One of baseball’s worst fielders broke the stalemate in this one.
Delmon Young allowed Carlos Santana’s basehit to left field to start the fourth inning get past him in left field, and Santana went on to score from third on a groundout as the Indians topped the Twins 1-0 on Tuesday night.
The play was ruled a double and an error, allowing Santana to reach third. Francisco Liriano, in his first start back from the DL, got a groundout, a lineout to short and a flyout from there, making the run unearned.
And it turned out to be the only run of the game, as Carlos Carrasco pitched 8 1/3 innings for the Indians and combined with closer Chris Perez on a three-hit shutout.
The Twins gave up just four hits. Liriano struck out seven over five innings in his return. Chuck James and Phil Dumatrait finished up from there.
Young apologized to Liriano for the error after the inning, but it was partly an effort play and his effort just isn’t there on the defensive end. Throw in that he’s hitting .225 with one homer in 152 at-bats and he’s been about as big of a liability as anyone in baseball.
So much for a last-minute, nail-biting finish to this division race. The Braves cemented their division title with a dominant 5-3 finish over the Phillies on Saturday, laying claim to the NL East title for the first time since 2013.
The Braves asserted themselves right off the bat after amassing a four-run lead from Johan Camargo and Freddie Freeman, both of whom cleared the bases with two-run singles in the first two innings. Ronald Acuna Jr., meanwhile, found another way to make his presence known after swiping his 15th stolen base of the year and joining Alex Rodriguez, Orlando Cepeda, and Mike Trout as one of the youngest players to collect at least 25 home runs and 15 stolen bags in major league history.
Not to be outdone, Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz delivered one of the strongest starts of his season to date. The righty set down six innings of no-hit ball against the Phillies, and, with just 62 pitches under his belt, looked ready to go the distance before he lost his bid on Odubel Herrera‘s leadoff single in the seventh.
Unfortunately for the Braves, the Phillies not only upended Foltynewicz’s no-hit attempt, but the shutout as well. In the eighth inning, Cesar Hernandez and Rhys Hoskins wrestled two RBI singles from Atlanta’s bullpen and brought Philadelphia within one run of tying the game. Hoskins was the last Phillies batter to reach base, however, as Jonny Venters and Arodys Vizcaino tossed a combined 1 2/3 scoreless innings (backed by a final RBI hit from Kurt Suzuki in the bottom of the eighth) to cap the Braves’ win — and the NL East title.
With the loss, the Phillies sit seven games back of a wild card spot in the National League. They’ll need to outpace the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Cardinals in order to make 2018 their first postseason-qualifying year since 2011.