MLB scores: Yankees take series from Dodgers; Nationals beat Cubs again, tighten grip on NL wild card

It's the last Sunday of August baseball, and we had playoff implications all over the schedule. Let's jump in.

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Baseball schedule/scores for Sunday, August 25

Yanks take series from Dodgers

Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 and walked none over six innings, but that wasn't enough, as Yankee pitching showed up in a big way. Domingo German allowed one run on five hits in six innings, and four relievers combined for three no-hit innings. Across all three games of this potential World Series preview, the Yankees permitted the best offense in the NL to score a total of just five runs. 

The Yankee bats again brought the power, as DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Mike Ford all homered. In Judge's case, his opposite-field shot off Kershaw ... 

... fulfilled a pregame guarantee of a home run: 

As well, the Yankees' first home run of the night -- LeMahieu's -- occasioned some history: 

With the win, the Yankees pull within one game of the Dodgers in the race for best record in baseball and the rights to home-field advantage throughout the postseason. 

Braves sweep Mets for eighth straight win

Braves left-hander Dallas Keuchel pitched the best game of his abbreviated season in Sunday's 2-1 win over the Mets at Citi Field. Keuchel pitched seven shutout innings, and the 2015 Cy Young winner has allowed just one run over his past 19 innings.

Here's Keuchel's final line:

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Dallas Keuchel ATL • SP • 60

Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson was responsible for the Braves runs in the game, hitting two solo homers. With the two blasts, Donaldson's total goes up to 32.

Donaldson, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman have each reached the 30-home run club this season. It's the seventh time, and first since 2003 that the Braves have had three players hit at least 30 home runs.

Atlanta's bullpen picked up the game's final six outs, and extended a team-record streak of 25 scoreless relief innings before the Mets scored in the ninth inning. The winning streak is the Braves' longest of the season, while the Mets dropped to 5-11 against first-place Atlanta.

Nats polish off Cubs

Behind a 10-strikeout start from Stephen Strasburg (getting him past the 200-mark for the season) and a four-hit day from Anthony Rendon, the Nationals completed a three-game sweep of the Cubs in Wrigley. In doing so, the Nats kept pace with the Braves in the NL East -- they trail Atlanta by six games with seven head-to-heads left to play -- and solidified their grip on the top NL wild-card spot. The Nats are now 16-6 in August and 53-26 since dropping to a season-worst 11 games under .500 on May 24. Coming into Sunday's tilt, the SportsLine Projection Model (@SportsLine on Twitter) gave Washington a 93.8 percent chance of making the postseason, and this result nudges that figure up even more. 

Of note: 

As for Rendon, he remains a stealth MVP candidate in the NL. Sunday's performance at the plate gives him an overall slash line of .329/.407/.617 with 29 home runs and 35 doubles. He also remains a defensive asset at third base. Speaking of that home run total, No. 29 came on Sunday: 

Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich remain the favorites for that NL MVP hardware, but Rendon continues to keep himself within range as we head toward September. 

Phils continue to struggle against Fish

Despite the fact that the Marlins have predictably been one of the worst teams in baseball this season, the contending Phillies have been unable to take advantage. The Marlins came into their three-game home set against Philly with a mark of 4-16 in August, and the Phillies came in having won six of eight, including two- and three-game sweeps of the Red Sox and Cubs, respectively. 

Well, as you see above the Phillies fell in the rubber match of the series on Sunday. Ace Aaron Nola gave the Phils seven strong innings, but but the Bryce Harper-less offense (Harper is expected to return from the paternity list on Monday) was able to scratch out just two runs on four hits against Elieser Hernandez and three Miami relievers. Hernandez, it should be noted, entered his Sunday start with a 5.18 ERA and a 6.27 FIP for the season. 

With the loss, the Phillies slipped further back in the NL wild-card standings, and they also dropped to 7-9 against the Marlins this season. Stated another way, 19.1 percent of the Marlins' wins this season have come against the Phillies. Against the rest of the NL East -- i.e., the Braves, Nationals, and Mets -- are the Marlins are just 11-36. If the Phillies wind up missing out on the postseason but a mere game or two, then they can point to their failure to handle business against Miami as one of the primary reasons. 

A's miss chance in AL wild-card race

The A's entered the weekend a half-game behind the Rays for the second AL wild-card spot, and they'll enter the week in the same position. That's despite the fact that the Rays lost to the terrible Orioles on both Saturday and Sunday. On each of those days, the A's had a chance to inch in front in the race for the last AL playoff berth, and each time they squandered the opportunity. 

On Saturday, they lost to the cross-Bay Giants by a score of 10-5 thanks in large measure to an eight-run eighth inning. On Sunday, they fell by a single run (the Giants are now 30-13 in one-run games) and permitted the San Francisco bullpen to throw 4 1/3 shutout innings. Along the way, Evan Longoria recorded his 1,000th career RBI. 

With the loss the, A's fell to 1-3 against the Giants this season and ceded the Bay Series for 2019. More important, they allowed the Rays to cling to that lead. 

Quick hits

  • On Sunday, the Indians announced that third baseman Jose Ramirez was diagnosed with a fractured hamate bone in his right hand. Here's more on the unfortunate news for Cleveland.
  • Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis will undergo season-ending surgery to repair his hip impingement injury.
  • The Rays activated second baseman Joey Wendle from the 10-day injured list.
  • The Yankees sent left-hander Jordan Montogmery on a rehab assignment to Class A-Advanced Tampa.
  • The Indians sent right-hander Carlos Carrasco on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Columbus.
  • The Cubs placed left-hander Derek Holland on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to Aug. 24) with a left wrist contusion. Third baseman David Note was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to take his roster spot.
  • The Diamondbacks activated left-hander Robbie Ray from the 10-day injured list.
  • The Twins sent center fielder Byron Buxton on a rehab assignment to Class-A Cedar Rapids.

Katherine Acquavella joined CBS Sports in 2018. Her work has appeared in Yankees Magazine and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Memories and Dreams magazine. She is a graduate of St. John's... Full Bio

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