Rangers battle in Toronto, Game 5 of ALDS (3:13)
17hDavid 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.

Eric Christian Smith/Getty Images

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.


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.

Baseball Tonight @BBTN

We're all tied up! Pinch hitter Brandon Moss delivers an RBI single to tie the game at 4, but Jorge Soler throws out Tony Cruz at the plate.

Utley's appeal hearing set for Oct. 19

Chase Utley's appeal of his two-game suspension is officially scheduled to be heard on Oct. 19. He'll be active for the remainder of the NLDS. "We argued for a hearing date (Tuesday) or (Wednesday). The union wanted longer time to get ready and [hearing officer] John [McHale] decided that he would give them until Monday in order to get ready," commissioner Rob Manfred told USA Today.

Gregory Bull / AP

Cubs bullpen coming through

After replacing Jason Hammel in the fourth, Justin Grimm struck out the side. Then Travis Wood took over in the fifth and retired the first two hitters he saw before getting Matt Holliday to fly out to preserve the 4-2 lead. Follow live


Doug Padilla ESPN Staff Writer 

The Royals' Eric Hosmer send out condolences to the KC Fire Department and to the families and friends of the two firefighters killed while fighting a blaze Monday night. Hosmer's father was a firefighter for 29 years in the Miami area. "I was fortunate to never have a phone call from the fire department saying something crazy happened, so I can only imagine what the families are going through," Hosmer said.

keithlaw @keithlaw

Had a moment there where I saw the back of the uniform and thought "Kerry Wood is pitching?"

Salvador Perez likely will start Game 5

The Royals catcher left Monday's game early after taking a foul ball to the mask and later was hit by a pitch in his left side. He passed concussion tests after the game.


Harvey unavailable for rest of NLDS

Mets manager Terry Collins said Matt Harvey won't be available out of the bullpen if there is a Game 5, but should be available for multiple starts if they make the NLCS. Harvey pitched 5 innings, getting the win, in Game 3 in his only NLDS appearance.