After honoring friend, Dee delivers 1st homer

Infielder takes first pitch from right side, then goes deep as lefty swinger

After honoring friend, Dee delivers 1st homer

MIAMI -- An emotional and teary-eyed Dee Gordon paid tribute to Jose Fernandez in dramatic fashion during Monday night's 7-3 Marlins win over the Mets. The two-time All-Star second baseman, after taking one pitch while batting from the right side, switched back to his natural spot as a lefty hitter and two pitches later belted his first home run of the season.

Gordon has been visibly shaken since the passing of Fernandez, who died along with two friends early Sunday morning in a boating accident. Leading off the bottom of the first against Bartolo Colon, Gordon hit his first home run of the season, which gave the Marlins an early lead against the Mets at Marlins Park.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians win AL Central for 1st time since '07

Indians win AL Central for 1st time since '07

DETROIT -- In enemy territory, and against a team that has tormented Cleveland for so many years, the Indians finished the job. With a 7-4 victory over the Tigers on Monday night, the Indians punched their ticket to the October dance as the American League Central champions.

Coco Crisp and Roberto Perez hit key home runs, and the Tribe's bullpen logged five innings behind ace Corey Kluber, who exited early with a right groin injury. A team that has overcome adversity all season long did so again, earning the right to pop the champagne. This marks Cleveland's first postseason berth since winning a Wild Card spot in 2013 and represents the Tribe's first division title since 2007.

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

100 Grand! Slam seals century mark for Cubs

100 Grand! Slam seals century mark for Cubs

PITTSBURGH -- The Cubs won their 100th game of the season Monday night the same way they checked off the first 99 -- with dominant starting pitching and an overpowering offensive attack. Javier Baez hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high six runs, Kyle Hendricks lowered his Major League-leading ERA to 1.99 and the Cubs rolled over the Pirates, 12-2, at PNC Park.

Having already clinched home-field advantage through the National League Championship Series and the best record in the Majors, the Cubs entered the final week of the season with only history and personal accomplishments left to achieve. This is the first time the Cubs have won 100 games since 1935, and the sixth time in franchise history. Hendricks stretched his streak of starts allowing three runs or fewer to 22 straight, holding Pittsburgh to seven hits while striking out five over six scoreless innings in his penultimate case for the NL Cy Young Award.

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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.

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

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

Blue Jays' WC lead cut to one in loss to Yanks

Blue Jays' WC lead cut to one in loss to Yanks

TORONTO -- In a game marred by two early bench-clearing incidents, the Yankees scored five runs in the ninth inning -- three coming on homers by Mark Teixeira and Aaron Hicks -- and defeated the Blue Jays, 7-5, on Monday night at Rogers Centre to salvage the finale of the four-game series.

Toronto left the bases loaded after scoring twice in its half of the ninth. The loss cut the Blue Jays' lead in the American League Wild Card to one game over the idle Orioles.

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John Lott is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

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

Tearful return: Emotional Marlins win

Tearful return: Emotional Marlins win

MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez's presence was everywhere on Monday night, and collectively, the Marlins fed off the energy. Dee Gordon set the tone with a tearful leadoff homer that tugged at the heartstrings of everyone at Marlins Park.

Gordon had four hits and Justin Bour collected three, helping the Marlins break open a big lead and hold off the Mets, 7-3, on a night they paid tribute to Fernandez, whose death on Sunday morning in a boating accident rocked the sports world.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. 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, and listen to his podcast.

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

Red Sox magic number for AL East title now 1

Red Sox magic number for AL East title now 1

The Red Sox got one step closer to an American League East title Monday as the Blue Jays lost, 7-5, to the Yankees at Rogers Centre. Toronto's defeat lowered Boston's magic number to one, meaning the Red Sox can finish no worse than a tie for first place in the division.

The Red Sox have already secured a playoff berth and can now claim the East as soon as Tuesday with one more win or another Blue Jays loss.

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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.

Cardinals fall back in WC race with lopsided loss

Cardinals fall back in WC race with lopsided loss

ST. LOUIS -- Back at Busch Stadium with a chance to pull even with the Giants and inch closer to a sixth straight playoff berth, the Cardinals instead elicited boos from the typically affable home fans with one of their ugliest performances of the season. They looked little like a team ready for postseason play in a 15-2 loss to the Reds to open a seven-game homestand on Monday night.

The Cardinals fell further back in the National League Wild Card race that the Mets still lead with six days remaining in the regular season. New York, which also lost on Monday, holds a 1 1/2-game lead over the Cardinals. The Giants, who were idle, sit one game ahead of St. Louis.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

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.

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

Salazar looks 'really good' in bullpen session

Salazar looks 'really good' in bullpen session

DETROIT -- Danny Salazar walked out of the visitors' clubhouse at Comerica Park, and moved swiftly down the hall toward the training room. Before he disappeared around a corner, the Indians pitcher was asked if he played catch again on Monday afternoon.

"Yes," said Salazar, who then broke into a wide smile. "I threw a bullpen."

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

Marlins honor Fernandez by wearing No. 16

Team will wear patch to pay tribute to Fernandez for rest of season

Marlins honor Fernandez by wearing No. 16

MIAMI -- No. 16 was everywhere on Monday night. Each Marlins player had it on the back of his black uniform top.

Nothing has been officially announced, but it just might be the last time we see a Marlins player wear No. 16.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks, Blue Jays clear benches twice

Three players hit by pitches; NY's Severino, Girardi, Rothschild and Thomson ejected

Yanks, Blue Jays clear benches twice

TORONTO -- A trio of hit-by-pitches led to the Blue Jays and Yankees clearing their benches twice early in Monday's 7-5 Yankees win at Rogers Centre.

The friction started when Josh Donaldson was hit by a 97-mph fastball from Yankees starter Luis Severino with one out in the first inning. While Toronto's third baseman took his base, the reigning American League MVP Award winner was clearly not happy.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kluber exits start with right groin tightness

Kluber exits start with right groin tightness

DETROIT -- Indians ace Corey Kluber was forced to exit Monday's game against the Tigers with a groin injury. Cleveland still went on to win, 7-4, clinching its first American League Central title since 2007.

The Indians announced that Kluber left his outing after four innings due to tightness in his right groin and is considered day to day. Cleveland can ill-afford to lose its rotation leader at the moment, given that the team is already down two starters. Righties Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco are also sidelined with injuries for the first-place Tribe. Cleveland was leading, 4-2, when reliever Dan Otero took over for Kluber in the fifth.

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

With 2-run HR, Bryant passes 100 RBIs

With 2-run HR, Bryant passes 100 RBIs

PITTSBURGH -- Kris Bryant finished the 2015 season with 99 RBIs, which was good enough to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award. In Monday's 12-2 win over the Pirates, Bryant reached the century mark, hitting his 39th home run, a two-run shot, to raise his season total to 101 RBIs with the Cubs.

Bryant connected on a 3-2 fastball from the Pirates' Steven Brault with one out and one on in the sixth, launching the ball into the left-field seats at PNC Park. The 39 home runs also are a career high; last season, Bryant hit 26.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

2016 tiebreaker scenarios

As the 2016 season winds down the six divisions are pretty much decided. However, the two Wild Card races are completely up in the air, and there is a good chance we end up seeing at least one tiebreaker game played on Monday, Oct. 3.

With that in mind, here is a breakdown of the likeliest tiebreaker scenarios for the American and National League Wild Cards.

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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.

Indians down Tigers to clinch AL Central

Indians down Tigers to clinch AL Central

DETROIT -- The Indians clinched their first American League Central title since 2007 at the ballpark that housed four of the previous five division crowns. In the process, their 7-4 win over the Tigers made Detroit's postseason pursuit much tougher.

Though Corey Kluber lasted just four innings before leaving with right groin tightness, adding to Cleveland's rotation injuries, Coco Crisp's two-run home run in the second inning and Roberto Perez's solo shot in the seventh helped power the Indians to their 14th win in 16 games against the Tigers this season, eliminating Detroit from the division race.

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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.

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 listen to his podcast.

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

Blue Jays' Travis exits with apparent injury

Blue Jays' Travis exits with apparent injury

TORONTO -- Devon Travis, the Blue Jays' batting average leader, left Monday's 7-5 loss with an apparent injury after playing five innings against the Yankees at Rogers Centre.

There was no immediate word on the nature of his injury. But on the last swing of a fourth-inning strikeout, Travis grimaced and appeared to reach for his left shoulder, which has undergone two surgeries in the past year.

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John Lott is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Villar's two HRs lift Brewers past Rangers

Villar's two HRs lift Brewers past Rangers

ARLINGTON -- Carlos Gomez drove in a pair of runs against his former team, but the Rangers slipped a half-game behind the idle Red Sox in the race for home-field advantage throughout the postseason with an 8-3 loss to the Brewers on a big Monday night for Milwaukee leadoff man Jonathan Villar.

Villar broke free from a recent funk with three hits, two home runs and five RBIs to back Brewers starter Matt Garza, who held Gomez and the Rangers to three runs in six innings in what could be the right-hander's final start this season. The Brewers scored in bunches for Garza, with three runs in the third inning, two in the fifth on Villar's two-run homer to left field and three more in the seventh on Villar's three-run shot to straightaway center.

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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.

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas.

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

Diaz attends service for his friend Fernandez

Cardinals shortstop grew up with late Marlins pitcher in Cuba

Diaz attends service for his friend Fernandez

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz traveled to Miami on Monday to attend a private service honoring Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident on Sunday. Diaz returned and was on St. Louis' bench during a 15-2 loss to the Reds in the series opener.

Diaz and Fernandez grew up doors apart on Eighth Street in Cuba's Santa Clara neighborhood, where Diaz's father and uncle first encouraged Fernandez to play baseball. The two families remained close and eventually both settled in South Florida.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gurriel honors Fernandez, hangs No. 16 jersey

Gurriel honors Fernandez, hangs No. 16 jersey

HOUSTON -- Astros infielder Yulieski Gurriel, a Cuban who was dealing with the sudden death of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, hung an Astros jersey with Fernandez's name and No. 16 in the dugout during Monday's game against the Mariners to honor his fellow countryman.

Gurriel, who knew Fernandez and whose younger brother, Lourdes, played with him, had the jersey hanging in his locker Monday before it was moved to the dugout for the game. Several players touched it on their way to the field.

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

Cancer-free, Lambo returns to A's

Cancer-free, Lambo returns to A's

ANAHEIM -- A's outfielder Andrew Lambo, cancer-free, reunited with the team in Anaheim on Monday and took part in batting practice.

"I feel great," Lambo said. "I honestly feel better than ever."

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

High 5: D-backs slug to rout of Nationals

High 5: D-backs slug to rout of Nationals

WASHINGTON -- Now that the Nationals have clinched the National League East, they are trying to find the proper balance between maintaining health and trying to maintain home field advantage for their National League Division Series matchup with the Dodgers.

But with two key players already missing from the middle of their order and one of their top starting pitchers sidelined, the Nationals may have lost another in Monday's 14-4 loss to the D-backs. Wilson Ramos, their All-Star catcher having the best season of his career, left the game in the sixth inning with an apparent right leg injury. He had to be carried off the field by team trainers, unable to put any weight on the leg.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamalcollier.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

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

Yadier Molina couldn't keep from laughing after Matt Adams bobbled this catch

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Yadier Molina couldn't keep from laughing after Matt Adams bobbled this catch

Baseball gloves are made to make catching things easier. But sometimes those gloves act up, behaving more like the basket-like cestas in jai alai.   

Facing the Reds on Monday night, Adam Duvall popped up a ball down the first-base line. Matt Adams came racing in to make the grab. After a brief interlude when gravity appeared to give out, the ball dropped back into Adams' glove and Yadier Molina couldn't keep a straight face. 

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MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Jose Fernandez: A legacy of pure joy

Jose Fernandez: A legacy of pure joy

Everything about Jose Fernandez radiated hope. Those brown eyes that had seen so much yet shined so bright. The electric arm that racked up strikeouts at a record rate. The contagious smile. The enthusiastic way he rooted for his teammates. The passion he had for his family, for his sport, for his adopted country. And most recently, the excitement he shared with all of us on Instagram, where he announced he would soon become a father.

That hope left us early Sunday morning. Fernandez, just 24 years old and just a few days removed from a typically dominant start, was one of three men who died when a 32-foot boat overturned on a jetty off Miami Beach. And it is a gut-wrenching loss for Fernandez's family, for his girlfriend and unborn child, for the Marlins and for the entire sporting world.

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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.

Girardi hoping Tanaka can start Saturday

Yanks righty to see team physician Tuesday for forearm strain; Castro cleared to pinch-hit

Girardi hoping Tanaka can start Saturday

TORONTO -- Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka is expected to see team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad on Tuesday when the club returns home from an 11-game road trip, manager Joe Girardi said before Monday's 7-5 victory over the Blue Jays.

Tanaka was initially slated to start Monday's series finale against the Blue Jays, but an MRI exam last week revealed a small flexor mass strain in his right forearm and the ace was skipped in favor of Luis Severino.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets, Marlins unite in remembering Jose

Mets, Marlins unite in remembering Jose

MIAMI -- In his absence, all of Jose Fernandez's teammates had his back on Monday night at Marlins Park, literally. Each player on the Marlins, and all of the coaches, wore No. 16 Fernandez jerseys in honor of the passing of the 24-year-old Miami ace.

During a touching pregame ceremony, a lone trumpeter played "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," as a video tribute was displayed on the scoreboard. And during the national anthem, all of Miami's starting position players gathered around the pitcher's mound, while the rest of the players on both teams stood at the lines.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper day to day with injured left thumb

Club awaits X-ray results on OF; Murphy remains out with strained buttocks

Harper day to day with injured left thumb

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals said they had not received the X-ray results on Bryce Harper's left thumb prior to Monday night's game against the D-backs, but Harper was not in the starting lineup.

Harper injured his thumb sliding into third base Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, deked by a fake tag from Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang. Harper described the thumb as jammed, similar to an injury playing basketball, and the club listed him as day to day.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Fernandez tragedy brings echoes of Munson

Fernandez tragedy brings echoes of Munson

The public mourning of the death of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez will last a few days. The memory, however, will linger forever, particularly with his teammates.

"When you go through that, it's a complete shock," said Jerry Narron, the rookie catcher whom the Yankees put in the lineup the day after Thurman Munson was killed in a plane crash in August 1979. "You don't want to believe it, but you never get over it. It's with you the rest of your life."

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

Carpenter bothered by soreness in right finger

Holliday looking to continue rehab against live pitching

Carpenter bothered by soreness in right finger

ST. LOUIS -- While struggling to produce since returning from an oblique injury in early August, Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter has acknowledged, at various points, that timing issues and trust in his oblique have held him back. Perhaps, now, there is another contributing factor in play.

Manager Mike Matheny divulged on Monday that Carpenter has been bothered for "a while" by a right middle finger injury. Discomfort in that finger has hurt Carpenter's ability to finish through some of his swings and has sapped him of some grip strength. After noticing Carpenter wiggling his finger to try and get feeling back in it after an eighth-inning single on Sunday, Matheny determined that the infielder needed at least one day off.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matz sees doctor; season most likely over

Matz sees doctor; season most likely over

MIAMI -- For at least the fourth time since reporting discomfort in his left shoulder in mid-August, Mets left-hander Steven Matz visited a doctor in Manhattan on Monday for a checkup. Though Mets staff members in Miami did not know details of his visit as of Monday afternoon, they did indicate that Matz's stalled progress means he almost certainly will not return this season.

Because Matz has not pitched since Aug. 14, he will not be a consideration for the Mets' postseason rotation. Even if Matz does feel healthy enough to throw off a mound in the coming weeks, manager Terry Collins said it is unlikely he would contribute out of the bullpen, either.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Lucroy difference-maker for AL West champs

Lucroy difference-maker for AL West champs

ARLINGTON -- The best non-waiver Trade Deadline acquisition by a contending team this year was made by the Rangers when they acquired catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Brewers.

You can name other clubs that made necessary improvements, such as the Cubs, trading for closer Aroldis Chapman, or the Nationals, trading for closer Mark Melancon. The Dodgers made substantial improvements, too.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

5 keys for Giants to secure a Wild Card spot

5 keys for Giants to secure a Wild Card spot

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants must scale certain obstacles along their path toward securing a National League Wild Card berth.

Those challenges include the obvious: scoring more runs and allowing fewer of them against the Colorado Rockies, whom the Giants open a three-game series against on Tuesday at AT&T Park. Then comes a trio of weekend games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have clinched the NL West title the Giants once believed would be theirs.

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