MLB round-up: Cardinals break record amid 15-game winning run
The St Louis Cardinals won again in historic fashion to beat a record from 1935 while the Tampa Bay Rays clinched the AL East crown once again.
The streaking St Louis Cardinals made history with their 15th successive victory, an 8-5 win against the Chicago Cubs in MLB action on Saturday.
St Louis set a franchise record by extending their winning run to 15 games behind a rallying effort, eclipsing the 14-game streak in 1935.
Harrison Bader, Tyler O'Neill and Paul DeJong homered for the in-form Cardinals, who hold the second National League (NL) Wild Card spot.
The Cubs led 4-2 after four innings before a three-run seventh ignited the Cardinals away at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
"It's an incredible feeling. It's a complete elation of knowing every time we come to the field that we're going to win," Cardinals centerfielder T.J. McFarland said.
"It's that confidence – I don't want to say arrogance – but it's almost that motivation every time we come to the field, we're expecting to win, and we're rising to the occasion when we need to."
Rays crowned AL East's best again
For the second straight season, the Tampa Bay Rays clinched the American League (AL) East crown. The high-flying Rays made sure of the title via a 7-3 victory at home to the Miami Marlins.
Shohei Ohtani became just the second player in history with at least 45 homers, 20 stolen bases and six triples in a season, after Willie Mays in 1955. Ohtani hit consecutive triples to inspire the Los Angeles Angels to a 14-1 demolition of the Seattle Mariners, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.
Brandon Belt homered twice as the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants set a franchise record for home runs in a season during their 7-2 win over the Colorado Rockies. The Giants have homered 236 times in 2021, surpassing the 235 hit in 2001. San Francisco hold a two-game lead over World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were upstaged by the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2.
The Toronto Blue Jays – two games adrift in the AL Wild Card chase – beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1 behind Marcus Semien. The Blue Jays star tallied his 43rd home run of the season – tying the record for most single-season homers by a second baseman in MLB history, alongside Davey Johnson (1973).
Padres eliminated from playoff contention
Fernando Tatis Jr. and the San Diego Padres will not feature in the postseason following a 10-8 loss to the Atlanta Braves after 10 innings. Jorge Soler's go-ahead double eliminated the Padres from playoff contention. San Diego held a one-game lead for the second NL Wild Card berth on September 9 before spiralling out of form and out of the playoff mix.
Stanton slam boosts Yankees in Wild Card race
The New York Yankees moved into a tie with the Boston Red Sox for the AL Wild Card lead after Giancarlo Stanton's grand slam fuelled a 5-3 victory.
Blue Jays at Twins
The Blue Jays (86-69) will continue their Wild Card quest away to the Twins (69-86) on Sunday. Toronto ace Alek Manoah is set to start, with Minnesota's Jax Griffin to toe the mound.