpen only allowed five hits and struck out 15.

The game was only the fourth to last 18 innings in MLB postseason history, and the first in postseason history to go scoreless through 17 innings. 

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker hailed his side for never panicking as they edged an 18-inning epic after Jeremy Pena's homer to sweep the ALCS with a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.

The game was only the fourth 18-inning game in MLB postseason history, and the first in postseason history to go scoreless through 17 innings. It officially lasted six hours and 22 minutes.

The Astros made their own history with the series-sweeping victory, becoming the first team in the MLB to win a playoff series in six straight seasons. Houston also reached the ALCS for a record sixth consecutive time.

That would not have been possible if not for 25-year-old shortstop Pena's 18th-inning solo shot over deep left-center field off a Penn Murfee 3-2 fastball, before Luis Garcia closed it out earning praise from Baker.

"This is some team," Baker told reporters. "These guys they grind and grind and grind. And sooner or later we broke through.

"These guys, they know not to panic. They don't get too excited. They don't get too down. It means a lot."

The Astros have endured plenty over the past few years in light of the sign stealing scandal, before a period of success under Baker since taking over in January 2020.

Houston lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS in 2020, before losing the World Series to the Atlanta Braves in 2021. Baker said their sustained success was all about "excellence".

"Once you've been through it and go through it again and again and again, you expect excellence," he said. "That's what this team expects out of itself."

"We didn’t know who the hero was going to be tonight. We were hoping we'd have somebody and we had somebody in Pena. This whole series it's been different guys. Our pitching staff and our bullpen did a heck of a job during this whole series."

The defeat ended a wild ride for the Mariners, who reached the postseason for the first time in 21 years, and were cheered by their fans at T-Mobile Park after the game despite the defeat.

"We were right there," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "You look at the whole series it really comes down to three swings of the bat.

"I thought our pitching was just off the chart, starting with George Kirby. To fire him out in a must-win game and get seven shutout innings from a rookie, you can't ask for anymore. Great experience.

"The number of young players that played huge roles for us in this series is going to benefit us immensely going forward."

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker hailed his side for never panicking as they edged an 18-inning epic after Jeremy Pena's homer to sweep the ALCS with a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.

The game was only the fourth 18-inning game in MLB postseason history, and the first in postseason history to go scoreless through 17 innings. It officially lasted six hours and 22 minutes.

The Astros made their own history with the series-sweeping victory, becoming the first team in the MLB to win a playoff series in six straight seasons. Houston also reached the ALCS for a record sixth consecutive time.

That would not have been possible if not for 25-year-old shortstop Pena's 18th-inning solo shot over deep left-center field off a Penn Murfee 3-2 fastball, before Luis Garcia closed it out earning praise from Baker.

"This is some team," Baker told reporters. "These guys they grind and grind and grind. And sooner or later we broke through.

"These guys, they know not to panic. They don't get too excited. They don't get too down. It means a lot."

The Astros have endured plenty over the past few years in light of the sign stealing scandal, before a period of success under Baker since taking over in January 2020.

Houston lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS in 2020, before losing the World Series to the Atlanta Braves in 2021. Baker said their sustained success was all about "excellence".

"Once you've been through it and go through it again and again and again, you expect excellence," he said. "That's what this team expects out of itself."

"We didn’t know who the hero was going to be tonight. We were hoping we'd have somebody and we had somebody in Pena. This whole series it's been different guys. Our pitching staff and our bullpen did a heck of a job during this whole series."

The defeat ended a wild ride for the Mariners, who reached the postseason for the first time in 21 years, and were cheered by their fans at T-Mobile Park after the game despite the defeat.

"We were right there," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "You look at the whole series it really comes down to three swings of the bat.

"I thought our pitching was just off the chart, starting with George Kirby. To fire him out in a must-win game and get seven shutout innings from a rookie, you can't ask for anymore. Great experience.

"The number of young players that played huge roles for us in this series is going to benefit us immensely going forward."

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker compared Yordan Alvarez to Barry Bonds following his latest game-winning heroics in their 4-2 win over the Seattle Mariners in Game 2 of the ALDS on Thursday.

Alvarez blasted a two-run go-ahead homer in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park, coming after his walk-off blast in Tuesday's 8-7 rally to beat the Mariners.

The slugger's heroics have helped the Astros to a 2-0 lead in the ALDS, having gone four-for-eight with two homers and seven RBIs this series. Alvarez became the first player in postseason history with multiple career go-ahead homers in the sixth inning or later when his team was behind.

Baker, who coached Bonds for a decade at the San Francisco Giants, compared Alvarez to the seven-time National League MVP.

"You don’t go to the bathroom [when he is at bat]," Baker told reporters. "You wait. You hold it until after he hits. It was the same way with Barry Bonds. You don’t talk to anybody. You just pay attention. We've got the same anticipation."

The Mariners understandably opted to walk Alvarez in the eighth inning when trailing 3-2, but that allowed Jordan Pena to shuffle to second base. Alex Bregman proceeded to line to right-field, with Pena adding a fourth run on Mitch Haniger's arm.

"That was some Barry Bonds-type stuff there," Baker added. "I mean, that's the ultimate respect. I've seen that a bunch of times, but not in a long time since Barry Bonds.

"Bregman rises to the occasion, too. That's why I have Bregman hitting behind Yordan, because all you need in that situation is a base hit."

Mariners manager Scott Servais' decision to intentionally walk Alvarez came down to his form in this series.

"Obviously, he has done some damage against us in this series," Servais said. "He's hot right now. You've got to recognize that.

"I think you kind of game plan in how you want to go through their lineup and the guys you want to be careful with."

Thursday's loss marks the second time the Mariners, making their first postseason appearance in 21 years, have let a lead slip in the ALDS.

"You've got to finish it out, no question," Servais said. "It's difficult to do that on the road in the playoffs. You've got to make the pitches, you've got to make the plays. You've got to give the other team credit if they're able to come back."

The Astros have a 6-1 franchise series record when taking a 2-0 lead in the postseason, with their lone loss coming in 1981 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Houston will secure their sixth straight AL Championship Series berth with victory in Seattle in Game 3 on Saturday.

Yordan Alvarez was the hero again for the Houston Astros with a go-ahead two-run homer in a 4-2 win over the Seattle Mariners which opened up a 2-0 ALDS lead on Thursday.

Alvarez, who delivered a walk-off three-run homer in the Astros' 8-7 Game 1 victory, took center stage in the sixth inning with his side down 2-1 with a runner on, when he blasted Luis Castillo deep over left-field.

The Astros slugger, who hit 37 homers in the regular season, became the first player in major league postseason history to hit multiple career go-ahead homers in the sixth inning or later when his team was trailing.

The Mariners opted to walk Alvarez in the eighth inning, shuffling Jeremy Pena to second base, enabling Alex Bregman to pad the lead with an RBL single from reliever Andres Munoz. Pena beat right-fielder Mitch Haniger's arm to home plate on Bregman's shot.

Kyle Tucker had launched a second-inning roof-scraping solo homer to have the Astros up 1-0 early, but Mariners pitcher Luis Castillo gave up little, retiring after seven innings with seven strikeouts, allowing five hits and three runs.

After second baseman Jose Altuve's brilliance in the field with a leaping throw to close the third inning, Seattle claimed the lead with two runs in the fourth, with Carlos Santana driving in Eugenio Suarez who got home when pitcher Framber Valdez threw it away at home plate.

Dylan Moore's first-up line drive to right drove in Mitch Haniger to put the Mariners up 2-1, before Alvarez intervened with his two-run shot in the sixth.

The Astros issued seven walks but still won, with Ryan Pressly striking out Ty France for the save. Starting pitcher Valdez had six K's in five-and-two-third innings, allowing four hits.

The Mariners will host their first postseason game in 21 years when the series resumes on Saturday, although they will be facing elimination.

Yankees-Guardians postponed

MLB confirmed that Game 2 of the New York Yankees-Cleveland Guardians' ALDS would be postponed due to the forecast of sustained inclement weather.

The game will instead be played at Yankee Stadium on Friday, with the hosts looking to open up a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Game 3 remains scheduled for Saturday in Cleveland.

Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez became the first player in MLB postseason history to hit a walk-off home run while his team trailed by multiple runs as he electrified his home fans in Tuesday's 8-7 win against the Seattle Mariners.

Alvarez, 25, established himself as arguably the best left-handed hitter in the sport this season as he hit 37 home runs while slashing .306/406/613, and with one swing of the bat on Tuesday he wrote his name into the MLB history books.

The Astros were trailing 7-3 after Eugenio Suarez hit the Mariners' second home run of the game in the seventh inning, with J.P Crawford also going deep in the fourth frame. It followed an early-inning onslaught from Seattle, who rode RBI hits from Julio Rodriguez, Cal Raleigh and Ty France to a 4-0 lead through two innings.

In the eighth, Alex Bregman's two-run homer cut the margin to 7-5, and they were able to get two men on base in the ninth inning to bring Alvarez to the plate with two outs and the game on his bat.

After fouling off a dead-center fastball with the first pitch, Alvarez made no mistake on the second, connecting on a game-winning, 438-foot no-doubter into the second deck at right-field after the Mariners unsuccessfully brought in ace starting pitcher Robbie Ray to get the final out.

Alvarez finished the game three-for-five at the plate with five RBIs, after also hitting a two-run double in the third inning.

The series will remain in Houston for Game 2, before heading to Seattle for Game 3 and Game 4 in the best-of-five battle.

The Toronto Blue Jays were still in shock as John Schneider and his players sought to reflect on a remarkable defeat to the Seattle Mariners that ended their season.

Toronto, the fourth seed in the American League, had lost their Wild Card opener at home to the Mariners on Friday but appeared on course to level the series the following day.

The Blue Jays led 8-1 at the end of the fifth inning, with Seattle needing to become just the third team to overturn a seven-run deficit in a postseason game.

But that was exactly what they did, with four runs in each of the sixth and eighth innings to win 10-9 and advance to the ALDS.

"Baseball sucks sometimes, and this group will be back in the exact same spot very, very soon," Schneider said. 

"Sometimes when you think you have an advantage, you don't win."

The interim Blue Jays manager gathered his thoughts more effectively than Teoscar Hernandez, whose two home runs proved in vain.

Hernandez is only the third Blue Jay to hit two homers in a single postseason game, although all three examples have now come in defeats that saw Toronto eliminated (also Jose Bautista vs the Kansas City Royals in the 2015 ALCS, Danny Jansen vs the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2020 Wild Card).

"Nothing goes through my mind," Hernandez said. "Every little thing that happened in the game, it's just incredible the way it happened.

"I mean, we were winning by seven runs. It sucks, but at the end, it's baseball, and we have to eat it, go home, think about it and get ready for next year."

While heartbreaking for the Blue Jays, the win continued the Mariners' Cinderella story, bringing playoff baseball back home to Seattle for the first time since 2001.

A 21-year postseason drought had been the longest such active run in any of the four major American sports.

"It's a credit to our players not quitting," said manager Scott Servais. "Just keep grinding through it.

"We've talked about doing the little things, just get on base, and that's what you saw. Nobody tried to hit a homer. It was just 'keep the line moving'. And all of a sudden, big things happen."

The Seattle Mariners launched the biggest road comeback in playoff history to advance to the ALDS after completing a Wild Card sweep over the Toronto Blue Jays with a 10-9 win.

The Mariners, in their first postseason campaign since 2001, trailed 8-1 at the bottom of the fifth inning before four runs in each of the sixth and eighth.

Down 9-6 in the eighth, J.P. Crawford hit a blooper to center, landing between center-fielder George Springer and shortstop Bo Bichette, who collided, allowing three runners to score and tie the game up.

Adam Frazier came up with the game-winning RBI double in the ninth inning, hitting to right-field to drive in Cal Raleigh.

The comeback was the joint second biggest in MLB postseason history, and the largest rally to clinch a postseason series.

Seattle now progresses to the ALDS where they will face the Houston Astros.

"To go to the World Series, you have to go through Houston,'' Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "They're really good. We understand that. We're really good.''

Phillies floor Cards to end Pujols' career

Albert Pujols' decorated career ended as the St Louis Cardinals bowed out following a 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies after Bryce Harper's second-inning home run.

Pujols went two-for-four, managing a hit with his final at-bat, but could not produce the heroics to lift the Cardinals, with their leading home-run hitter Paul Goldschmidt struggling throughout. Pujols ends his career with 703 home runs, the fourth most of all-time.

Aaron Nola was excellent for the Phillies on the mound, with six strikeouts across six-and-two-thirds scoreless innings, allowing only four hits.

The Cleveland Guardians completed a sweep over the Tampa Bay Rays with a 1-0 win after Oscar Gonzalez homered in the 15th inning.

Vintage deGrom helps Mets stay alive

The New York Mets stayed alive with a 7-3 victory over the San Diego Padres to square up their Wild Card series.

Jacob deGrom starred with eight strikeouts across six innings, while Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso homered in the first and fifth innings respectively.

With the Mets leading 3-2 in the seventh, Jeff McNeil managed a two-run double. Brandon Nimmo was important too, going three-for-four with one RBI.

The San Diego Padres began their postseason in style, making history in their 7-1 win on the road against the New York Mets in Game 1 of their NL Wild Card series on Friday.

With Max Scherzer starting on the mound for the Mets, the Padres clobbered four home runs off him in the first four-and-two-thirds innings. It was the first time in the Mets' 89-game playoff history they had conceded four home runs in a single game.

They were hit by Josh Bell in the first inning, followed by Trent Grisham in the second inning, before Jurickson Profar and Manny Machado both went deep in the fifth to spell the end of Scherzer's night.

The Mets were able to hit one homer of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning, but that would be the last run of the game as both bullpens pitched four scoreless frames to close the show.

Yu Darvish pitched a gem for the Padres, giving up one run from six hits and no walks in seven complete innings, striking out four batters.

New York will host Game 2 on Saturday, and Game 3, if necessary, on Sunday.

Phillies produce stunning comeback to steal Game 1

The Philadelphia Phillies trailed 2-0 heading into the last inning, and came away with a 6-3 road win against the St Louis Cardinals.

There were no runs from either team in the first six innings as Zack Wheeler pitched six-and-a-third innings for two hits and one walk, while Jose Quintana also gave up only two hits and one walk in five-and-a-third.

A two-run Juan Yepez homer in the seventh gave the Cardinals a late lead, but the Phillies would catch fire in the ninth with three hits, two walks, a hit-by-pitch and a sacrifice-fly in a six-run onslaught.

The Phillies' Jean Segura was the only player with multiple hits, with his second coming in the last frame with bases loaded to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead, and they never looked back.

Castillo shuts out the Blue Jays

Competing in their first postseason appearance since 2001, the Seattle Mariners are one win away from advancing to the NLDS after a 4-0 shutout win away against the Toronto Blue Jays.

After being secured in a trade at the deadline, starting pitcher Luis Castillo justified the hefty package the Mariners parted way with by throwing seven-and-a-third innings of scoreless playoff baseball, giving up six hits and no walks.

With the bat, the man who hit the memorable home run to secure their playoff berth, Cal Raleigh, stayed hot with a two-run bomb in the first inning, while Eugenio Suarez collected the other two RBIs.

Ramirez, Bieber come up big for the Guardians

Every run from the Cleveland Guardians' 2-1 win against the Tampa Bay Rays came from two swings in the sixth inning, with Cleveland stars Jose Ramirez and Shane Bieber producing match-winning performances.

On the mound, Bieber pitched seven-and-two-thirds innings, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out eight batters, but a Jose Siri home run in the sixth inning had the Rays leading 1-0.

That lead was quickly erased later in the same inning, with an Amed Rosario single setting up Jose Ramirez for a two-run home run that would end up being the difference.

Cleveland will have a chance to move on to the NLDS with a win in tomorrow's Game 2 in front of their home fans.

Aaron Judge stands alone at the top of home run history in the American League after breaking Roger Maris' 61-year single-season homer record with his 62nd blast in the New York Yankees' 3-2 loss to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

Judge, who had hit just one homer in his previous 13 games coming in, blasted a 1-1 slider off Rangers' pitcher Jesus Tinoco over the left-field fence for a lead-off homer to break the mark.

The Yankees outfielder's home run was his 62nd of the season, surpassing Maris' 61-homer mark from 1961, which he had matched last Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The blast came in the Yankees' penultimate game of the regular season, with Judge's 62 homers sitting seventh for most in a single season in MLB history.

Ahead of Judge are only three players, all from 1997 to 2001; Barry Bonds (73 in 2001), Mark McGwire (70 in 1999 and 65 in 1999) and Sammy Sosa (66 in 1998, 64 in 2001, 63 in 1999).

The home run means 11 of Judge's past 14 blasts have come on the road. Gerrit Cole also made franchise history, reaching 257 strikeouts for the most in a single season for the Yankees.

The Yankees were beaten after the Rangers added two fifth-inning runs, with the visitors having won the first game in the double header 5-4 when Judge went one-for-five with a single.

Braves complete turnaround to clinch NL East

Following their sweep over the New York Mets, the Atlanta Braves clinched their fifth straight National League (NL) East title with a 2-1 victory over the Miami Marlins.

William Contreras drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning with an infield single, earning the reigning world champions a first-round bye as the NL second seed. The achievement comes after the Braves had trailed the Mets by 10-and-a-half games in June.

Jake Odorizzi had seven strikeouts across five innings, while Kenley Jansen recorded his 41st save with a perfect ninth inning. Ronald Acuna Jr hit a second-inning single to give the Braves an early lead.

AL seeds locked in as Verlander stars for Astros

The Seattle Mariners locked in the number five seed in the AL playoffs with a 7-6 walkoff win over the Detroit Tigers, highlighted by back-up catcher Luis Torrens pitching the 10th inning.

Entering extras ahead of the postseason, the Mariners shuffled their deck, with Torrens becoming the first position player other than Shohei Ohtani to earn a win since John Baker in 2014 for the Chicago Cubs. Abraham Toro's sacrifice fly allowed Carlos Santana to score the walkoff run.

That result meant the Tampa Bay Rays were locked for the third AL Wild Card spot, not helped by a 6-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox where Xander Bogaerts delivered a fifth-inning grand slam.

Meanwhile, the Houston Astros go into the postseason as the AL top seed after a 10-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies where Cy Young Award favourite Justin Verlander had 10 K's and kept the opposition hitless until the ninth inning.

Albert Pujols hit a home run in his final regular season home game as a trio of St Louis Cardinals legends were honoured in a 7-5 loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

Pujols, 42, drove in the first runs of the game with a two-run double in the first inning, and with his next at-bat, he connected on the 702nd home run of his career to score another two runs. Only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) have ever hit more homers in their career, and with his three RBIs, he joined Ruth with the second-most ever (2214), trailing only Aaron (2297).

Starting on the mound for the Cardinals was another future Hall-of-Famer, 41-year-old Adam Wainwright, who was being caught behind the plate by 40-year-old Yadier Molina as the two added one more to their record number of starts together.

Unfortunately for Wainwright his final regular season start at Busch Stadium was less of a fairytale ending than Pujols', giving up six runs in four-and-two-thirds innings before all three Cardinals icons were pulled from the game together for a standing ovation.

Bryan Reynolds finished two-for-five at the plate for the Pirates, and the center-fielder hit his 27nd home run of the season to add some breathing room in the seventh inning, after Ben Gamel's three-run blast in the second frame.

Trout hits homer in Angels win

Three-time American League MVP Mike Trout moved up to fourth in this season's home run standings as he knocked his 39th in the Los Angeles Angels' 8-3 home win against the Texas Rangers.

Trout's 409-foot blast came in the fourth inning after the Angels piled on six runs in the opening frame, and with three games left he only needs one more home run to reach 40 for the third time in his 12 seasons.

Nobody in the top-20 for home runs this season has played fewer than Trout's 116 games, with the rest of the top-five all totaling at least 153 appearances.

Langelliers, Kaprielian carry the A's

Rookie Shea Langelliers and starting pitcher James Kaprielian were both excellent in the Oakland Athletics' 10-3 win against the Seattle Mariners.

Facing reigning Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray on the mound, the Athletics figured him out in the fourth inning, with Langelliers bombing a big 423-foot home run to left-field. It was one of two homers on the day for the 24-year-old catcher in his first season, also hitting one in the ninth inning for his first ever multi-homer day.

On the mound, Kaprielian was just as good, giving up only one hit and two walks in six scoreless innings, striking out seven batters.

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