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Cards top Brewers to clinch playoff spot

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS (AP) Harrison Bader tripled and homered to help the St. Louis Cardinals clinch a postseason berth on the final day of the regular season with a 5-2 win over Milwaukee, and the Brewers also earned a playoff spot Sunday via help on the West Coast moments later.

St. Louis (30-28) will be the fifth seed in the NL and open a three-game wild-card series at San Diego on Wednesday. By winning, the Cardinals avoided having to travel to Detroit for two makeup games Monday. St. Louis finished the regular season with 23 games in 18 days as it made up a slew of postponements caused by a coronavirus outbreak in the clubhouse.

"You had to throw some of the expectations out the window not knowing what to expect after taking those couple weeks off and all those doubleheaders and so many new guys," Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "It was very different, very fulfilling to make the playoffs."

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Giants' loss puts Brewers in playoffs

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The Giants will look back at several missed chances over the final week that cost them a playoff berth that was right there for the taking.

San Francisco had its postseason hopes dashed on the final day of the regular season, losing 5-4 to the playoff-bound San Diego Padres on Sunday.

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Angels fire GM Eppler after playoff miss

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The Los Angeles Angels fired general manager Billy Eppler on Sunday after the long-struggling franchise finished its fifth consecutive losing season under his watch.

Eppler was under contract for one more year with the Angels in an extension he signed in July with no public announcement, but team president John Carpino said the franchise will seek new baseball leadership after missing the playoffs for a sixth straight year.

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Indians rally by Bucs, earn No. 4 seed

CLEVELAND (AP) The Cleveland Indians are staying home for the first round of the postseason - and the New York Yankees are coming to town.

Carlos Santana had four RBIs and delivered a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning as the Indians rallied for an 8-6 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday to gain home-field advantage for their AL wild-card series.

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ChiSox lose to Cubs, fall to No. 7 seed

CHICAGO (AP) Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria had a succinct message for his team after a disappointing finish to a successful regular season.

Forget about it, he said. It's time to move on.

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Soto youngest to win NL batting title

WASHINGTON (AP) Juan Soto became the National League's youngest batting champion, Trea Turner hit a grand slam and drove in seven runs, and the Washington Nationals closed out the season with a 15-5 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday.

Soto walked and singled before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the third inning, elevating his average to .351 and sealing the NL lead in the category during this pandemic-shortened 60-game season.

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Marlins notch winning season, Cubs next

NEW YORK (AP) Miami heads to its first postseason appearance since the Marlins' 2003 World Series title with its first winning record in more than a decade.

Rookie Jazz Chisholm had a home run and three RBIs on Sunday in a 5-0 win over the New York Yankees.

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Rays eliminate Phillies with 5-0 win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies were eliminated from the playoff race Sunday with a 5-0 loss to rookie pitcher Josh Fleming the AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays.

Philadelphia needed a win over the Rays and losses by San Francisco and Milwaukee to earn its first playoff berth in nine years. The Brewers and Giants both lost, but the Phillies were unable to give themselves a chance.

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Acuna scratched in Braves' loss to BoSox

ATLANTA (AP) Jackie Bradley Jr. homered and made a leaping catch as the last-place Boston Red Sox won their final game under manager Ron Roenicke, beating the playoff-bound Atlanta Braves 9-1 Sunday.

The NL East champion Braves wound up as the No. 2 seed and will face Cincinnati in a best-of-three playoff series starting Wednesday. All games will be played in Atlanta.

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