Giants survive, eliminate Padres as NL postseason picture settled

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Managing to avoid a home sweep, the Giants topped the Padres 3-0 on Sunday to win the NL West title. They’ll face the wild card Braves in the NLDS.
Had the Padres won today, it would have forced two one-game playoffs, with the loser of Monday’s Giants-Padres game facing the Braves on Tuesday.
The Giants, though, managed to quiet San Diego’s mediocre lineup. Jonathan Sanchez walked five, but pitched five scoreless innings anyway, and Santiago Casilla and Brian Wilson came through with strong showings in relief. The Padres’ got a nice performance from the struggling Mat Latos, but they couldn’t put together any rallies even after getting two men on in both the sixth and seventh innings. Buster Posey hit a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth to provide the Giants with an insurance run.
With the Giants’ victory, the NL East champion Phillies and NL Central champion Reds will face off in the other divisional series.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.