MLB scores, highlights, live team updates, news: Rays' Blake Snell adds to Cy Young case, winning No. 21
Plus, the NL Central keeps winning, the Astros magic number is three and more
It's the penultimate Sunday of baseball's regular season. Keep it here for all the latest news, notes, and scores.
Sunday's baseball scores
Rays 5, Blue Jays 2 (box score)
Royals 3, Tigers 2 (box score)
Marlins 6, Reds 0 (box score)
Orioles 6, Yankees 3 (box score)
Braves 2, Phillies 1 (box score)
Mets 8, Nationals 6 (box score)
Brewers 13, Pirates 6 (box score)
Cubs 6, White Sox 1 (box score)
Astros 6, Angels 2 (box score)
Cardinals 9, Giants 2 (box score)
Rangers 6, Mariners 1 (box score)
Twins 5, Athletics 1 (box score)
Dodgers 14, Padres 0 (box score)
Rockies 2, Diamondbacks 0 (box score)
Indians 4, Red Sox 3 in 11 (box score)
Snell wins 21st
Blake Snell continued to make a bid for the American League Cy Young Award on Sunday, winning his 21st game of the season by topping the Blue Jays.
Snell threw 6 ⅔ innings, holding the Jays to three hits and two walks. He didn't allow an earned run, but he did strike out 11 batters. His seasonal ERA is down to 1.90.
Snell now owns the most single-season wins in franchise history. Previously he'd been tied with David Price's 2012 effort. We'll see if Snell can add some hardware as Price did then.
A's let Rays hang around for at least one more day
The A's came into Sunday with 94 wins while the Rays had 68 losses. Those add to 162, which means the magic number for the A's to eliminate the Rays and clinch a playoff berth is just one. On Sunday, though, the Rays won while the A's lost to the Twins. We'll head to the final week knowing that if the A's lose out and the Rays win out, there will be a one-game playoff to make the one-game wild card.
Otherwise, the five AL playoff teams are set.
Freeland dominates, but Rockies can't gain ground
A few days ago, I wrote about how Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland . All he did Sunday with his team desperately trying to get back into playoff position was throw seven scoreless innings while striking out six and walking just one. He's now 16-7 with a 2.84 ERA this season.
Unfortunately for the Rockies, the Dodgers and Cardinals both won. That means the Rockies are still 1 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West and the same 1 1/2 out of the second wild card spot.
The Rockies return home to face two teams with nothing to play for this week, though both have talent. They get four against the reeling Phillies (see below) and then three against the Nationals. The games definitely aren't gimmes but are winnable. The Rockies might need to go something like 6-1 in order to have a shot, but I'd say the goal needs to be to win out. Gaining 1 1/2 games in seven against teams only playing six in the week is pretty tough without lots of help.
Pirates allow three to score on wild pitch, error
The Pirates didn't have the best afternoon. Need evidence? Consider this whopper of a play:
Your eyes don't mislead you. Michael Feliz uncorked a bases-loaded wild pitch that permitted every baserunner to score. Granted, that included a throwing error, but jeez.
The Pirates entered Sunday 12-6 in September.
The Brewers obviously won this game, and ...
NL Central contenders all win; Cubs' magic number to five
As we continue to progress through September with the NL Central having three of the top teams in the National League, it's becoming increasingly likely all three will make the postseason. It would mark the third time in the last four seasons that both NL wild cards came from the same division:
- 2015: Cubs and Pirates
- 2017: Rockies and Diamondbacks
The Cubs on Sunday ran their NL-best record to 91-64 by taking care of business against the White Sox. They only have a 2 1/2 game lead over the Brewers and 4 1/2 game lead over the Cardinals, but the magic number is down to five with one week to play. It's not over yet, but the Cubs are awfully close to taking their third-straight NL Central title.
Astros magic number is three
The defending World Series champions have been on a 100-plus win pace throughout pretty much the entire season, but they've never had a lead in the AL West of more than six games, thanks to the Mariners and then A's pushing them. They actually fell into a tie with the A's three different days in August and were only leading by 1 1/2 games heading into September.
Things have settled back in order for Houston now, though. With an Astros win Sunday along with an A's loss, the lead is up to 4 1/2 and the magic number is down to three. When the lead exceeds the magic number, we can safely call it. The Astros will win the AL West within the next few days, paving the way for an excellent Indians-Astros bout in the ALDS.
Phillies lose again, in danger of losing season
Once the dust settles on this 2018 season, it might look like the Phillies weren't even a contender. Who would've thought that earlier this season?
Thanks to their fourth consecutive loss on Sunday, they are now just 78-77 on the season.
The Phillies haven't been under .500 since they were 4-5 heading into April 10. They were as many as 15 games over .500, last on August 7, when they were in first place in the NL East. Since then, they have gone 14-28. The only team in all of baseball worse in that stretch is the 110-loss Orioles.
The Phillies now travel to Colorado for a four-game series against a Rockies team that needs wins to make the playoffs. Betting on the Phillies to dip below .500 on the trip seems like the correct route.
- The Yankees have lost shortstop Didi Gregorius for some time, possibly the rest of the season. .
- We tried to figure .
- The Diamondbacks .
Live team updates
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