Brewers blow lead, chance to tie Phils for wild-card spot

MILWAUKEE — Devin Williams blew a ninth-inning lead and the Milwaukee Brewers squandered a great opportunity to pull even in the race for the final National League playoff spot, losing to the Miami Marlins 4-3 on Saturday night.

Bryan De La Cruz hit a two-run single off Williams that put Miami ahead in the ninth. Milwaukee (84-74) fell a game behind the Phillies (85-73), who split a doubleheader with Washington, for the third NL wild-card berth.


Philadelphia holds the head-to-head tiebreaker between the teams. Both clubs have four games left.

Williams (6-4) walked two in the ninth and both runners advanced on a wild pitch before De La Cruz lined a single to left field that scored Jon Berti and Brian Anderson.

“I thought his stuff was fine,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “No issues with his stuff. They had some good at-bats. In the end, the wild pitch is probably what hurt us in the inning.”

Berti walked and swiped second one out later for his major league-leading 39th stolen base.

“When Berti gets on, you have to deal with him the whole time,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It looked like the wild pitch, he was trying to keep him on at second and one got away from him. That really helped us, obviously.”

Williams downplayed Berti being a threat to steal.

“I just didn’t execute my pitches. That’s really what it comes down to,” the reliever said.

Peter Strzelecki relieved Williams and got the final two outs of the inning.

De La Cruz was recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville on Sept. 2. He’s hit safely in 15 of 20 games since then with four home runs and 16 RBIs.

“Since he’s come back from Triple-A, he’s been really good,” Mattingly said. “He hung in there enough to get into that count. He got enough on it and hit it in the right spot.”

Richard Bleier pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save of the season. Tommy Nance (2-3) picked up the win with a scoreless eighth.

Milwaukee pushed across two runs in the sixth.

Huascar Brazoban relieved Jeff Fishman with two on and one out. Andrew McCutchen walked to load the bases. Brazoban hit Luis Urías with a pitch to force in a run and then Victor Caratini’s run-scoring groundout gave the Brewers the lead.

Peyton Burdick drove a 2-0 sinker from Milwaukee starter Alan Ashby off the bottom of the scoreboard in center field for a two-run shot in the third. Jordan Groshans was aboard on a check-swing roller.

Marlins starter Edward Cabrera completed his warmup pitches before the Brewers batted in the fourth, but couldn’t continue.

Andrew Nardi replaced him and promptly served up Christian Yelich’s first home run since Sept. 6 at Colorado.

Cabrera retired the nine batters he faced, five on strikeouts. The 23-year-old left-hander was looking to bounce back from his last start against Washington on Sept. 25 when he left after 3 2/3 innings with a right ankle strain.

Mattingly explained that Cabrera appeared to catch that same ankle on the mound on a strikeout pitch to Tyrone Taylor to end the third.

“He worked his way back to make this start,” Mattingly said. “It’s just unfortunate he catches it.”

Ashby made his 26th appearance and 19th start in a season marred by two stints on the injured list. The left-hander was out with left forearm inflammation from June 17 to July 1 and left shoulder inflammation from Aug. 20 to Sept. 19.

Trevor Gott relieved Ashby with one out and one on in the fifth. Gott retired the next two batters and then three in the sixth.

NOT DRIVING ‘EM IN: The Brewers were 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base overall.

“We just haven’t been able to break it open,” Yelich said. “We’ve given ourselves opportunities and put ourselves in good positions. We haven’t really cashed in on it.”

Dodgers top wild Rockies, 1st NL team to 110 wins since 1909

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and the Los Angeles Dodgers became the first National League team in more than a century to win 110 regular-season games, taking advantage of 10 walks to rally past the Colorado Rockies 6-4 on Saturday night.

Cody Bellinger had three hits and two RBIs for the NL West champions, who are 110-48 after overcoming a three-run deficit with the help of six free passes in the seventh inning.

Honus Wagner and the 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates (110-42) were the previous NL club to win 110 games. The last big league team to accomplish the feat was the 2001 Seattle Mariners (116-46).

“I know his baseball card is worth a lot of money — a lot of money,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said when asked what he knew about Wagner. “And it recently sold for a lot of money, too.”

Joey Gallo had a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth for the Dodgers, and Bellinger added an RBI single to make it 6-4. Bellinger also tied the score with a sac fly in the seventh.

Los Angeles won for the sixth time in seven games and has already clinched home-field advantage through the World Series. The Dodgers have four regular-season games remaining, not enough to catch the 2001 Mariners and 1906 Chicago Cubs (116-36) for the most wins in major league history.

“That’s a round number (of wins); it’s a big number,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “To celebrate that is a great thing and hopefully we are having this conversation tomorrow with 111. I think our guys are in the moment appreciating it, but we have our eye on some bigger things, too.”

Ryan McMahon and Randal Grichuk homered for the last-place Rockies, who lost their seventh consecutive game and 11th in the past 12.

Dodgers rookie starter Michael Grove gave four runs and six hits over five innings. Evan Phillips (7-3) pitched a scoreless eighth and Brusdar Graterol worked the ninth for his fourth save.

With the Rockies leading 4-1 in the seventh, Colorado right-handers Dinelson Lamet and Chad Smith each walked three batters in the inning. The first five Dodgers batters all walked, with free passes to Gallo and Austin Barnes forcing home runs to cut the deficit to 4-3.

“That was not a major league inning, I’ll put it that way,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “It was ugly, no doubt about it. And you know, we gifted the Dodgers that seventh inning. Yeah, obviously they have a really good record, but tonight, you look at it, you’ve got to feel like you beat yourself.”

Bellinger’s sacrifice fly tied the score. It came on the 31st pitch of the inning, but the first one to be put in play.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

ATLANTA (AP) — Dansby Swanson isn’t surprised the Atlanta Braves have fought back to climb atop the NL East.

He’s just surprised it took this long to get there.

“Just keep going,” Swanson said. “This is no time to celebrate. There’s four games left. So much left to be had of this season.”

Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, when Charlie Morton faces Mets right-hander Chris Bassitt, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

“We’ve just got to take the same approach,” Olson said. “We know those guys are good that they started the last two days and we know Bassitt is a competitor as well.”

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2.

“In those big spots, he’s one of those guys I like up there,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Ever since he’s been here, he’s shined in that spot. He keeps the game slowed down and stays in the moment and gives himself a chance.”

Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into the Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2. Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

“We’ve scored four runs in 18 innings,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s a real tribute to their pitching, but Max gave us a chance. He competed.”

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