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Jarrett Parker had a monster day at the plate in Saturday's wild 14-10 victory over the Athletics, becoming the 11th player in the league this season to blast three home runs in a single game. He became the first Giant since Pablo Sandoval to accomplish the feat, and the first Giant since Willie Mays in 1961 to hit three or more home runs while accumulating at least seven RBI.
Parker got the show started with a solo shot off Barry Zito in the second inning, increasing the club's early lead to 3-0. After the A's battled back, he socked a two-run dinger in the seventh, pulling his squad to within a run at 10-9. That set the stage for his encore performance, a towering grand slam off Ryan Dull in the eighth inning, breaking a 10-10 tie and leading the Giants to victory.
The 26-year-old rookie has been other-worldly since his recall from Triple-A Sacramento on September 11, hitting .500 (9-for-18) with six home runs and 12 RBI. He has now homered in three consecutive games, and each of his last five hits have left the yard.
Parker is certainly making the most of his late-season opportunity, positioning himself well to earn a starting spot in the Giants' Opening Day outfield in 2016.
Mets capture NL East crown
The Mets were able to pop champagne after Saturday's 10-2 triumph over the Reds, locking up their first division title and playoff berth since 2006. Only the Marlins, Mariners, Blue Jays and Astros had gone longer without an appearance in the postseason, with the Jays and perhaps the Astros heading back there again this season.
Lucas Duda got the party started early with a grand slam off John Lamb while Matt Harvey twirled 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball to secure the victory.
Even with the division locked up, the Mets still have plenty to play for in the final week of the regular season. They currently sit just half a game ahead of the Dodgers in the battle for home field advantage in the NLDS.
Cardinals lose Martinez for season
The Cardinals suffered a major blow to their starting rotation on Saturday when MRI results confirmed that Carlos Martinez will miss the remainder of the 2015 season with a strained right shoulder.
While the Cardinals are one of the few teams with the rotation depth to handle such an injury, Martinez would have certainly been a part of the playoff rotation. Now, they'll rely on Michael Wacha, John Lackey, Jaime Garcia and Lance Lynn to carry the load in October.
Martinez finishes a tremendous 2015 campaign with a 14-7 record, 3.01 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 184/63 K/BB ratio. He's expected to be fully recovered and ready to go for the start of spring training next season, where he'll be a highly-coveted fantasy commodity.
American League Quick Hits: Huston Street was forced to leave Saturday's game with a possibly significant groin injury. Already missing setup man Joe Smith, the Halos can ill-afford to lose Street as they try to lock up a Wild Card berth... Lonnie Chisenhall was pulled from Saturday's game due to hamstring cramps... Kendrys Morales was lifted from Saturday's contest with a bruise above his ankle; he's considered day-to-day... Tyler Duffey delivered another strong start as the Twins secured a critical victory over the Tigers... Steven Wright (concussion) won't return this season... Pablo Sandoval (pneumonia) has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2015 season... James Paxton (finger) hopes to make his next scheduled start on Wednesday... Michael Brantley (shoulder) is expected to return to the Indians lineup on Sunday... Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa each homered twice as the Astros out-slugged the Rangers... Jose Bautista blasted a pair of long balls as the Blue Jays outlasted the Rays... Sonny Gray is dealing with a sore hip and could miss his next scheduled start... Adam Jones missed his fifth straight game with an ailing back... Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Angels are interested in Josh Byrnes, potentially for their President of Baseball Operations or General Manager roles.
National League Quick Hits: Carlos Gonzalez blasted his 39th home run of the season, a walk-off two-run shot to defeat the Dodgers... Justin Nicolino hurled seven innings of one-run ball in a victory over the Braves... Jaime Garcia came through with another outstanding performance, allowing one run over eight innings against teh Brewers. He boasts a 2.36 ERA and 1.02 WHIP through 125 2/3 innings... Matt Carpenter was forced to leave Saturday's game with left hip tightness... Stephen Strasburg racked up 13 strikeouts over eight innings of one-run ball in a no-decision against the Phillies... The Phillies announced they will not pick up Cliff Lee's option for 2016, making the left-hander a free agent... Adrian Gonzalez was a late scratch on Saturday due to a pinched nerve in his back... Adam Wainwright (Achilles) hopes to join the Cardinals bullpen next week... Francisco Liriano fired 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a victory over the Cubs... Jose Reyes missed his third straight game with an Achilles injury... Michael Taylor sat out due to minor knee and hamstring injuries... Juan Uribe (chest) may not be ready in time for the NLDS... Matt Harvey will make another start in the final week of the regular season.