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Follow live: Nationals closing in on NL East

The Nationals are closing in on a return to October action with their magic number in the NL East down to two, but Joe Ross ran into trouble pitching against the Pirates.

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
8mRoger Rubin, Special to ESPN.com

If Matz pitches again in '16, it will be in relief

If Steven Matz, rehabbing from a shoulder impingement, is able to pitch for the Mets again this season, if will probably be in relief, manager Terry Collins said.

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Bautista's late HR pushes Blue Jays past Yanks (0:51)
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Darvish K's nine A's in Rangers' win (0:34)
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1hSarah Langs & Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information

Inside the Royals' big ninth-inning rally

Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez allowed five runs to the Royals Saturday, tied for his most runs allowed in his career.

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Vin Scully honored by Dodgers (1:20)
Dave Reginek/Getty Images
10hMark Simon

Mets' hidden MVP: Their pitch framing

Mets catchers have been maligned for their minimal offensive production this season. But there is one important stat in which they are excelling.

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Buxton robs Nelson Cruz of homer (0:18)
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Orioles walk off on Trumbo homer (0:25)
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Maybin makes slick sliding catch (0:23)
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This is the face you make after a successful triple play (0:22)
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Ortiz records most RBIs for final MLB season with homer (0:25)
Icon Sportswire, USA TODAY Sports
1dAndrew Marchand and Mark Simon

Rookie of the Year debate: Sanchez vs. Fulmer

Michael Fulmer seemed a shoo-in as the AL's top rookie. Then the (late) summer of Gary Sanchez began. So is Sanchez good enough? We pit the Yankees catcher against the Tigers righty.

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Freeman extends hit streak to 27 with double (0:25)
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Cabrera doesn't view bat flip as a big deal (0:46)
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Magic Johnson calls Dodger baseball synonymous with Vin Scully (2:07)

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Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Talk about a painful case of strep throat. The Mets scratched Noah Syndergaard because of the throat ailment. And replacement Sean Gilmartin -- the 12th starting pitcher used by the Mets this season -- was an absolute flop in his place on Saturday against the Phillies. Gilmartin departed with two outs in the first inning after opposing pitcher Alec Asher delivered a two-run single on pitch No. 39 that gave Philadelphia a 5-0 lead. It was the shortest non-injury start by a Mets pitcher this season. Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese both departed after recording only one out earlier this season due to injuries.

Christina Kahrl MLB Staff Writer 

From Dan Arritt on the Dodgers beat tonight: The Dodgers can clinch the NL West with a victory Saturday night against the visiting Rockies and a loss by the Giants in San Diego in a game that's set to start 30 minutes before the first pitch in L.A. "We might have one eye on the scoreboard," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before the game. "With that, our guys have done a great job still focusing on pitch-to-pitch and the game we're playing."

Christina Kahrl MLB Staff Writer 

From Tommy Rancel at Red Sox-Rays: The hot corner has been a cold spot for the Red Sox, but a familiar face could be back to help in time for the team's postseason run. Pablo Sandoval took part in pre-game workouts on Saturday, including batting practice and fielding ground balls at third base. The 30-year-old has been a disappointment in his time with Boston, but with the club's third basemen hitting just .244/.310/.389 on the year with a .676 OPS in September, the Red Sox are likely to keep their options open as they look toward October.

Jim Bowden ESPN Senior Writer 

To be clear, there is no chance that Pablo Sandoval is on the Red Sox post-season's rosters despite reports of the contrary. Just not enough time to get competitive at bats to contribute at a level better than the players on their present roster.

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Rockies All-Star 3B Nolan Arenado, who is a native of Southern California and grew up a Dodgers fan, sent the bat with which he hit his 40th HR of the season to Vin Scully hoping he will sign it.

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Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Here's a small bit of bad news for the Mets: Jose Fernandez, who had been scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Braves, instead will be given an extra day of rest and face the Mets in Monday's series opener at Marlins Park. Fernandez is 3-0 with a 1.34 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets. This year alone, Fernandez is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in four starts against the Mets. He's also been dominant in his career at Marlins Park, going 29-2 with a 1.49 ERA in 42 starts.

Wallace Matthews ESPN Staff Writer 

The Yankees are shutout for the third straight game, 3-0 by Toronto Blue Jays. First time that's happened since 1975

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

"Maybe the first thing I'll do on Monday is take my watch off and put it in a drawer." -Vin Scully

Arash Markazi ESPN Senior Writer 

Vin Scully said he will not call a playoff game for the Dodgers, not even a World Series clinching game.

Ramona Shelburne @ramonashelburne

Scully on watching the Dodgers in the playoffs, "I don't have to worry about being impartial. I can sit back and root like everybody else."

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Vin Scully on the ceremony the Dodgers held last night in his honor: "You've heard about being on Mount Olympus? I was 5-feet above that. Such a joyous night."

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

"If you scrape away everything, I'm a happy person and I love people. Will I miss the games? Yes. But the people, that's what I will miss the most." -Vin Scully

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Vin Scully addresses the press at Dodger Stadium one last time... "If there's anything I can say here to help you let me know..."

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Cubs starter Jason Hammel talks about his rough outing against the Cardinals on Saturday, one in which he wishes he had done things a little bit differently.

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Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

Cubs manager Joe Maddon discusses the on-again, off-again nature of Jason Hammel's outings of late.

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Mark Saxon ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cardinals canceled Matt Holliday's live batting practice session Sunday because he felt soreness and inflammation in his right thumb after Friday's session. Now, Holliday will meet with a hand specialist in St. Louis to determine the next step. The Cardinals have just seven games left starting Monday, so his window to return is getting awfully tight.

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

Tigers and Orioles: Tied for the moment for the second wildcard, at 83-71. Seattle is 1 1/2 games behind, at 81-72.