Diamondbacks clinch home-field advantage in wildcard game with walk-off win

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Outfielder J.D. Martinez cemented his status as a fan-favourite after he bashed a walk-off single into deep left field to lift the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Miami Marlins 3-2.

Martinez's heroics helped the Diamondbacks clinch home-field advantage in the National League (NL) wildcard game.

The All-Star and Silver Slugger went two for five with the RBI and three strikeouts.

Martinez has hit 27 of his 43 home runs this season in a Diamondbacks uniform, after moving to the desert from the Detroit Tigers on July 18. The 30-year-old - a free agent at the end of the campaign - has played his way into a monumental contract this offseason.

Overshadowed by the Los Angeles Dodgers throughout most of the season, Arizona (90-66) are a World Series threat. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt might be the NL MVP, and the top of the rotation, led by Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray, is formidable enough to give teams problems.

 

SUNDAY'S RESULTS

Detroit Tigers 4-10 Minnesota Twins
New York Mets 2-3 Washington Nationals
Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 St Louis Cardinals
Baltimore Orioles 9-4 Tampa Bay Rays
Milwaukee Brewers 0-5 Chicago Cubs
Seattle Mariners 2-4 Cleveland Indians
Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 Miami Marlins
Houston Astros 5-7 Los Angeles Angels
Toronto Blue Jays 9-5 New York Yankees
Cincinnati Reds 4-5 Boston Red Sox
Atlanta Braves 0-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago White Sox 8-1 Kansas City Royals
Oakland Athletics 8-1 Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres 4-8 Colorado Rockies

 

BLACKMON STARS, KERSHAW MAKES HISTORY

Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon is a seriously underrated NL MVP candidate, and he further made his case by collecting two hits with three runs scored, his 36th home run of the season and a walk against the Padres.

Clayton Kershaw became the first Dodgers pitcher to record seven 200-strikeout seasons in a win over the Giants. Kershaw allowed just one run with six strikeouts in eight innings to improve to 18-4 with a 2.21 ERA.

 

ARCHER'S SEASON GOES FROM BAD TO WORSE

The season could not end fast enough for Rays All-Star Chris Archer. The flame-throwing hurler was lit up for six runs (five earned) off eight hits in less than four innings in a loss to the Orioles. Archer (9-12) has now allowed 18 earned runs in just over 16 innings this month.

 

BLUE JAYS FAREWELL JOEY BATS

Jose Bautista will be missed by the Blue Jays. The 36-year-old slugger's last home game in Toronto ended with a win over the Yankees.

 

CUBS AT CARDINALS

Fresh off a hard-fought four-game series against the Brewers, in which the Cubs won three on the road, the defending World Series champions now head to St Louis to try and lock up the NL Central. Jon Lester (11-8, 4.56 ERA) will take on the Cardinals' potential new ace Luke Weaver (7-1, 2.05 ERA) on Monday with a five-and-a-half game lead in the division.