Cooper homers, Sanchez dominates as Marlins knock out Cubs 2-0
Miami Marlins relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler, left, and catcher Chad Wallach (17) celebrate a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball series Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)CHICAGO – The Miami Marlins didn't need a hand from a fan at Wrigley Field to knock the Chicago Cubs out of the playoffs this time. Led by manager Don Mattingly and CEO Derek Jeter, the Marlins remained unbeaten in all seven postseason series they have played following triumphs in the 1997 and 2003 World Series. The Cubs haven’t advanced since the 2017 team lost in the NLCS. You can make your first half disappear.”BRAVE WORLDThe Marlins lost six of 10 against the Braves, including a 29-9 romp at Atlanta on Sept. 9.
LEADING OFF: Marlins' Marte hopes to play with broken hand
The Marlins are hoping center fielder Starling Marte can play through a broken bone in his left hand as they try to eliminate the Cubs at Wrigley Field. To do it, the Braves might need to make a whole lot more contact at the plate than they did Wednesday while beating the Reds 1-0 in 13 innings — the first postseason game to be scoreless after 11. They’ll be up against Luis Castillo (4-6, 3.21), who makes his first career playoff start for the Reds. He was out for a second straight playoff game because of a sprained right foot that kept him out of the final three games of the regular season. Wainwright closed out the Padres at Petco Park in their previous postseason appearance in 2006.
Finally! Freeman, Braves top Reds 1-0 in 13th to open series
Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman (5) celebrates driving in the game-winning run against the Cincinnati Reds in the 13th inning during Game 1 of a National League wild-card baseball series, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Atlanta. The Atlanta Braves won 1-0. The East champion Braves won a postseason opener for the first time since Game 1 of the 2001 NL Division Series. In Game 5 of the 2019 NL Division Series, Atlanta gave up a record 10 runs to the St. Louis Cardinals in their first at-bat. Braves: There were injury concerns after Atlanta's last series of the regular season, but everyone was good to go in the playoffs.
LEADING OFF: NL race down to final day — and maybe Monday
If St. Louis loses and San Francisco wins, the Cardinals would make up two games against Detroit on Monday that were postponed this season due to St. Louis' coronavirus outbreak. If the Giants and Brewers win, San Francisco needs St. Louis to lose both games against the Tigers on Monday. The 37-year-old Pence helped San Francisco to World Series championships in 2012 and 2014. A career .279 hitter, he had 244 home runs and 942 RBIs for Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Texas. “He had a tremendous career, did a ton for the community in San Francisco and obviously for the San Francisco Giants,” Kapler said.
Reds top Twins 7-2, clinch 1st playoff spot since 2013
Cincinnati Reds players climb over the dugout fence and head to celebrate with pitcher Wade Miley after the Reds earned a playoff berth with a 7-2 over the Minnesota Twins in a baseball game Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)MINNEAPOLIS – Mike Moustakas homered twice, Freddy Galvis hit a solo shot and the Cincinnati Reds clinched their first playoff spot since 2013, beating the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins 7-2 Friday night. Joey Votto and the Reds had endured six straight losing seasons before advancing this year under manager David Bell. Twins: RHP Homer Bailey, who spent 12 of his 14 major league seasons with the Reds, was designated for assignment prior to the game. Twins: RHP Michael Pineda (2-0, 3.18 ERA) pitches the middle game of the series.
LEADING OFF: 9 of 16 playoff spots open going into last week
But going into this last week, a lot of postseason spots are still wide open. Tampa Bay, Oakland, the White Sox and Minnesota also have earned AL spots, and Cleveland, Toronto and Houston have the inside track on the three remaining positions. With six spots in play, it should be an entertaining week with Cincinnati, Milwaukee and San Francisco all at .500. NICE STARTDane Dunning is 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA in five starts for the White Sox since making his major league debut this season. The White Sox lead second-place Minnesota by 2 1/2 games.
Schwarber homers twice as Cubs pound Reds 10-1
Chicago Cubs' Kyle Schwarber reacts after hitting a grand slam in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)CINCINNATI With one massive drive in the ninth inning, Kyle Schwarber made history for the Chicago Cubs. Schwarber, Jason Heyward and Ian Happ became the first starting outfield to hit multiple homers in the same game, and the Cubs pounded the Cincinnati Reds 10-1 on Sunday for a split of their four-game series. Schwarber hit the first and the last of the Cubs' season-high six homers, belting a solo drive in the fourth against Luis Castillo (0-5) and a grand slam off Jos De Len in the ninth. When you have a little piece of history, you always keep that with you.The NL Central-leading Cubs hit 14 homers in the series.
LEADING OFF: Reds eye return after positive test; Rays-Yanks
Players, coaches and other organization members were retested for the coronavirus Saturday and Sunday after one player was sidelined because of a positive result. The Reds made travel plans for Kansas City and expected to start Luis Castillo (0-2) in the series opener, assuming its played. TIGER TRYOUTSDetroit is unleashing a few of its top prospects this week, including left-hander Tarik Skubal. The Braves hope that formula works again with Tomlin, used mostly as a reliever during his two seasons in Atlanta. But, for now, the team has decided not to turn to a pair of top prospects, Ian Anderson and Tucker Davidson.
Tigers celebrate Cabrera milestones, rally 6-4 over Reds
Detroit Tigers' JaCoby Jones reacts after hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Saturday, July 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)CINCINNATI Miguel Cabrera passed two superstars with a homer Saturday night, and JaCoby Jones hit a two-run shot in the ninth off Raisel Iglesias, rallying the Detroit Tigers to a 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. The two RBIs boosted Cabrera past Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and into 25th place on the career RBI list with 1,696. Reds: The Reds placed infielder Matt Davidson on the 10-day injured list after he tested positive for COVID-19 and put catcher Tucker Barnhart on the three-day paternity list. Reds: RHP Trevor Bauer (combined 11-13 in 2019 with Cleveland and Cincinnati) makes his 20th career start against Detroit.