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Follow live: Angels lead Rangers

Albert Pujols' two-run homer in the first inning gave the Angels an early lead over the Rangers in a game they must win to keep their postseason hopes alive.

Robert Duyos/Sun Sentinel

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Hamels settles down for Rangers

Albert Pujols started this crucial matchup with a two-run HR off Rangers SP Cole Hamels. But Hamels just finished his fifth inning with the score still 2-1 in the Angels' favor. L.A. needs this one if it hopes to make the playoffs. Follow live


Adam Rubin @AdamRubinESPN

Jacob deGrom finishes the regular season with a 14-8 record and 2.54 ERA. Finished season with 205 strikeouts in 191 innings.

Royals looking like the No. 1

Kansas City needed to lose AND the Blue Jays had to win for Toronto to unseat the Royals from the AL's top spot. The Jays trail 9-0 while the Royals lead 5-0 in the fourth. Follow live


Blue Jays down 9-0 after one

Toronto was hoping to beat the Rays today, then get a Royals loss to slide into the No. 1 overall spot in the AL. That looks very unlikely after a nine-run first for Tampa Bay. Follow live

Game 162 = celebration time for Mets fans

There's nothing on the line for the NL East champs on the final day, but fans were likely relieved at Curtis Granderson's first-inning single to end any chance of being no-hit in back-to-back games. Follow live


Cubs grab 3-0 first-inning lead

Anthony Rizzo capped Chicago's three-run opening inning with a two-run single. If the Cubs beat the Brewers and the Pirates lose to the Reds (PIT leads 1-0 in 1st), Chicago would host the NL wild card game. Follow live

David Schoenfield SweetSpot blogger 

Not a good first inning for Cole Hamels. Albert Pujols unloads with a two-run homer and Hamels throws 19 pitches. Rangers bullpen is very thin today so Hamels has to get that pitch count down and pitch reasonably deep into this game.

Pujols starts must-win in style

Albert Pujols hit his 40th HR of the season in the first inning to put Los Angeles ahead 2-0 over the Rangers. The Angels need to win today and get some help to make the playoffs. Follow live

Angels @Angels

Albert now at 560 career HRs, three shy of matching Reggie Jackson for 13th all-time. #Angels

Jayson Stark Senior Writer, ESPN.com 

We have 15 baseball games, I'm, kicking off right now. And 7 of them will determine the shape of the postseason. Can't wait.

AL scenario: West winner

  • Rangers clinch AL West with win or Astros loss.
  • If Rangers lose and Astros win, Rangers-Astros play one-game playoff for AL West; loser gets WC berth.


NL scenario: wild card No. 1

  • Pirates host WC game with win or Cubs loss.
  • Cubs host WC game with win and Pirates loss.