Harrison Bader powered the playoff-bound St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-2 win Sunday over visiting Milwaukee, but the Brewers were still the big winners as they grabbed the last spot in the National League postseason.
Bader hit a triple, blasted a solo homer and scored twice as the fifth-seeded Cardinals will head on the road to face the fourth-seeded San Diego Padres in a National League wild-card series.
With the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants also losing Sunday, the Brewers grabbed the No. 8 seed in the NL. Milwaukee and the American League’s Houston Astros are the first teams ever to make the playoffs with a losing record. The Brewers will face the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cardinals starting pitcher Austin Gomber allowed one run on one hit, two walks and a hit batter in four innings. Reliever Giovanny Gallegos (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings to earn the victory and Alex Reyes closed out the game to earn his first save.
Rangers 8, Astros 4
Rougned Odor hit a pair of home runs and host Texas parlayed a five-run fourth inning into a victory over Houston, giving the Rangers the four-game series win in Arlington, Texas.
Texas trailed 3-1 before Odor smacked a three-run home run to right field off Astros right-hander Chase De Jong (0-1) with one out in the fourth. Odor clubbed his 10th homer an inning later off right-hander Nivaldo Rodriguez, who entered in relief of De Jong with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth. Odor finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs, two runs and a walk.
The Astros, who finished 9-23 on the road, will open their American League wild-card series at Minnesota on Tuesday as the sixth seed. Houston posted its first losing season since 2014 and joined the Milwaukee Brewers in becoming the first teams in baseball history to make the postseason with records below .500.
Padres 5, Giants 4
San Diego ended host San Francisco’s playoff hopes as Wil Myers doubled, homered and drove in two runs, and the Padres held off the Giants’ comeback bid on the final day of the regular season.
While the Padres were already locked into the National League’s No. 4 playoff position, the Giants needed a win and a Milwaukee Brewers loss at St. Louis to claim a wild-card spot. The Cardinals did their part for the Giants, beating the Brewers 5-2, but San Francisco couldn’t complete a rally from a 5-1 deficit.
The Padres will take a three-game winning streak into their best-of-three home series against the fifth-seeded Cardinals, beginning on Wednesday.
Dodgers 5, Angels 0
Six pitchers combined to throw a three-hit shutout to lead the playoff-bound Dodgers to the victory over the Angels at Dodger Stadium.
A.J. Pollock homered twice to propel the Dodgers, and also singled, drove in three runs and scored twice as the Dodgers finished 43-17, the best record in the majors.
The Dodgers have qualified for the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons, while the Angels finished 26-34 and out of the postseason for the sixth year in a row. Billy Eppler, the Angels’ general manager for five of those seasons, was fired by the club on Sunday.
Nationals 15, Mets 5
Trea Turner hit a grand slam and finished with seven RBIs, and 21-year-old Juan Soto became the youngest National League batting champion as host Washington routed New York.
The Nationals won the final three games of the four-game series to officially move past the Mets in the National League East and avoid becoming just the third reigning World Series champion to finish last. Washington finished fourth by virtue of winning the season series 6-4.
Soto finished the regular season with a .351 batting average, ahead of runner-up Freddie Freeman (.341) and No. 3 Marcell Ozuna (.338), both of the Braves.
Marlins 5, Yankees 0
Slideshow ( 4 images )
New York’s DJ LeMahieu wrapped up the American League batting title, but the Yankees were dealt a shutout loss by visiting Miami in the regular-season finale for both teams.