The Los Angeles Dodgers were able to put their recent struggles behind them for at least one night, as they clinched their fifth straight NL West Division Title on Friday night. Cody Bellinger set an NL rookie record with his 39th home run as the Dodgers doubled-up the San Francisco Giants, 4-2, at Dodger Stadium. Bellinger's three-run shot in the third inning broke the previous record set by Wally Berger in 1930 and Frank Robinson in 1956. Rich HIll threw six impressive innings in his 11th win, as he walked just one and struck out nine on the night. The division title means that the Dodgers will host the first two games of the National League Divisional Series, beginning on October 6th, as they look to reach their first World Series since 1988. They are now tied for the third-longest streak of division titles in MLB history, behind the New York Yankees' 14 in a row and Atlanta Braves' nine straight. On the other end, the loss for the Giants was their 94th of the year, which is the most for them since 1996. The now NL West Division Champs will look to hold on to baseball's best record for home-field advantage throughout the entire postseason, as their series with the Giants continues on Saturday night.
Cruz, Mariners Walk-Off Against Red-Hot Indians
The Cleveland Indians have the only shot of dethroning the Dodgers as baseball's best team, but their hot streak to a small step back on Friday night. Nelson Cruz connected with a walk-off, two-run home run in the ninth inning for a Seattle Mariners' 3-1 win over the AL Central Division Champions at Safeco Field. The Mariners tied the game in the seventh on a Yonder Alonso RBI single, and in the end, snapped the Indians' five-game winning streak, as well as their own six-game losing streak. That recent skid has them five games back in the AL Wild Card hunt behind the Minnesota Twins, who earned a 7-3 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday. Cruz's walk-off long ball was his 36th homer of the season and came on a 2-1 pitch from closer Cody Allen, who suffered his seventh loss of the year. The slugger has now gone deep in three straight games and holds the American League lead with 114 RBIs. The Indians' only run of the game came on Giovanny Urshela's first homer of the season and seventh of his career, as it was his first since September of 2015. Trevor Bauer pitched well over seven innings for the Indians, but could not tie Corey Kluber with his 17th win of the season. The Indians now sit two games behind the Dodgers for the best record in baseball, and will stay in Seattle for Game 2 of the series on Saturday.
Cubs Edge Brewers in Extras Again
The Milwaukee Brewers' run to catching the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central has been slowed down by consecutive heartbreaking losses on their home field. The Cubs recorded their second straight extra-inning win over the Brewers on Saturday, taking down their division rivals 5-4 in 10 innings. Pinch hitter Tommy La Stella drew a bases loaded walk against Brewers closer Corey Knebel in the 10th, which brought in the go-ahead run for the defending World Series Champions. Milwaukee would threaten in the bottom half of the 10th, but Addison Russell tagged out Eric Sogard at second base to seal the win, and give Chicago a 5.5-game lead in on the Brewers. The Brew-Crew fell to third place in the division, a half-game behind the St. Louis Cardinals, who beat the Pirates in Pittsburgh on Friday. They also fell to two games behind the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card hunt, as they have now dropped three in a row, all of which by two runs or less. Their All-Star closer walked three batters in the 10th inning alone in his fourth loss, while Carl Edwards Jr. threw 1.2 scoreless innings for his fifth win of the year for Chicago. The Cubs can finish off the Brewers' postseason hopes this weekend, and will look to continue that process in Game 3 of the series on Saturday afternoon.