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Last Build Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 22:20:37 PDT

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Darvish fans 12 as Texas Rangers clinch MLB home field advantage (AFP)

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 22:20:37 PDT

The Texas Rangers' Japanese pitching ace Yu Darvish struck out a season-high 12 batters as the Rangers secured home-field advantage throughout the Major League Baseball playoffs with a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Darvish Friday became just the third pitcher in Rangers history to strike out at least a dozen in six innings, joining Nolan Ryan and Matt Perisho. "I had good results today," said Darvish, whose 12 strikeouts were the most he's had in a start since 2014.



Braves can play spoiler; Tigers still eye playoffs (The Associated Press)

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 21:28:40 PDT

The Atlanta Braves will try to play the role of spoiler this weekend as they finish their occupancy at Turner Field against the Detroit Tigers. The Braves, firmly ensconced in last place in the National League East, can help deny the Tigers a shot at gaining an American League wild-card spot. The Tigers (86-73) beat the Braves 6-2 on Friday, and drew to within one-half game of Toronto (87-73), which lost to Boston.



Cabrera 2 HRs, Tigers move up in playoff race, beat Braves (The Associated Press)

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 21:23:24 PDT

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus just wants to focus on his team, rather than worry about the other teams in the AL wild-card race. Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs, Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton also connected and Detroit moved up in the playoff race, beating the Atlanta Braves 6-2 Friday night. The Tigers won their third straight and pulled within a half-game of Toronto for the second wild-card spot.



LEADING OFF: Colon, Mets aim for playoffs, AL chase tightens (The Associated Press)

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 20:46:27 PDT

A look at what's happening around the majors Saturday:



Streaking Braves hope to spoil Tigers' playoff chances (The Associated Press)

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 01:27:09 PDT

It once looked like the Detroit Tigers would be catching a break by ending the regular season with an interleague series against the Braves in Atlanta, even if it meant no designated hitter. The Braves, though, no longer resemble the ballclub that seemed guaranteed to lose more than 100 games in the final season at Turner Field. The Tigers -- fighting for an American League wild-card spot -- will instead face an Atlanta team that has won 10 of its past 11 games and is 35-34 since the All-Star Game.



Baseball-Highlights of Thursday's MLB games (Reuters)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 23:28:01 PDT

(Adds later games) Sept 29 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Major League Baseball games on Thursday: Orioles 4, Blue Jays 0 Ubaldo Jimenez allowed one hit in 6-2/3 scoreless innings and the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Blue Jays to tie Toronto for the first American League wild-card spot. The Orioles (87-72) victory eliminated Houston and the New York Yankees from wild-card contention.



Indians revise rotation for series with Royals (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 23:20:01 PDT

The Cleveland Indians are in a strange predicament after their game Thursday at Detroit was rained out. While the Indians have already clinched the American League Central, they are still contending for the best AL record and home-field advantage. The Tigers are still in the hunt for a wildcard spot in the playoffs.



Orioles beat Blue Jays to set up potential weekend wild-card drama (Big League Stew)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:33:44 PDT

The powerful Baltimore Orioles’ first two runs came courtesy of a sacrifice fly and an RBI fielder’s choice. Not how you would expect the team that leads the major leagues in home runs to generate its offense, but as long as they scored more runs than the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night it was good enough. Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez – he of the 5.71 ERA on the season, but 3.17 ERA in the second half – shut out Toronto over 6 2/3 innings and Baltimore’s lights-out bullpen did the rest in a 4-0 win at Rogers Centre where the home team managed just one extra-base hit.



Orioles seek to solidify wild-card position (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:15:50 PDT

The Baltimore Orioles eliminated two of their pursuers Thursday night in Toronto. Now the Orioles head to Yankee Stadium to open a three-game series against the New York Yankees looking to further solidify their wild card spot on Friday night. The Orioles (87-72) begin the series tied with Toronto and holding a 1 1/2-game lead over the Detroit Tigers (85-73) for the second wild card.



Archer avoids 20th loss, helps Rays top White Sox 5-3 (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:04:16 PDT

Chris Archer prides himself on his durability. Archer overcame a shaky seventh inning to avoid the dubious 20-loss milestone and lead the Tampa Bay Rays past the Chicago White Sox, 5-3 on Thursday night. Archer (9-19) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings to help the Rays snap a six-game skid and leave Detroit's Mike Maroth as the only pitcher to lose 20 games this century.



Blue Jays' offence a no-show in critical loss to Orioles (Eh Game)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 21:40:00 PDT

TORONTO – The powerful Baltimore Orioles’ first two runs came courtesy of a sacrifice fly and an RBI fielder’s choice. The third run was driven home on a ground ball through the right side. So was the fourth.  Not how you would expect the team that leads the major leagues in home runs to generate its offence, but as long as they scored more runs than the Blue Jays on Thursday night it was good enough. One run would have been enough in this game. Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez – he of the 5.71 ERA on the season, but 3.17 ERA in the second half – shut out Toronto over 6 2/3 innings and Baltimore’s lights-out bullpen did the rest in a 4-0 win at Rogers Centre where the home team managed just one extra-base hit. The boos from the sellout crowd hoping to see the Blue Jays grab a stranglehold on the wild card began well before thebottom of the ninth when Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista struck out against reliever Brad Brach. It was Bautista’s third strikeout of the game and Donaldson was retired on strikes twice. The offensive woes that have plagued the team this month has put them in a less-than-ideal spot. “We need to get back to hitting the baseball, getting on base and knocking them in,” said Bautista. “We had seven chances today with runners in scoring position. We didn’t do that. That falls on guys like me do drive the runs in and we’ve got to do a better job.”



Tigers, Indians postponed after delay of over 4 hours (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 21:21:06 PDT

''When we walked the field, it was so soft that we knew if it took any more water, it was going to be unplayable,'' Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. Thursday's game between the Indians and Detroit Tigers was eventually postponed because of bad weather, a move that could force the teams to squeeze in a makeup game Monday if it needs to be played because of postseason implications. With the regular season scheduled to end Sunday - and little room for extra games before the postseason - the Tigers and Indians waited through a delay of 4 hours, 13 minutes before the game was finally called.



Freeman's streak over, Braves rally past Phillies 5-2 (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 21:13:44 PDT

Freddie Freeman's 30-game hitting streak ended Thursday night when he struck out in the eighth inning of a tie game. The longest hitting streak in the majors since 2011, when Atlanta's Dan Uggla went 33 straight, is over yet the Braves continue winning - especially against Philadelphia. Moments after Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez (3-5) struck out Freeman, Matt Kemp doubled off the wall in right field.



Rainout a minor inconvenience for Indians, nightmare for Tigers (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:27:02 PDT

What Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona calls an "inconvenience" could be part of a major travel nightmare for the Detroit Tigers. Detroit's game with Cleveland on Thursday was called off after more than six inches of rain fell on Comerica Park in less than 24 hours. The two teams, in concert with the umpires and Major League Baseball, waited 4 hours, 13 minutes before postponing the game.



Rain halts Michael Fulmer's quest for AL ERA title (Big League Stew)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 09:16:05 PDT

Right now, no one knows that better than Detroit Tigers rookie Michael Fulmer. A long rain delay during the Tigers’ game against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday cost him the chance to qualify for the AL ERA title, which would have made him the first rookie to lead either league in ERA since 1976, when the Tigers’ own Mark Fidrych led the AL with a 2.34 ERA in 250.1 innings. Before his start on Wednesday, Fulmer had a 2.95 ERA — lowest in the league — and had pitched 155.2 innings, leaving him just 6.1 innings short of the 162 innings he needs to qualify for the ERA title.



Archer trying to avoid 20th loss as Rays face White Sox (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 00:21:05 PDT

Chris Archer is on the verge of baseball infamy. The Tampa Bay Rays right-hander takes an 8-19 record into his Thursday start against the Chicago White Sox. Another defeat would leave Archer as the major league's first 20-game loser since the Detroit Tigers' Mike Maroth went 9-21 in 2003.



LEADING OFF: Ortiz plays last game at Yankee Stadium (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:22:59 PDT

A look at what's happening around the majors today:



Baseball-Highlights of Wednesday's MLB games (Reuters)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:20:55 PDT

(Adds late games) Sept 28 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Major League Baseball games on Wednesday: Yankees 5, Red Sox 3 Mark Teixeira hit a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning as the New York Yankees rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox, who clinched the AL East Division title. The Red Sox learned they secured their eighth divisional title before Craig Kimbrel threw a pitch when the Baltimore Orioles secured a 3-2 win in Toronto.



Indians, Tigers hope weather cooperates for series finale (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:14:53 PDT

The Cleveland Indians aren't interested in coasting to the finish line. The American League Central Division champion Indians will wrap up their season series with the host Detroit Tigers on Thursday afternoon -- weather permitting -- before moving on to Kansas City to close out their regular season. Detroit winds up in Atlanta, where it will continue its fight for a wild card playoff berth in a National League city.



Nats host D-backs in expected soggy finale (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:53:51 PDT

Rain is in the forecast on Thursday afternoon as the Washington Nationals are slated to host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the finale of the four-game series. If the game is not played there is always a chance Arizona would have to return to Washington and play Monday if the game has a bearing on who gets the homefield edge in the playoffs between the Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS that begins October 7. Washington, which lost 3-0 on Wednesday in a game called due to rain in the sixth, was two games ahead of the Dodgers going into play Wednesday.



Mets gain separation in wild-card race as Giants and Cardinals fall (Big League Stew)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:46:05 PDT

The circumstances the Mets walked into this week were not easy. As the city of Miami and the Marlins organization mourned the tragic death of Jose Fernandez, the Mets had to balance their own emotions with taking care of business. The Mets got a solid start from Seth Lugo, who allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings.



Red Sox clinch playoff berth despite loss to Yankees (AFP)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:28:08 PDT

Mark Teixeira's walk-off grand slam lifted the New York Yankees to a 5-3 win over Boston, but didn't stop the Red Sox from clinching the American League East division title. The Red Sox were assured of their eighth division crown when the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Blue Jays 3-2 in Toronto.



Cabrera's homer gives Tigers rain-shortened win over Indians (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:40:10 PDT

Miguel Cabrera's fifth-inning homer might as well have come in the ninth. Cabrera hit a tiebreaking three-run shot moments before the game was halted for good, and the Detroit Tigers came away with a rain-shortened 6-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night, keeping pace with Baltimore in the AL wild-card race. Detroit trails the Orioles by one game for the AL's second wild card, and the Tigers certainly caught a break in this one.



Tigers tap Zimmermann to start Friday against Braves (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:04:51 PDT

DETROIT (AP) -- Jordan Zimmermann is set to pitch Friday night for the playoff-chasing Detroit Tigers in what would be his first start in nearly three weeks.



Final Volume: Ranking 2016 (Rotoworld)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 08:53:00 PDT

With five days to go, Brad Johnson looks back at the top closers of the 2016 MLB season.



Wins by the dozen: Mets, Giants, Cards all score 12-run routs (Big League Stew)

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:06:31 PDT

If you like symmetry, you probably like this: The New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants each scored 12 runs in their victories. • The Mets got big homers from Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes plus eight strikeouts from starter Noah Syndergaard to beat the Miami Marlins by the count of 12-1. The Mets trounced the Marlins on Tuesday night.



LEADING OFF: Ortiz, Red Sox try again to clinch in New York (The Associated Press)

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:06:18 PDT

A look at what's happening all around the majors today:



Orioles remain in hot pursuit of Blue Jays (The Associated Press)

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 22:55:05 PDT

The job just got a little bit tougher for the Baltimore Orioles as they try to overtake the Toronto Blue Jays in the race for the first wild-card position in the American League. The Orioles need to win the final two contests of the three-game series at Rogers Centre to draw even with the Blue Jays. By winning the series opener 5-1 on Tuesday, Toronto opened a two-game lead over Baltimore.



Baseball-Highlights of Tuesday's MLB games (Reuters)

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 22:44:57 PDT

(Adds later games) Sept 27 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Major League Baseball games on Tuesday: Blue Jays 5, Orioles 1 Aaron Sanchez struck out 10 in six innings, Josh Donaldson and Ezequiel Carrera homered and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Baltimore Orioles. Carrera and Donaldson each had two RBIs for the Blue Jays (87-70) who have moved two games ahead of the Orioles (85-72) in the race for the first wild-card spot in the American League.



Daily Dose: Justin Time (Rotoworld)

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 22:21:00 PDT

Ryan Boyer looks at Justin Verlander's superb season, Johnny Cueto's impending return and more in Wednesday's Daily Dose.