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Rockies secure postseason berth with 5-2 win over Nationals

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The Rockies are headed back to the playoffs for the second year in a row thanks to their decisive 5-2 victory over the Nationals on Friday night. With the win, they brought their magic number down to two as they look to edge past the Dodgers for the NL West title.

Luck was certainly on their side during Friday’s game, as left-hander Kyle Freeland allowed a career-high 11 hits over six innings, but came away with just two runs and four strikeouts en route to his 17th win of the year.

Behind him, it was nothing but extra bases for the Rockies’ offense, who powered the win with four home runs from Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond, Chris Iannetta, and David Dahl. Iannetta hammered an 0-1 pitch from Joe Ross a staggering 469 feet out to center field, while Dahl’s solo blast — a 417-footer off of Sammy Solis in the sixth — was his fifth in as many games. Trea Turner logged a pair of runs on a triple in the fourth inning, but it was the first and only break the Nationals received all night. Following Freeland’s departure in the sixth, Harrison Musgrave, Scott Oberg, Adam Ottavino, and Wade Davis pitched a collective three innings of one-hit, five-strikeout ball to lock in the win and secure the club’s spot in the playoffs.

Following the conclusion of the regular season on Sunday, the Rockies will enter their fifth postseason run in franchise history. They were dropped by the Diamondbacks in last year’s Wild Card game and have not advanced past the Division Series since 2007, when they were swept out of the World Series by the six-time champion Red Sox.

Corey Kluber removed from his rehab game

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Part of the reason the Cleveland Indians could trade away a pitcher like Trevor Bauer in the middle of a playoff race is because they have reinforcements on the way. The primary reinforcement is Corey Kluber, who has been out since May 1 with a broken arm. Based on what happened yesterday it’s possible that the Tribe will have to wait a bit longer for that particular reinforcement to arrive.

Kluber was the starter in yesterday’s game between Triple-A Columbus and Charlotte. He managed only one inning, however, walking two and not allowing a run before being lifted due to abdominal tightness. It was said that he was removed for precautionary reasons, so it may not be an injury as opposed to everyone simply being spooked. He’ll be reevaluated today.

It’s unclear whether this will delay his return to the Indians, though it obviously isn’t a good development. As it stood before yesterday, Cleveland had hoped Kluber could make big league starts in September and be ready for the postseason.