Crew cuts lead to 1; hardest throw of '17 key

Crew cuts lead to 1; hardest throw of '17 key

PITTSBURGH -- The Brewers, thanks to their strong arms on the mound and in the outfield, won another series. Now they will eye a sweep.

Chase Anderson continued his string of solid starts by pitching six scoreless innings, and Domingo Santana backed him with a solo homer in a 1-0 win over the Pirates on Tuesday at PNC Park. The shutout was also aided by the burgeoning reputation of center fielder Brett Phillips, who kept the potential tying run from even thinking of trying to score from third in the sixth on a flyout to center. Phillips unleashed a 104.7-mph throw to the plate -- the hardest-thrown ball this season, according to Statcast™ -- and he now owns the top three hardest outfield throws for 2017.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs win 7th straight in Maddon's Trop return

Cubs win 7th straight in Maddon's Trop return

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It was a sweet homecoming for Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

Kyle Schwarber hit a monster home run and substitute starter Mike Montgomery gave up one hit -- a solo homer by Brad Miller -- over six innings to spark the Cubs to a 2-1 Interleague victory over the Rays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros win 5th in a row to keep pace with Tribe

Astros win 5th in a row to keep pace with Tribe

HOUSTON -- Collin McHugh won his third consecutive decision and combined with four relievers to handcuff the White Sox and send the American League West-champion Astros to their fifth win a row, 3-1, in Tuesday night's series opener at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros (92-58), who clinched their first AL West title on Sunday, began play on Tuesday 1 1/2 games behind the Indians -- who defeated the Angels late on Tuesday -- for the best record in the AL. The Astros have won eight in a row at home and are 34 games over .500, tying their high-water mark of the season.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the White Sox on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Clevinger sends Tribe closer to AL's top seed

Clevinger sends Tribe closer to AL's top seed

ANAHEIM -- Mike Clevinger enjoyed some revenge against his former club on Tuesday night, tossing six innings of one-run ball to lead the Indians to a 6-3 win over the Angels in their series opener at Angel Stadium.

Clevinger, whom the Angels traded to Cleveland in exchange for reliever Vinnie Pestano in 2014, held the Halos hitless through the first four innings before yielding a leadoff single to Kole Calhoun in the fifth. The right-hander conceded only three hits while walking two and striking out six, lowering his ERA to 0.61 over his last five starts.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks back CC, cut playoff magic number to 5

Yanks back CC, cut playoff magic number to 5

NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia recovered from a shaky first inning to provide six solid frames and Brett Gardner drove in a pair of runs on Tuesday evening, leading the Yankees to a 5-2 victory over the Twins in another meeting of the top clubs in the American League Wild Card hunt.

Gardner and Starlin Castro each had three hits as the Yankees won their sixth straight series. Sabathia limited Minnesota to a solo homer and a run-scoring double-play grounder in a 77-pitch outing, helping the Yankees remain three games behind the Red Sox in the American League East chase while moving six games ahead of the Twins for the first AL Wild Card spot.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DYK? MLB's HR record eclipsed in '17

Royals' Gordon clubs 5,694th dinger of year, passing mark set in 2000

DYK? MLB's HR record eclipsed in '17

Baseball's single-season record for total home runs was rewritten Tuesday.

Tigers outfielder Alex Presley's fifth-inning homer off Daniel Gossett of the A's tied the Major League record for total home runs at 5,693, originally set during the 2000 season, and Royals left fielder Alex Gordon's eighth-inning dinger off Blue Jays right-hander Ryan Tepera soon after set the new standard -- with 12 days remaining in the regular season.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wild pitch has Red Sox on cusp of postseason

Wild pitch has Red Sox on cusp of postseason

BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox have won every which way in extra innings this season. And on Tuesday, they didn't even need a ball to leave the infield in the rally that propelled them to a 1-0, 11-inning victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Orioles reliever Brad Brach, who had pinned his team in a bases-loaded situation by walking Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts, uncorked a wild pitch. Jackie Bradley Jr. raced home with the first -- and only --- run of the game. The Red Sox improved to 15-3 in extras and tied a franchise record set in 1943 for the most extra-inning wins in one season.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers fall to Phils, but magic number is 2

Dodgers fall to Phils, but magic number is 2

PHILADELPHIA -- The magic number for a fifth consecutive National League West title fell to two for the Dodgers on Tuesday night, despite Rhys Hoskins' three-run double and four RBIs that rallied the Phillies to a 6-2 win at Citizens Bank Park. The second-place D-backs dropped a 6-2 decision to the Padres.

"This is frustrating," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, whose club has lost 19 of 24, and has seen its division lead slashed from 21 games to 9 1/2. "That team over there with a good pitcher in [Phillies starter Aaron Nola], they've got speedy guys, put the bat on the ball, they play hard. Teams that have nothing to play for but are trying to establish themselves, those are dangerous teams."

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Phillies on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Road to the Postseason: Sept. 20

Dodgers' magic number to clinch NL West at 2; Cubs win 7th in row

Road to the Postseason: Sept. 20

Only three division crowns remain unclaimed as the 2017 regular season nears its end. The National League West is likely the next postseason domino to fall. The Dodgers lost their third straight game Tuesday, against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, but they still saw their magic number for a fifth consecutive division title drop to two with Arizona's loss in San Diego.

Here's a look at how the rest of Tuesday's action impacted the playoff picture:

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walk-off loss trims Rox's Wild Card lead to 1

Walk-off loss trims Rox's Wild Card lead to 1

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Colorado Rockies' grip on a postseason berth slipped somewhat Tuesday night as Hunter Pence's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth inning lifted the San Francisco Giants to a 4-3 victory. Colorado's fourth loss in six games trimmed its lead to a game over Milwaukee, a 1-0 winner over Pittsburgh, for the National League's second Wild Card spot.

"Right now is not a good time to sit and complain or cry about a game you end up losing," Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "You have to keep moving forward and keep your head up. We're still in postseason if the season finished today. We're in the driver's seat. The guys behind you have more pressure than us. … If you keep pushing and playing hard, eventually you'll get wins."

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Rockies on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pollock homers twice, but D-backs fall to Padres

Pollock homers twice, but D-backs fall to Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Travis Wood knocked in as many runs as he allowed on Tuesday night, sparking a 6-2 Padres win, their fourth in five games this month against the National League Wild Card-seeking D-backs.

Despite two homers from A.J. Pollock, who batted in the leadoff spot for the first time since July, Arizona lost its third game in a row. However, the D-backs maintained their 4 1/2-game lead over the Rockies for the top NL Wild Card spot with 10 games to play. Colorado lost to San Francisco, 4-3, on Tuesday night.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Explaining possible postseason tiebreakers

Is this the year when the craziness and drama of numerous tiebreaker games, always a dream, overtake the early part of the postseason schedule? One figures it's bound to happen eventually, and the 2017 season, with a large assortment of clubs still in contention with scant weeks remaining -- especially in that American League Wild Card race -- is a good candidate for chaos.

So far, we've gotten through five seasons of October expansion and only required one tiebreaker game -- the 2013 tilt between the Rays and Rangers to decide the second AL Wild Card slot. But plenty of tiebreaker possibilities exist here in the home stretch of '17, and the goal here is to lay out the most realistic ones remaining and how they would be settled.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas strikes late to sink Seattle, rise in WC

Texas strikes late to sink Seattle, rise in WC

SEATTLE -- The Rangers struck for two runs in the top of the eighth inning to continue their Wild Card postseason push with a 3-1 victory over the Mariners on Tuesday night.

This was a game both teams needed to win and the Rangers pulled it out against Mariners reliever Nick Vincent. Pinch-hitter Carlos Gomez led off with a double. Will Middlebrooks ran for Gomez, and Delino DeShields beat out a sacrifice bunt for a hit. Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly scored the go-ahead run and, after DeShields stole second, Elvis Andrus drove home the second run with a single to left.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fowler's clutch hits boost Cards in needed win

Fowler's clutch hits boost Cards in needed win

CINCINNATI -- Trying to hang on to their quickly fading postseason hopes, the Cardinals needed an early comeback then some late clutch hitting. It added up to an 8-7 victory over the Reds in 10 innings on Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park.

Dexter Fowler was responsible for two big St. Louis runs with a solo home run in the eighth inning and an RBI double in the 10th. Reds reliever Tim Adleman began the extra frame by hitting Kolten Wong with a pitch. Wong stole second base and scored the go-ahead run on Fowler's RBI double to right field. An RBI single by Paul DeJong provided insurance.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andrew Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Cardinals on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scherzer 4th ever with 4 straight 250-K seasons

Scherzer 4th ever with 4 straight 250-K seasons

ATLANTA -- When told that Max Scherzer had achieved 250 strikeouts for the fourth consecutive season, Nationals manager Dusty Baker couldn't believe it. In fact, he was pretty amazed at the success of his ace pitcher.

"I didn't know that," Baker said. " ... Wow, he is in some great company and he has some more time left."

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Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta who covered the Nationals on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blackmon first to reach 200 hits this season

Blackmon first to reach 200 hits this season

SAN FRANCISCO -- Charlie Blackmon's terrific season delivered him a new spot in Rockies franchise history Tuesday. Blackmon roped a two-out, two-RBI double in the second inning of Colorado's 4-3 loss to San Francisco for hit No. 200 of the season.

He became the first Rockies player to reach the landmark since Matt Holliday had 216 hits during the 2007 campaign.

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Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Rockies on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sale, Sox go for sweep vs. Orioles on MLB.TV

Sale, Sox go for sweep vs. Orioles on MLB.TV

There's plenty left on the line as teams jockey for playoff position with two weeks left in the regular season, and you can stream every game on MLB.TV.

Today has a full slate of games, headlined by the Orioles looking to stay alive in the American League Wild Card chase against AL Cy Young Award candidate Chris Sale. The Twins are also wrapping up their series against the Yankees in a potential preview of the AL Wild Card Game, while Milwaukee's Aaron Wilkerson makes his first Major League start and two great lefties face off at Tropicana Field.

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Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Olson stretches home run streak to 5 games

Slugger sets A's rookie record for consecutive games with a long ball, now 1 shy of tying club mark

Olson stretches home run streak to 5 games

DETROIT -- Another day, another Matt Olson home run. The 23-year-old first baseman has now homered in five straight games after his second-inning shot off Chad Bell in the A's 9-8 win over the Tigers on Tuesday.

His five-game streak broke the franchise's rookie record for most consecutive games with a home run, and pulls him within one long ball of Frank Thomas' overall franchise record of six games, set back in 2006.

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Kyle Beery is a contributor to MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Athletics on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alfonso Soriano took in a Cubs game in St. Petersburg, and he's clearly been working out

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Alfonso Soriano took in a Cubs game in St. Petersburg, and he's clearly been working out

Retired baseball players take many different paths in their post-playing lives. Some stick around as coaches or scouts while others get away from the game. Some take advantage of no longer being a professional athlete by pursuing, let's say, a less rigorous fitness routine while others work out with similar intensity as before.

Former Cub and seven-time All-Star Alfonso Soriano showed up at Tropicana Field to take in Tuesday's game between the Cubs and Rays and the evidence strongly suggests he's continued to work out in his retirement. According to the Cubs broadcast, he's found a willing -- and motivated -- workout partner in former manager Lou Piniella.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Sources: Blue Jays, Estrada agree on extension

Sources: Blue Jays, Estrada agree on extension

Marco Estrada, who had been on track to become a free agent after this season, has agreed to a one-year, $13 million extension with the Blue Jays, sources told MLB.com on Tuesday night. The club has not confirmed the agreement.

Estrada, 34, developed a strong rapport with the city of Toronto and the Blue Jays organization after arriving for the 2015 season, which became a career year for him. The right-hander re-signed with the Blue Jays quickly in the fall of 2015 -- a two-year, $26 million deal -- and is doing so again, in what is effectively a renewal at his average salary over the past two seasons.

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Jon Paul Morosi is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bradley robs Davis of HR with leaping grab

Bradley robs Davis of HR with leaping grab

BALTIMORE -- Jackie Bradley Jr. has home run robbery down to a science.

The Red Sox's standout center fielder was at it again Tuesday night while helping his team pull out a 1-0, 11-inning victory over the Orioles.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Grandal's HR gives Dodgers new club record

Catcher is sixth hitter to log 20 or more jacks this season

Grandal's HR gives Dodgers new club record

PHILADELPHIA -- Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal belted his 20th home run of the season in his first at-bat against the Phillies in a 6-2 loss on Tuesday, becoming the sixth Dodgers hitter with 20 or more homers this season -- a new club record -- joining Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor and Justin Turner. The previous mark was five by the 2000 and 1979 clubs.

An All-Star in his first season with the Dodgers and the unquestioned starting catcher in his second year, Grandal, now in his third season with the club, is battling a slump that jeopardizes his playing time in the postseason. Grandal logged a .267 average and .788 OPS in the first half of this season, but only .205/.698 since the All-Star break.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zimmerman, Max power Nats past Braves

Zimmerman, Max power Nats past Braves

ATLANTA -- Ryan Zimmerman reached 100 RBIs for the first time since 2009 as the Nationals continued to tune up for the postseason with a 4-2 win over the Braves on Tuesday night at SunTrust Park. The Nationals moved within 4 1/2 games of the Dodgers for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

"One hundred [RBIs] is kind of the benchmark that everyone tries to get to in a season," Zimmerman said. "…It is nice to be able to stay healthy and to be apart of this lineup. It is hard to drive in 100 runs if you don't have other good players on your team."

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Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta who covered the Nationals on Tuesday.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lowrie's slam caps A's comeback vs. Tigers

Lowrie's slam caps A's comeback vs. Tigers

DETROIT -- Jed Lowrie's eighth-inning grand slam led the A's back from a four-run deficit and decided a back-and-forth affair as Oakland outslugged the Tigers for a 9-8 win Tuesday at Comerica Park.

"When you're scoring as many runs as we are and grinding out at-bats like we do, we feel like we're never out of it," Lowrie said.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Kyle Beery is a contributor to MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Athletics on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Realmuto hits walk-off HR in wild win over Mets

Realmuto hits walk-off HR in wild win over Mets

MIAMI -- The Marlins aren't going down quietly in the National League Wild Card chase. After being an out away from elimination on Tuesday night, J.T. Realmuto delivered a walk-off home run in the 10th inning that lifted Miami to a 5-4 win over the Mets at Marlins Park.

The Mets carried a 4-1 lead into the ninth inning, but closer AJ Ramos, dealt to New York in July from Miami, allowed a leadoff home run to Justin Bour and with two outs, A.J. Ellis and Ichiro Suzuki delivered RBI singles, setting up Realmuto's heroics off Paul Sewald in the 10th.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stro-powered Jays take down KC in opener

Stro-powered Jays take down KC in opener

TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman pitched another gem on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre, as the Blue Jays handed the Royals a 5-2 loss, making Kansas City's path to an American League Wild Card spot even more difficult.

The Royals remain 4 1/2 games behind the Twins for the second AL Wild Card spot despite losing, thanks to the Yankees beating Minnesota.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto who covered the Royals on Tuesday.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perez lauded for impact on Indians' run

Fellow catcher Gomes also recognized for work behind dish

Perez lauded for impact on Indians' run

CLEVELAND -- There is a critical element to success on a baseball diamond that often goes under the radar. When a team is playing well, statistics will fly that break down a staff's pitching prowess or an offense's overwhelming production. That was certainly the case during the historic winning streak the Indians recently enjoyed.

The element that exists outside the spotlight is the work of the catchers. Inside Cleveland's clubhouse, the pitchers do not underestimate the impacts that Roberto Perez and Yan Gomes have had on the American League Central champions, and that held true again on Tuesday night after Perez played a large role -- behind the plate and in the batter's box -- during a 6-3 victory over the Angels at Angel Stadium.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

The Phillie Phanatic went streaking at Citizens Bank Park

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The Phillie Phanatic went streaking at Citizens Bank Park

With Labor Day more than two weeks in the rearview mirror, beach season is mostly over in the Philadelphia area. The kids are back in school and the weather is getting a little chillier.

Don't tell that to the Phillie Phanatic, though. During Tuesday's 6-2 win over the Dodgers, he took off his clothes and turned the verdant expanses of Citizens Bank Park into his own, personal nude beach:

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Solving Tribe is paramount to Halos' chances

Solving Tribe is paramount to Halos' chances

ANAHEIM -- For the last two seasons, the Angels have struggled to solve the Indians. After dropping Tuesday night's series opener at Angel Stadium, 6-3, the Angels have now lost nine in a row to the Tribe, their longest active skid against any team in the Majors.

The defeat served as a glimpse at the challenging road that lies ahead for the Halos. The Indians, who reeled off an American League-record 22 wins and clinched their division title last week, represent a potential first-round opponent for the Angels, if they're able to secure an AL Wild Card berth and advance past the one-game playoff to the AL Division Series.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.