2011 September

1stAt Milwaukee, Albert Pujols blasts two homers, one a grand slam, to lead the Cardinals to an 8-4 win over the Brewers. Right Fielder Corey Hart loses his glove over the fence trying for the slam. Rafael Furcal leads off with a homer for the second day in a row and Matt Holliday hits his career 200thhomer. Before the game two crime-scene bodies appear between 2B and 3B, the scene of Ryan Braun falling twice yesterday as he tried to beat out a triple. The Cards sweep all three games in Milwaukee.

Gio Gonzalez pitches 7 innings as the A’s shut out the Indians, 7-0. Gonzalez allows 4 singles as he improves to 5-0 over the Tribe with an 0.72 ERA in six starts.

2ndThe Cubs say that Carlos Zambrano will sit out the rest of the season after his 30-day suspension ends after games of September 11.  The team says that they will pay him for the rest of the season, but that there’s insufficient time for him to get ready to pitch again. The Cubs say that the grievance filed by Zambrano’s agent will be processed by the players union and MLB after the season. This is the 9thyear in a row that Z has made 20 starts and had a winning season. Only other 3 active pitchers to match that are Sabathia (11 in a row), Tim Hudson (1998 – 2007) and Roy Oswalt (2001-2009).

The Red Sox host their 700th consecutive sellout at Fenway Park but the fans leave disappointed as Texas pounds the Fenmen, 10-0. Derek Holland allows 2 hits in 7 innings for the victory. The Sox sell-out streak began on May 15, 2003.

3rd  The Nationals edge the Mets, 8-7, with 2 runs in the 9thinning. Washington rookie pitcher Tom Milone hits a 3-run HR on the first pitch he sees in the ML, becoming just the 8thpitcher to accomplish the feat. Milone leaves in the 5thand does not figure in the decision, an 8-7 win for the Nats over the Mets.  Ryan Zimmerman singles with 2 on in the 9thand both runs score when RF Lucas Duda dives for the ball and comes up short.  .

The Brewers defeat the Astros, 8-2. Milwaukee backup C George Kottaras hits for the cycle for the Brewers, the first cycle this year.

The Rockies edge the Padres, 5-4, send San Diego to its 9thloss in a row. Dexter Fowler has 3 hits for the Rox, including two doubles, and scores twice. Since being recalled from AAA Colorado Springs on July 15, Fowler has 26 extra base hits in 47 games.

Boston scores 8 times in the 4thinning, including a grand slam by Carl Crawford, to roll past the visiting Rangers, 12-7. Josh Reddick has 2 of his 4 hits in the 4thand Adrian Gonzalez ties a ML mark with two unassisted double plays at 1B. With the win The Sox’ odds of reaching the playoffs peak at 99.6 percent. They hold a 9-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays with 24 games to play.

The Cardinals top the Reds, 6-4, as Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker manage against each other in the majors for the 200th time; the last two managers to oppose each other 200 times were Chuck Tanner and Dick Williams in 1984.

At Wrigley, Derrek Lee has 5 RBI, 4 on a go-ahead grand slam in the 9thoff Cub closer Carlos Marmol. Pittsburgh wins, 7-5.

4thHey, Skip, you’re ruining my WHIP! David Herndon is the losing pitcher for the Phillies, in a 5-4 loss to the Marlins in 14 innings. The reliever gives up 7 walks, 5 intentionally, in 3.2 innings.

Miguel Cabrera homers and drives in 4 runs and Max Scherzer pitches 7 scoreless innings as the Tigers pound the White Sox, 18-2.  Detroit leads the AL Central by 6.5 games.

Shaun Marcum (12-5) allows one hit in 7 innings as Milwaukee beats the Astros, 4-0, to sweep the 3-game set with Houston.

5thThe White Sox shut out the Twins, 4-0, on rookie pitcher Zach Stewart’s 1-hitter. Danny Valencia’s leadoff double in the 8this the only baserunner for Minnesota as Stewart, acquired in a trade July 27, strikes out 9 and walks none.  He’ll lose his next three starts.

The Yankees edge the Orioles, 11-10, as Robinson Cano belts a grand slam and rookie Jesus Montero hits 2 homers. Mariano Rivera gets the save for NY, the 69thof his career against Baltimore, setting an ML record for most saves by a pitcher against a single team.

6thThe Giants defeat the Padres, 6-4, as rookie Brett Pill hits a HR in his first ML at bat in the 2ndinning. Pill is the eighth Giant batter in franchise history to hit a homer on his first at bat. The last to do it was Will Clark, in 1986.

Patriots? The Red Sox take an 11-0 lead after 5 innings as they roll to a 14-0 whitewash of the Jays.  Jon Lester allows 3 hits in 7 innings as he wins his 15th. Marco Scutero has 4 hits, including 3 doubles.

The White Sox spoil the debut of Aussie Liam Henriks, scoring 3 runs in his 7 innings to beat the Twins, 3-0. Jake Peavy and 4 relievers apply the whitewash.

Playing in his last game of the year, Andre Ethier has a double and drives in 4 runs as the Dodgers whip the host Nationals, 7-3. Ethier has now hit 30 doubles in five consecutive seasons, joining Jackie Robinson as the only Dodgers to accomplish that.

7thAt PNC Park, the Pirates edge the Astros 5-4, scoring the go-ahead run in the 8thon three straight pinch singles. The third single results in an usual 9-2-6-9 double play. RF Brian Bogusevic gets two assists and a putout on the play. Andrew McCutchen drives in the first four runs for the Bucs with a pair of homers.

At Yankee Stadium, the Orioles push across a run in the 11thto top the Yankees, 5-4. Until that innings, all the scoring was in the first 4 frames. You guys need a large in golden sombreros? Mark Reynolds strikes out 4 times for the O’s while Chris Davis strikes out 5 times as the Yankee pitchers total 15 K’s.

8thIan Kennedy (19-4) strikes out 11 as the Diamondbacks top San Diego, 4-1. Arizona is now 7.5 games ahead of the idle Giants, who once lead the N.L. West by four-and-a-half-games.

9thThe Cardinals score 2 runs against reliever Craig Kimbrel and another off Scott Linebrink to edge the Braves, 4-3 in 10 innings. The 2 runs off Kimbrel are the first the rookie has allowed in 39 straight innings.

10thThe Athletics edge the Rangers, 8-7. Yoshinori Tateyama surrenders a grand slam to Scott Sizemore, the first batter he faces. In his last game, he gave up a grand slam to the last batter he faced. He becomes only the second pitcher in ML history to surrender grand slams to consecutive batters faced. Seattle’s Greg McCarthy performed the feat in 1998.

The Marlins shut out the Pirates, 3-0, on Anibal Sanchez’s second 1-hitter of the season. Neil Walker’s 1-out single in the 2ndinning is Pittsburgh’s only hit.

Evan Longoria hits a run-scoring single in the bottom of the 11thas the Rays top the Red Sox, 6-5. The Rays blow 9th-inning lead as Jarrod Saltamachia and Jacoby Ellsbury hit consecutive home runs off closer Kyle Farnsworth.

In Denver, the Reds and Rockies combine for 9 homeruns as the Rockies win, 12-7. Nick Heisey has 2 of the dingers and the last of the homers, Jordan Pacheco’s first in the majors, breaks a 7-7 tie in the 5th.  Alex White gets the win despite giving up 5 homers. He is the 10thpitcher in history to do that.

The Cardinals edge the Braves, 4–3, to move within 5.5 games of Atlanta in the wild card race. Lance Berkman has a single, RBI double and a walk, reaching base 7 straight times in two games.

Alex Rios hits a walkoff grand slam off Chris Perez in the bottom of the 10thas the White Sox stop the Indians, 7-3.

At Miller Park, the Phils are victors over the Brewers, 3-2, in 10 innings. The win goes to Michael Stutes (6-1), in relief of Cliff Lee who allows 2 runs (one earned) in 6 innings. The scores snap Lee’s consecutive scoreless innings at 32. Earlier in the year he threw 34.1 consecutive scoreless innings.

11thThe Nationals pound the Astros, 8-2. Ian Desmond, Rick Ankiel and Ryan Zimmerman hit consecutive homers in the 3rdinning for Washington.

The Devil Rays knock out Jon Lester (15-7) after 4 innings and pound 3 relievers for a 9-1 win over the Red Sox.  B.J. Upton hits his 20thhomer, a 5th inning grand slam off Matt Albers. B.J. joins his brother Justin of the Diamondbacks as the first pair of brothers to each post 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in the same season.

At Citi Field, the Cubs score 6 runs in the top of the 11thto beat the Mets, 10-6.  Jason Pridie narrows the margin with a 2-run homer in the 11th.

The Tigers score a pair in the 1stinning and Doug Fister and two relievers make it hold up as the Tigers edge the Twins, 2-1. Victor Martinez should have stayed in bed as he ties a ML record (Joe Toree was the last, in 1975) by hitting into four double plays. The first three are on the ground and the last is a line drive.

Nick Hundley hits a homer and the Padres hold on for a 7-6 win over the Diamondbacks, ending Arizona’s club-record 15 game winning streak.

The Rockies top the Reds, 4-1, as prize rookie Drew Pomerantz debuts with 5 shutout innings.

Stephen Strasburg allows a run in 3 innings in his second start back from Tommy John surgery. He finishes with 6 straight outs. Ian Desmond, Rick Ankiel and Ryan Zimmerman hit consecutive homers in the 3rdinning, all of Henry Sosa.

Converted pitcher Adam Loewen hits his first ML homer to pace the Blue Jays to a 6-5 win over the Orioles. Loewen was 8-8 over three seasons (2006-08) with the O’s.  Baltimore has lost 29 of 34 in Toronto.

13thThe Yankees edge the Mariners, 3-2. Mariano Rivera gets the 600thsave of his career, moving him one behind Trevor Hoffman for the all-time ML career mark.

The Red Sox rout the Blue Jays, 18-6, as Tim Wakefield gets the 200thwin of his ML career. He becomes the 2nd-oldest pitcher to reach that milestone, joining Jack Quinn. Dustin Pedroia leads the offense with two doubles and two homers as he drives in 5 runs, while Jacoby Ellsbury has 4 hits, including a double and a HR.  With the Rays losing to Baltimore, 4-2, the Sox are now up by 4 games.

The surging Cardinals overcome three errors by 1B Albert Pujols to beat the Pirates, 6-4. Nick Punto bangs a go-ahead double in the 9th.

Bruce Chen and Louis Coleman combine on a 3-hitter as Kansas City shuts out the visiting Twins, 4-0.  Melky Cabrera hits his 40thdouble of the year and joins Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur as the first outfield in ML history to each hit 40 doubles in the same season (as noted by Rany Jazayerli). The only other teams to have two 40-double outfielders were the 1932 Phillies and the 1998 Angels.

14thThe Phillies’ Roy Halladay shuts out the Astros, 1-0, as Philadelphia becomes the first team to clinch a playoff berth

Rockies backup catcher Eliezer Alfonzo is suspended for 100 games as he becomes the first player suspended twice for performance-enhancing drugs under the MLB testing program.

Mike Napoli hits a 2-run homer in the 4thand Josh Hamilton adds a grand slam in the same inning, both off David Huff, as Texas whips the Indians, 9-1. Hamilton’s first slam since May 2008 cost the insurer for CC Carpet & Flooring Design of Dallas an estimated $500,000 for a promotion the store is running. Approximately 200 of CC’s customers will get refunds on flooring or countertops they had purchased if Hamilton hit a slam.

15thThe Giants beat the Rockies, 8-5. Pablo Sandoval hits for the cycle for San Francisco, getting all his hits off starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin. He is the first player to record a cycle against a single pitcher since Chris Singleton did so against Jeff Suppan on July 6, 1999.

The Nationals crush the Mets, 10-1. Ian Desmond gets 5 hits for Washington, including a double.

16thThe Tigers edge the Athletics, 3-1, to clinch their first division title since 1987.

Ryan Braun hits his 29thand 30thhomers as the Brewers top the Reds, 6-3. Braun is the second Brewer to record 30 homers and 30 steals in the same year.

17thThe Dodgers trounce the Pirates, 15-1. James Loney gets 5 hits for LA, including a double.

The Phillies clinch their 5thstraight NL East division title with a 9-2 win over the Cardinals.

Behind Tim Hudson, the Braves edge the Mets, 1-0. Chipper Jones lines an RBI-single in the 8thoff hard-luck hurler, A.J. Dickey.

Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers wins his 17thand strikes out 13 batters in 6 innings. Four of the strikeouts come in the 4thinning. Gallardo allows two hits and three relievers follow with hitless innings for a 10-1 win over the reds.

18thThe Giants hit 4 homers in the 4thinning, 3 off Esmil Rogers, and score 8 runs as they beat the Rockies, 12-5. In the frame, Brandon Belt belts one of the homers, Pablo Sandoval hits two, tying a ML record, and pitcher Matt Cain adds insult with a 2-run homer.

In an 8-5 loss to Tampa Bay, Boston’s Tim Wakefield surpasses the 3,0000 innings pitched mark for the Red Sox. No other Sox pitcher has done that. Wakey pitches 5 innings and takes the loss as the Sox are just two games in front of the Rays in the AL East.

Erick Aybar has 4 hits, including 2 homers and 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, and scores 5 runs to pace the Angels to an 11-2 victory over the visiting Orioles.

19thThe Yankees defeat the Twins, 6-4. Mariano Rivera saves the 602ndgame of his career to move past Trevor Hoffman and become the all-time leader.

The Padres pound the Rockies, 8-2. Corey Luebke and Ernesto Frieri combine on the 1-hitter. Mark Ellis’ 2-run HR with 2 outs in the 6thinning is the only SD hit.

Mike Carp hits a grand slam and drives in 5 runs to pace the Mariners to a 12-6 win over the Cleveland Indians. Teammate Alex Liddi, Italian born and raised, hits his first ML homer. He joins Reno Bertoia, raised in the US, as the only Italian born players to hit homers.

20thThe Royals pound the Tigers, 10-2. Rookie Eric Hosmer goes 5-for-5 for KC, including a HR.

The Mariners edge the Twins, 5-4, handing the Twins their 10thloss in a row. Rookie Mike Carp goes 5-for-5 for Seattle, including a double. It is the first time in modern ML history that 2 rookies went 5-for-5 or better on the same day.

Ivan Nova (16-4) wins his 12thin a row as the Yankees shut out the Rays, 5-0. The 12 straight victories by a rookie ties the post-1900 rookie record of Hooks Wiltse (1904), Russ Ford (1910) and Atley Donald (1939). Nova allows 6 hits in 7.2 innings. Curtis Granderson hits two homers, and Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher hit one apiece.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen says that he is seeking a contract extension and that he doesn’t want to be a lame duck manager going into 2012.

21stThe Yankees whip the Rays, 4-2, to clinch their 16thplayoff spot in the past 17 years. The win goes to Dave Robertson who enters the game in the 8th, throws one pitch which is hit into a double play, and then he is lifted for the 9th.

Javier Vazquez of the Marlins allows 2 hits over 7 innings as host Florida plays the spoiler role in beating the Braves, 4-0. Atlanta is now just 1.5 games ahead of the Cardinals in the wild card race as St. Louis beats the Mets, 6-5. The Braves lose for the 13thtime in 20 games.

22ndThe Blue Jays squeak past the Angels, 4-3, in 12 innings. In doing so, they tie the ML record for consecutive wins in extra-inning home games with 14 in a row.

23rdThe Rangers beat the Mariners, 5-3, to clinch their 2ndconsecutive AL West division title. Craig Gentry hits his first ML homer, off Javier Vasquez, one of three Vasquez serves up. It is an inside-the-park liner in the 4thinning.

Paul Goldschmidt bangs a 2-run triple and the Diamondbacks edge the Giants, 3-1, to clinch the NL West division title.

The Brewers defeat the Marlins, 4-1, to clinch the NL Central division title 20 minutes after the game when the Cubs defeat the Cardinals, 5-1. Ryan Braun hits a 3-run homer in the 8th.

The Braves defeat the Nationals, 7-4, as Dan Uggla has 3 hits and 2 RBIs. Atlanta is three games up on the Cardinals for the wild card.

Brandon Morrow allows 2 hits in 7 innings to even his record at 11-11 in the Blue Jays 5-1 win over the Rays. He also induces his first GIDP of the season after 170.1 innings pitched and after a total of 173.1 IP since August 10, 2010; the last pitcher to go longer was Charlie Leibrandt who threw 178.2 innings between 1991 and 1992 without inducing a double-play grounder.

24thThe Brewers defeat the Pirates, 6-4, as Prince Fielder hits 3 HRs and drives in 5 runs. His father, Cecil, and he become the 2ndfather-son combo to connect for 3 round-trippers in a game. Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. also did so.

Kick ‘em when they’re down. The Yankees jump on Jon Lester for 6 runs in the 2ndand two more in the 3rdto drive Lester from the game and beat the Red Sox, 9-1.  The Sox lead shrinks to 1.5 games over the Rays.

Johnny Damon’s third hit of the game, a 3-run homer in the 8th, gives the Rays a 4-run lead as they clip the visiting Blue Jays, 6-2. Rookie reliever Alex Torres pitches 5 shutout innings for his first ML win.

Cubs closer Carlos Marmol forces home the tying run in the 9thwith a bases-loaded walk, then follows with a wild pitch and the Cardinals edge the Cubs, 2-1.  St. Louis is now 2 behind the Braves with 4 games to play.

25thThe Phillies down the Mets, 9-4, as Roy Halladay wins his 19thgame against only 6 losses. He becomes just the 6thpitcher in ML history to finish at least 7 games over .500 in each of 7 or more consecutive seasons. The others to accomplish the feat are Hall of Famers Tim Keefe, John Clarkson, Kid Nichols, Christy Mathewson and Lefty Grove.

Texas and Seattle each hit four homers as Texas triumphs, 12-5. Yorvit Torrealba has a pair, including a grand slam, and drives in 5 runs to help his batterymate Derek Holland win his 16th. Esteban German contributes a 4-base score as he circles the bases in the 5thon an error by CF Trayvon Robinson. His fly scores Kinsler.

The punchless Braves lose to the Nationals, 3-0, as their first four batters go 0-for-16. Nats pitchers retire the last 15 batters in a row.  Wilson Ramos hit a solo shot in the 4thand Michael Morse blasted a towering homer with a man on in the 7th.

The Cubs keep Albert Pujols off the bases for the first time in 41 straight games, but the Cardinals edge the Cubs, 3-2. Pujols gets a 45-second standing ovation during his first at bat.

In Cleveland’s 6-4 loss to the visiting Twins, Jim Thome plays third base for one pitch in the 9thinning. The Indians have three more games in Detroit.

Clayton Kershaw earned his 21stwin, taking a 2-hitter into the 8thinning as the Dodgers defeat the Padres.

Tim Lincecum allows 5 hits in 5 innings to the Diamondbacks as his Giants lose, 5-2.  Lincecum finishes the year at 13-14 and 220 strikeouts, the first year in the last four he has not led the NL in K’s.  His ERA is 2.75. Lincecum joins Dupee Shaw (1884), Amos Rusie (1890), Ed Walsh (1910), Gaylord Perry (1967) and Ben Sheets (2004) as the only pitchers in MLB history to finish a season with a losing record, an ERA under 2.75 and at least 220 strikeouts (as noted by Giant beat writers Henry Schulman and Andy Baggarly)

Brian Matusz (1-9) closes out a dismal season with another poor performance as the Tigers light him up for 2 homers and 6 runs in 5 innings as they beat the Orioles, 10-6. In 12 starts he breaks the ML record for the worst ERA in 10 starts or more with a 10.69 ERA. At least he’s in good company; Mark Halladay set the mark in 2000 with a 10.64 ERA.

26thThe White Sox release manager Ozzie Guillen from his contract. Pitching coach Pitching coach Don Cooper takes over the reins for the final 2 games of the season.

The Red Sox stagger, losing to the Orioles, 6-3, and are now tied with the Rays at 89-71. The O’s batter ace Josh Beckett.

The Rays top the Yankees, 5-2 as New York looks forward to the playoffs.

The Marlins re-sign Omar Infante to a two-year $8 million contract.

27thThe Phillies down the Braves, 7-1, handing Derek Lowe his fifth loss in a row. Lowe (9-17) last just 4 innings as he loses his NL-high 17thgame. This is the first year in the last 10 that Lowe has failed to win 12 games or more. The winner is Roy Oswalt (9-10), who tosses a 3-hitter.

At Minute Maid Park, the Cardinals spot the Astros 5 runs before roaring back for a 13-6 victory. Matt Holliday leaves the game with an injured hand and his replacement  Allen Craig has a homer, double and 4 RBIs. Nick Punto has 4 hits, including a homer, and starts a DP, the 169thfor the Cards this year to set a NL record.

If any fans left Chase Field after 9 innings, they missed a fistful of records. In the 10th, the Dodgers score 5 runs to take a 6-1 lead. The lead is not safe for the Dodgers as they watch as the Diamondbacks score 6 to win the game. Ryan Roberts’ walk off grand slam, off Javy Guerra, is the coup de grace. Roberts mimicks Dodger manager Kirk Gibson’s famous fist pump as he rounds the bases. It is only the 2ndtime in ML history that a team comes back from a 5-run deficit in an extra inning. The Pirates turned the trick against the Cubs on April 21, 1991. Micah Owings (8-0) gets the win and becomes the 2ndpitcher in ML history to earn a victory after allowing 5-or-more runs while recording 3-or-fewer outs. Jack Knott did so in 1934. Roberts also goes into the record books, too, joining Babe Ruth (1925), Roger Freed (1979) and Jason Giambi (2002) as the only major-leaguers to hit walk-off grand slams with their teams trailing by three runs in extra innings.

At Camden Yards, the Red Sox use the long ball to defeat the Orioles, 8-7. Yale grad Ryan Lavarnway has a pair of homers to drive in 4 runs and Jacoby Ellsbury and Marco Scutero add 2-run homers. Ellsbury has now hit in 35 straight games against Baltimore.  He’ll extend it to 36 games tomorrow. Boston and Tampa Bay each have 90-71 records.

Mathew Joyce belts a 3-run homer in the 7th, off Rafael Soriano, and the Rays top the visiting Yankees, 5-3. Russell Martin grounds into a bases loaded triple play in the 6thfor New York that bounces off pitcher Jeremy Hellickson to 3B Evan Longoria.

At AT&T Park, Madison Bumgarner strikes out 9 and allows 2 hits in 7 innings as the Giants shut out the Rockies. Conor Gillaspie hits his first ML homer, a 2-run inside-the-park dinger in the 7thoff Esmil Rogers.

At Citi Field, Juan Francisco triples and scores on a sac bunt in the 13thas the Reds edge the Mets, 5-4.  Jose Reyes has a pair of homers for New York, both off starter Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo has now served up 46 homers, tops in the NL, while walking 45.

28thWho would’ve called this one! The Rays bounce back from a 7-0 deficit after 7 innings to defeat the Yankees, 8-7, in 12 innings and earn a playoff berth.  The last time the Yankees blew a 7-run lead in the 8thinning was August 18, 1953. The Yanks use a ML-record tying 11 pitchers in the extra-inning game. Mark Teixeira has 2 homers to reach 39, one a grand slam and both off David Price, and 5 RBIs for New York. The Bombers have now hit 10 grand slams this year.  Evan Longoria hits a pair of four baggers, including a celebratory walkoff homer, and drives in 4 runs for the Rays.  Longoria, with 401 RBIs and 113 homers in his first four seasons, joins a select group of players to reach 400 and 100 in their first four years: Teixeira, Earl Averill, Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Orlando Cepeda, Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, Chuck Klein, Bob Johnson, Albert Pujols, Hal Trosky and Ted Williams.

In Baltimore, the Red Sox are one out away from defeating Baltimore when Jonathan Papelbon gives up consecutive doubles and an RBI game-winning single to Robert Andino and the Orioles improbably defeat Boston, 4-3. It is Andino’s 7thRBI against Boston in the last 9 days of the season (as noted by Jayson Stark in Wild Pitches) Papelbon had not blown a save since May 9.  The loss leaves the sagging Sox a game in back of Tampa Bay and shuts them out of the wild card.

     Gio Gonzalez allows 2 hits in 8 innings as he wins his 16th, a 2-0 victory for the A’s over the M’s.

The Cardinals shut out the Astros, 8-0, to clinch the wild card spot in the NL playoffs. Chris Carpenter allows 2 hits and strikes out 11.

In Detroit’s 5-4 win over Cleveland, Detroit CF Austin Jackson strikes out 3 times to finish with a 2-year total of 351 K’s, the most in the AL.

Stephen Strasburg (1-1) allows one hit and no runs and strikes out 11 in 6 innings to win his first of the year, a 3-1 Nationals win over the Marlins. Four relievers finish up.

Mike Napoli clubs 2 homers and drives in all 3 runs as the Rangers finish the season with a 3-1 win over the Angels.

At Miller Park, the Brewers hit 3 homers to back Zack Greinke’s (16-6) pitching in a 7-3 win over the Pirates. Greinke strikes out 4 to total 201 strikeouts for the season. He joins Bill Singer, David Cone, Ferguson Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, Nolan Ryan, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson as the only pitchers since 1950 to strike out at least 200 batters in a season in each league; Greinke struck out 242 for the Royals in 2009.

Miguel Bautista surrenders two hits as he shuts out the Reds, 3-0, for the Mets.  Jose Reyes leads off with a bunt single and then exits for a pinch runner in a time-honored tradition of batting leaders protecting their lead in their last game. Reyes, with a .337 average, tops Ryan Braun (.332) who goes 0-for-4 today.

The Marlins announce Ozzie Guillen as their new manager. The fiery Guillen once served as a 3B coach for the Marlins but the transaction with the White Sox also involves sending prospects Jhan Marinez and Osvaldo Martinez to Chicago.

Ted Lilly pitches 7 scoreless innings to earn the win as the Dodgers defeat the Diamondbacks, 7-5. Cole Gillespie hits a 9thinning grand slam for the D’Backs to narrow the losing margin. Dodger IF Eugenio Velez grounds out as a pinch hitter. He breaks a modern day ML record for a non-pitcher by going hitless in his final 46 at bats over two season; the record at bats belonged to Bill Bergen, Dave Campbell and Craig Counsell. Velez also in 0-for-37 for this season, also a ML record for non-pitchers. Jamey Carroll has a one-out triple in the 4th, one of 5 triples hit on the last day of the regular year. During the 2011 season, there were 300 two-out triples, 299 one-out triples and 299 no-out triples.

Boston’s Jon Lester, going for his 15thstraight win over Baltimore, leaves in the 6thwith a 3-2 lead, but after an hour and a half rain delay, the Orioles score a pair in the 9thon 3 hits to win, 4-3.

Held to two hits by Phillip Humber and Matt Thornton, the Blue Jays score 2 in the 9thto beat the host White Sox, 3-2. Interim Sox manager Don Cooper shows some mercy by holding Adam Dunn out of the game, thus allowing him to miss breaking Rob Deer’s major-league record for lowest batting average (.179) for a qualifying hitter. Dunn misses by just six plate appearances, finishing the year with a .159 average in 496 PAs. He has a .292 OBP and a .277 SLG.

30th     The Rays shut out the Rangers, 9-0, in the opening game of their division series, as Kelly Shoppach belts 2 HRs and drives in 5 runs. Matt Moore hurls 7 innings of 2-hit ball while making just his 2ndML start. Moore becomes the youngest hurler in AL history to start his team’s first game of the postseason.

Game 1 of the Tigers-Yankees division series is suspended due to rain. The game is tied, 1-1, in the second inning.

The Red Sox announce that Terry Francona will not return as their manager in 2012. Francona and Bill Carrigan (1915-1916) are the only Red Sox managers to win two World Series with the team. Francona’s Sox won just 7 games in September; the ’62 Mets have the September record with 6 wins.