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.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.

Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.