Harrison Bader powered the playoff-bound St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-2 win Sunday over visiting Milwaukee, but the Brewers were still the big winners as they grabbed the last spot in the National League postseason.
Bader hit a triple, blasted a solo homer and scored twice as the fifth-seeded Cardinals will head on the road to face the fourth-seeded San Diego Padres in a National League wild-card series.
With the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants also losing Sunday, the Brewers grabbed the No. 8 seed in the NL. Milwaukee and the American League’s Houston Astros are the first teams ever to make the playoffs with a losing record. The Brewers will face the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cardinals starting pitcher Austin Gomber allowed one run on one hit, two walks and a hit batter in four innings. Reliever Giovanny Gallegos (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings to earn the victory and Alex Reyes closed out the game to earn his first save.
Rangers 8, Astros 4
Rougned Odor hit a pair of home runs and host Texas parlayed a five-run fourth inning into a victory over Houston, giving the Rangers the four-game series win in Arlington, Texas.
Texas trailed 3-1 before Odor smacked a three-run home run to right field off Astros right-hander Chase De Jong (0-1) with one out in the fourth. Odor clubbed his 10th homer an inning later off right-hander Nivaldo Rodriguez, who entered in relief of De Jong with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth. Odor finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs, two runs and a walk.
The Astros, who finished 9-23 on the road, will open their American League wild-card series at Minnesota on Tuesday as the sixth seed. Houston posted its first losing season since 2014 and joined the Milwaukee Brewers in becoming the first teams in baseball history to make the postseason with records below .500.
Padres 5, Giants 4
San Diego ended host San Francisco’s playoff hopes as Wil Myers doubled, homered and drove in two runs, and the Padres held off the Giants’ comeback bid on the final day of the regular season.
While the Padres were already locked into the National League’s No. 4 playoff position, the Giants needed a win and a Milwaukee Brewers loss at St. Louis to claim a wild-card spot. The Cardinals did their part for the Giants, beating the Brewers 5-2, but San Francisco couldn’t complete a rally from a 5-1 deficit.
The Padres will take a three-game winning streak into their best-of-three home series against the fifth-seeded Cardinals, beginning on Wednesday.
Dodgers 5, Angels 0
Six pitchers combined to throw a three-hit shutout to lead the playoff-bound Dodgers to the victory over the Angels at Dodger Stadium.
A.J. Pollock homered twice to propel the Dodgers, and also singled, drove in three runs and scored twice as the Dodgers finished 43-17, the best record in the majors.
The Dodgers have qualified for the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons, while the Angels finished 26-34 and out of the postseason for the sixth year in a row. Billy Eppler, the Angels’ general manager for five of those seasons, was fired by the club on Sunday.
Nationals 15, Mets 5
Trea Turner hit a grand slam and finished with seven RBIs, and 21-year-old Juan Soto became the youngest National League batting champion as host Washington routed New York.
The Nationals won the final three games of the four-game series to officially move past the Mets in the National League East and avoid becoming just the third reigning World Series champion to finish last. Washington finished fourth by virtue of winning the season series 6-4.
Soto finished the regular season with a .351 batting average, ahead of runner-up Freddie Freeman (.341) and No. 3 Marcell Ozuna (.338), both of the Braves.
Marlins 5, Yankees 0
New York’s DJ LeMahieu wrapped up the American League batting title, but the Yankees were dealt a shutout loss by visiting Miami in the regular-season finale for both teams.
LeMahieu finished with a .364 batting average to win the AL batting title, and became the first player to win batting titles in both leagues after winning the 2016 crown with Colorado in 2016.
Jazz Chisholm hit a two-run double and homered for the Marlins, who secured their first winning record since 2009 but also lost outfielder Starling Marte (ear contusion) and starting pitcher Jose Urena (hand) in the opening three innings.
Red Sox 9, Braves 1
Boston concluded a disappointing season with a power surge, belting four home runs to defeat host Atlanta, which had already won the NL East and secured the No. 2 seed for the playoffs.
The Red Sox got solo home runs from Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Jonathan Arauz, the first of his career. J.D. Martinez hit a two-run opposite-field homer to start a five-run uprising in the seventh that put the game out of reach. Nick Pivetta (2-0) worked five innings and allowed one run on four hits, two walks and five strikeouts.
Atlanta’s Marcell Ozuna fell short in his bid to become the first National League player to win the Triple Crown since Joe “Ducky” Medwick in 1937. Ozuna hit a solo homer, his 18th, and finished with 56 RBIs — both NL league-leading totals. His average of .338 fell short of the .351 posted by Washington’s Juan Soto.
Orioles 7, Blue Jays 5
Cedric Mullins had two triples and two RBIs to help Baltimore salvage the finale of a regular season-ending three-game series with a win over Toronto in Buffalo.
The Blue Jays, who will enter the playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the American League, still won eight of their 10 meetings with the Orioles this season. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was 4-for-4 with a two-run homer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. added a solo shot for Toronto.
Orioles starter Keegan Akin allowed four runs on five hits in three innings. Travis Lakins Sr. (3-2) relieved Akin and permitted a walk and struck out two in two scoreless innings. Cesar Valdez pitched a perfect ninth to earn his third save.
Reds 5, Twins 3
Eugenio Suarez had two hits and drove in two runs, including one during a three-run 10th inning, as Cincinnati defeated Minnesota in Minneapolis in the final regular-season game for a pair of playoff teams.
Joey Votto walked three times and drove in what proved to be the winning run with a bases-loaded free pass for Cincinnati. The Reds, who were locked into the No. 7 seed in the National League when the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 earlier on Sunday, will face the second-seeded Atlanta Braves in the National League wild-card round beginning Wednesday.
Raisel Iglesias (4-3) picked up the win despite allowing an unearned run in his 1 1/3 innings. Caleb Thielbar (2-1) took the loss after pitching 1 1/3 innings and giving up one unearned run. Sergio Romo failed to retire any of the four batters he faced.
Cubs 10, White Sox 8
Kris Bryant and David Bote homered as part of a six-run second inning and Billy Hamilton added a home run and a steal of home, helping the visiting Cubs send their cross-town rivals to an eighth loss in the last 10 games.
The Cubs led 10-1 entering the eighth inning, but the White Sox scored five runs in the eighth and two in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate with one out remaining. Andrew Chafin entered and struck out Nomar Mazara to end the game and earn his first save in three chances.
The Cubs, who clinched the National League Central on Saturday, finished as the No. 3 seed in the eight-team NL playoff field and will host the Miami Marlins in a best-of-three wild-card round series beginning Wednesday. The White Sox will be the No. 7 seed in the AL playoffs, visiting the Oakland Athletics in the wild-card round beginning Tuesday.
Diamondbacks 11, Rockies 3
Kole Calhoun homered and finished with two hits, Madison Bumgarner tossed five scoreless innings, and Arizona beat Colorado in Phoenix.
Tim Locastro, Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar, Nick Ahmed, Wyatt Mathisen and Carson Kelly all finished with two hits for the Diamondbacks. Raimel Tapia and Tony Wolters had two hits each for Colorado.
Bumgarner (1-4) didn’t allow a run for the second straight game to earn his first win of the season. The lefty allowed just two hits and struck out four to end his first year with Arizona.
Indians 8, Pirates 6
Carlos Santana and Franmil Reyes each homered and drove in four runs as Cleveland erased a four-run deficit against visiting Pittsburgh and earned the fourth seed in the AL playoffs, hosting the New York Yankees.
Reyes hit a three-run homer, and Santana, who entered the game in a 4-for-41 funk, hit a two-run homer and two-run double. The Indians scored three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh for their largest comeback win of the season.
Jose Osuna hit a solo homer and an RBI single, Ke’Bryan Hayes hit a solo homer and Adam Frazier added a two-run double for Pittsburgh.
Rays 5, Phillies 0
Rookie Josh Fleming spun six scoreless innings as Tampa Bay Rays put an end to Philadelphia’s playoff hopes, finishing their three-game sweep in St. Petersburg, Fla.
In a career-long start, Fleming (5-0) recorded five strikeouts and allowed four hits and a walk. Relievers Oliver Drake, Aaron Loup and Ryan Sherriff each tossed a scoreless frame in the six-hit shutout for Tampa Bay, which finished the regular season by winning nine of its last 11 games. Kevan Smith, Mike Brosseau and Nate Lowe all added two hits. The Rays open the postseason against Toronto on Tuesday.
Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola (5-5) took the loss after giving up six hits and three runs in 3 2/3 innings. Bryce Harper had two hits. Philadelphia ended the regular season by losing seven of its final eight games.
A’s 6, Mariners 2
Jake Lamb homered leading off the bottom of the seventh inning, sparking a three-run rally as Oakland defeated visiting Seattle.
Lamb’s homer to left-center field came on a 2-1 count against Seattle right-hander Yoshihisa Hirano (0-1) and broke a 2-2 tie. Sean Murphy followed by drawing a walk, and an out later, Tony Kemp doubled to right. Chad Pinder walked to load the bases before Mark Canha doubled to center to bring home two runs.
Canha drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the eighth for his fourth RBI of the day. A’s right-hander Yusmeiro Petit (2-1) got the victory with a scoreless inning of relief for the American League West champs.
Royals 3, Tigers 1
Brady Singer allowed one run over seven innings to lead host Kansas City past Detroit in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Singer scattered three hits and struck out five without walking a batter to finish off a solid rookie season at 4-5. The Royals won three of the four games in the series between the two worst teams in the American League Central. Adalberto Mondesi had three hits and drove in two runs.
The Tigers were limited to just three hits and scored in the first on a two-out, RBI double by Brandon Dixon. Rookie left-hander Tarik Skubal (1-4) took the loss despite allowing just two runs on two hits with six strikeouts and one walk in five innings.
–Field Level Media