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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.

Mike Trout and Christian Yelich win the 2019 Hank Aaron Awards

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Major League Baseball announced today that Mike Trout and Christian Yelich have been selected as the American League and National League winners of the 2019 Hank Aaron Awards. The Hank Aaron Award, which was established in 1999, recognizes “the most outstanding offensive performers in each league.” A fan vote is part of it. A special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron weighs in as well.

Yellich, who is a back-to-back winner of the Award in the NL, led the Majors with a .671 slugging percentage and a 1.100 OPS, while leading the National League in batting average (.329), WAR (7.3) and OBP (.429). It was his third straight year with at least 100 runs scored and he set career-highs with 44 home runs and 30 stolen bases. He was the NL Player of the Week twice and stands a good chance of winning the NL MVP Award, though a late season injury will make it a pretty close vote.

Trout, who previously won the award in 2014, led the Majors with a .483 on-base percentage while leading the American League with a .645 slugging percentage and a 1.083 OPS. He was second in the AL with a career-best 45 home runs, was second i WAR (8.3) and, like Yelich, was a two-time Player of the Week winner. He too stands a good chance of wining the MVP though, he too, had a late season injury which could knock him down to second place.