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Dodgers strike first in NL West tiebreaker thanks to Cody Bellinger’s two-run homer

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Update (5:53 PM ET): Max Muncy doubled the Dodgers’ lead to 4-0 with a two-run shot of his own to left-center field off of Márquez with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Buehler has held the Rockies hitless through five.

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The Dodgers struck first in Monday’s NL West tiebreaker game against the Rockies. Starters Walker Buehler and Germán Márquez traded zeroes through the first three innings. But in the fourth, the Dodgers finally broke through.

Márquez struck Max Muncy to lead off the bottom of the fourth, but catcher Tony Wolters couldn’t handle the 97 MPH fastball, so Muncy reached safely. Márquez bounced back to strike out Manny Machado and Yasmani Grandal. But after going ahead 1-0 in the count, Cody Bellinger ripped a 95 MPH fastball into the seats in right field for a two-run blast, breaking the scoreless tie.

The winner of the NL West tiebreaker will face the Braves in the NLDS. The loser of the NL West tiebreaker will face the Cubs in the NL Wild Card game. Then the winner of that game faces the Brewers in the NLDS.

The Rockies are vying for the first division title in franchise history. They have reached the postseason four times, each time as a Wild Card.

Angels place Andrew Heaney on 10-day injured list

Andrew Heaney
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The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.

It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.

Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.

In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.