Anthony Rizzo slugged his first Cubs homer on Saturday

7 Comments

Anthony Rizzo made his major league debut last year as a member of the Padres and belted his first career home run in a June 11 loss to the Nationals.

Now he’s on the board with his new team, the Cubs.

The 22-year-old first baseman smoked a two-run blast over the right field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday, plating Starlin Castro and pushing the Cubs to a 3-2 lead over the Astros.

It’s a lead they would not relinquish, giving Rizzo his second game-winning hit in four games since arriving at Wrigley Field last Tuesday night. “It just feels good to get that win and get that monkey off my back hitting a home run and this and that,” he told JJ Stankevitz of CSNChicago.com after the victory.

Rizzo is now 4-for-15 with two doubles, a dinger and three RBI — good for a .267/.313/.600 slash line.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

toronto blue jays
Thomas Skrlj/Getty Images
1 Comment

TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.