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Giants defeat Dodgers, punch their ticket into the Wild Card game

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The Cardinals won on Sunday afternoon, but it didn’t matter as the Giants took care of their own business, taking down the Dodgers 7-1 to clinch the second Wild Card in the National League.

Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda didn’t stand a chance on this particular afternoon, surrendering five runs on nine hits and two walks with three strikeouts before departing with two outs in the third inning. Buster Posey opened the scoring with a two-run single in the first. Denard Span brought home two runs with a triple in the second and would come around to score on another Posey single shortly thereafter, staking the Giants to an early 5-0 lead.

Yasmani Grandal put the Dodgers on the board with an RBI single off of Matt Moore in the fourth, but that would be it the rest of the way. The Giants tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning on RBI singles by Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford.

Moore went eight innings, yielding the one run on three hits and two walks with six strikeouts on 107 pitches. Sergio Romo came on in the ninth to seal the deal. He worked around a leadoff single by Andre Ethier by getting Austin Barnes to line out, striking out Yasiel Puig, and inducing a game-ending fly out from Rob Segedin.

The Giants will travel to New York to face the Mets in the National League Wild Card game.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. named ALCS MVP

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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after his club punched its ticket to the World Series on Thursday night against the Astros.

Coincidentally, the Astros’ Game 5 starter Justin Verlander was ALCS MVP last year en route to a championship.

Bradley went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday’s Game 5, but he hit a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3, and a go-ahead two-run home run in Game 4. That’s nine RBI and three extra-base hits across five games. He also drew four walks.

Though Bradley had a solid regular season, he was not near the top of the list most people would’ve expected to win ALCS MVP heading into the series. During the season, he hit .234/.314/.403 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.