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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.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.