Ryan Braunm, Prince Fielder

Brewers clinch first division title since 1982


The National League Central is all wrapped up, folks.

In a pretty cool scene at Miller Park, the Brewers and their fans just watched the Cubs beat the Cardinals 5-1. Combined with a 4-1 win over the Marlins only moments earlier, the Brewers have clinched their first division title since they won the American League East in 1982.

Yovani Gallardo was brilliant tonight, striking out 11 over 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball, but was handed a no-decision. The Brewers pulled in front for good thanks to a go-ahead three-run homer by MVP candidate Ryan Braun in the bottom of the eighth inning. John Axford sat the Marlins down in order in the top of the ninth to close out the victory.

Ron Roenicke has led the Brewers to a 92-65 record in his first season as manager. With a strong finish, they have a good chance of securing homefield for the NLDS.

Shawn Tolleson becomes a free agent

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The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.

Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.

Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.

Indians strongly considering starting Carlos Santana in left field sans DH

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.

Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.