Phillies

MLB Wrap: Braves slug way to win over Reds

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MLB Wrap: Braves slug way to win over Reds

The Phillies were denied a series sweep against the Giants with Wednesday afternoon's 4-3 loss in 10 innings (see game recap).

Now for a look at the rest of the day's top action from around the majors:

Braves slug past Reds
CINCINNATI -- Dan Uggla hit a pair of solo homers and Juan Francisco added his first career grand slam as the Atlanta Braves recovered from a stunning last-swing loss by beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-2 Wednesday.

Atlanta took two of three, the first series the Reds lost at home this season.

Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo hit two-out homers in the ninth for Cincinnati's 5-4 win on Tuesday. A day later, one of the NL's top power teams got the better of it.

Uggla had solo shots in the fourth and sixth off Mike Leake (2-2). Francisco's slam off J.J. Hoover highlighted a five-run eighth. The Braves got Francisco from the Reds last year for Hoover.

Mike Minor (4-2) allowed four hits in seven innings, including Zack Cozart's solo homer (see full recap).

-The Associated Press

Zimmermann quiets Detroit bats
Washington -- Bryce Harper hit a solo homer and drove in another run with a sacrifice fly, Jordan Zimmermann won his NL-leading sixth game and the Washington Nationals beat the Detroit Tigers 3-1 Wednesday night.

Denard Span added a triple and a single for Washington, which has won five of six.

Zimmermann (6-1), whose scoreless streak was snapped at 20 innings in the third, allowing a run on seven hits over seven innings. He fanned seven and lowered his ERA to 1.59 in winning his third straight start.

Rafael Soriano pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save.

Jhonny Peralta had two hits for the Tigers, who had won four straight and nine of 10.

Detroit's Anibal Sanchez (3-3) allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits and struck out eight (see full recap).

-The Associated Press

Peavy, White Sox top Mets
NEW YORK -- Jake Peavy pitched three-hit ball in his return from a balky back, Alejandro De Aza had a leadoff homer and the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Mets 6-3 on Wednesday night to split their two-game interleague series.

Alex Rios homered among his three hits and knocked in two runs for the White Sox. Conor Gillaspie blooped a two-run double off Jeremy Hefner (0-4) as Chicago's struggling hitters finally found a few holes.

Rios also had an RBI double and Paul Konerko a run-scoring single to help the last-place White Sox take the finale of a 4-4 road trip.

Peavy (4-1) got some prime help on defense from shortstop Alexei Ramirez and center fielder Dewayne Wise (see full recap).

-The Associated Press

Padres blank Marlins
SAN DIEGO -- Jason Marquis outpitched Ricky Nolasco, Yonder Alonso had a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and San Diego Padres beat the Miami Marlins 1-0 on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.

Marquis (4-2) allowed five hits, walked one and struck out three in eight innings, his longest stint since last Aug. 11th when he had a 5-0 shutout at Pittsburgh.

Huston Street pitched the ninth to pick up his eighth save in eight chances.

The Padres have won four straight and 11 of their last 14.

Nolasco (2-4) gave up one run and four hits, with one walk and a season-high nine strikeouts in seven innings. He had won his four previous decisions at San Diego, where he dropped to 4-2 with a 2.11 ERA in his career (see full recap).

-The Associated Press

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

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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

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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."