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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.

Report: Yankees acquire Edwin Encarnación from Mariners

Edwin Encarnacion
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The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.

Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.

Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.