Braves sweep Phillies, win 4th straight NL East title

October 1, 2021 GMT
Atlanta Braves' Travis d'Arnaud (16) reacts after scoring on Atlanta Braves Dansby Swanson (7) double the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
1 of 3
Atlanta Braves' Travis d'Arnaud (16) reacts after scoring on Atlanta Braves Dansby Swanson (7) double the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
1 of 3
Atlanta Braves' Travis d'Arnaud (16) reacts after scoring on Atlanta Braves Dansby Swanson (7) double the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Ian Anderson turned in another dominant pitching performance, Jorge Soler and Austin Riley homered, and the Atlanta Braves won their fourth straight NL East title by completing a sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies with a 5-3 victory Thursday night.

After an up-and-down season marred by injuries and legal issues but bolstered by a flurry of moves at the trade deadline, the Braves won their 21st division title since moving from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966.

They open the best-of-five Division Series at the NL Central champion Brewers on Oct. 8.

Soler hit the first leadoff homer of his career, going deep for the 26th time this season on a 3-2 pitch from Kyle Gibson (4-6).

Riley added to the lead with his 33rd homer in the fourth. He drove in another run with a broken-bat single in the fifth to extend the lead to 5-0.

That was more than enough for Anderson (9-5), who pitched six scoreless innings of one-hit ball before yielding a two-run homer to Andrew McCutchen in the seventh. A.J. Minter, Luke Jackson and Will Smith worked the final three innings, with Smith earning his 37th save.



HOUSTON (AP) — Carlos Correa hit his career-high 25th homer and Houston beat Tampa Bay to clinch the AL West.

It’s the fourth division title in five seasons and 10th overall for the Astros. They’re in the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season, extending a franchise record.

Manager Dusty Baker’s Astros will open the AL Division Series on Oct. 7 against the Chicago White Sox.

Yuli Gurriel singled to start Houston’s fourth and Kyle Tucker walked. Correa followed with his towering shot that smashed off the wall in left field to put the Astros up 3-0 against Ryan Yarbrough (9-7).

Lance McCullers (13-5) didn’t allow a hit until Ji-Man Choi singled to start the sixth. There were two outs in the inning when Brandon Lowe homered on a ball to right field that sailed just inside the foul pole to cut the lead to 3-2.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mookie Betts and Corey Seager homered back-to-back in the first inning, Justin Turner and AJ Pollock did the same in the fourth, and Los Angeles completed a three-game sweep of San Diego.

The defending World Series champions remained two games behind NL West-leading San Francisco after the Giants beat Arizona 5-4. The Dodgers won their 12th in a row at home and are set to close out the regular season with three home games against NL Central-champion Milwaukee. The Giants host San Diego.

Corey Knebel (4-0) got the win with 1 1/3 innings of relief. He allowed one hit and struck out one. Seager added a solo shot in the seventh.

Vince Velasquez (3-9) took the loss for the Padres. He gave up four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked one.

Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his NL-leading 42nd homer and Ha-Seong Kim added another homer for San Diego.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — LaMonte Wade Jr. singled home the winning run with one out in the ninth inning and San Francisco held its two-game lead in the NL West, beating Arizona.

The Giants posted their 105th victory — one off the franchise record set in 1904 — and kept their edge over the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers going into the final weekend of the season.

San Francisco closes with three games at home against San Diego. The Dodgers finish with three at home against NL Central champion Milwaukee.

With the score tied at 4, Wilmer Flores hit a one-out double in the ninth off Joe Mantiply (0-3), who then intentionally walked Donovan Solano. A walk to pinch-hitter Curt Casali loaded the bases for Wade.

Tyler Rogers (7-1), San Francisco’s sixth reliever, pitched two innings for the win.

Johnny Cueto entered in relief after coming off the injured list earlier in the day and pitched 2 1/3 innings for the Giants, allowing one run and three hits with three strikeouts.

Ildemaro Vargas hit a go-ahead triple in the Arizona fifth before Buster Posey’s double in the bottom half made it 4-all.

Brandon Crawford homered in the fourth off former teammate Madison Bumgarner.


BALTIMORE (AP) — Boston was dealt another blow in its postseason push, with Ryan Mountcastle hitting a three-run homer in the third inning of Baltimore’s win.

The Red Sox fell into a tie with Seattle for the American League’s second wild card.

Boston’s Nick Pivetta (9-8) struck out the side in the first, but he ultimately allowed three runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out eight with two walks.

Alexander Wells (2-3) allowed a run and three hits in six innings after entering the game with a 7.61 ERA.


TORONTO (AP) — Aaron Judge hit two of New York’s five home runs and the Yankees extended their AL wild-card lead by beating Toronto.

Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo also connected off Blue Jays starter Robbie Ray (13-7), and Brett Gardner added a solo homer as New York (91-68) slimmed its magic number to clinch a postseason spot to two. The Yankees moved two games ahead of Boston and idle Seattle. Toronto trails New York by three games.

Michael King (2-4) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win in relief of Corey Kluber.

New York’s first five hits were homers.


ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Dylan Carlson homered from each side of the plate and St. Louis beat Milwaukee

J.A. Happ (10-8) gave up three runs on nine hits and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings, his longest outing since St. Louis acquired him from the Minnesota Twins on July 30.

Kodi Whitley and T.J. McFarland combined for two innings of scoreless relief and Luís Garcia earned his second save as the Cardinals won the rubber game of the series after having their franchise record 17-game winning streak snapped the night before.

Carlson, batting from the left side, bashed a 93-mph pitch from Milwaukee reliever Miguel Sánchez (2-1) into right field for a two-run homer to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead in the sixth.


NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Conforto hit a pair of run-scoring singles, doubled and made a shoestring catch in what might have been his final game at Citi Field for New York, which routed Miami.

Pete Alonso homered twice for the Mets, raising his season total to 37 — just 12 at Citi Field. Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam in the eighth inning.

Brian McCann ended an 0-for-16 slide with a go-ahead, two-run double in a four-run fourth inning off rookie Sean Guenther (0-1).

Rich Hill (7-8) gained his first win in 13 appearances with the Mets, allowing three runs — two earned — and six hits in five innings.


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adolis Garcia set a Texas rookie record for home runs and RBIs in a series-clinching win over Los Angeles.

Brock Holt put Texas ahead for the first time with a two-run double in the eighth inning off Jimmy Herget (2-3).

Spencer Patton (2-2), the fourth Texas pitcher, threw two scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Joe Barlow worked a 1-2-3 ninth against the heart of the Angels lineup for his 11th save.

Angels star Shohei Ohtani went 2 for 5 with a double and his AL-leading eighth triple.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Justin Steele breezed through seven innings and Chicago handed Pittsburgh its 100th loss of the season.

Steele (4-4) struck out seven and gave up four hits on 76 pitches.

Sergio Alcántara drove in three runs, two coming on a homer to right off Miguel Yajure (0-2) that gave Chicago a 3-0 lead in the six-run second.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Niko Goodrum homered twice and drove in four runs and Detroit beat Minnesota in a slugfest with seven homers.

Dustin Garneau’s sacrifice fly and Willi Castro’s RBI single capped an eighth-inning comeback for Detroit, which snapped a four-game skid and avoided the series sweep.

Alex Lange (1-3) got the win with 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief. Michael Fulmer earned his 13th save.

Minnesota reliever Ralph Garza Jr. (1-4) walked the first two batters in the eighth inning and gave up an RBI double to Harold Castro. Garza left without retiring a batter.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Shane Bieber pitched three effective innings, Bradley Zimmer drove in three runs and Cleveland beat Kansas City to avoid a three-game sweep.

Royals star Salvador Perez, who left Wednesday’s game after spraining his right ankle, started and hit a double. He leads the majors with 48 home runs and 121 RBIs.

Bieber allowed one run on four hits, with one strikeout. Logan Allen (2-7) pitched three scoreless innings of relief.

Angel Zerpa (0-1), making his major league debut, allowed two unearned runs and three hits in five innings.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports