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Khrush's walk-off HR cuts A's magic number to 3

Davis goes yard twice to extend MLB home run lead to 45
MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- Moments after connecting for his second home run of the night, an opposite-field beauty that mirrored the first, Khris Davis downplayed a stream of questions about himself -- as the A's mighty slugger tends to do -- and offered this reminder: "We have some work to do."

"There's not a better feeling in the world," Davis would also say, after ending the game with his Major League-leading 45th homer. Yet the man yearns for more, and his team is within grasp of just that.

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OAKLAND -- Moments after connecting for his second home run of the night, an opposite-field beauty that mirrored the first, Khris Davis downplayed a stream of questions about himself -- as the A's mighty slugger tends to do -- and offered this reminder: "We have some work to do."

"There's not a better feeling in the world," Davis would also say, after ending the game with his Major League-leading 45th homer. Yet the man yearns for more, and his team is within grasp of just that.

View Full Game Coverage

Not even a bullpen meltdown could mute these resilient A's, who inched that much closer to a postseason berth with a late push at the Coliseum. It was Mark Canha who belted a pinch-hit, two-run homer that tied the game in the sixth, and Davis who delivered the final blow, a walk-off solo shot for a 7-6 series-opening win over the Twins on Friday night.

"M-V-P!" chants were heard 'round the Coliseum as Davis rounded third base, removed his helmet and sent off his signature jump shot before landing on home plate, his giddy teammates pouncing on him.

Video: MIN@OAK: Davis crushes walk-off HR in the 10th

There is no shortage of boppers on this team, but Davis, his power so prodigious, undoubtedly tops them all. His 119 RBIs are second-most in the Majors, and no other player has as many home runs since the start of 2016 (130).

"He's our guy," Canha said. "I don't know how many walk-off home runs he's hit since he's been here, but I think we all felt on the bench he was gonna do that. Somebody mentioned, like, 'I got a good feeling about this.'

"Obviously he's awesome for us on the field, and he's an awesome teammate. We love the heck out of him. Gosh, what do you say? I'm at a loss for words. He does that, though. He does things that just leave you speechless. It's crazy."

Video: MIN@OAK: Davis on dramatic walk-off home run

The A's magic number dropped to three with their third straight win, though they remained 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the top American League Wild Card spot following New York's win against the Orioles. They also sit 3 1/2 back of the first-place Astros in the AL West with eight to play.

Davis ignited the A's to an early two-run lead with home run No. 44 to top his previous career best, padded by a pair of sacrifice flies from Jonathan Lucroy and Marcus Semien.

Video: MIN@OAK: Davis hits career-high 44th homer in the 1st

A four-run lead typically signifies riches for a sturdy Oakland bullpen, yet it vanished under the watch of Lou Trivino and Shawn Kelley in a damaging sixth -- negating a fine four-inning effort from Chris Bassitt following opener Liam Hendriks' scoreless stint.

The A's, though, quickly emerged from a 6-4 hole on Canha's career-high 17th home run in the home half of the inning to break even, allowing for the dramatics that unfolded in extras following important work from Ryan Buchter, Jeurys Familia and closer Blake Treinen, who picked up the win with two scoreless innings while lowering his ERA to an MLB-best 0.83.

"I love those moments," Canha said. "I wasn't thinking about hitting a home run. I was just trying to have a good at-bat, but when something like that happens it just gets the blood flowing a little bit. It's a lot of fun."

Video: MIN@OAK: Canha crushes pinch-hit, 2-run homer to left

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Trivino, at times working without his typically devastating movement this month, appeared off yet again, yielding four consecutive hits and departing without recording a out. Jake Cave greeted him with a resounding double, and Robbie Grossman smacked the next pitch for a two-run homer. Trivino was offered two more batters, each collecting singles to force him out of the game.

Kelley's first batter, Ehire Adrianza, laced a two-run, game-tying double to right, and the right-hander, still eying runners on second and third, nearly pivoted around further disaster by getting each of his next two batters to weakly fly out. That's when the A's opted to intentionally walk Joe Mauer, despite the first baseman striking out in each of his first three at-bats, and Jorge Polanco made them pay with a go-ahead, bases-clearing double.

Video: MIN@OAK: Polanco's clutch hit highlights 6-run 6th

Trivino has allowed a combined eight runs over his last four outings, a troubling trend for a reliever these A's have come to rely on so heavily.

"He's just having a little tough time right now," Melvin said. "Just looked like the ball was pretty straight today. He's struggled a little bit, and it's going to happen over a course of a season and we have a lot of faith in him."

SOUND SMART
Davis has 22 career multi-homer games, including seven this year.

HE SAID IT
"You look at his numbers and what he's meant to this team, he definitely needs to be in the conversation." -- Melvin, on Davis' AL MVP candidacy

UP NEXT
The A's will have right-hander Mike Fiers (12-7, 3.38 ERA) on the mound for Saturday's 6:05 p.m. PT tilt with righty Chase De Jong (0-1, 3.68) and the Twins at the Coliseum. The A's have won all but one of Fiers' eight starts since he joined them in August.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Khris Davis

Defending champion Astros clinch playoff berth

Gurriel hits 2 homers, drives in career-high 7 against Angels
Special to MLB.com

HOUSTON -- On a night the Astros clinched a postseason berth, Yuli Gurriel had a celebratory game with two home runs and a career-high seven RBIs.

The Astros clinched their third playoff spot in four seasons with an 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday at Minute Maid Park. Their magic number to clinch was 1, but Tampa Bay defeated Toronto, forcing Houston to win in order to punch its ticket. The Astros' magic number to clinch the American League West stands at 6, after the A's won in walk-off fashion, 7-6 in 10 innings, against the Twins.

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HOUSTON -- On a night the Astros clinched a postseason berth, Yuli Gurriel had a celebratory game with two home runs and a career-high seven RBIs.

The Astros clinched their third playoff spot in four seasons with an 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday at Minute Maid Park. Their magic number to clinch was 1, but Tampa Bay defeated Toronto, forcing Houston to win in order to punch its ticket. The Astros' magic number to clinch the American League West stands at 6, after the A's won in walk-off fashion, 7-6 in 10 innings, against the Twins.

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Get new Astros postseason gear

In the Astros' clubhouse after improving their record to 96-57, there was a toast made that involved team owner Jim Crane, president of business operations Reid Ryan, general manager Jeff Luhnow, manager AJ Hinch and the players.

"I'm very happy we were able to make that toast, and we were able to unite at that moment and be able to clinch for the playoffs," said Gurriel, who recorded his first multi-homer game in the Major Leagues.

10 defining moments of 2018

Added Hinch: "It's not the end goal. Our work isn't finished."

Video: LAA@HOU: Springer belts a towering 3-run homer

Gurriel's three hits paced an 11-hit attack that included George Springer's three-run homer in a four-run eighth that concluded the scoring.

Astros heading for ALDS date with Tribe

"I think he was trying to keep up with his brother," said Hinch, making reference to Yuli and Lourdes becoming the first pair of brothers to hit multi-home runs on the same day in the Major Leagues. "We had some fun with him.

Video: Gurriel brothers, Yuli and Lourdes, each hit 2 homers

"It's a big night for him. And to kick start us this way with four in the first was exactly what you need to do when you're in the position where you want to play ahead."

History made as Gurriel Bros. each go deep twice

Gurriel's first-inning grand slam provided all the runs Astros starter Gerrit Cole would need in an impressive outing. The right-hander struck out 12 for an AL-leading 272, overtaking teammate Justin Verlander (269).

Video: LAA@HOU: Cole K's 12 over 7 innings for his 15th win

Cole (15-5) allowed three runs and six hits with no walks over his seven innings.

"I thought I had pretty good command in general," Cole said. "When you have a night like tonight when Yuli erupts, you got to use that to your advantage."

Cole became the 12th-fastest in MLB history to reach 1,000 career strikeouts.

Video: LAA@HOU: Hinch on big games from Gurriel, Cole in win

"I was happy with his stuff," Hinch said. "The strikeout numbers are real."

Gurriel's 11th home run of the season was his third career grand slam and second of the season. He previously accomplished the feat on June 24 against the Royals. The slam was the seventh this season for the Astros, tying a single-season franchise record (2007 and 2001). It traveled a projected 368 feet, with a launch angle of 27 degrees, according to Statcast™.

Video: LAA@HOU: Gurriel swats 2 homers and drives in 7

He added a two-run homer in the third inning off Andrew Heaney, his 12th jack of the season, and logged an RBI single in his third at-bat in the fifth inning against reliever Taylor Cole for a 7-0 lead.

SOUND SMART
Gurriel's seven RBIs are the most for the Astros since J.R. Towles had a club-record eight on Sept. 20, 2007, against the Cardinals.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With a third-inning strikeout of Kaleb Cowart, Cole reached 1,000 career strikeouts. Cole struck out Cowart looking on an 83-mph knuckle curve for the second out. Cole came into the game with 994 strikeouts.

Video: LAA@HOU: Cole K's Cowart for 1,000th career strikeout

"It's special," Cole said. "The guys came over to recognize it."

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Angels challenged a tag play at the plate in the eighth after Astros pinch-runner Myles Straw broke for home on a bunt by Jake Marisnick. Straw was ruled safe, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia, suspecting catcher Francisco Arcia may have snuck in a tag on the runner's hand, challenged the call. The ruling, however, stood.

Video: LAA@HOU: Marisnick scores Straw on suicide squeeze

UP NEXT
Verlander (16-9, 2.67 ERA) goes for his 17th win in the middle game against the Angels at 6:10 p.m. CT on Saturday at Minute Maid Park. Righty Jaime Barria (10-9, 3.61 ERA) will start for the Halos. Verlander, who can retake the strikeout lead from Cole, has pitched seven innings in each of his past three starts -- all wins -- including an 11-strikeout performance against the D-backs in his last start.

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston.

Houston Astros, Gerrit Cole, Yuli Gurriel

Braves cut magic number to 2 in comeback win

Atlanta rallies with 5 runs in 7th, leads Philly by 7 1/2 games
MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- It appears the theme for the Braves' season might have been presented on Opening Day. The five-run, sixth-inning deficit Julio Teheran suddenly encountered that afternoon seemed like a distant memory once Nick Markakis sunk the Phillies with a walk-off home run.

Six months later, the Braves are still routinely overcoming adversity, and the Phillies are regretting the inability to take advantage of the potential prosperity that materialized as the heavily favored Nationals became also-rans in the National League East race.

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ATLANTA -- It appears the theme for the Braves' season might have been presented on Opening Day. The five-run, sixth-inning deficit Julio Teheran suddenly encountered that afternoon seemed like a distant memory once Nick Markakis sunk the Phillies with a walk-off home run.

Six months later, the Braves are still routinely overcoming adversity, and the Phillies are regretting the inability to take advantage of the potential prosperity that materialized as the heavily favored Nationals became also-rans in the National League East race.

View Full Game Coverage

Nearly all of the lingering drama in this race faded as the Braves spotted the Phillies a three-run lead and then immediately erased their deficit during the decisive five-run seventh inning of Friday night's 6-5 win at SunTrust Park.

Video: PHI@ATL: Snitker on the 5-run 7th inning in 6-5 win

"I always say there's an 'it factor' with teams," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "You don't know how they get it, but when you've got it, it's really something special. You can't manufacture it. It's nothing you can put together. It's not something I can give as a manager. Some teams just have it. It's a fun thing to be around."

Widely considered to be a year ahead of schedule, the resilient and overachieving Braves are now possibly less than 24 hours away from celebrating a division crown. They sit 7 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Phillies, and their magic number is two with eight games remaining. The Nationals were eliminated Friday night.

Video: PHI@ATL: Braves discuss the thrilling 6-5 triumph

"We're just taking it one game at a time," Braves third baseman Johan Camargo said through an interpreter. "Tomorrow is just another day. I think we're just going out there to have fun and enjoy the moment."

The Braves lost 13 of 18 at one point in July and then proceeded to win 14 of their next 18. They blew a six-run eighth-inning lead during a Sept. 5 loss to the Red Sox and then seized a strong division lead by winning seven of their next eight. They entered this series having lost 14 of their past 18 road games.

But when their backs have been pushed against the wall, the Braves have frequently responded much like they did on Friday, when Teheran's impressive start was marred by Ronald Acuna Jr.'s defensive miscue during a three-run seventh. Ozzie Albies cut into the deficit with a two-run homer off Pat Neshek, who allowed four earned runs while recording just one out in the bottom half of the seventh. Lucas Duda beat the shift with a key single, and Ender Inciarte greeted former Brave Luis Avilan with a game-tying double. Avilan's seven-pitch battle against Camargo ended when the third baseman laced a changeup to left to create a lead that would not be squandered.

Video: PHI@ATL: Albies launches a 2-run jack to right field

"There was just so much heart and grit and determination and desire and all the adjectives right there with what those guys did," Snitker said. It's what these guys are all about. They never quit. They're never down. We always work the game to give them a chance. I think if we can keep the game manageable, we've seen all year these guys don't quit. There's unbelievable fight in each and every one of them. It's a really cool thing to see and be a part of."

Camargo was not able to understand the translation when asked whether the Braves have the "it factor." But after a few moments, the smiling third baseman replied, "We are a family and that's it."

Video: PHI@ATL: Minter freezes Quinn to pick up the save

AGGRESSIVE JULIO
Teheran had recently created concern as his velocity dropped and his walk rate increased. But showing his own sense of resiliency, the right-hander provided an effort that at least strengthened his bid to fill the final spot in what would be a four-man playoff rotation. He surrendered Cesar Hernandez's leadoff homer and then retired 14 of the next 15 batters faced.

Video: PHI@ATL: Teheran gets Hoskins, strands runner at 3rd

With his four-seam fastball averaging 90.8 mph and an effective curveball complementing his slider, Teheran pitched around J.P. Crawford's sixth-inning leadoff triple and attempted another escape after putting two on with one out in the seventh. But once Acuna initially broke in, he was unable to recover and prevent Wilson Ramos from recording a two-run double. Jose Bautista's RBI single chased the Atlanta hurler, who allowed four runs over 6 1/3 innings.

"Those things happen," Camargo said. "It's baseball. Those things never lead us to judge the quality of the team we have. The same thing happened to me in Arizona, where the team picked me up as well. We never take those things too seriously. We keep fighting. It was important for us to show Acuna and everybody else we've got their back."

SOUND SMART
• Albies' two-run shot was his 23rd homer of the season, but just his third within a span of 218 at-bats going back to July 13. Prior to that, the All-Star second baseman had 20 homers through his first 393 at-bats of the season.

• Teheran stands with Mike Leake, Jon Lester, Max Scherzer and Jose Quintana as the only pitchers to make at least 30 starts over each of the past six seasons.

• Against NL East teams, the Braves have gone 45-23 and the Phillies have gone 32-39.

HE SAID IT
"If they played in the seventh game of the World Series, it won't be any different than it was right there. The fans were unbelievable. They have been all year. They have supported these guys. Tonight was no exception." -- Snitker

UP NEXT
Mike Foltynewicz will take the mound when the Braves resume their four-game series against the Phillies on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Foltynewicz is coming off one of his worst starts of the season, having allowed six earned runs in just 4 2/3 innings against the Cardinals. But he has posted a 2.62 ERA over his past nine starts. Philadelphia will counter with Jake Arrieta, who has a 6.03 ERA over his past seven starts. 

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Ozzie Albies, Johan Camargo, Julio Teheran

Postseason Picture: Where we are right now

A closer look at the divisions, Wild Cards and tiebreakers
MLB.com

Khris Davis was the hero for the A's as they beat the Twins in walk-off fashion in 10 innings Friday night on the slugger's second homer of the game. The victory kept Oakland 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the top American League Wild Card spot, as New York held off the Orioles, 10-8, at Yankee Stadium. The A's also kept pace with the Astros, who clinched a postseason berth with their victory over the Angels in Houston; Oakland remains 3 1/2 games behind the defending World Series champions in the AL West.

Postseason bracket

Khris Davis was the hero for the A's as they beat the Twins in walk-off fashion in 10 innings Friday night on the slugger's second homer of the game. The victory kept Oakland 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the top American League Wild Card spot, as New York held off the Orioles, 10-8, at Yankee Stadium. The A's also kept pace with the Astros, who clinched a postseason berth with their victory over the Angels in Houston; Oakland remains 3 1/2 games behind the defending World Series champions in the AL West.

Postseason bracket

Meanwhile, things got tighter in the National League West, as the Rockies rallied to beat the D-backs in Arizona before the Dodgers lost to the Padres in Los Angeles. Colorado closed to within 1 1/2 games of the Dodgers, but remained 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card spot, as St. Louis beat the Giants at Busch Stadium.

The gap in the NL Central also closed to 1 1/2 games, as the division-leading Cubs lost to the crosstown rival White Sox on the South Side, while the Brewers beat the Pirates at PNC Park. In the NL East, the Braves reduced their magic number to 2 with another victory over the Phillies, widening Atlanta's division lead over Philadelphia to 7 1/2 games. 

Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the playoff picture, recapping Friday's action and taking a look at where each contender stands heading into today. Within each division, clubs are listed in order of current standing.

Explaining tiebreaker scenarios for '18 postseason

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

RED SOX (105-49, .682)

Status: Clinched AL East; lead HOU by 8 1/2 games for best record in MLB.

Yesterday's result: Beat CLE, 7-5. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: Boston currently sits in front of AL West-leading Houston, but in the event the Astros catch the Sox, the season series would determine home field in a potential postseason matchup. The Astros won the season series, 4-3.

Today's schedule: at CLE (7:10 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Saturday-Sunday at CLE, Sept. 28-30 vs. NYY

Video: BOS@CLE: Travis rips a game-tying 2-run double in 7th
YANKEES (94-59, .614)

Status: Lead OAK by 1 1/2 games for first AL Wild Card.

Yesterday's result: Beat BAL, 10-8. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: If the Yankees and A's tie for the two AL Wild Card spots, home field in the Wild Card Game would go to the winner of the season series, but with each club having won three games, the tiebreaker would go to the club with the better intradivision record. The Yankees (38-29 vs. AL East) hold a lead over the A's (35-35 vs. AL West) in that regard.

Today's schedule: vs. BAL (4:05 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Sept. 28-30 at BOS

Video: BAL@NYY: Didi, Hicks, Voit lead Yankees to 10-8 win

RAYS (86-67, .562)

Status: Trail OAK by 6 1/2 games for second AL Wild Card.

Yesterday's result: Beat TOR, 11-3. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: If the Rays were to tie the A's for the AL's second Wild Card spot, they would host a tiebreaker play-in game because they won the season series over the A's, 5-2.

Today's schedule: at TOR (4:07 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Monday-Thursday vs. NYY

 Video: TB@TOR: Smith makes a pair of excellent catches

AL CENTRAL

INDIANS (85-68, .556)

Status: Clinched AL Central.

Yesterday's result: Lost to BOS, 7-5. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: If Cleveland were to pull even with Houston, it still would not host Game 1 of the ALDS, since the Astros took the season series, 4-3.

Today's schedule: vs. BOS (7:10 p.m. ET) 

Key series remaining: Saturday-Sunday vs. BOS

Video: BOS@CLE: Donaldson crushes a solo home run off Sale

AL WEST

ASTROS (96-57, .627)

Status: Clinched postseason berth. Lead OAK by 3 1/2 games in AL West; trail BOS by 8 1/2 games for the AL's best record.

Yesterday's result: Beat LAA, 11-3. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: If Cleveland pulls even with Houston, the Astros still would host Game 1 of the ALDS, since they took the season series, 4-3. In the event of a tie with Oakland atop the AL West, the Astros would host a one-game tiebreaker by virtue of taking the season series, 12-7.

Today's schedule: vs. LAA (7:10 p.m. ET)

Video: LAA@HOU: Gurriel swats 2 homers and drives in 7

ATHLETICS (93-61, .604)

Status: Trail HOU by 3 1/2 games in AL West and NYY by 1 1/2 games for first AL Wild Card; lead TB by 6 1/2 games for second AL Wild Card.

Yesterday's result: Beat MIN, 7-6 (10 innings). Recap >

Key tiebreaker: If the A's and Yankees tie for the two AL Wild Card spots, home field in the Wild Card Game would go to the winner of the season series, but with both teams having won three games, the tiebreaker would go to the club with the better intradivision record. The Yankees (38-29 vs. AL East) hold a lead over the A's (35-35 vs. AL West) in that regard. If the A's tie the Astros for the AL West crown, Houston would host a one-game tiebreaker by virtue of taking the season series, 12-7.

Today's schedule: vs. MIN (10:05 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Monday-Wednesday at SEA

Video: MIN@OAK: Davis crushes walk-off HR in the 10th

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

BRAVES (86-68, .558)

Status: Lead PHI by 7 1/2 games in NL East; trail CHC by 3 1/2 games for No. 1 seed in NL; lead LAD by 1 game for No. 2 seed in NL.

Yesterday's result: Beat PHI, 6-5. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: A tie for the division crown would necessitate a tiebreaker game, and the Braves currently have the edge on the Phillies for home field in such a game. Atlanta leads the season series, 9-5, but the clubs have five games remaining against each other. In the event of a tie for the best record in the NL, the higher seed would be determined by intradivision record, since the Braves and Cubs each won three games apiece in the season series. Atlanta (45-23) currently leads Chicago (37-32) in that department. In the event of a tie for the second seed in the NL, the Dodgers would be awarded the second seed by virtue of winning the season series with the Braves, 5-2.

Today's schedule: vs. PHI (1:05 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Saturday-Sunday vs. PHI, Sept. 28-30 at PHI

Video: Must C Comeback: Albies homers to key Braves' rally

PHILLIES (78-75, .510)

Status: Trail ATL by 7 1/2 games in NL East; 6 1/2 games out of the second NL Wild Card berth behind STL.

Yesterday's result: Lost to ATL, 6-5. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: A tie for the division crown would necessitate a tiebreaker game, and the Braves currently have the edge on the Phillies for home field in such a game. Philadelphia trails the season series, 9-5, but the clubs have five games remaining against each other.

Today's schedule: at ATL (1:05 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Saturday-Sunday at ATL, Monday-Wednesday at COL, Sept. 28-30 vs. ATL

Video: PHI@ATL: Hernandez ropes a leadoff homer to right

NL CENTRAL

CUBS (89-64, .582)

Status: Lead MIL by 1 1/2 games and STL by 4 1/2 games in NL Central; lead ATL by 3 1/2 games for No. 1 seed in NL.

Yesterday's result: Lost to CWS, 10-4. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: In the event of a tiebreaker game for the division title, the Cubs would have home-field advantage over the Brewers, by virtue of their 11-8 record vs. Milwaukee in the season series. In the event of a tie for the best record in the NL, the higher seed would be determined by intradivision record, since the Cubs and Braves each won three games apiece in the season series. Atlanta (45-23) currently leads Chicago (37-32) in that department.

Today's schedule: at CWS (7:10 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Sept. 28-30 vs. STL

Video: CHC@CWS: Murphy leads off the game with a home run

BREWERS (88-66, .571)

Status: Trail CHC by 1 1/2 games in NL Central; lead STL by 3 games for first NL Wild Card.

Yesterday's result: Beat PIT, 8-3. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: The Brewers' final three-game series against the Cardinals from Monday through Wednesday will determine the winner of the season series -- currently tied at 8-8 -- and who would have home-field advantage in the Wild Card Game if the two clubs finished tied for both Wild Card spots.

Today's schedule: at PIT (7:05 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Monday-Wednesday at STL

Video: MIL@PIT: Brewers hammer 3 homers in 6-run 6th inning

CARDINALS (85-69, .552)

Status: Trail CHC by 4 1/2 games in NL Central; lead COL by 1 1/2 games for second NL Wild Card spot, trail MIL by 3 games for top NL Wild Card spot.

Yesterday's result: Beat Giants, 5-3. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: The Cardinals' final three-game series against the Brewers from Monday through Wednesday will determine the winner of the season series -- currently tied at 8-8 -- and thereby who would have home-field advantage in the NL Wild Card Game if the two clubs finished tied for both Wild Card spots. Should St. Louis finish tied with Colorado for the second NL Wild Card spot, the Cardinals would host a tiebreaker by virtue of winning the season series, 5-2.

Today's schedule: vs. SF (1:05 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Monday-Wednesday vs. MIL, Sept. 28-30 at CHC

Video: SF@STL: Adams smacks pinch-hit, go-ahead 2-run double

NL WEST

DODGERS (85-69, .552)

Status: Lead COL by 1 1/2 games in NL West; trail ATL by 1 game for No. 2 seed in NL.

Yesterday's result: Lost to SD, 5-3. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: Should there be a tiebreaker game for the division title or the final NL Wild Card berth, Los Angeles is currently in position to host the Rockies (won the season series, 12-7) or play at Arizona (9-7 deficit), with more games left against Arizona. The Dodgers lost the season series to the Cardinals, 4-3, so in the event of a tie for a Wild Card spot, Los Angeles would play at St. Louis. In the event of a tie for the second seed in the NL, the Dodgers would be awarded the second seed by virtue of winning the season series with the Braves, 5-2.

Today's schedule: vs. SD (9:10 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Monday-Wednesday at ARI

Video: SD@LAD: Hernandez drills solo homer to open scoring

ROCKIES (83-70, .542)

Status: Trail LAD by 1 1/2 games in NL West; trail STL by 1 1/2 games for second NL Wild Card spot. 

Yesterday's result: Beat ARI, 6-2. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: In the event of a tie for first place in the division, there would be a tiebreaker game to determine the NL West champion. As things stand now, the Rockies would be on the road for such a game against the Dodgers due to the results of their season series against Los Angeles (7-12), while Colorado leads the season series with the D-backs, 9-8, with two games remaining.

Today's schedule: at ARI (8:10 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Saturday-Sunday at ARI

Video: COL@ARI: Marquez strikes out 11 over 7 strong innings

D-BACKS (79-75, .513)

Status: Trail LAD by 6 games in NL West; trail STL by 6 games for second NL Wild Card. 

Yesterday's result:  Lost to COL, 6-2. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: If the D-backs finish tied for the division title or final NL Wild Card berth, season series would determine home-field advantage in an extra game for the right to advance to the NL Wild Card Game. Arizona leads its season series against Los Angeles (9-7) and trails Colorado (8-9), while splitting the season series with St. Louis (3-3). The D-backs and Rockies meet for two more regular season games, on Saturday and Sunday at Chase Field. Home field between Arizona and St. Louis would come down to intradivision record, with the Cardinals (40-30) currently leading the D-backs (36-32) in that race.

Today's schedule: vs. COL (8:10 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Saturday-Sunday vs. COL, Monday-Wednesday vs. LAD

Video: COL@ARI: Peralta lifts a 2-run shot to right field

POSTSEASON PICTURE

If the playoffs began today, here's how they would look:

Postseason schedule

NL Wild Card Game (Tues., Oct. 2)
Cardinals at Brewers

AL Wild Card Game (Wed., Oct. 3)
Athletics at Yankees

NL Division Series (begins Thurs., Oct. 4)
NL Wild Card Game winner at Cubs
Dodgers at Braves

AL Division Series (begins Fri., Oct. 5)
AL Wild Card Game winner at Red Sox
Indians at Astros

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros

Red Sox tie franchise record with 105 wins

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

CLEVELAND -- They keep pushing forward, these Red Sox. A night after they clinched the American League East, there was rest for several key players, but no letdown from the crew that played. And as manager Alex Cora tells it, there wasn't even a letdown from the veterans who sat.

And after another comeback victory -- this one by a score of 7-5 over the Indians -- it can now be said that no team in franchise history has won more games than the 2018 Red Sox.

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CLEVELAND -- They keep pushing forward, these Red Sox. A night after they clinched the American League East, there was rest for several key players, but no letdown from the crew that played. And as manager Alex Cora tells it, there wasn't even a letdown from the veterans who sat.

And after another comeback victory -- this one by a score of 7-5 over the Indians -- it can now be said that no team in franchise history has won more games than the 2018 Red Sox.

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Conquest No. 105 tied the 1912 club for the team record, and the magic number is down to one for Boston to clinch home-field advantage all the way through the World Series.

Video: BOS@CLE: Travis hits his first Major League home run

"That was one of the most enjoyable games of the season," said Cora. "To have, obviously those guys who didn't play, they were on the top step. It was a like a regular game. Like I said, we do feel when we play [short], we can score runs. It was a fun game overall. Good energy. I mean, it was a long night, we got here late, and for them to come here and play, that was fun."

With most of the regulars on the bench, Sam Travis and Tzu-Wei Lin belted their first career homers.

Video: BOS@CLE: Lin slugs first homer of Major League career

During a four-run surge in the seventh inning that completed a comeback from 4-1 down, Travis tied it with a two-run double and Lin put the Sox ahead for good on an RBI single off the foot of Indians righty Shane Bieber.

Video: BOS@CLE: Lin hits a go-ahead RBI infield single

"I came up with him playing in the Minors," Travis said of Lin joining him with the first homer. "We've been real close. We were roommates on the road in the Minor Leagues. He's a good friend of mine and it makes it a lot more special."

Video: BOS@CLE: Travis rips a game-tying 2-run double in 7th

Meanwhile, ace Chris Sale continued his ramp-up toward the postseason by throwing 73 pitches in 3 1/3 innings. The lefty walked none and struck out seven. His 35-inning scoreless streak ended when Josh Donaldson belted a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth. Sale's streak was the longest in the Majors and matched the longest since Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez also tossed 35 straight zeroes in 2002.

Video: BOS@CLE: Sale strikes out 7, allows 2 runs vs. Tribe

"Anytime you're wearing this uniform and Pedro is in the same sentence you've got to be appreciative of it. Still kind of in awe about it, but found a good way to end it," quipped Sale.

Sale's final start of the regular season will take place on Wednesday night at Fenway Park against the Orioles.

Heath Hembree came on in place of Sale and promptly served up a two-run homer to Yan Gomes.

The team's 47th comeback win of the season was helped by Rafael Devers smashing No. 18, a solo shot to right in the sixth that slimmed Cleveland's deficit to 4-2, and helping to set the stage for that big seventh.

Video: BOS@CLE: Devers clubs a solo home run to right field

While Cora used many of his low-leverage relievers, including a couple of September callups, he was able to close with Craig Kimbrel, who nailed down save No. 42 in the ninth.

Video: BOS@CLE: Kimbrel earns save in Red Sox's 105th win

And just like that, the Sox tied their 1912 predecessors. Fittingly, Boston tied the record in Game No. 154, which was the length of a season 106 years ago.

"It's special," said Sale. "I think that you can look back at the season and see different styles of wins and different parts of our team carrying the team at times. That's something special. That's something you don't see very often when you can have a starting rotation do it, you can have your offense do it, you can have your defense do it, you can have your bullpen come in and do it.

"And different guys stepping up at different parts of the season and winning big games for us. So we don't take it for granted. We know where we're at and we know what we have ahead of us. We're enjoying it, but at the same time, we're not going to get lackadaisical."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Great Scott: The lead could have slipped away in the eighth when Gomes doubled to right to put runners at second and third with one out. Out of the bullpen came lefty specialist Robby Scott, and he got the key second out on a foul popup by Jason Kipnis. Cora then ordered up an intentional walk to his close friend Francisco Lindor to set up bases loaded for Michael Brantley. Scott made the pitch he needed and got Brantley on a foul flyout to Travis in left.

Video: BOS@CLE: Scott works out of a bases-loaded jam

"You see Robby coming in the game and it's kind of like we managed that inning," said Cora. "We don't walk too many people, but I'm not going to let him beat me there and then he has bragging rights. Yeah, I'm going to walk him and take a chance with Brantley with the matchup."

Barnes returns: For the first time since Sept. 3, key setup man Matt Barnes pitched for the Red Sox. The righty has been dealing with inflammation in his left hip. Barnes walked one and struck out one in a scoreless sixth inning. With Sandy Leon making a strong throw to second to nail Rajai Davis on a stolen-base attempt, Barnes needed to face just three batters.

Video: BOS@CLE: Barnes strikes out Gomes to end the 6th

"Getting his repetitions. Velocity was OK. Actually did a good job with Rajai at first base changing times and looks and all that. We were able to throw him out," said Cora. "That's something we expect teams to try to do against us when we have the lead and trying to something and he did a good job."

Video: BOS@CLE: Leon throws out Davis following review

SOUND SMART
Lin became the third Taiwanese-born player in history to hit a home run, joining Chin-Lung Hu (two career homers) and Hung-Chih Kuo (1).

HE SAID IT
"It's a testament of the organization, where we're at. We made some decisions in the offseason and throughout the season. It's gratifying, don't get me wrong. One hundred and five is 105, and I hope we win one more before the season is over. But from Mr. [John] Henry and Tom [Werner] all the way to [clubhouse attendant] Pookie [Jackson] and the guys in the clubhouse and the people that work here. It's been amazing. Of course, we know we have to win 11 in October -- I mean, we know where we play and we know what we expect from this -- but today, it's kind of like let's take a look at this one and enjoy it." -- Cora, on 105 wins

UP NEXT
Right-hander Rick Porcello (17-7, 4.30 ERA) faces the Indians on Saturday in a venue he's been comfortable at throughout his career. In 12 starts at Progressive Field, Porcello is 5-3 with a 2.84 ERA. The Indians will counter with Mike Clevinger (12-8, 3.06 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Rafael Devers, Tzu-Wei Lin, Chris Sale, Sam Travis

CC has O's number, and Yanks' is at 2

Sabathia picks up 20th win vs. rival; Gregorius, Hicks each homer
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia's world has changed immeasurably in the 6,375 days since his Major League debut against a lineup that featured Cal Ripken Jr. and Brady Anderson. As the innings odometer swelled, his rock-and-fire velocity diminished, necessitating a more cerebral method of attack. This remains constant: He could defeat Baltimore then, and he still can.

Sabathia hurled six innings of two-run ball, picking up his 20th career victory against Baltimore as the Yankees withstood a late surge in a 10-8 win on Friday evening at Yankee Stadium, reducing their magic number to secure a postseason spot to two. They can clinch that as soon as Saturday with a combination of a Yankees victory and a Rays loss.

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NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia's world has changed immeasurably in the 6,375 days since his Major League debut against a lineup that featured Cal Ripken Jr. and Brady Anderson. As the innings odometer swelled, his rock-and-fire velocity diminished, necessitating a more cerebral method of attack. This remains constant: He could defeat Baltimore then, and he still can.

Sabathia hurled six innings of two-run ball, picking up his 20th career victory against Baltimore as the Yankees withstood a late surge in a 10-8 win on Friday evening at Yankee Stadium, reducing their magic number to secure a postseason spot to two. They can clinch that as soon as Saturday with a combination of a Yankees victory and a Rays loss.

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Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks belted two-run homers in support of the 38-year-old left-hander, who has now tallied 20 or more career wins against four separate big league franchises.

"It just means I've been pitching a long time," said Sabathia, who reiterated his desire to continue playing in 2019. "I didn't know that. Just pitching in the same division for a long time. It's crazy, the journey. It's been awesome."

Video: BAL@NYY: Boone, Sabathia, Gregorius discuss 10-8 win

Gregorius cracked a first-inning drive and Hicks went deep in the fourth as the Yankees hung six runs on rookie right-hander Yefry Ramirez. Both blasts landed in the second deck in right field, shortly after general manager Brian Cashman stood outside the home clubhouse and said he was proud of the big-swinging lineup that he and his staff had assembled.

"They've provided so much excitement for us and the ability to dream about being the last team standing, but they're not perfect," Cashman said. "We like home runs, we like on-base percentage. Yeah, we don't like strikeouts, but that's just how it's played out. It's not something that's going to change. It's part of who we are and it's in our DNA."

Video: BAL@NYY: Gregorius smashes a 2-run home run to right

Gleyber Torres and Austin Romine also drove in runs off Ramirez, who has allowed 16 to the Yankees in 15 2/3 innings (9.19 ERA) since he was traded by New York to Baltimore in July 2017.

Sabathia blanked Baltimore through four innings before Adam Jones notched a two-run single in the fifth. Striking out five and retiring the last four hitters he faced in a 97-pitch effort, Sabathia now has 20 or more career wins against the Royals (21), Tigers (21), Twins (20) and Orioles (20). No other pitcher who debuted since 1990 has accomplished that feat.

"I think just anytime coming down the stretch, you want to pitch well, be performing well going into the playoffs and have confidence going in," Sabathia said. "The more we play together as a whole unit, we'll keep getting better and better."

Andrew McCutchen added a seventh-inning RBI single and Luke Voit knocked home another two runs, which improbably became important as the Yankees withstood three late homers against the bullpen.

Video: BAL@NYY: Didi, Hicks, Voit lead Yankees to 10-8 win

Only DJ Stewart's eighth-inning blast off David Robertson came against a pitcher who is likely to appear on the postseason roster; Austin Wynns hit a seventh-inning homer off Jonathan Loaisiga and Renato Nunez took A.J. Cole deep in the eighth for a two-run shot.

Aaron Judge provided breathing room in the eighth with a run-scoring double. Dellin Betances worked the ninth for his fourth save.

"Our really high-leverage guys, a few of them were down tonight," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "That made it a little bit dicey, and that's part of it. You've got to be able to piece it together at times. Tonight wasn't a great night for us in that regard, but I'm not overly concerned because I feel like the guys that we're going to go to in the big spots are all physically in a pretty good place."

Video: BAL@NYY: Betances retires Beckham to earn 4th save

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Judge's baserunning play in the seventh inning set up Voit's knock that accounted for the Yankees' eighth and ninth runs. Judge got caught in a three-toss rundown between third base and home plate on a fielder's choice, long enough for Gregorius and McCutchen to advance to second and third base, respectively.

"He played such a complete game out there tonight," Boone said of Judge. "He was good in the field, a big baserunning play there that kind of gets lost in a 10-8 game where he gets in that rundown and does a really good job of setting up the second-and-third situation again. Just so many things he was able to do tonight, along with some good at-bats. Absolutely good to see him get some results, too."

Video: BAL@NYY: Judge makes a running grab in shallow right

SOUND SMART
The Yankees have five players with 25 or more home runs this season, equaling a franchise record set in 2009. In addition to Gregorius (27) and Hicks (25), the club boasts Giancarlo Stanton (35), Judge (26) and Miguel Andujar (25). Torres (23) is within striking distance of the milestone.

"That just shows you what this team can do," Gregorius said. "We don't rely just on one person. It's a whole team. Everybody is working and trying to get better."

Video: BAL@NYY: Hicks smashes a 2-run homer to right field

UP NEXT
The Yankees continue their final home series of the regular season at 4:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, as right-hander Lance Lynn prepares to make his ninth start (10th appearance) for New York. Lynn saw the Orioles in his Yankees debut on Aug. 1, when the veteran hurled 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. The Yanks are 5-3 in his starts. Right-hander David Hess (3-10, 5.22 ERA) will start for Baltimore.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, CC Sabathia

After 3-HR 6th, Brewers' magic number at 5

Special to MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- Coming into Friday night's game against the Pirates, PNC Park had not been a kind venue for the Brewers in 2018.

Milwaukee went 1-6 in its first seven games in Pittsburgh this year, including a five-game sweep at the hands of the Bucs right before the All-Star break. Friday, a lot of that frustration came out at once as the Brewers scored six runs in the sixth inning on the way to an 8-3 victory that moved their magic number to clinch a postseason berth to five. Milwaukee is now just 1 1/2 games behind the Cubs for the National League Central lead following their loss to the rival White Sox on Friday night.

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PITTSBURGH -- Coming into Friday night's game against the Pirates, PNC Park had not been a kind venue for the Brewers in 2018.

Milwaukee went 1-6 in its first seven games in Pittsburgh this year, including a five-game sweep at the hands of the Bucs right before the All-Star break. Friday, a lot of that frustration came out at once as the Brewers scored six runs in the sixth inning on the way to an 8-3 victory that moved their magic number to clinch a postseason berth to five. Milwaukee is now just 1 1/2 games behind the Cubs for the National League Central lead following their loss to the rival White Sox on Friday night.

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Video: MIL@PIT: Counsell on rain delay, Hader in 8-3 win

But it didn't come without drama. Starter Jhoulys Chacin yielded a pair of home runs as the Pirates took an early 3-1 lead before the game was delayed two hours and 14 minutes due to rain. The Brewers did not spend the entire delay in the batting cage, though it seemed like it.

When play resumed, Travis Shaw, Mike Moustakas and Erik Kratz homered in the sixth inning as part of a six-run rally off Pirates relievers Edgar Santana and Steven Brault.

Shaw's two-run shot to right field scored Jesus Aguilar and gave Milwaukee the lead. It was Shaw's 30th homer of the season, and he joined Aguilar and Christian Yelich as Brewers with 30 or more home runs this season. The Indians are the only other team with three such players.

Video: MIL@PIT: Shaw on 8-3 win against the Pirates

"It's a nice milestone," Shaw said. "That's a nice round number that kinda everybody -- well, not everybody -- but a lot of guys shoot for. It's something that I shoot for. I don't take that lightly. I'm just kind of glad that I've been healthy enough to put up those kind of numbers the last two years."

Yelich, who went 2-for-4 to increase his batting average to an NL-leading .320, Aguilar and Shaw have combined for 94 home runs and 278 RBIs.

"We've got three run-producers in there, and then with the guys that have been hitting at the top for most of the year in Yeli and [Lorenzo] Cain, there's guys on base when they hit," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. "It's all connected. The lineup's connected, and I think each other's success is connected."

Two batters after Shaw homered, Moustakas followed up with a two-run shot to right-center field. It was his 27th of the year and seventh since joining the Brewers on July 27.

Video: MIL@PIT: Moustakas crushes a 2-run dinger to center

Kratz then went back-to-back with a projected 417-foot blast, per Statcast™, to the deepest part of PNC Park in left-center field. Kratz has six homers on the season, the most since he hit nine with Philadelphia in 2013. It was the ninth time this season the Brewers have hit consecutive home runs.

Video: MIL@PIT: Kratz goes back-to-back with Moustakas

Keon Broxton added a solo home run in the seventh inning to give the Brewers four or more home runs in a game for the seventh time this season.

Milwaukee entered play Friday with 199 homers on the season, and the four-homer outburst sent it ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals for second most in the National League.

Video: MIL@PIT: Broxton lines a solo home run to left field

"They have a really good lineup," Pirates starter Ivan Nova said. "You've got to be smart pitching against them. Anyone in the lineup can do damage on you, from top to bottom. You've got to make pitches. You've got to be tough on them, because they're going to be tough on you."

After the Brewers took the big lead, the Milwaukee bullpen shut things down, including three strikeouts from Josh Hader to give him an MLB-record 16 consecutive outs via strikeout, and 136 on the season, a record for a left-handed reliever.

Video: MIL@PIT: Hader records 16th consecutive out by K

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The fifth-inning thunderstorm not only sparked the Brewers' bats, but also chased Nova from the game. He had allowed one run on three hits in 4 1/3 innings, and the Brewers cashed in against Pittsburgh's bullpen for seven runs over the final four frames.

Video: MIL@PIT: Aguilar plates Yelich on RBI double in 6th

"It ended up they had to go to their bullpen and had to use a bunch of guys, and eventually we got to Santana," Counsell said.

 HE SAID IT
"I played some cards. I took some swings once we figured out we had a game time, and kind of get loosened up again. We just kind of relaxed." -- Shaw, on what the Brewers did to turn the tide during the rain delay

UP NEXT
Since returning to the Brewers' rotation Sept. 3, right-hander Zach Davies has a 3.00 ERA but has yet to pitch into the sixth inning. He allowed two runs over five innings his last time out, against the Pirates, and faces Pittsburgh again on Saturday. Trevor Williams (13-9, 3.16) will take the ball for the Bucs. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT at PNC Park.

Alan Saunders is a contributor to MLB.com.

Milwaukee Brewers, Erik Kratz, Mike Moustakas, Travis Shaw

Rockies rally to cut into Dodgers' division lead

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

PHOENIX -- Friday night was like most of the rest of this Rockies road trip -- this time with starting pitcher German Marquez delivering in sterling fashion, with 11 strikeouts -- only with one delightful plot twist.

RBI singles by David Dahl and Nolan Arenado and a two-run hit from Ian Desmond lifted the Rockies to a 6-2 victory over the D-backs at Chase Field.

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PHOENIX -- Friday night was like most of the rest of this Rockies road trip -- this time with starting pitcher German Marquez delivering in sterling fashion, with 11 strikeouts -- only with one delightful plot twist.

RBI singles by David Dahl and Nolan Arenado and a two-run hit from Ian Desmond lifted the Rockies to a 6-2 victory over the D-backs at Chase Field.

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The Rockies arrived in Phoenix having hit .158 -- and 4-for-37 with runners in scoring position -- while beginning a key road trip 1-5 and falling out of first place in the National League West and even out of the second NL Wild Card.

The Rockies still are outside the playoff picture But instead of feeling their playoff hopes have been set ablaze, they can warm themselves with the glow of an offensive performance they felt was possible all along. They improved to 1 1/2 games behind the West-leading Dodgers -- who fell to the Padres, 5-3, on Friday -- and remain 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals, 5-3 winners over the Giants, for the second Wild Card.

Video: COL@ARI: LeMahieu, Dahl lead Rox offense in 6-2 win

"We are a good team," Marquez said, with first-base coach Tony Diaz translating. "I believe in our offense. We know that any given moment, we're going to break out of this, and we're good enough. So it was a great feeling to come out of the game and see them put up those runs."

The Rockies set a club record with their 42nd road win, eclipsing the mark of 2009 and last season. The struggles of the road trip, after a 7-3 homestand that saw the Rockies put up plentiful hit and run totals, point to some of the difficulty the franchise has been through. According to Statcast™, the Rockies' weighted on-base average was 60 points above the expected weighted on-base average during the last homestand. Through the first six games of this trip, the wOBA was 74 points below expected.

Tweet from @harding_at_mlb: @Statcast™ finding: 26 seasons of #Rockies history have come back to bite the club. The expected on-base average for the last 7-3 homestand was 60 points higher than expected. Thus far on the 1-5 road trip it's 74 points below. Arenado, Iannetta, Gonzalez, LeMahieu have worst luck pic.twitter.com/GxVuEx4Ctv

"I'd like to say that we've really hit the ball hard, but honestly I can't," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "It's been a little difficult. But tonight was a good sign. We had some opportunities on this trip and we haven't got that key hit, but we've got to let that go. We've got to turn the page on the last seven days and go from there."

The hits, all off righty reliever Brad Ziegler, all came with two outs. Even more, they allowed the Rockies to truly celebrate Marquez (13-10), who gave up a two-run David Peralta first-inning homer but no further scoring in seven innings.

Video: COL@ARI: Peralta lifts a 2-run shot to right field

The runs off Marquez came after leadoff man Jon Jay doubled and Peralta homered by attacking first pitches. But Marquez, 23 but savvy and composed beyond his age, laid D-backs strategy to waste the rest of his outing.

"That'll wake you up a little bit, now: first pitch of the game, double, seventh pitch of the game, home run," Black said. "From that point, he started locating the fastball much better. The breaking ball was solid all night. He mixed in a couple changeups. He pitched outstanding."

Video: COL@ARI: Black talks offense, Marquez in victory

It was Marquez's 11th straight quality start. It also was his fifth double-figure strikeout game. Even more, his season total -- 210 -- tied Pedro Astacio (1999) for second-most in club history.

Marquez outdueled D-backs ace Zack Greinke (14-11), who held the Rockies hitless until Desmond delivered an RBI single in the fifth after Carlos Gonzalez walked and advanced on a wild pitch. Greinke yielded Gerardo Parra's single and struck out Matt Holliday to open the eighth.

Video: COL@ARI: Greinke K's 6 in strong start vs. Rockies

"Greinke threw really well all night; he doesn't miss over the plate, but then Parra had a big pinch-hit at-bat to get it going and we started rolling from there," said Dahl, who has eight RBIs in five games against the D-backs this season.

Desmond's fifth-inning RBI single and DJ LeMahieu's double in the sixth, behind Charlie Blackmon's two-out double, were part of a 5-for-8 performance with runners in scoring position.

Video: COL@ARI: LeMahieu rips an RBI ground-rule double

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Before Friday, the D-backs' Paul Goldschmidt was batting .435 with four homers and eight RBIs in 23 career at-bats against Marquez. But with one out and two on in the sixth, with the game tied at 2, Marquez -- noting, "the past is the past; he's gotten me in the past but I was ready" -- fanned Goldschmidt on a 1-2 slider.

But that was just the second out. Marquez kept his intensity and worked Daniel Descalso, who had doubled off him in the fourth, into a fly to left.

Video: COL@ARI: Marquez retires Descalso to escape trouble

"Danny was just another hitter -- another hitter that is dangerous," Marquez said. "You've got to continue to execute your pitches. Don't get too happy because you got Goldy out."

SOUND SMART
Marquez has fashioned the fourth season in club history in which a pitcher has reached double figures in strikeouts five times. Astacio had seven such games in 2000 and five in 1999, and Jon Gray had six in 2016.

Additionally, Marquez became the fifth Venezuelan pitcher to strike out 200 in a season. The others are Felix Hernandez (six times), Johan Santana (five), Carlos Carrasco (three), Carlos Zambrano and Anibal Sanchez (twice apiece).

Video: COL@ARI: Marquez freezes Escobar for 200th strikeout

HE SAID IT
"It's hard but you can't put it in your mind that it's hard. I put in my mind, 'Take a good at-bat, and be happy.'"-- Parra, who started the eighth-inning rally, on pinch-hitting

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
A replay review could have scuttled the Rockies' eighth had it gone the other way. With one out and two on, LeMahieu grounded to Ziegler, who threw to Nick Ahmed covering second. Blackmon slid to the bag with his hands in the air, and D-backs manager Torey Lovullo challenged that it was a slide-rule violation. However, replay confirmed it was not a violation. Blackmon's foot went straight to second and he didn't appear to reach to interfere with Ahmed.

Video: COL@ARI: Blackmon slides legally at second in the 8th

As part of Official Baseball Rule 6:01(j): "A runner who engages in a 'bona fide slide' shall not be called for interference under this Rule 6.01, even in cases where the runner makes contact with the fielder as a consequence of a permissible slide."

In a postgame interview, Ziegler said, " I think it's pretty clear at least by the letter of the law that it's an illegal slide. It's unfortunate that they, for whatever reason, didn't see it that way. But when you watch the replay it's obvious he made contact with him with his hands. To me, the rule doesn't leave room for interpretation in that."

UP NEXT
Righty Antonio Senzatela (5-6, 4.81 ERA) can claim the biggest hit of the first six games of this road trip -- a two-run single in a victory at San Francisco. Senzatela also struck out five and held the Giants to one run in five innings while earning his first win in seven starts. On Saturday, he faces D-backs lefty Patrick Corbin (11-6, 3.09) at Chase Field at 6:10 p.m. MT.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, David Dahl, Ian Desmond, German Marquez

Adams' big hit off bench keeps Cards on track

St. Louis now 4 1/2 games behind Cubs, leads Wild race by 1 1/2
MLB.com @JoeTrezz

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals arrived at Busch Stadium on Friday in something of a familiar spot. At this point in each of the past two seasons, they've entered a pivotal final homestand in position to snag a Wild Card spot and in control of their own destiny. Each time they faltered. Four games ended up separating St. Louis from last October. In 2016, they missed the postseason by one.

That history is impossible to correct. All the Cardinals can do now is ensure it does not repeat itself. They took a step toward doing that with a 5-3 victory over the Giants, rallying in the eighth to strengthen their hold firmly within the National League playoff picture.

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ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals arrived at Busch Stadium on Friday in something of a familiar spot. At this point in each of the past two seasons, they've entered a pivotal final homestand in position to snag a Wild Card spot and in control of their own destiny. Each time they faltered. Four games ended up separating St. Louis from last October. In 2016, they missed the postseason by one.

That history is impossible to correct. All the Cardinals can do now is ensure it does not repeat itself. They took a step toward doing that with a 5-3 victory over the Giants, rallying in the eighth to strengthen their hold firmly within the National League playoff picture.

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"These kinds of wins are team wins," said Matt Adams, whose pinch-hit, two-run double proved the deciding blow, his second late-inning, game-winning hit of this stretch run. "We're taking care of business. We're not relying on anyone else to help us out. We're in a good spot, but we have to keep playing and keep taking care of it for ourselves."

By squibbing a broken-bat, one-hopper inside the third-base line off Tony Watson, Adams ensured the Cards their fourth win in five games, inching St. Louis to 4 1/2 games behind the Cubs, who lost to the White Sox, in the NL Central. St. Louis maintained its 1 1/2-game edge over Colorado for the second NL Wild Card spot and kept pace with Milwaukee, which owns a three-game grip on the first spot. The Cardinals have eight games remaining, including six against the Brewers and Cubs.

All of which made Adams' latest heroics all the more important. That he was even in that spot spoke to the urgency with which the Cardinals have resolved to attack each night at this critical juncture, where manager Mike Shildt says "every game has its own life."

Video: SF@STL: Adams, Shildt talk victory over Giants

His right-handed options depleted after pulling starter John Gant in the third, Shildt had little choice but to stick with Adams after the Giants summoned Watson, setting up a two-out, left-on-left situation in a 3-3 game.

"That's one of the reasons we got him, right?" Shildt said. "I liked 'Big City' there. He's taken big at-bats, big at-bats against lefties. He knows what this stage looks like. I was really comfortable with him taking that at-bat."

Adams then rewarded his skipper, staying inside Watson's 94-mph fastball enough to shoot it past Evan Longoria. That scored Harrison Bader and Yairo Munoz, who'd both reached with two outs against Mark Melancon, and salvaged a night the Cards asked their bullpen to cover 19 outs.

"At first I forgot to run to second," Adams said. "I was so excited."

The group that garnered the most postgame praise, from Adams and others, was the parade of relievers that held the line in place of Gant, whose 2 2/3-inning effort marked his shortest of the season. Called upon after Gant walked three, including one with the bases loaded for the Giants' first run, Tyson Ross wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam and notched 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

Video: SF@STL: Ross escapes bases-loaded jam in 3rd

Dakota Hudson and John Brebbia both struck out the side in shutout frames. Carlos Martinez recorded his fourth save in four tries.

In all, Cards relievers struck out 13 over 6 1/3 innings, bending only after a flurry of soft contact led to two runs off Jordan Hicks in the seventh. That erased a two-run lead the Cards had built with a pair of Kolten Wong RBI hits off Madison Bumgarner.

Video: SF@STL: Hudson sits down three Giants in the 6th

"The reality is, we had our bullpen in shape to cover some innings, so we covered them," Shildt said after opting for Brebbia in the eighth over Bud Norris, who was available after missing three games with a blister issue.

Brebbia has surrendered just one run over his last 11 appearances, striking out 18 across 10 1/3 innings.

"It's louder in the stadium, that's for sure," Brebbia said. "It's crunch time for the playoffs, for us trying to make a division push too, because that's certainly in reach."

Video: SF@STL: Martinez K's Longoria for 4th save

SOUND SMART
Adams has extensive history with Watson, whom he's faced more than any other left-handed reliever in his career. Adams now has four hits in 14 plate appearances against Watson.

"I'm focused on the moment. If I'm dwelling in the past, I'm not going to be where I need to be going into that at-bat. When a guy has a sinker like that, that moves across the plate, you have to be ready for it."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The score -- knotted 1-1 at the time -- made the throw Yadier Molina made to second to catch Longoria trying to steal a vital play in the fifth. But it was the metrics of the throw that made it worth watching again. Statcast™ tracked Molina's throw at a 1.90 pop time to second, his fastest on a caught stealing this season. After starting the season 0-for-8 throwing out runners, Molina has now thrown out 12 of the last 18 to attempt against him.

Video: SF@STL: Molina nabs Longoria trying to steal second

HE SAID IT
"I don't want to say I don't care, but I don't know, I don't care. I go in to pitch whenever they want me to pitch, and I have the same thought process every time: Try to get everyone out. Whether it's the eighth like tonight, or the sixth like the other day, I like pitching. I'll do it whenever they want me to." -- Brebbia

FROM THE TRAINERS ROOM
Munoz was on base -- and not a pinch-hit option -- for Adams' hit only because he replaced Wong, who left the game due to cramping in both his hamstrings. Wong said the "tightness" was unlike the left hamstring issue that forced him to the DL last month, but that he "could barely run" after his final at-bat. He said he will try to play Saturday, when he will be re-evaluated by the club's medical staff.

"If I wake up tomorrow and I feel good, I'm playing," Wong said. "I want to be in there. We have eight games left. There's no sense in sitting back and waiting for an injury to go away."

Video: SF@STL: Wong drives in 2nd RBI of the game

UP NEXT
In what could be his last start in a Cardinals uniform, Adam Wainwright (2-3, 3.72 ERA) will take the ball Saturday when St. Louis' three-game series against the Giants continues from Busch Stadium. Wainwright was masterful in his last outing -- his second off the DL -- blanking the Dodgers over six innings. But he's not guaranteed another start, and his contract ends this offseason. Rookie right-hander Dereck Rodriguez (6-4, 2.30) starts for San Francisco with first pitch slated for 12:05 p.m. CT.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Adams, John Brebbia, Dakota Hudson, Carlos Martinez, Tyson Ross, Kolten Wong