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Cards eye 17th win in row, playoff spot

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The St. Louis Cardinals will try to clinch their berth in the National League wild card game when they host the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals (87-69) carry a team-record 16-game winning streak into their three-game series with the Brewers at Busch Stadium. They lead the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies by six games for the second wild-card slot and their magic number to reach postseason play is one.

On July 16 the Cardinals were just 44-47. Since then, they have gone 43-22.


Rays seek home field, Astros West title

On the heels of clinching their seventh postseason berth in club history and third in succession, the Tampa Bay Rays have one goal left to accomplish during the final week of the schedule.

With their fourth American League East title secured, including their second in a row, the Rays will conclude the regular season having held sole possession of first place in the AL East for 66 consecutive days, the longest stretch in club history.


Phils try to catch Braves in key series

The Philadelphia Phillies will have their best shot to catch the Atlanta Braves in the National League East when the teams begin a three-game series on Tuesday in Atlanta.

The Braves (83-72) hold a 2 1/2-game lead over Philadelphia (81-75) and have a magic number of five, which means any combination of five Braves wins and Phillies losses would give Atlanta the title. Atlanta is trying to win its fourth consecutive division championship.


Yanks visit Jays to open crucial series

After sweeping the Boston Red Sox in three games, the New York Yankees on Tuesday will visit the Toronto Blue Jays, who swept them in four games the last time they met.

The Yankees will have more than revenge in mind because the three-game series will have a big impact in the American League wild card race.


M's aim to top A's again, close WC gap

The visiting Oakland Athletics turn to their feel-good story, right-hander Chris Bassitt, when they attempt to end a 10-game, head-to-head losing streak to the Seattle Mariners as their three-game series continues Tuesday night.

The Mariners have used their dominance of the A's, including four straight wins at Oakland last week, to assume a better position in the American League wild-card race.


Votto helps Reds stay alive for WC spot

CINCINNATI (AP) Joey Votto homered twice and drove in four runs, and the Cincinnati Reds pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-1 on Wednesday to stay alive in the race for the second NL wild card.

Nick Castellanos, rookie Jonathan India and Eugenio Suarez also connected as Cincinnati (82-75) posted its fourth straight victory, clinching a second straight winning season. Castellanos had five RBIs, and India finished with four hits and scored four times.


Tribe win final home game as 'Indians'

CLEVELAND (AP) As they've done in countless ninth innings over decades, fans in Progressive Field stood to cheer during the final three outs.

It was different Monday. They chanted "Let's Go Indians!"


White Sox top Tigers after benches clear

DETROIT (AP) Eloy Jimenez hit a two-run home run, Yasmani Grandal homered to spark a six-run fourth inning and the AL Central champion Chicago White Sox held off the Detroit Tigers in a testy 8-7 win on Monday.

The benches cleared after Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu and Detroit shortstop Niko Goodrum exchanged words when Abreu was tagged out attempting to steal second base in the ninth.


Ohtani frustrated despite brilliant year

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Shohei Ohtani pitched seven innings of one-run ball in his final game at Angel Stadium this season, striking out 10 Mariners amid the serenades of "M-V-P!" that have been the soundtrack to his summer.

Yet he left the mound with the score tied because his Los Angeles Angels teammates couldn't score more than one run, denying Ohtani a chance for his 10th victory. When the Angels' bullpen took over, its first two relievers swiftly surrendered four runs to playoff-contending Seattle in a 5-1 loss.

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