In manager Matt Williams' first year at the helm, the Nationals clinched their second National League East title in three seasons on Tuesday with a 3-0 win over the Braves.
In an important game, the first of The Final 13, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle decided to give the ball on Tuesday to a pitcher who had not started in 31 days due to injury, and Charlie Morton responded with five shutout innings as the Bucs upended Boston, 4-0, at PNC Park.
After being removed from the O's rotation last month, Ubaldo Jimenez was able to reward manager Buck Showalter's faith and pick up the win in Baltimore's 8-2 American League East-clinching victory on Tuesday.
The Giants secured a victory they desperately needed to regain their stride in their twin postseason races Tuesday night, outlasting the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-1. Buster Posey homered to help support Jake Peavy's resolute 7 2/3-inning effort that ended San Francisco's three-game losing streak.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has seen enough of his players getting hit by pitches from the Rays lately. Derek Jeter was plunked on the left hand by Steve Geltz in the eighth inning of a 6-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, the fifth time a New York batter has been hit by a Rays pitcher in the past week. ''It's a sensitive subject here,'' Jeter said.
Manager Buck Showalter and his talented group of Orioles players believe in each other, and that's the main reason Baltimore clinched its first American League East title since 1997 on Tuesday night.
Corey Dickerson homered, tripled and drove in four runs, Tyler Matzek pitched into the sixth inning by getting out of several tight spots, and the Colorado Rockies snapped a seven-game skid with a 10-4 win over the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. The Dodgers had Matzek (6-10) on the ropes, but couldn't produce the timely hit. He also had six strikeouts, including Juan Uribe twice to end threats. Dan Haren (13-11) had a more productive evening at the plate than on the mound, where he struggled to find his rhythm as he allowed five runs in five innings.
Champagne was spraying all around him, and Dan Duquette couldn't help but laugh at the mayhem he helped create. The Orioles clinched their first AL East title since 1997 by beating Toronto 8-2 Tuesday night, and Duquette was right in the middle of a long overdue celebration in the Baltimore clubhouse. ''The guys are having a great time, and they earned it,'' said Duquette, the team's executive vice president of baseball operations. They did a great job.'' With their ninth win in 10 games, the Orioles clinched their second playoff appearance in three years following a run of 14 consecutive losing seasons.
The Nationals are back on top. Two division titles in three seasons, in this time of parity, should not be scoffed at, diminished or in any way belittled.
The Washington Nationals bounced up and down in unison near second base, not bothered at all by a smattering of boos from the crowd at Turner Field. The Nationals wrapped up their second NL East title in three years against the team that knocked them out of the top spot last season, beating the Atlanta Braves 3-0 on Tuesday night. Tanner Roark pitched five-hit ball over seven innings and Ian Desmond's two-run homer broke a scoreless tie in the sixth, sending Washington back to the playoffs with nearly two weeks to spare. ''Nice to have it done,'' said Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche, who began his career with the Braves.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton underwent a series of checkups in Miami on Tuesday, and indications are that the two-time All-Star will not be medically cleared to return before the season ends on Sept. 28 at Washington.
CHICAGO (AP) -- Jake Arrieta has given up a double to Brandon Phillips with one out in the eighth inning, Cincinnati's first hit off the Chicago Cubs pitcher.
Perhaps no playoff team looks as different heading into October than it did at the start of February than the Orioles.
The Orioles have clinched the American League East and now have their sights set on October. Baltimore, which put together an impressive second-half run, has had a commanding lead in the division, but that won't mean much -- besides home-field advantage -- in the playoffs.
Tony Gwynn, who spent his entire Hall of Fame career with the Padres, died in June following a battle with salivary cancer. His son, Tony Gwynn Jr. returned to Petco Park for the first time since his father died. He learned Tuesday afternoon he would start that night's game, a nice moment for the son of the Padres legend. <p>
Josh Hamilton returned to the starting lineup after an 11-game absence, and Albert Pujols was back at first base for Tuesday's game against the Mariners, one night after the Angels first baseman exited in the third inning because of a cramp in his left hamstring.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker is expected to miss at least one turn in the rotation because of a mild strain on his left side. Angels manager Mike Scioscia made the announcement Tuesday, one day after his team became the first in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season. Right fielder and cleanup hitter Josh Hamilton returned to the lineup against Seattle, batting sixth for the runaway AL West leaders after missing 11 games because of an injured right shoulder.
DENVER (AP) -- Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez was a late scratch from the lineup Tuesday night because of a strained right elbow.
Anibal Sanchez threw a second mound session on Tuesday and felt fine, continuing his track toward a return next week. The role to which he'd return, he said, isn't up to him, but he's open to whatever the Tigers need.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's latest stop on his ballpark farewell tour turned testy over his unyielding support of the New York Mets' ownership. With longtime friend and Mets chief executive officer Fred Wilpon sitting in the second row of the news conference room at Citi Field, Selig said he has no problem with the big-market team operating with an opening-day payroll that ranked 21st among the 30 teams and has drawn the ire of many of the club's fans. ''From my perspective, I think that the way the Mets are doing this thing is correct,'' Selig said Tuesday on his 20th stop of his goodbye trip before he is replaced by Rob Manfred on Jan. 25. New York's opening day payroll of $93 million is almost $60 million lower than it was in 2008, according to Major League Baseball figures.