Charlie Blackmon hits for the cycle

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The final day of the regular season schedule had all kinds of drama with the entire seeding for the National League postseason teams undecided. The Dodgers and Rockies were tied for the NL West lead while the Cubs and Brewers were tied for the NL Central lead. The final day also included a cycle. Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon became the fourth player to hit for the cycle this season.

Blackmon led off the bottom of the first inning against the Nationals with a triple and came around to score on a two-run home run by Nolan Arenado. Blackmon then drilled a two-run homer of his own in the third, singled to lead off the fifth, and completed the cycle with an RBI double in the eighth.

The Rockies went on to defeat the Nationals 12-0. As the Dodgers defeated the Giants 15-0, both end Sunday still tied for the NL West lead. The two clubs will play a tiebreaker, regular season game no. 163, on Monday in L.A.

Blackmon, 32, is now batting .289/.356/.501 with 29 home runs, 70 RBI, 119 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 692 plate appearances. His performance on Monday will count towards his regular season stats.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.