Ronald Acuna Jr
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Braves claim NL East title with 6-0 win over Giants


The Braves kicked off their last home series of the regular season in spectacular fashion on Friday night, clinching a 6-0 win over the Giants to lay claim to the NL East division title for the second year in a row. The title is their 14th in the NL East and 19th overall.

Freddie Freeman got things started for the Braves in the first inning with a sacrifice fly off of San Francisco right-hander Tyler Beede, while Ozzie Albies tacked on an insurance run in the second with an RBI single. It wasn’t long before the Braves started exhibiting some real power, however — Ronald Acuña Jr. launched a first-pitch curveball in the fifth for his 41st home run of the year, while Brian McCann followed suit with his own two-run shot in the sixth.

Behind the Braves’ impressive display, Mike Foltynewicz held the Giants scoreless for eight innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out seven of 29 batters. The righty entered Friday’s start sporting an unsightly 4.80 ERA, 5.10 FIP, and 0.6 fWAR — mostly the result of a few bum outings earlier in the year — but still has yet to allow more than a single run in any of his September appearances so far.

In the ninth, Josh Tomlin stepped in for Foltynewicz to polish off the win. He made short work of the heart of the Giants’ order, inducing a groundout from Evan Longoria, serving up one last hit to Stephen Vogt, and retiring both Chris Shaw and Alex Dickerson with just two pitches apiece.

Next month, the Braves will begin their hunt for their fourth World Series championship and first since 1995. They’ve made the postseason in 15 of 24 seasons since their mid-90s crowning, but have only advanced to the Fall Classic twice — losing to the Yankees in 1996 and 1999.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.