Rangers battle in Toronto, Game 5 of ALDS (3:13)
18hDavid Schoenfield

Monday's Top 5: A day of big bats

Oh, just another day with four playoff games, hours upon hours of hours of baseball excitement, and plenty of offense.

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Padilla: Royals shock Astros to force a Game 5

Facing a four-run deficit with six outs left in their season, the Royals rallied for five runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth to stun the Astros with a 9-6 win in Game 4 to stave off elimination.

USA TODAY Sports, Getty Images

Caple: Blue Jays hold nothing back to return to Toronto

With their backs against the wall, the Blue Jays came out swinging in their 8-4 Game 4 win against the Rangers. But by pulling R.A. Dickey early for ace David Price, did they handicap their chances of winning Game 5?

1dBuster Olney

MLB sends message with Utley suspension

MLB's suspension of Chase Utley is a message that it wants to get rid of plays in which baserunners go out of their way to crash into fielders.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

California bans tobacco in stadiums under new law

California lawmakers have taken the first step toward accomplishing something Major League Baseball could never do on its own: Stop players from using smokeless tobacco.


Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

For the first time since 2010, the St. Louis Cardinals will not be playing in the National League Championship Series. That’s because, for the first time ever, the Chicago Cubs clinched a postseason series at Wrigley Field, beating the Cards 6-4 to win the NLDS three games to one.

Cubs top Cardinals, advance to NLCS

The Cubs hit three homers, including Kyle Schwarber's 7th-inning blast, in the 6-4 win to eliminate the Cardinals and reach their first NLCS since 2003. It is the first time the Cubs have clinched a series at home. Box score


Baseball Tonight @BBTN

Matt Carpenter keeps the Cardinals alive with a line drive single to left. Piscotty comes to the plate as the tying run.

Gordon Edes ESPN Staff Writer 

I'm covering a guy in the ALDS, Chris Colabello of the Jays, who 10 years ago was playing for Joe Ruth's semipro Lunenburg Phillies in my hometown. Amazing tale of how he got here...and why he belongs. Come back tonight/tomorrow a.m. to read his saga.

Baseball Tonight @BBTN

OUT AT HOME! Austin Jackson tries the squeeze, but a nice play by Trevor Rosenthal gets Kris Bryant at home to keep the Cards down 2.

David Schoenfield SweetSpot blogger 

I'm going to do this. Caught up in the moment. Maybe Kris Bryant won't be the defensive third baseman that Mike Schmidt was, but like Schmidt he's a very athletic third baseman who can run. So, yes, I'm dropping a Mike Schmidt comp on Kris Bryant. There, I said it.

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

As we saw with that Bryant triple: Every time the Cubs get a big hit, the shots from the TV cameras shake from the fan earthquake at Wrigley

Cubs keep slugging homers

Kyle Schwarber cleared the right field scoreboard with his 7th-inning blast to give the Cubs a 6-4 lead. The Cubs are first team with 3-plus HRs in consecutive postseason games since the Tigers in 2011. Follow live


Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs

The Cardinals pitching staff gave up 63 home runs on the road all season. In 2 days they've given up 1/7 of that total.

Jayson Stark @jaysonst

Kevin Siegrist: 0 HR allowed in September. 3 HR allowed in the last 2 games at Wrigley. The Cardinals aren't winning the battle of the 'pens

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

BOOM! Kyle Schwarber hits one OUT OF THE STADIUM to extend Chicago's lead to 6-4. That one might not come down for a while.

David Schoenfield SweetSpot blogger 

Joe Maddon goes to his fifth reliever of the game, meaning it's looking like at least a seven-reliever game for the Cubs. If it goes extra innings, Kyle Hendricks is probably the guy. Maddon is managing this as a bullpen game, which statheads often advocate for but managers rarely attempt.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Anthony Rizzo has dominated lefties for two years. No pitcher/manager should think they have the advantage bringing in a lefty to face him. He homers off of Siegrist to give the Cubs the lead 5-4.

Rizzo burns Siegrist again

Anthony Rizzo put the Cubs ahead with his solo shot of Kevin Siegrist in the sixth inning. He also homered Siegrist in Monday's game, making it the second time in Cubs history a player went deep off the same pitcher in the same playoffs.


SportsCenter @SportsCenter

RIZZO! Cubs re-take the lead as Anthony Rizzo blasts the 0-2 pitch to right field. Chicago goes ahead 5-4 and is 9 outs away from NLCS.