Charlie Morton 1st Game 7 Winner of Both LCS and World Series in Same Season

Houston Astros pitcher Charlie Morton allowed just one run over four innings of work in Wednesday's World Series-clinching victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Morton's effort not only secured Houston's first-ever World series, but it also made him the first pitcher in MLB history to earn the win in Game 7 of both the League Championship Series and the World Series in the same season, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The 33-year-old hurler's signing in free agency prior to 2017 was a rather small footnote for the club during the offseason, but he turned out to be a major contributor for the club. Morton served as a starting pitcher during the regular season, posting a 3.62 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 146.2 innings.

Morton lasted just a combined eight innings between his first two postseason starts for the Astros, but that didn't deter manager A.J. Hinch from turning to the veteran for Game 7 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees.

He responded to the call by firing five scoreless frames against the Yankees and followed that up with a stellar Game 4 against the Dodgers in which he allowed just one run over 6.1 frames. The latter outing was spoiled by closer Ken Giles' implosion in the top of the ninth inning.

Although Morton's spot in the rotation wouldn't come up in the remainder of the series, a short start (2.1 innings) from Lance McCullers in Game 7 forced Hinch to turn to the bullpen early. Following three other relievers, Morton came on in the sixth inning and closed out the game with four solid innings, making history in the process.

Morton remains under contract with the Astros for one more season. Given the team's returning talent from 2017, there's no reason the club shouldn't be in contention for back-to-back championships.

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Charlie Morton 1st Game 7 Winner of Both LCS and World Series in Same Season

Houston Astros pitcher Charlie Morton allowed just one run over four innings of work in Wednesday's World Series-clinching victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Morton's effort not only secured Houston's first-ever World series, but it also made him the first pitcher in MLB history to earn the win in Game 7 of both the League Championship Series and the World Series in the same season, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The 33-year-old hurler's signing in free agency prior to 2017 was a rather small footnote for the club during the offseason, but he turned out to be a major contributor for the club. Morton served as a starting pitcher during the regular season, posting a 3.62 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 146.2 innings.

Morton lasted just a combined eight innings between his first two postseason starts for the Astros, but that didn't deter manager A.J. Hinch from turning to the veteran for Game 7 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees.

He responded to the call by firing five scoreless frames against the Yankees and followed that up with a stellar Game 4 against the Dodgers in which he allowed just one run over 6.1 frames. The latter outing was spoiled by closer Ken Giles' implosion in the top of the ninth inning.

Although Morton's spot in the rotation wouldn't come up in the remainder of the series, a short start (2.1 innings) from Lance McCullers in Game 7 forced Hinch to turn to the bullpen early. Following three other relievers, Morton came on in the sixth inning and closed out the game with four solid innings, making history in the process.

Morton remains under contract with the Astros for one more season. Given the team's returning talent from 2017, there's no reason the club shouldn't be in contention for back-to-back championships.

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George Springer Ties Single-Season World Series Home Run Record

Houston Astros center fielder George Springer made it to the plate twice in the first two innings of Game 7 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, scoring a run in each of the two appearances.

The first tally of Game 7 came from Springer on a throwing error by Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, but he didn't require any assistance for the second. The 28-year-old smacked a two-run homer in the top of the second inning, becoming the third player in MLB history to hit five in a single World Series, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Springer's long fly was also the last pitch of the night from Dodgers starter Yu Darvish, who lasted fewer than two innings in each of his two World Series starts. His homer also gave the Astros a 5-0 lead in the contest, which ultimately held up.

Not only did he play a big role in the franchise's first-ever World Series, but his efforts also allowed him to take home the Most Valuable Player honors. Springer batted .379 with five home runs, seven RBI and eight runs scored during baseball's final series of 2017.

Springer's output during the World Series was a stark contrast to his efforts during the ALCS, when he managed only three hits in 26 at-bats. That series also went to seven games against the New York Yankees before the Astros advanced.

The 2011 first-round selection (11th overall) still has three years of arbitration remaining before potentially hitting the open market in 2021. However, it wouldn't be surprising if the Astros attempt to ink their star to a contract extension before that date nears.

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George Springer Ties Single-Season World Series Home Run Record

Houston Astros center fielder George Springer made it to the plate twice in the first two innings of Game 7 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, scoring a run in each of the two appearances.

The first tally of Game 7 came from Springer on a throwing error by Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, but he didn't require any assistance for the second. The 28-year-old smacked a two-run homer in the top of the second inning, becoming the third player in MLB history to hit five in a single World Series, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Springer's long fly was also the last pitch of the night from Dodgers starter Yu Darvish, who lasted fewer than two innings in each of his two World Series starts. His homer also gave the Astros a 5-0 lead in the contest, which ultimately held up.

Not only did he play a big role in the franchise's first-ever World Series, but his efforts also allowed him to take home the Most Valuable Player honors. Springer batted .379 with five home runs, seven RBI and eight runs scored during baseball's final series of 2017.

Springer's output during the World Series was a stark contrast to his efforts during the ALCS, when he managed only three hits in 26 at-bats. That series also went to seven games against the New York Yankees before the Astros advanced.

The 2011 first-round selection (11th overall) still has three years of arbitration remaining before potentially hitting the open market in 2021. However, it wouldn't be surprising if the Astros attempt to ink their star to a contract extension before that date nears.

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George Springer Ties Single-Series Home Run Record from Leadoff Hitter

Houston Astros center fielder George Springer went 2-for-3 with a home run during Tuesday's Game 6 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Springer has now gone deep four times in the six World Series contests, tying Lenny Dykstra for the most home runs hit in a postseason series from a leadoff hitter, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com). Dykstra also went deep four times as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies against the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 World Series.

Although Springer serves in the leadoff role for the Astros, he's not the prototypical player to sit atop the lineup. In general, the leadoff hitter is a player who makes consistent contact and has a decent amount of speed to swipe bases. Springer does make consistent contact, batting .283 during the regular season, but he stole just five bases.

He also possesses much more power than the typical leadoff hitter, collecting 34 home runs during the regular season. He's added another five of those during the playoffs, giving him 39 total for 2017. Including Game 1 of the World Series, Springer went 10 straight contests without a homer before finally breaking out in Game 2. 

Despite the center fielder's efforts, the Astros couldn't muster any more offense in Game 6, falling to the Dodgers 3-1 to force a Game 7. The two teams will return to the diamond for the conclusion of the series Wednesday evening in Los Angeles.

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George Springer Ties Single-Series Home Run Record from Leadoff Hitter

Houston Astros center fielder George Springer went 2-for-3 with a home run during Tuesday's Game 6 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Springer has now gone deep four times in the six World Series contests, tying Lenny Dykstra for the most home runs hit in a postseason series from a leadoff hitter, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com). Dykstra also went deep four times as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies against the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 World Series.

Although Springer serves in the leadoff role for the Astros, he's not the prototypical player to sit atop the lineup. In general, the leadoff hitter is a player who makes consistent contact and has a decent amount of speed to swipe bases. Springer does make consistent contact, batting .283 during the regular season, but he stole just five bases.

He also possesses much more power than the typical leadoff hitter, collecting 34 home runs during the regular season. He's added another five of those during the playoffs, giving him 39 total for 2017. Including Game 1 of the World Series, Springer went 10 straight contests without a homer before finally breaking out in Game 2. 

Despite the center fielder's efforts, the Astros couldn't muster any more offense in Game 6, falling to the Dodgers 3-1 to force a Game 7. The two teams will return to the diamond for the conclusion of the series Wednesday evening in Los Angeles.

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Houston Astros Just 2nd Team in MLB History to Start Postseason 7-0 at Home

The Houston Astros took a 2-1 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers following a 5-3 victory in Game 3 on Friday.

If history is any indicator, the Astros are in a very good position to take home the franchise's first-ever World Series title. The club owns a 7-0 record so far this postseason at home, and the only team to do so prior (2008 Philadelphia Phillies) won the World Series, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Houston possesses a great balance of both quality pitching and hitting, winning a game thanks to each so far this series. The Astros fended off the Dodgers in Game 2 with a barrage of home runs late in the contest to even up the series as they left Los Angeles.

Game 3 was a bit of a different story for the club. Although it did take an early four-run lead, the pitching held the Dodgers to just three runs the entire game, thanks in large part to 3.2 scoreless and hitless frames from Brad Peacock to tie the second-longest save in World Series history, per Sportsnet Stats.

The Astros will attempt to get another step closer to the World Series title in Game 4 on Saturday evening, sending Charlie Morton to the rubber to face the Dodgers' Alex Wood.

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Houston Astros Just 2nd Team in MLB History to Start Postseason 7-0 at Home

The Houston Astros took a 2-1 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers following a 5-3 victory in Game 3 on Friday.

If history is any indicator, the Astros are in a very good position to take home the franchise's first-ever World Series title. The club owns a 7-0 record so far this postseason at home, and the only team to do so prior (2008 Philadelphia Phillies) won the World Series, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Houston possesses a great balance of both quality pitching and hitting, winning a game thanks to each so far this series. The Astros fended off the Dodgers in Game 2 with a barrage of home runs late in the contest to even up the series as they left Los Angeles.

Game 3 was a bit of a different story for the club. Although it did take an early four-run lead, the pitching held the Dodgers to just three runs the entire game, thanks in large part to 3.2 scoreless and hitless frames from Brad Peacock to tie the second-longest save in World Series history, per Sportsnet Stats.

The Astros will attempt to get another step closer to the World Series title in Game 4 on Saturday evening, sending Charlie Morton to the rubber to face the Dodgers' Alex Wood.

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Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers Combine for Unprecedented Mark in Game 2

Houston Astros center fielder George Springer went 3-for-5 during Wednesday's Game 2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, smacking a go-ahead two-run shot in the top of the 11th inning that ultimately proved to be the difference.

Springer's homer wasn't the last of the night, however, as Charlie Culberson added a solo round-tripper in the bottom of the frame to cap the night with a World Series-record eight home runs, per Sportsnet Stats. There were no repeat offenders in the contest, with eight different players each hitting a home run in the game.

The Dodgers started the home run parade in the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run from center fielder Joc Pederson and added a second when shortstop Corey Seager hit a two-run blast the following frame.

However, most of the fireworks came late in the contest. Down by a run to begin the top of the ninth inning, left fielder Marwin Gonzalez stepped to the plate to lead off and knocked a ball over the center field fence off of the nearly unhittable Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to tie the game and eventually send it to extra innings.

Five combined home runs later and the Astros evened up the series at one apiece with the strikeout of right fielder Yasiel Puig by reliever Chris Devenski in the bottom of the 11th inning.

The series now shifts to Houston for Game 3 on Friday, with Lance McCullers set to take the mound for the Astros and Yu Darvish going for the Dodgers.

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Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers Combine for Unprecedented Mark in Game 2

Houston Astros center fielder George Springer went 3-for-5 during Wednesday's Game 2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, smacking a go-ahead two-run shot in the top of the 11th inning that ultimately proved to be the difference.

Springer's homer wasn't the last of the night, however, as Charlie Culberson added a solo round-tripper in the bottom of the frame to cap the night with a World Series-record eight home runs, per Sportsnet Stats. There were no repeat offenders in the contest, with eight different players each hitting a home run in the game.

The Dodgers started the home run parade in the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run from center fielder Joc Pederson and added a second when shortstop Corey Seager hit a two-run blast the following frame.

However, most of the fireworks came late in the contest. Down by a run to begin the top of the ninth inning, left fielder Marwin Gonzalez stepped to the plate to lead off and knocked a ball over the center field fence off of the nearly unhittable Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to tie the game and eventually send it to extra innings.

Five combined home runs later and the Astros evened up the series at one apiece with the strikeout of right fielder Yasiel Puig by reliever Chris Devenski in the bottom of the 11th inning.

The series now shifts to Houston for Game 3 on Friday, with Lance McCullers set to take the mound for the Astros and Yu Darvish going for the Dodgers.

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Houston Astros and New York Yankees Combine for Unprecedented Mark in Game 2

Houston Astros center fielder George Springer went 3-for-5 during Wednesday's Game 2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, smacking a go-ahead two-run shot in the top of the 11th inning that ultimately proved to be the difference.

Springer's homer wasn't the last of the night, however, as Charlie Culberson added a solo round-tripper in the bottom of the frame to cap the night with a World Series-record eight home runs, per Sportsnet Stats. There were no repeat offenders in the contest, with eight different players each hitting a home run in the game.

The Dodgers started the home run parade in the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run from center fielder Joc Pederson and added a second when shortstop Corey Seager hit a two-run blast the following frame.

However, most of the fireworks came late in the contest. Down by a run to begin the top of the ninth inning, left fielder Marwin Gonzalez stepped to the plate to lead off and knocked a ball over the center field fence off of the nearly unhittable Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to tie the game and eventually send it to extra innings.

Five combined home runs later and the Astros evened up the series at one apiece with the strikeout of right fielder Yasiel Puig by reliever Chris Devenski in the bottom of the 11th inning.

The series now shifts to Houston for Game 3 on Friday, with Lance McCullers set to take the mound for the Astros and Yu Darvish going for the Dodgers.

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Clayton Kershaw Ties Unceremonious Postseason Record Despite Spectacular Game 1

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw allowed just one run on three hits and no walks to help the Dodgers to a 1-0 World Series lead with a 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 1 on Monday.

While Kershaw stifled the league's best offense—sitting down 11 batters via strikeout—the only Astros runner to cross the plate (Alex Bregman) did so with the long ball. Bregman's solo shot marked Kershaw's seventh home run allowed during the 2017 playoffs, tying him for most in a single postseason, per Sportsnet Stats.

Kershaw has made four starts so far this postseason, allowing just eight runs total in those contests. In fact, he's allowed just 15 hits through his four outings and the only runs scored off of him thus far have been via the longball.

The 29-year-old had his worst showing of the 2017 playoffs in his first start against the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing four runs (on four solo homers). He's since allowed no more than two runs per game despite facing the Chicago Cubs twice and, most recently, the Astros.

Prior to his recent run of success, Kershaw possessed a reputation as a pitcher who couldn't get things done in the playoffs. While he's bucked that trend with three straight phenomenal starts, Kershaw still owns just a 4.21 career ERA in the postseason.

Unless the Dodgers manage a sweep of the Astros, Kershaw will have another opportunity to improve on those statistics further in Game 5. The two clubs clash at Dodger Stadium again Wednesday, with the Dodgers trotting lefty Rich Hill to the bump to face the Astros' Justin Verlander.

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Chris Taylor 4th Player to Start World Series with a Bang

Dodgers center fielder Chris Taylor didn't take long to get Los Angeles on the board during Tuesday's Game 1 victory over the Houston Astros.

Taylor swung at the first pitch delivered by Astros starter Dallas Keuchel and knocked it over the left field fence, becoming just the fourth player in World Series history to lead off Game 1 of the Series with a home run, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com).

The three players to accomplish the same feat are the Baltimore Orioles' Don Buford (1969), the Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia (2007) and the Kansas City Royals' Alcides Escobar (2015). Each of the other three instances of a leadoff homer also occurred in the bottom of the first inning.

Through his first three seasons at the major league level, Taylor played in only 120 games, racking up just one total home run and eight stolen bases. He displayed some speed in the minors, but nowhere near the power he's shown in 2017. The 27-year-old cranked out 21 home runs during the regular season, far and away his best season as a professional, and stole 17 bases.

Taylor's power has translated to the postseason as well. In the two series prior to the Fall Classic, he had two homers.

The Dodgers and Astros return to the diamond for Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday, with Rich Hill set to take the mound for Los Angeles and Justin Verlander starting for Houston.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Bullpen Posts Historic Stretch to Begin Playoffs

After Sunday's 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers hold a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series.

While the team's offense has been solid over the first two games, scoring nine runs, the bullpen has made history to start the series. Prior to the 2017 NLCS, no bullpen in MLB history had ever opened a playoff series by retiring 24 consecutive batters, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com). 

During the first two games of the series, Dodgers relievers have combined to pitch eight innings and faced 24 batters. Over those frames, they haven't surrendered a single hit or walk and have struck out nine batters.

The entire bullpen has been integral to the team's success, but closer Kenley Jansen has been in a class of his own. He's appeared in both games of the NLCS and pitched 2.1 innings, fanning six batters and collecting both a save and a win. 

Over the course of the 2017 postseason, Jansen has pitched six innings in five games, giving up just two hits.

Jansen's postseason dominance should not come as much of a surprise. During the regular season, he posted a 1.32 ERA and 0.75 WHIP while converting 41 of his 42 save opportunities. This marked his second consecutive season with a sub-2.00 ERA and 40-plus saves. 

The Dodgers, who are 5-0 this postseason, will look to extend their lead over the Cubs and add to their bullpen's record in Game 3 on Tuesday night in Chicago (9:01 p.m. ET). 

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Houston Astros Start ALCS in Historic Fashion with Pair of Dominant Starts

Houston Astros starter Dallas Keuchel struck out 10 batters en route to a 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday.

Justin Verlander took the mound for Game 2 and proceeded to pitch a complete game and earn a win, fanning 13 Yankees along the way. The duo combined to mark the first time in MLB history that a pair of teammates have begun a playoff series with victories in which they struck out at least 10 batters, per Elias Sports Bureau (h/t ESPN.com).

Both pitchers have been dominant during the 2017 postseason. Keuchel, who went 14-5 with a 2.90 ERA and 1.119 WHIP during the regular season, has allowed just one earned run over 12.2 innings in the playoffs. Over those frames, he's struck out 17 batters and walked only four.

The Detroit Tigers traded Verlander to Houston at the latter end of August. After being sent to Houston, Verlander started five games for the Astros to finish the regular season going 5-0 and pitching his way to a 1.06 ERA and 0.647 WHIP.

Verlander's excellence has carried into the postseason as well. In addition to starting two games, he was used out of the bullpen during the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox. Altogether he's thrown 17.2 innings and allowed just four runs while putting together a 16-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

The Astros have a 2-0 lead over the Yankees in the ALCS following Saturday's victory. Charlie Morton will attempt to extend that lead and continue Houston's string of spectacular starts when he takes the mound for Game 3 on Monday.

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Stephen Strasburg Posts Historic Effort in Game 4 vs. Chicago Cubs

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg tossed seven shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday evening to stave off elimination in the National League Division Series and force a Game 5 back at Nationals Park.

Over the course of his seven frames, Strasburg allowed just three hits and two walks while fanning 12 Cubs batters. His effort Wednesday placed the 29-year-old hurler alongside Joe Coleman (1972 ALCS) as one of the only two pitchers in MLB postseason history to record 12 strikeouts without surrendering a run in an elimination game, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Strasburg has been a dominant force on the mound for Washington in his two starts this postseason, allowing no earned runs over 14 innings of work. He lost Game 1 against Chicago due to two runs scoring partially because of an error by third baseman Anthony Rendon.

After two seasons of having his innings limited to fewer than 150 due to various injuries, Strasburg was able to compile 175.1 frames during the regular season in 2017, posting his best ratios (2.52 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) for a season in which he pitched more than five games (2011).

The Nationals and Cubs have traded off victories so far in the series, with each clubs taking one from the opposition at its home ballpark to reach Game 5. The Nationals will send Gio Gonzalez to the mound Thursday to square off against Chicago and Kyle Hendricks.

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Yulieski Gurriel Becomes 1st Rookie with 6 Consecutive Postseason Hits

Houston Astros first baseman Yulieski Gurriel set himself apart from any rookie who has come before him Monday, when the Astros beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 and advanced to the Championship Series for the fifth time in franchise history. 

Gurriel went 3-for-5 with a double, a triple, and a run scored in Monday's victory. While doing so, he also became the first rookie to record a hit in six consecutive postseason at-bats, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com).

Only three other rookies had reached the milestone of logging a hit in five consecutive at-bats in the postseason. Among them were the New York Yankees' Brian Doyle (1978), the Los Angeles Dodgers' Chad Fonville (1995) and Houston teammate Carlos Correa (2015).

Gurriel turned 33 during his first full season in the league, but that didn't stop him from being a productive member of Houston's high-powered offense, which scored a league-high 896 runs in 2017. Over 139 games he slashed .299/.332/.486 while mashing 18 home runs. 

The Cuba native's efforts at the plate were a significant improvement compared to the brief stint he made in the Show at the latter end of the 2016 season.

During that short run, he posted just a .262 batting average and unimpressive .677 OPS over 36 games. Gurriel's second go-around resulted in him hitting a team-high 43 doubles and notching 75 RBI, which ranked sixth among his fellow Astros.

He has carried his impressive performance into the postseason. After starting each contest during Houston's four-game series against the Red Sox, Gurriel has gone 9-for-17 (.556) and struck out just once.

The Astros will face the winner of the series between the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.

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New York Yankees Bullpen Ties Postseason Record for Strikeouts in 9-Inning Game

The New York Yankees closed out the Minnesota Twins' 2017 campaign with an 8-4 victory Tuesday evening in the AL Wild Card Game despite a short start from Luis Severino.

Severino allowed four hits and a walk while recording only one out in the first inning before being pulled. The bullpen picked him up, however, tying the postseason strikeout record with 13 strikeouts in a nine-inning game, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Chad Green entered the contest for Severino in the first, allowing a run over two innings of work and starting the strikeout party with four of his six outs notched in that fashion. David Robertson provided 3.1 scoreless innings as well, upping the team's strikeout total to nine for the night. Tommy Kahnle added another over 2.1 innings of work, followed by Aroldis Chapman striking out the side to close out the game in the ninth inning.

In the midst of all the strikeouts, the bullpen also finished up Tuesday's tilt having allowed just one run over 8.2 innings. The offense provided plenty of support, matching the Twins' output with three runs in the bottom of the first inning and adding at least a run in each of the next three frames.

A stable bullpen to close out games can go a long way in the postseason, and the Yankees proved they possess that. Despite the outing Tuesday, Severino figures to remains part of a capable three-man rotation for the ALDS also comprised of Sonny Gray and Masahiro Tanaka.

New York heads on the road to square off with the defending American League champions, the Cleveland Indians, in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday.

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Robinson Cano Ties for 2nd-Most Homers in MLB History by 2nd Baseman

Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano cranked his 23rd home run of the season and 301st of his career Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics, tying Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby for the second-most home runs by a second baseman in MLB history, per Sportsnet Stats.

Jeff Kent leads the way for long shots among second basemen with 377. However, he played 17 seasons to reach the total, while Cano is just nearing the end of his 13th professional campaign. The Dominican Republic native is also six years younger than Kent was in his last major league season.

Cano, 34, continues to rake it in this season, batting .282 with 96 RBI in addition to his 23 round-trippers. He's picked things up slightly in the second half of the campaign, batting .275 in the first half and .289 since the Midsummer Classic.

He joined in the All-Star festivities in 2017 as well, marking his eighth time participating in 13 opportunities. Cano hit a go-ahead homer in the 10th inning of the All-Star Game, earning MVP honors for the first time in his career. 

In addition to the All-Star accolades, Cano also claims five Silver Slugger awards and two Gold Glove awards. He's also taken home a World Series ring as a member of the 2009 New York Yankees.

Cano and the Mariners return to the diamond Friday evening to open their final series of the season against the Los Angeles Angels. The second baseman has three more opportunities to surpass Hornsby on the all-time list, beginning with Friday's tilt against Angels starter Tyler Skaggs.

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MLB Sets Strikeout Record for 10th Consecutive Season

Major League Baseball as a whole Wednesday recorded 242 strikeouts to up the league's total for the season to 39,168.

The output from Wednesday pushed the season tally beyond the previous record of 38,982 set last season. In fact, it's the 10th straight season in which MLB has set a strikeout record, per Elias Sports Bureau (h/t ESPN Stats & Info).

Chris Sale leads the way in strikeouts on the mound by a wide margin, collecting 308 so far this season. Second on the list is Max Scherzer, who has set down 263 batters via strikeout. 

On the batter side of the equation, New York Yankees slugging rookie Aaron Judge—who leads the majors in homers—tops the league in strikeouts. He's gone down swinging or looking 13 more times than either of the two tied for second on the list in the Oakland Athletics' Khris Davis and Texas Rangers' Joey Gallo.

The league has transitioned toward the Three True Outcomes (home runs, strikeouts and walks). An article from Craig Edwards of Fangraphs from August highlighted this trend, led by Judge, Gallo and many other young players.

The league as a whole has already set records for both home runs and strikeouts, and ranks in the top 15 in MLB history for walks, per Baseball Reference. Those numbers are bound to rise in the last few days of the regular season, and it wouldn't be surprising if more records are set in 2018.

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