The Atlanta Braves' march to the National League (NL) East title continued with a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday.
It was Atlanta's seventh straight win in MLB.
Left-hander Max Fried was brilliant, yielding only one hit and striking out nine in seven shut-out innings. Ronald Acuna Jr. keyed the offense with a solo home run and a pair of runs scored.
It was the 21-year-old's 37th home run of the season. According to ESPN, only three players have hit more home runs in a season before age 22: Hall of Famers Eddie Mathews, who hit 47, Mel Ott (42), and Frank Robinson (38).
The win gives Atlanta (87-54) an eight-game lead over the second-placed Nationals (78-61) in the NL East. The Braves' seat atop the division has never seemed in danger since the All-Star break. The Braves have had a consistently "safe" lead of around five to seven games throughout the second half.
Now, they have a chance to issue a death blow to their closest rivals, the Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies. Thursday's matchup with the Nationals was the first of 14 straight games the Braves have with Washington and Philadelphia that will see them play home-and-away series against each team through September 19. The Phillies are on the verge of elimination in the division race, but are still just four games back in the wildcard race. The Nationals have a two-game lead in the wildcard chase.
Schwarber's grand slam
Kyle Schwarber's grand slam highlighted a five-run sixth inning as the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 10-5.
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds had two home runs and drove in three runs in a 10-7 loss to the Miami Marlins. Speaking of hot rookies, Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette also had two homers and three RBIs in a 6-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Seattle Mariners Austin Nola and Kyle Seager both had a pair of home runs against the Houston Astros.
Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien was a perfect four for four at the plate and scored three runs in a 10-6 win against the Los Angeles Angels.
San Francisco Giants starter Logan Webb got touched for seven earned runs in 2.2 innings in a 10-0 loss to the St Louis Cardinals.
Moran's debut a memorable one
Marlins left-hander Brian Moran made his MLB debut, and he picked up his first strikeout against a familiar face – his younger brother, Pirates third baseman Colin Moran. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time since 1900 a brother has faced his brother in a pitcher vs. batter matchup in his MLB debut.
Brother vs. brother.— MLB (@MLB) September 6, 2019
The strikeout AND bragging rights. pic.twitter.com/dMnxb4JVNe
Phillip Ervin stuck a dagger in the Phillies' hearts with a walk-off shot for the Cincinnati Reds in the 11th.
Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago White Sox 7-1 Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers 6-4 Kansas City Royals
St Louis Cardinals 10-0 San Francisco Giants
Oakland Athletics 10-6 Los Angeles Angels
Texas Rangers 3-1 Baltimore Orioles
Miami Marlins 10-7 Pittsburgh Pirates
Minnesota Twins 2-1 Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs 10-5 Milwaukee Brewers
Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Toronto Blue Jays
Atlanta Braves 4-2 Washington Nationals
Houston Astros 11-9 Seattle Mariners
Yankees at Red Sox
It is the Yankees and Red Sox in September, although this one does not seem so special with Boston on the verge of elimination in the American League (AL) East, and longshots at this point to even win a wildcard spot. Yankees starter Domingo German (17-3, 4.01) still has a good shot at 20 victories.
|Pirates pitcher Archer out for 2020 season after surgery|
|Coronavirus: David Price gives $1,000 to Dodgers minor leaguers|
|Coronavirus: MLB´s proposal for more salary cuts a non-starter – Scherzer|
|Coronavirus: Tampa Bay Rays open Tropicana Field for limited workouts|
|Rangers would prefer to hold second spring training at new stadium|
|Coronavirus: Nationals to receive World Series rings in virtual ceremony|
|Coronavirus: Former Astros, Athletics manager Howe in ICU with COVID-19|
|With the DH likely coming to all of MLB, which NL hitters would benefit the most?|
|Cashman: Yankees star Judge set to return at full capacity|
|Coronavirus: Rays star pitcher Snell refuses to play unless he gets full salary|
|Coronavirus: Nationals reliever Doolittle concerned about starting MLB season|
|Coronavirus: MLB to bring restart proposal to players, report says|
|Coronavirus: Less than one per cent of MLB employees test positive for COVID-19 antibodies|
|Coronavirus: MLB reportedly shortens 2020 draft from 40 rounds to five|
|Coronavirus: Stars salute return of baseball in South Korea|
|Red Sox outfielder Verdugo says he´s physically 100 per cent|
|Coronavirus: Rays´ Snell wins ´MLB The Show´ Players League championship|
|Former Athletics and All-Star pitcher Keough dies aged 64|
|No fans for MLB games? It´s happened before|
|Astros´ Verlander makes significant progress following groin surgery|
|Coronavirus: Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony postponed until 2021|
|Orioles star Mancini not expecting to play in 2020 due to colon cancer|
|Red Sox docked draft pick, Cora suspended one year for sign stealing|
|NTSB: MLB Hall of Famer Roy Halladay had drugs in system, doing stunts when plane crashed|
|Coronavirus: Arizona governor says state willing to host all 30 MLB teams in empty ballparks|
|Former MLB manager Jim Frey dies at 88|
|Yankees general partner, co-chairperson Hank Steinbrenner dies aged 63|
|Former All-Star Glenn Beckert dies at 79|
|Reynolds announces retirement after 13 years in MLB|
|Yankees again top Forbes´ annual MLB valuations|
|Who will shine and who will struggle due to delayed MLB schedule?|
|Coronavirus: MLB insists nothing decided amid reports season will start in May|
|MLB Hall of Famer and Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline dead at 85|
|Coronavirus: Astros pitcher Justin Verlander to donate weekly paycheques from MLB to charity|
|Cardinals´ Mikolas nearing return to mound|
|Coronavirus: Former MLB All-Star outfielder Jim Edmonds tested positive for COVID-19|
|Angels clear pitcher Griffin Canning to throw|
|Former White Sox pitcher Ed Farmer dies at 70|
|Coronavirus: Texas´ Choo giving $1,000 to all 191 Rangers minor leaguers|
|Coronavirus: MLB cancels Cubs-Cardinals London Series|
|Coronavirus: Orioles slugger Davis ´ready to roll right now´|
|Red Sox ace Sale undergoes Tommy John surgery|
|Coronavirus: Former All-Star outfielder Jim Edmonds tested for COVID-19|
|Coronavirus: MLB owners approve deal to grant players service time|
|MLB players reportedly agree to deal to keep service time|
|Rangers´ Calhoun cleared for workouts|
|White Sox option Michael Kopech to Triple A-Charlotte|
|Former Braves owner Bill Bartholomay dies at the age of 91|
|Heralded prospect McKay among Rays´ roster cuts|
|Coronavirus: MLB commissioner calls for optimism on postponed Opening Day|
|Coronavirus: Manfred says ´nothing´s off the table´ as MLB hopes to start road to comeback in May|
|Royals add Rosenthal to 40-man roster, DFA Skoglund|
|Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge still not cleared for baseball activities|
|Blue Jays GM proposes shortened doubleheaders to ease MLB schedule|
|Coronavirus: Red Sox complex shut down as minor leaguer tests positive for COVID-19|
|Coronavirus: Pirates players buy 400 pizzas for hospital staff|
|Stanton would be playing for Yankees if MLB wasn´t postponed – Boone|
|Retired MLB Gold Glove winner Ian Kinsler plans to play for Israel at Tokyo Olympics|
|Coronavirus: Seattle Mariners tell players to enter offseason mode|
|Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale could miss season due to elbow injury|
|Astros ace Verlander undergoes groin surgery|
|Coronavirus: Yankees stay in Florida with eyes on MLB World Series|
|Coronavirus: MLB delays opening day by at least two weeks|
|Coronavirus: Mariners aim to relocate opening home games of regular MLB season|
|Verlander in doubt for Astros´ MLB opener: It would take a miracle|
|Dodgers ace Kershaw named Opening Day starter|
|Yelich signs nine-year, $215m deal with Brewers|
|Yankees shut down Judge for two weeks due to rib fracture|
|Red Sox star Chris Sale avoids Tommy John surgery for now|
|Red Sox ace Sale sent for MRI due to elbow soreness|