#SportsReport: Cubs, Brewers Clinch Playoff Spots

Sep 27, 2018


The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers are the latest teams to clinch playoff berth. And there's a new leader in the National League West.

The Cubs squandered a 6-1 lead before Albert Almora Jr. provided a walk-off single in the 10th inning to push Chicago past the Pirates, 7-6. Jason Hayward slammed a two-run homer and Javier Baez picked up his NL-leading 111th RBI with a run-scoring single.

Starling Marte extended the game with a two-run double off Justin Wilson in the ninth before the Cubs stopped a two-game skid and stayed a half-game ahead of Milwaukee in the NL Central.

The Brewers nailed down their first playoff appearance in seven years with a 2-1 victory at St. Louis. Jhoulys Chacin combined with four relievers on a two-hitter and Travis Shaw delivered a pair of RBI singles. Chacin limited the Cards to one run and one hit over five innings to improve to 15-8.

The Cardinals almost scored the tying run in the bottom of the eighth, but pinch-runner Adolis Garcia slipped rounding third and was thrown out at the plate by second baseman Hernan Perez to end the threat.

The loss leaves the Cardinals one game behind the Dodgers for the second NL wild card.

Colorado took over first place in the NL West, pushing a half-game ahead of Los Angeles. The Rockies crushed the Phillies for the third straight day by clubbing four home runs in a 14-0 romp.

David Dahl homered for the third consecutive day, a three-run blast while Colorado scored seven in the fifth. Trevor Story and Ian Desmond also went deep in the fifth to support German Marquez, who tossed three-hit ball over seven innings and tied a modern big league mark by striking out his first eight hitters.

Los Angeles fell into the second NL wild-card slot with a 7-2 loss at Arizona. The Diamondbacks chased Ross Stripling with a three-run second and A.J. Pollock hit his three-run homer in the fifth for a 6-2 lead.

Socrates Brito hit his first big league homer in two years and David Peralta hit his 30th of the season as the DBacks beat the Dodgers for the second night in a row.

Checking out the rest of Wednesday's major league action:

The Orioles set a franchise record with their 112th loss, absorbing a 19-3 thrashing by the Red Sox in Game 1 of a doubleheader in Boston. J.D. Martinez raised his major league-leading RBI total to 127 with a three-run homer and Rafael Devers went 4-for-5 with six RBIs. Martinez provided three of the Red Sox's season-high 22 hits, Devers homered twice and Xander Bogaerts added a two-run shot and four RBIs.

Baltimore avoided loss No. 113 by getting three RBIs from Trey Mancini in a 10-3 win over Boston in the nightcap. Mancini hit an RBI triple and later broke a 3-3 deadlock with a two-run single in the seventh. Red Sox starter Chris Sale was reached for three runs over 4 2/3 innings, his final tuneup before the playoffs. Boston has the night off as they prepare to host the Yankees Friday at 7 p.m.

Masahiro Tanaka was also hit hard in his last regular-season start as the Rays touched up for four runs over four-plus innings of the Yankees' 8-7 loss at Tampa. Tommy Pham homered for the Rays after Neil Walker's three-run blast in the top of the first. Willy Adames added two RBIs to help Tampa Bay build an 8-3 lead. The series continues Thursday at 1:10 p.m.

Oakland's 9-3 win at Seattle puts the Athletics within 1 ½ games of the Yanks for the first AL wild card. Matt Olson's 29th home run of the year was a grand slam in a six-run fifth. Khris Davis added his major league-high 47th home run in the seventh to cap the scoring.

Jacob deGrom capped his exceptional season by tossing two-hit ball while fanning 10 over eight innings of the Mets' 3-0 shutout of the Braves. DeGrom finishes the season with 269 strikeouts and a major league-leading 1.70 ERA. Dominic Smith and Michael Conforto belted eighth-inning homers after Smith put the Mets ahead with a single in the sixth. The pair face off again Thursday at 7:10 p.m.

Randal Grichuk and Reese McGuire homered as the Blue Jays earned a 3-1 win over the Astros after announcing that manager John Gibbons would not be back next season. Gibbons is second to Cito Gaston on the team's all-time list in victories and games managed, going 792-787 in 11 seasons during two stints with the Jays. He received a standing ovation when he brought the lineup card to home plate before the game.

Edwin Encarnacion had a couple of big hits in the Indians' 10-2 thumping of the White Sox, furnishing a three-run homer and an RBI single. Francisco Lindor led off the bottom of the first with a homer before Jason Kipnis and Roberto Perez drove in two runs a piece in the later innings. Shane Bieber struck out nine while tossing two-hit ball over six shutout innings.

Johnny Field homered twice and Tyler Austin hit a two-run blast in the Twins' 11-4 pounding of the Tigers. Field and Jorge Polanco drove in three runs apiece and Minnesota's bullpen came through with six scoreless frames.

The Nationals rolled to a 9-3, rain-shortened win over the Marlins as Victor Robles went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer and five RBIs. Spencer Kieboom added two hits and three ribbies in a game that was stopped before the top of the eighth began. Pending free agent Bryce Harper went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in what could have been his final home game with the Nats.

Shohei Ohtani hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning to send the Angels past the Rangers, 3-2 for a three-game sweep. Ohtani had an early RBI single before he connected off Chris Martin, his former teammate in Japan with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.

Travis Jankowski came within a double of hitting for the cycle as the Padres earned a 3-2 victory at San Francisco. The Giants pulled within 3-2 on Aramis Garcia's two-run homer in the seventh before falling for the 18th time in 23 games.

Heath Fillmyer was sharp in the Royals' 6-1 win at Cincinnati, limiting the Reds to a run and four hits with nine strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. Alex Gordon hit a solo homer and had two RBIs for Kansas City

Swanson could miss playoffs:

The Atlanta Braves could be without their starting shortstop for the playoffs.

Dansby Swanson has a partially torn ligament in his left hand, leaving his status in doubt for next month. Swanson was examined after exiting Tuesday's 7-3 win over the Mets for tests. Manager Brian Snitker later said Swanson was bothered by something in his wrist after a swing.

The Braves said Swanson will be re-evaluated next week before they open the best-of-five NL Division Series on Oct. 4.

Swanson is batting .238 with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs in 136 games for the NL East champs this season, missing 13 contests with left wrist inflammation.

In other major league news:

Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius and center fielder Aaron Hicks could return from injuries during the season-ending weekend series in Boston. Gregorius has been cleared to resume baseball activities after tearing cartilage in his right wrist during a head-first slide last weekend. Hicks left Monday night's 4-1 win over Tampa Bay with left hamstring tightness, but an MRI showed no grade strain or tear.

Astros infielder Carlos Correa returned to the lineup Wednesday as the designated hitter, going 1-for-4 with an RBI single after missing six straight games with a sore back. It's the same injury that cost the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year a month earlier this season. He'd been out since Sept. 18, when he went 0 for 3 in a victory over Seattle.

Houston pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. has offered advice and a free playoff ticket to an 8-year-old special needs girl who apparently was yelled at by another fan for loudly cheering at an Astros game. McCullers on Wednesday tweeted "Chloe, don't you EVER stop cheering" and offered her a ticket for an Oct. 5 playoff game. Chloe's mother, Monica Beaver, says her daughter has been diagnosed with a mood disorder that affects her emotions. Chloe cried after being scolded.


Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is starting this weekend against the Eagles despite an injury to his throwing elbow.

Mariota is Tennessee's best option with backup QB Blaine Gabbert in the concussion protocol. His throwing was limited after he came in for Blaine Gabbert last Sunday, with his longest completion going 22 yards.

The Titans inked backup Austin Davis earlier this week.

In other NFL news:

Bills running back LeSean McCoy expects to play at Green Bay on Sunday after missing one game with a rib cartilage injury, even though Coach Sean McDermott described him as day to day. McCoy has been sidelined since Bills center Ryan Groy fell on the left side of McCoy's chest in the third quarter of Buffalo's 31-20 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 16.

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa remains sidelined with a foot injury but is hopeful he can return in early November. Bosa suffered a bone bruise early in training camp an aggravated it just before the season opener. He has yet to play a down since last season.

The Packers have signed defensive back Bashaud Breeland, adding a veteran to take Davon House's place after the cornerback was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Breeland played 60 games with 57 starts in four years with the Washington Redskins, recording 267 tackles and eight interceptions.

The Patriots have placed running back Rex Burkhead on injured reserve, three days after he left the game against the Lions with a neck injury. Burkhead ran 22 times for 86 yards in the first two games of the season. The Patriots also placed linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley on IR.

Texans safety Andre Hal's Hodgkin lymphoma is in remission, four months after being diagnosed and beginning treatment. He chose not to undergo chemotherapy, instead opting for a less aggressive form of treatment with hopes of returning to the field this season. Texans trainer Geoff Kaplan says there is a possibility that Hal could play this year.

The NFL's Super Bowl ticketing policies will be put under a microscope this week in a New Jersey courtroom. The state's Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday in the case of a man who says the league violated state consumer fraud laws for the 2014 game at MetLife Stadium. Josh Finkelman says he had to pay more than double the $800 face value because the NFL made only 1 percent of the tickets available to the public. The NFL says in court filings that its policies didn't violate state law.

In Tonight’s NFL Action:

The Minnesota Viking take on the Los Angeles Rams Thursday at 8:20 p.m.


Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry is likely to be out for five months after undergoing surgery on his right knee. Ducks general manager Bob Murray says the 2011 NHL Most Valuable Player had surgery Wednesday to repair his meniscus and a knee ligament. Recovery time for the surgery is typically at least 20 weeks.

Perry scored 50 goals during his MVP season. He had 17 goals and 32 assists last year. The 33-year-old is a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Canada. He also won the 2007 Stanley Cup title with the Ducks, his only NHL team.

In other NHL news:

Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones will be sidelined four to six weeks after spraining a knee suffered during the second period of Tuesday night's preseason game against Buffalo. It's a huge blow for the Blue Jackets, with Jones' defensive linemate Zach Werenski recovering from a shoulder injury and defenseman Ryan Murray also hampered by an injury. Jones registered 16 goals and 57 points for the Jackets last season.

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