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Mariners give GM Jerry Dipoto an extension

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The Seattle Mariners announced a multi-year contract extension for General Manager Jerry Dipoto this afternoon.

Dipoto, who has held the position since the 2016 season, has built the Mariners into a contender in 2018, with the club sporting a 56-32 record. That they are contending despite suffering several injuries this season and the loss of second baseman Robinson Cano to a PED suspension is a testament to the team’s depth, which is a credit to the general manager. At the moment the M’s are just behind the Astros in the A.L. West and seem destined for a playoff spot, be it via a division title or a wild card.

The terms of the deal have not been announced, but Dipoto seems set to navigate the Mariners’ course for many years to come.

Astros clinch AL West for third consecutive year

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For the third consecutive season, the Astros are AL West champions. The ‘stros clinched the division on Sunday afternoon with a convincing 13-5 win over the Angels. They were backed by three homers from leadoff man George Springer and individual homers from Alex Bregman and Aledmys Díaz.

Springer has the 22nd three-homer game in baseball this season. He’s the first Astro to hit three homers in a game since Yordan Álvarez last month, on August 10.

Justin Verlander lasted five innings in Sunday’s start, yielding two runs on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander is arguably the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, now 20-6 with a 2.53 ERA and a 288/42 K/BB ratio in 217 innings on the year. Verlander is 12 strikeouts shy of the 300-strikeout milestone and six strikeouts short of 3,000 for his career. If the Astros stay on schedule, Verlander would pitch the second-to-last game of the regular season against the Angels.

Sunday’s win marked No. 102 on the season for the Astros. The franchise record is 103 wins set last year. With six games remaining, it seems likely the Astros will set a new record.

The Astros and Yankees both won on Sunday, meaning the Astros remain a half-game ahead in the race for home field advantage. The No. 1 seed will also have the privilege of playing the Wild Card winner, which is down to the Athletics, Rays, and Indians.