Phillies

Best of MLB: Twins rally late, beat Royals in 10 innings

Best of MLB: Twins rally late, beat Royals in 10 innings

MINNEAPOLIS -- Pinch hitter Kennys Vargas launched a tying, two-run homer in the ninth inning and Jorge Polanco hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th, lifting the Minnesota Twins over the Kansas City Royals 4-3 on Friday night.

Polanco lofted a soft liner to left field and Joe Mauer beat Alex Gordon's throw to the plate. Al Albuquerque (0-1) walked the first two batters of the inning and reliever Travis Wood walked Max Kepler, loading the bases with no outs for Polanco.

Brandon Kintzler (2-0) allowed two hits in the top of the 10th, but snagged a comebacker to start an inning-ending double play.

Vargas batted for Byron Buxton Vargas following Jason Castro's one-out single in the ninth. Vargas sent Kelvin Herrera's 1-0 offering into the second deck in right-center field.

Vargas was recalled from Triple-A on April 23 and is tied for second on the team with five home runs despite playing just 17 games. Herrera had his second blown save of the season in 10 chances (see full recap).

deGrom, Mets shut down Angels
NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom dominated until dealing with discomfort in his throwing hand in the seventh, then escaped a no-out, bases-loaded jam that inning to help the New York Mets beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 on Friday night and snap a seven-game losing streak.

The Mets avoided their first eight-game skid since losing 11 straight in 2004.

After multiple visits by Mets coaches and a trainer, DeGrom survived the seventh with a strikeout, a juggling catch by shortstop Jose Reyes and Cameron Maybin's flyout.

Jerry Blevins got two outs in his major league-leading 25th appearance, Paul Sewald recorded an out in the eighth and Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

Terry Collins managed his 1,012th game with the Mets, tying Davey Johnson for the most with the franchise. Collins is 498-514 in seven seasons with New York.

Ricky Nolasco (2-3) allowed two runs, one earned, over six innings. Los Angeles had won four straight (see full recap).

Amarista, Rockies thump skidding Reds
CINCINNATI -- Alexi Amarista hit a three-run homer and a run-scoring single during Colorado's eight-run rally on Friday night, and the Rockies extended the best start in their history with a 12-6 victory over the slumping Cincinnati Reds.

The Rockies lead the NL in wins at 27-16, their best mark through 43 games.

Amarista's three-run shot off Lisalverto Bonilla (0-2) sparked the big sixth-inning rally. Nolan Arenado had a two-run homer off Wandy Peralta. Amarista kept it going with an RBI single during his second at-bat in the inning, matching his career high with four RBIs. Colorado sent 14 batters to the plate and piled up nine hits overall.

Cincinnati hadn't allowed that many runs in an inning since 2015, when it gave up 10 at Colorado.

The Reds have lost seven straight, their longest skid since they dropped 11 in a row last May (see full recap).

MLB Playoffs: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees to force Game 7 in ALCS

usa-justin-verlander-game-6.png
USA Today Images

MLB Playoffs: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees to force Game 7 in ALCS

BOX SCORE

HOUSTON — Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Dusty Baker fired by Nationals after 2 NL East titles

ap-dusty-baker-nlds-press-conference-cubs-nationals.jpg

Dusty Baker fired by Nationals after 2 NL East titles

WASHINGTON -- Dusty Baker's time as the manager of the Washington Nationals is over after two seasons, two NL East titles and zero playoff series victories.

The Nationals announced Friday that they would not be bringing Baker back. His two-year deal with the club is expiring.

The contracts for the members of Baker's coaching staff also are finished. The team said it will work with its new manager to fill those positions.

The moves come the week after Washington was eliminated from its NL Division Series against the Chicago Cubs with a 9-8 loss at home in Game 5. The Nationals also were bounced from the postseason in the NLDS round in 2016 -- also with a Game 5 loss at home by one run, that time against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

This outcome, essentially, is what Baker was worried about as far back as spring training in February, when he made clear his desire for a new contract, knowing his was up after 2017.

Before the series against the Cubs began, Baker was asked about his possible future in Washington.

"I've given some thought to some things, but we were told that we were waiting until after the season to make a determination," he said at the time. "There's a good chance I'll be back."

He expected negotiations to pick up after the season ended (see full story).

Turner, Taylor repay Dodgers' patience by sharing NLCS MVP
CHICAGO -- Justin Turner and Chris Taylor shared MVP honors in the NL Championship Series, repaying a Dodgers organization willing to roll the dice on players whose big league careers were stalled.

In Turner's case, it was then-bench coach Tim Wallach who rediscovered him playing in a Cal State-Fullerton alumni baseball game four years ago, after his career appeared all but over.

In Taylor's case, it was Los Angeles' willingness to gamble that an offseason of grueling workouts would enable the young utilityman to rebuild his swing in a matter of months.

The co-MVPs turned up in the interview room together after the Dodgers eliminated the reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs 11-1 in Game 5. They were champagne-soaked with hats turned backward, a pair of goggles still perched on Turner's head. Fittingly, they doused each other with praise.

"He's a dynamic player and a table setter," said Turner, who hit .333 for the series, with two home runs and seven RBIs. "When he goes, we usually go as a team."

"I talk to him as much as I can. He's one of the reasons I decided to make the changes I did," said Taylor, who finished at .316 with two homers and three RBIs. Both men also walked five times, as many as the entire Cubs roster (see full story).

Rare Jackie Robinson rookie jersey up for auction
NEW YORK -- A rare jersey from Jackie Robinson's historic rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers 70 years ago could be available for someone with a few spare millions.

The jersey, part of a Heroes of Sports offering by Heritage Auctions, has been certified by Mears, one of the top memorabilia authentication companies. It is accompanied by a letter from Robinson's widow, Rachel, saying it is the one brought home by the Hall of Famer at the end of the 1947 season, when he became the first black player in the majors and earned Rookie of the Year honors.

"This is the only one known from the `47 season, the only one that survived," Chris Ivy, Heritage's director of sports auctions, told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "It stayed in his closet for five decades plus until it was eventually sold to a private collector in the early 2000s."

The online auction opened Friday and closes at 11 p.m. on Nov. 19. The entire collection is from one owner and can be viewed on Heritage's website. Other items available for bidding include Babe Ruth's pants from the Hall of Fame induction in 1939, Keith Hernandez's 1978 Gold Glove award, a Wilt Chamberlain jersey from 1966, Bill Vukovich's Indianapolis 500 trophy from 1953 and Muhammad Ali's shoes from his fight against Ken Norton in 1973.

Ivy said the Robinson jersey has been valued at more than $3 million. He wouldn't be surprised to see it exceed that.

"It's tough to estimate a piece like this -- it's a one of a kind," he said. "As far as collectibles a rookie (jersey) is always sought after, something that's significant."