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Baker won't return as Nationals manager

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) Dusty Baker is done as manager of the Washington Nationals after two seasons, two NL East titles and zero playoff series victories.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he told Baker the news via telephone Friday morning. Baker's two-year deal with the club is expiring.

"Our expectations have grown," Rizzo said during a conference call with reporters. "Winning a lot of regular-season games and winning divisions are not enough. Our goal is to win a world championship and, to that end, we made the decision late last night."

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Verlander tries to save Astros' season

HOUSTON (AP) Justin Verlander agreed to that last-second trade to the Houston Astros with hopes of another World Series, and has since won all eight games he has pitched.

Eight is not enough. The Astros have to win Verlander's ninth game - or their season will end short of that goal.

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Dodgers expect SS Seager to play in WS

CHICAGO (AP) Corey Seager is expected to be in the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup for the opener of the World Series after missing the NL Championship Series because of back pain.

Seager, an All-Star shortstop, watched from home as the Dodgers eliminated the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs in Game 5 on Thursday night.

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Tigers name ex-rival Gardenhire manager

DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Tigers have hired Ron Gardenhire as their manager, bringing the longtime Minnesota Twins skipper back to the AL Central to take over a team in the middle of a significant rebuilding process.

The Tigers announced the move Friday, saying Gardenhire has agreed to a three-year contract. Then Gardenhire was introduced at a news conference at Comerica Park.

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Tigers won't pick up option on P Sanchez

DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Tigers are declining their $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

General manager Al Avila confirmed that Friday following the team's news conference to introduce new manager Ron Gardenhire. The move comes as no surprise after Sanchez slipped badly over the past three seasons. He went 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017.

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Turner, Taylor share NLCS MVP honors

CHICAGO (AP) Justin Turner and Chris Taylor shared MVP honors in the NL Championship Series, repaying a Dodgers organization willing to roll the dice on players whose big league careers were stalled.

In Turner's case, it was then-bench coach Tim Wallach who rediscovered him playing in a Cal State-Fullerton alumni baseball game four years ago, after his career appeared all but over.

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Young Cubs likely not fading after NLCS

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Cubs' season had just ended when Anthony Rizzo made a bold prediction.

No, he didn't promise another championship.

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Tribe's Brantley undergoes ankle surgery

CLEVELAND (AP) The damaged ligaments in Michael Brantley's right ankle have been stabilized. The All-Star left fielder's future with the Cleveland Indians remains unsteady.

Brantley had surgery to repair an ankle injury that bothered him much of this season, sidelined him for 50 games over the final two months and limited him during the playoffs.

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Tanaka bests Keuchel, Yankees go up 3-2

NEW YORK (AP) This time, it was Masahiro Tanaka who was untouchable on the mound.

And when the New York Yankees sent Houston ace Dallas Keuchel to an early exit, their rollicking crowd let loose with a cathartic roar that must have boomed all over the Bronx.

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