A strong and healthy Stephen Strasburg has the Washington Nationals feeling optimistic about their postseason chances. Strasburg pitched seven scoreless innings to end a long run of frustration against Atlanta, and the Nationals beat the struggling Braves 4-2 on Monday night to move to the verge of the NL East title. The Nationals can clinch the division by beating the defending champion Braves on Tuesday night. Strasburg said his team's focus is on the much bigger picture.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Albert Pujols has left the Los Angeles Angels' game against Seattle due to a cramp in his left hamstring while running out a bases-clearing double.
The Washington Nationals are within one well-placed victory of a division title. Their triumph in this matter is, by all that is logical, a question of when, not if. The real question about the Nats' short-term future would seem to be whether they can finish with the National League's best record, thus qualifying for home-field advantage in two rounds of the postseason.
Albert Pujols lined a three-run double in the third inning against Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma on Monday night at Angel Stadium, but hobbled into second base and came right out of the game with what appeared to be an injury to his left hamstring.
Anthony Rizzo capped his return to the Cubs lineup with a walk-off home run in the ninth inning that gave Chicago a 1-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night. Rizzo had missed the last 18 games due to a back problem but drove a pitch from Pedro Villarreal (0-1) over the wall in center field. Rizzo's homer was his 31st of the season and gave Hector Rondon (4-4) the win after he tossed a scoreless inning of relief. Cincinnati starter Alfredo Simon gave up five hits in seven innings.
All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve's hit parade continued Monday night, and it included a big one for the Astros. Altuve's 207th hit of the season -- a two-run single in the third inning -- scored Gregorio Petit and Robbie Grossman to put the Astros ahead and send them to a 3-1 win over the Indians at Minute Maid Park.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Ben Zobrist hit a game-ending single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays over the New York Yankees 1-0 on Monday night.
Astros starting pitcher Collin McHugh was forced to leave in the seventh inning of Monday's game against the Indians with a left forearm contusion after being struck by a sharp comebacker off the bat of third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall.
The Rays' offense waited until the last minute to produce, and when they did, one run was enough in a 1-0 walk-off win over the Yankees on Monday night at Tropicana Field. With two outs in the ninth and the bases loaded, Ben Zobrist lined a single to right field to win it.
The Mets are reportedly considering moving in their outfield fences for next season. But that move would have consequences both offensively and defensively.
Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon was suspended seven games and fined Monday night by Major League Baseball for making a lewd gesture and then bumping an umpire. Papelbon said in a statement distributed by his agent that he would immediately begin serving the suspension, and that he regrets making contact with umpire Joe West on Sunday. He apologized to Phillies fans in the statement.
Wei-Yin Chen fanned six in 5 2/3 innings and Adam Jones had three hits to lead the Orioles to a 5-2 win over the Blue Jays on Monday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Marcus Stroman battled through six innings, but the Blue Jays couldn't capitalize on some scoring chances in a 5-2 loss to the Orioles on Monday at Camden Yards.
The magic number is now 2. That is the combined number of Nats wins and Braves losses needed for the Nationals to win the National League East after Monday night's 4-2 Washington victory at Turner Field. Stephen Strasburg tossed seven shutout innings and had an RBI single, while Wilson Ramos homered in the series-opening win.
After appearing on the brink of activation for about a week, Giants first baseman Brandon Belt finally was reinstated from the disabled list Monday.
Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton, who hasn't played since Sept. 4 with an injured right AC joint (shoulder area) and trapezius muscle, had what manager Mike Scioscia thinks could be a "breakthrough" day Monday and could return as early as Wednesday.
Giants center fielder Angel Pagan was scratched from Monday night's lineup against the Arizona Diamondbacks with back stiffness.
After sitting out six of the last seven games with a sore left ankle, Mariners left fielder Dustin Ackley was back in action for Monday's series opener against the Angels and hopes he can continue playing the rest of the stretch run.
Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will not make his next scheduled start despite Monday's MRI revealing no structural damage in his sore left shoulder.
Mets ace Matt Harvey threw off the main mound at Citi Field on Monday, the final step this season in his rehab program from Tommy John surgery last October. New York general manager Sandy Alderson said everything the team wanted Harvey to accomplish this season has been accomplished, and he is considered on track and ready to go for spring training next year. Mets manager Terry Collins could hardly contain his excitement, saying the club tried to keep Harvey at about 80 percent effort, and the All-Star right-hander still looked ''very, very good.'' Collins said Harvey was happy and excited to be back on the mound.