MLB Sunday scores, highlights, updates, news: Red Sox, Cubs zeroing in on spots Sport News

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MLB Sunday scores, highlights, updates, news: Red Sox, Cubs zeroing in on spots Sport News

We are exactly one week from the final day of the 2017 Major League Baseball season. Time flies and all that, but we’ve still got work to do with several races up for grabs and some key head-to-head matchups taking place. Let’s dive in. 

Sunday’s scores


Minnesota Twins
10,
Detroit Tigers
4 (box score)

Toronto Blue Jays
9,
New York Yankees
5 (box score)

Washington Nationals
3,
New York Mets
2 (box score)

Boston Red Sox
5,
Cincinnati Reds
4 (box score)

Pittsburgh Pirates
4,
St. Louis Cardinals
1 (box score)

Baltimore Orioles
9,
Tampa Bay Rays
4 (box score)

Philadelphia Phillies
2,
Atlanta Braves
0 (box score)

Chicago Cubs
5,
Milwaukee Brewers
0 (box score)

Chicago White Sox
8,
Kansas City Royals
1 (box score)

Oakland Athletics
 8, 
Texas Rangers
 1 (box score)

Arizona Diamondbacks
 3, 
Miami Marlins
 2 (box score)

Cleveland Indians
 4. 
Seattle Mariners
 2 (box score)

Los Angeles Dodgers
 3, 
San Francisco Giants
 1 (box score)

Colorado Rockies
 8, 
San Diego Padres
 4 (box score)

Los Angeles Angels
at
Houston Astros
 (GameTracker)

Cubs are really close

The Cubs won on the strength of a sparkling outing from
Jose Quintana
(9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K), a
Kris Bryant
RBI double and an upper-deck two-run home run from
Ben Zobrist
.
Anthony Rizzo
tacked on two more with an eighth-inning double, too. Here’s Zobrist’s shot that gave the Cubs some breathing room in the seventh. 

The star of the show was still Quintana with the shutout, his first since 2015. He’s now 7-3 with a 3.50 ERA in 13 starts with the Cubs. 

This win came against the second-place Brewers. The Cardinals also lost to the Pirates, meaning the Cubs’ magic number over both teams is two. The lead is 5 1/2 over the Brewers and six over the Cardinals. 

The Cubs travel to St. Louis for four games before the Cardinals and Brewers play each other. One win over the Cardinals clinches the division, unless the Brewers win out and the Cubs go 1-6. Even if the Cardinals sweep the Cubs, the Cubs could win two of three from the Reds to close the season and take the division. 

Basically, in order for the Cubs to not win the division, they’d have to lose out while either the Cardinals or Pirates would have to be nearly perfect. This thing is essentially over. 

Red Sox are really close

With the Red Sox win on Sunday in Cincinnati and Yankees loss in Toronto, the Boston magic number moved to three for the AL East title. A magic number of three with seven games to play and a five-game lead is an equation that adds up to the Red Sox needing a pretty brutal collapse to not win the AL East. Of course, there was 2011, so Boston fans know nothing should be taken for granted. Surely they’d love to lock this thing down as quickly as possible. 

Twins are really close

If the Twins make the playoffs, they appear likely to be the most unlikely entrant into the postseason tourney. Few coming into the season thought they’d make a run at contention and yet, they won to move to 82-74 on Sunday, guaranteeing a winning record. 

The offense powered up for 10 runs on 13 hits, including home runs from
Jorge Polanco
and
Eduardo Escobar
, who went 2 for 5 with four RBI on the day. Youngster
Jose Berrios
was good enough to gain his 13th victory of the season. Here is Polanco’s homer:

Overall, the win moved the Twins’ magic number for the last wild-card spot to three and it could drop to two before the day ends. Quite simply, with a week’s worth of games left in the season, the Twins now not making the playoffs would take a major collapse. They are in great shape. 

D-Backs clinch postseason spot

The Diamondbacks are heading back to the postseason. They clinched their first postseason berth since 2011 on Sunday, and also clinched home field advantage in the NL Wild Card Game. The Dodgers have already clinched the NL West title, so Arizona is locked into that top wild card spot. They have nothing to gain or lose in the final week of the season.

The D-Backs clinched home field advantage with a walk-off win Sunday and, after the game, the team went for a celebratory dip in the Chase Field pool:

You may remember the Dodgers caught some heat for taking a dip in the pool after clinching a postseason spot a few years ago. Things are a little different when the home team does it though.

Mariners heading home … again

Once again, the Mariners did not qualify for the postseason. Seattle was eliminated from postseason contention with Sunday’s loss, meaning baseball’s longest postseason drought is another year longer. The Mariners have not qualified for the playoffs since 2001, when they won an AL record 116 games. That was
Ichiro Suzuki
‘s rookie season.

Kershaw reaches 200 strikeouts

Sunday afternoon, Dodgers ace
Clayton Kershaw
reached the 200-strikeout plateau for the seventh time in his career. He struck out six in eight innings in his team’s win over the Giants.

This is Kershaw’s ninth full MLB season, and in those nine seasons he is averaging 202 2/3 innings and 224 strikeouts per year. He is the fourth player with seven 200-strikeout seasons through his age 29 season, joining three legends.

Despite missing several weeks with a back injury, Kershaw is once again right in the mix for the NL Cy Young award.

Maxwell kneels for national anthem

Athletics catcher
Bruce Maxwell
took a knee during the national anthem for the second straight day.
Mark Canha
put his hand on Maxwell’s shoulder as a sign of support:

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics

With the support of his teammates, Bruce Maxwell again took a knee during the national anthem Sunday.
USATSI

The A’s support Maxwell through and through. Several players, including Canha,
Marcus Semien
, and
Jed Lowrie
all spoke about Maxwell’s peaceful protest.

Nationals grab No. 2 seed

It has seemed a foregone conclusion for a while, but the Nats win on Sunday means they’ll be no worse than the No. 2 seed in the NL playoffs. They entered Sunday 4 1/2 games back for the number one seed. The overwhelming favorite for the 2 vs. 3 NLDS matchup is Cubs at Nationals in Games 1, 2 and 5 and Nats at Cubs for Games 3 and 4. 

Judge clubs number 47, 48

The single-season rookie record for home runs is 49 (Mark McGwire, 1987). Yankees rookie
Aaron Judge
went deep Sunday twice for numbers 47 and 48 on the season. 

Here is more on Judge’s historic rookie season

Play of the day

Watch
Billy Hamilton
score from first after being picked off. Seriously. 

Wow. Few things in baseball are as exciting as watching the fastest man in the sport run the bases.

Some goodbyes

J.J. Hardy’s time with the Orioles will come to an end this offseason and Sunday marked the final Orioles home game of the season. Hardy was greeted to a standing ovation from the loyal Baltimore fans and rewarded them with a two-run shot. 

Also,
Jose Bautista
era in Blue Jays history is coming to an end and he was also warmly greeted for what figured to be his last at-bat of the season in Toronto. 

Bautista was removed from the game in the middle of the ninth inning to get one last long ovation.

Quick hits

MLB Sunday scores, highlights, updates, news: Red Sox, Cubs zeroing in on spots Sport News

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MLB Sunday scores, highlights, updates, news: Red Sox, Cubs zeroing in on spots Sport News

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