Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks stave off elimination with 8-1 victory

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The Diamondbacks jumped all over Brewers starter Shaun Marcum and won 8-1 Tuesday to extend the NLDS to a Game 4.

Pitching with Arizona down 2-0 in the series, Josh Collmenter shut down the Brewers for the third time this year. He pitched 14 scoreless innings against Milwaukee during the regular season, and he allowed just one run and two hits in seven innings tonight.

Arizona’s offense, which was limited to five runs in the first two games, got on the board right away, scoring two runs on hits from Miguel Montero and Paul Goldschmidt in the first. Montero added another RBI in the third, and Goldschmidt delivered the big blast of the night, knocking Marcum out of the game with a grand slam in the fifth.

It was Goldschmidt’s second homer in two games after he sat in favor of Lyle Overbay in the opener.

Game 4 of the NLDS will be played Wednesday in Arizona, with lefties Randy Wolf and Joe Saunders scheduled to start. Wolf lost both of his starts against the Diamondbacks this season, amassing a 6.08 ERA in the process. Saunders allowed two runs over seven innings in a no-decision in his lone start versus the Brewers.

Notes

– Rickie Weeks shielded Willie Bloomquist from second base on a first-inning steal attempt, but didn’t get the call from umpire Jeff Kellogg. It proved crucial, as the Diamondbacks went on to score two runs with two outs in the frame.

– Goldschmidt’s slam was the third by a rookie in postseason history. The previous two were hit by Yankees: Gil McDougald in the 1951 World Series and Ricky Ledee in the 1999 ALCS.

– Regardless of how many more games the Diamondbacks play this year, it should be a lock now that Goldschmidt won’t be on the bench in any of them. He’s hit 10 homers in 164 at-bats between the regular season and the playoffs, and he’s driven in six of Arizona’s 13 runs in the series.

Marlins defeat the Mets, then pay their respects to Jose Fernandez on the pitcher’s mound

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Miami Marlins players all wearing jerseys bearing the number 16 and name Fernandez honor the late Jose Fernandez before the game against the New York Mets at Marlins Park on September 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Rob Foldy/Getty Images
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The Marlins were somehow able to muster up the strength not only to play Monday night’s game against the Mets, but also win it convincingly one day after losing Jose Fernandez in a tragic boating accident. The Marlins and Mets helped pay tribute to Fernandez prior to the start of the game as outlined here.

When the game started, the Marlins came out of the gate with a bang. Dee Gordon homered in his first at-bat, then the club hung a four-spot in the second inning. They tacked on two more in the third inning to chase starter Bartolo Colon and take a commanding 7-0 lead. The Mets chipped away for two runs in the fifth on an Asdrubal Cabrera two-run homer and tacked on one more in the eighth, but ultimately fell short by a 7-3 margin.

Gordon finished 4-for-5 with the homer and two RBI. Justin Bour went 3-for-3 with a single, double, triple, and a walk along with an RBI and two runs scored.

A.J. Ramos, who closed out the win, placed the ball on the pitcher’s mound for Fernandez. The Marlins huddled around the mound and said a prayer. The players huddled closer to the rubber on the mound, then left their hats behind as they retreated to the clubhouse as fans at Marlins Park chanted, “Jose, Jose, Jose.”

In a post-game interview, Gordon called his first-inning home run “the best moment of my life,” as NBC 6 Sports reports.

Indians defeat Tigers, clinch AL Central for first division title since 2007

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 7: Roberto Perez #55 of the Cleveland Indians hits an RBI single during the second inning against the Houston Astros at Progressive Field on September 7, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images
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The Indians beat the Tigers 7-4 at Comerica Park on Monday night, clinching the AL Central for their first division title since 2007. Starter Corey Kluber lasted only four innings before exiting with right groin tightness, but the Indians were able to overcome the adversity.

Coco Crisp gave the Indians their first two runs with a two-run home run in the second inning off of starter Buck Farmer. The Tigers would promptly tie the game on a two-run homer by J.D. Martinez in the bottom half of the inning.

In the fifth, an RBI double by Jason Kipnis and a sacrifice fly by Mike Napoli put the Tribe back on top 4-2. The Tigers answered once again with a Miguel Cabrera RBI single in the bottom half to make it 4-3.

Roberto Perez homered for the Indians in the top of the top of the seventh, and Cabrera answered with another RBI single in the bottom half to keep it within one run at 5-4.

The Indians tacked on another insurance run in the eighth on three consecutive two-out singles by Crisp, Rajai Davis, and Perez. Carlos Santana then hit what should have been the final out of the eighth inning, but J.D. Martinez botched the catch, allowing the Indians’ seventh run to score.

Cody Allen shut the Tigers down in the bottom of the ninth, protecting the 7-4 lead for his 30th save of the season.

The last time the Indians won the AL Central, their starting lineup featured a 28-year-old Victor Martinez, a 25-year-old Jhonny Peralta, a 24-year-old Grady Sizemore, and a 26-year-old CC Sabathia. It’s been a long time.

The American League playoff picture still isn’t set yet, so the Indians will be intently watching the final week of the season to see who will be their playoff opponent.