CLEVELAND – Friday night kicked off a frantic, nine-game sprint for the postseason between the Indians and the Tampa Bay Rays. The Indians took care of their business.
And if the Indians do end up earning a playoff spot, Friday night's game might serve as the ideal script. Shane Bieber delivered a strong outing and was still on the mound in the eighth, which was enough to lift the Indians to a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Progressive Field.
Bieber allowed two runs, both coming in the fifth with the Indians (91-63) leading 4-0, on seven hits to go with seven strikeouts and zero walks in 71/3 innings. Bieber, the All-Star Game MVP, walked off to a standing ovation as the playoff chase heats up and every outing becomes crucial.
The Indians' lineup quickly handed Bieber a four-run lead with back-to-back two-run innings to start the game.
Francisco Lindor led off the first with a walk and came around to score on Oscar Mercado's double. Yasiel Puig followed two batters later with an RBI single.
An inning later, Andrew Velazquez walked, stole second base and scored on Lindor's single to right field. Mercado scored in a similar way
BRAVES 6, GIANTS 0: In Atlanta, the Braves clinched their second straight NL East title when Ronald Acuņa Jr. hit his 41st homer against San Francisco that eliminated the Giants from postseason contention.
METS 8, REDS 1: In Cincinnati, Pete Alonso hit his major league-leading 50th home run and Jacob deGrom pitched shutout ball for seven innings. Alonso is two homers shy of Yankees star Aaron Judge's 2017 total for the rookie record. Cincinnati rookie Aristides Aquino led off the ninth with a homer. The midseason call-up has 17 home runs in 49 games this season.
NATIONALS 6, MARLINS 4: In Miami, Trea Turner hit two solo homers pacing the Nationals to the win. Washington began the day with a one-game lead over Milwaukee for the top spot in the NL wild-card standings. The Marlins became the third team to lose 100 games this season, joining the Orioles and Tigers. Before the game, the Marlins announced manager Don Mattingly had agreed to a two-year contract extension. Mattingly was in the final year of a four-year contract.