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Dodgers clinch NL West title in Scully's final home game (The Associated Press)

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 18:30:47 PDT

Sprayed champagne and beer flooded the blue carpet in the Dodgers clubhouse. The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated clinching their fourth straight NL West title with the kind of storybook ending this city was built on: winning the crown in Vin Scully's final home game when Charlie Culberson homered with two outs in the 10th inning to beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 Sunday. ''It hasn't really sunk in,'' said Culberson, who made the opening day roster only to flip-flop between the majors and minors during the season.



Rookie Margot has 3 hits, Padres beat Giants 4-3 (The Associated Press)

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 18:08:42 PDT

With the NL West won by the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants have six more games to try to clinch a wild-card berth. The good news is, they don't have to play the San Diego Padres anymore. Rookie Manuel Margot tripled in the seventh inning and scored the go-ahead run on Wil Myers' single as the Padres beat San Francisco 4-3 to drop the Giants a game behind the New York Mets in the NL wild-card race.



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

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 17:15:13 PDT

Highlights of Major League Baseball games on Sunday: Dodgers 4, Rockies 3 (10 inings) Charlie Culberson hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Los Angeles Dodgers the National League West championship with a 4-3 win over the Colorado Rockies. Reliever Joe Blanton (7-2) earned the victory that gave the Dodgers their fourth successive division title. With two out in the bottom of the 10th, Culberson hit a 91-mph fastball from Boone Logan (2-5) into the stands down the left-field line for his first home run of the season and the sixth career.



Giants' Blach takes Cueto's spot Sunday in San Diego (The Associated Press)

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 00:52:05 PDT

Johnny Cueto has been more of an ace than Madison Bumgarner on San Francisco's pitching staff this season. Cueto is 17-9 with a 2.79 ERA and the Giants are 22-9 when he starts. Bumgarner is 14-9, 2.71 after Saturday night's 9-6, 10-inning win over the Padres at Petco Park, improving San Francisco to 20-14 in his turns.



Dodgers bid for NL West title at home (The Associated Press)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 23:58:29 PDT

In the City of Angels of all places, the Baseball Gods seemed to have aligned the stars for Vin Scully and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Scully, the Hall of Fame broadcaster, works the final home game of his legendary career Sunday when Los Angeles can clinch the National League West title when it hosts the Colorado Rockies to cap a four-game series. A win by Los Angeles or a loss by San Francisco in San Diego on Sunday allows Los Angeles to claim its fourth consecutive National League West championship.



Giants blow 6-run lead before beating Padres 9-6 in 10 (The Associated Press)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 23:00:37 PDT

As much as the San Francisco Giants have been through since the All-Star break, with all the blown leads and the offensive struggles, it would have been gut-wrenching if they hadn't pulled out a victory the way they did Saturday night against the lowly San Diego Padres. The Giants blew a six-run lead before scoring three times in the 10th inning, including a two-run home run by Denard Span, to beat the San Diego Padres 9-6 and pull even with the New York Mets atop the NL wild-card standings. ''You're proud of the guys,'' manager Bruce Bochy said.



Kershaw dominates, Dodgers win; NL West magic number to 1 (The Associated Press)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 22:21:38 PDT

The Dodgers were left waiting to clinch their fourth consecutive NL West title. Clayton Kershaw scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings, Josh Reddick slugged a grand slam in the seventh and Los Angeles beat the Colorado Rockies 14-1 on Saturday night to reduce its magic number to one with its fourth straight win. San Diego rallied from 6-0 down but then lost at home to San Francisco 9-6 in 10 innings.



Baseball-Highlights from MLB games on Saturday (Reuters)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 22:19:08 PDT

Highlights from Major League Baseball games on Saturday: Nationals 6, Pirates 1 Washington won their third National League East title in the last five years with a victory over the Pittsburgh at PNC Park on Saturday night, coupled with the New York Mets' 10-8 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos each drove in two runs and reliever Reynaldo Lopez (4-3) pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings for Washington (90-64). The Nationals' Joe Ross was making his second start since missing 66 games because of right shoulder inflammation.



Blue Jays' Bautista comes up big in key situation and other takeaways from win over Yankees (Eh Game)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 18:24:24 PDT

TORONTO — The right guy, at the right time. That’s how Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons described the situation in the bottom of the eighth inning when, with two on and two out, Jose Bautista came up to bat. On a 2-0 pitch right down the middle of the plate, the right fielder didn't miss, hitting a three-run blast into the left field stands, giving the Blue Jays the 3-0 lead against the New York Yankees on Saturday afternoon. It was a lead they would not relinquish, earning themselves back-to-back wins to open the final homestand of the regular season at the Rogers Centre. " Looks like he’s heating up at the right time," Gibbons said in his post-game press conference. "Jose, he’s been known to do some things at key spots. I was sitting there on the bench with DeMarlo (Hale), and I mentioned that to him. You know, right guy, right time basically." According to the Blue Jays’ public relations staff, it was the 16th time in Bautista’s career that he’s given his team the lead with a the long ball in the eighth inning or later. Fourteen times he did it for the Blue Jays. In other words, Bautista has been "the right guy, at the right time" many times before. “Obviously last year and obviously this year, it seems like he always steps up in those key moments when we need him most,” sais Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman about Bautista. The win also helps the Blue Jays tighten their grip on the top wild-card spot in the American League. At the conclusion of their 3-0 win, the Blue Jays held a two game-lead over the Detroit Tigers and the Baltimore Orioles for the top wild-card spot. (Note: The Orioles could cut that lead to 1.5 games with a win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night). After a shaky start to September, the Blue Jays look to be hitting their stride again when it matters most. With that in mind, here are three other takeaways from Saturday’s game: Pitching duel for last playoff rotation spot: For a second day in a row, a Blue Jays starter held the Yankees scoreless. On Saturday afternoon, Marcus Stroman took the mound and pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit, while striking out five. That performance comes just one night after veteran starter Francisco Liriano did much the same, blanking the Yankees through six innings Friday night in the eventual 9-0 rout. With J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada and Aaron Sanchez all but locks for the potential playoff rotation, there could be a battle brewing between Liriano and Stroman for that fourth spot. Gibbons said Stroman looked “as good as I’ve seen him,” in his outing Saturday. As for Stroman, he said he was happy with his performance. “I had everything going. I felt great out there. I felt strong. Felt like I was pretty much hitting all my spots,” he said. “I don’t know if it was best, but I put it up there as one of the best performances that I’ve had as far as stuff wise and as far as giving us an opportunity to win late in the game.” Scoreboard watch: With just eight games left on the schedule, the American League playoff picture is beginning to take shape. The Texas Rangers have clinched the AL West, while the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox appear poised to secure top spots in the AL Central and East, respectively. As mentioned, the Blue Jays are currently in possession of the top wild-card spot with Detroit and Baltimore jockeying for the second position. On the outside, but still very much in the hunt, are the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners, while the Yankees and Kansas City Royals seem to be long shots, at best. Needless to say, this is the time of the year when watching the out-of-town scoreboard can sometimes be more thrilling than watching what’s happening on the field. “You’re aware of it,” manager Gibbons said of watching the out-of-t[...]



Solarte returns to Padres week after wife's death (The Associated Press)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 18:20:55 PDT

Yangervis Solarte rejoined the San Diego Padres on Saturday, a week after his wife, Yuliett, died due to complications of cancer at age 31. Manager Andy Green said the third baseman will start Sunday in the finale of a four-game series against San Francisco. Solarte said he appreciated the support from the Padres.



Five reasons the Rangers could win the World Series (Big League Stew)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 15:00:36 PDT

The Texas Rangers became the first American League team and the second team overall — joining the Chicago Cubs — to secure a postseason berth after clinching the AL West on Friday night. The triumph continues a pretty solid run of success for the Rangers. In fact, the Rangers won it back-to-back in 2010-11 as well, before reaching and losing the World Series in both of those seasons.



Week That Was: Desert Drama (Rotoworld)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 09:54:00 PDT

Arizona's rocky rotation took another hit. Get caught up on all of the week's most important news in our rundown.



Bumgarner seeks 100th victory as Giants visit Padres (The Associated Press)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 00:16:51 PDT

There's too much at stake for the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night for Madison Bumgarner to be, well, Madison Bumgarner. While their National League West title chances fade with every Los Angeles win -- the Dodgers' magic number is two -- the Giants are locked in a three-way battle for the two National League wild-card berths with the New York Mets one game ahead and the St. Louis Cardinals one-half game behind. The Padres should be easy prey for any playoff bound team, except for the fact that San Diego has won seven of its last eight games against the Giants -- a fact that has had much to do with San Francisco's second-half plunge.



Myers, Padres beat struggling Giants 7-2 (The Associated Press)

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 23:44:16 PDT

As they struggle to stay alive in the race for a postseason berth, the San Francisco Giants simply cannot figure out the rookie-laden San Diego Padres. It was the seventh loss in eight games against the Padres since the All-Star break. ''I wish I could figure it out myself,'' said Bruce Bochy, a former Padres skipper who managed the Giants to World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014.



Baseball-Highlights from MLB games on Friday (Reuters)

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 23:40:00 PDT

Highlights from Major League Baseball games on Friday: Cubs 5, Cardinals 0 Jake Arrieta's goal may be perfection but he realizes he can occasionally ease up and still have good outcomes. Arrieta (18-7) scattered five hits in a seven-inning shutout effort as the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Chicago (98-55) topped last year's 97-win total and matched the most victories by any Cubs team since 1945 with its fourth straight in the opener of a three-game weekend series.



"Next man up" as Mets host Phillies (The Associated Press)

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 23:06:25 PDT

The next "next man up" is left-hander Sean Gilmartin, who tries to nudge New York closer to the playoffs when he makes his first start of the season Saturday night in the third contest of a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. The Mets won the first two games of the series including Friday, when they used six pitchers to piece together a 10-5 victory. New York (82-72) moved one game ahead of the San Francisco Giants (81-73) in the race for the NL's first wild card by virtue of Giants' 7-2 loss to the San Diego Padres late Friday night.



Rangers include Bush, Jeffress in brief booze-free festivity (The Associated Press)

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 23:02:47 PDT

Matt Bush was a pivotal piece in the Texas Rangers' AL West title run. The former No. 1 overall pick by his hometown San Diego Padres in 2004 and now a 30-year-old rookie, Bush served a 51-month prison sentence for a drunken driving with serious bodily harm. ''Every single player on this team is part of the family,'' Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said.



Game Over 2016: The Arizona Diamondbacks (Big League Stew)

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 18:48:06 PDT

Sorry, Arizona Diamondbacks, your World Series trophy is in another castle. The D-backs thought they’d build themselves into a contender in the offseason, turns out they couldn’t have been more wrong. With the combination of injuries and underperforming new acquisitions, the D-backs could very well finish last in the NL West.



Game Over: The 2016 Oakland A's (Big League Stew)

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:22:49 PDT

Sorry, Oakland Athletics, your World Series trophy is in another castle. And, hopefully it’s not filled with sewage.



Mets throw another rookie starter against Phillies (The Associated Press)

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:04:22 PDT

The final 10-game dash for a wild-card spot began in, well, wild fashion on Thursday night for the New York Mets. Now the Mets hope the baseball player equivalent of a wild card can get them another step closer to the playoffs on Friday. Right-hander Gabriel Ynoa will become the second consecutive rookie starter for the Mets when he takes the mound in the second game of a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.



Dodgers' hot-hitting Puig remains in platoon (The Associated Press)

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 00:54:24 PDT

Yasiel Puig is one of the Los Angeles Dodgers' hottest hitters at Dodger Stadium this month, but that won't prevent him from platooning with Josh Reddick. "Both guys feel they should be in the lineup every day, and I completely understand that, but if you look up and down our roster, a lot of guys can make that case," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. The left-handed-hitting Reddick got the start Thursday against Colorado Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood.



Giants can't afford to overlook young Padres (The Associated Press)

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 23:44:01 PDT

Which, come to think of it, is much like the Padres' lineup. San Diego will wrestle with San Francisco on Friday with a batting order much like it displayed in Thursday's 2-1 loss to the Giants. The Giants are all in, knowing their best path to the playoffs is as an NL wild-card team.



Samardzija, Giants beat Padres 2-1 to keep pace with Mets (The Associated Press)

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 23:16:41 PDT

Fighting for a postseason berth, Jeff Samardzija and the San Francisco Giants finally figured out the pesky San Diego Padres. Angel Pagan's single broke a scoreless tie in the eighth and Samardzija struck out nine in seven innings for the Giants, who beat the Padres 2-1 on Thursday night to keep pace with the New York Mets for the NL wild card lead. The Mets and Giants took a half-game lead over the idle St. Louis Cardinals in the wild card race.



Baseball-Highlights from MLB games on Thursday (Reuters)

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 22:29:35 PDT

(Adds later games) Sept 22 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights from Major League Baseball games on Thursday: Red Sox 5, Orioles 3 Andrew Benintendi lined a tiebreaking single in the fifth, Hanley Ramirez added a solo homer, and David Price threw seven solid innings as the Boston Red Sox completed a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. The Red Sox (89-64) improved their American League East lead over the idle Toronto Blue Jays to 5-1/2 games while Baltimore (82-71) fell seven games back and are in a tight battle with the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros for the second AL wild card.



Braves aim to extend hot streak in Miami (The Associated Press)

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 21:11:29 PDT

The Friday matchup between the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park doesn't have much to offer baseball fans. The Braves (62-91) are the worst team in the National League and the second worst in the majors -- and that is after a recent hot streak. The Marlins, who haven't made the playoffs since 2003, are a virtual lock to fall short yet again.



Game Over: The 2016 San Diego Padres (Big League Stew)

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 19:07:28 PDT

Sorry, San Diego Padres, your World Series trophy is in another castle. But you might not be able to find that info in your internal databases.



Wild-card hopeful Giants must solve Padres (The Associated Press)

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:04:06 PDT

When the San Francisco Giants arrive at Petco Park to open a four-game set on Thursday, the San Diego Padres figure to fling out a welcome mat after clubs' last meeting. The Giants are still scratching their heads over getting swept by the visiting Padres from Sept. 12-14. With a perfect opportunity to gain ground, or keep pace, with first-place Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco was blanked.



Blue Jays and Orioles lose critical games thanks to crushing errors (Big League Stew)

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 22:29:59 PDT

The atmosphere for this week’s Blue Jays-Mariners series at Safeco Field and Red Sox-Orioles at Camden Yards have been off the charts. Unfortunately, both games were also mostly decided by defensive blunders that knocked the wind out of the respective losing team as much as they raised the spirits of the winners. Beginning in Seattle, Aaron Sanchez and Felix Hernandez went toe-to-toe in a fantastic pitcher’s duel.



Dose: Cueto Questions (Rotoworld)

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 22:28:00 PDT

Drew Silva breaks down Johnny Cueto's status and digs into other top headlines in Thursday's edition of the Daily Dose.



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

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 22:26:06 PDT

(Adds final game) Sept 21 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Major League Baseball games on Wednesday: Yankees 11, Rays 5 Red-hot Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez hit two more home runs, giving him five in his last four games, as New York rolled to an 11-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. New York jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two innings, then held off the Rays (64-87), who inched back with five solo home runs. Rockies 11, Cardinals 1 Nolan Arenado hit a grand slam as the Colorado Rockies piled on rookie starter Luke Weaver early and beat the St. Louis Cardinals 11-1.