Marlins' Justin Nicolino caps off rookie season with strong outing Saturday
Miami Marlins starter Justin Nicolino (5-4) threw seven innings Saturday, allowing two earned runs on six hits while walking none and striking out two in a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies .
The 23-year-old was sharp in his final outing of the season, retiring the first 11 hitters he faced. Nicolino has brought stability to a Marlins rotation otherwise in flux, but possesses limited fantasy upside -- the southpaw's 2.80 K/9 is the lowest in baseball (min. 50 innings pitched).
Dodgers' Yasiel Puig collects hit in return from DL on Saturday
Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig made his return from the DL on Saturday, going 1 for 3 in a 2-1 win over San Diego Toreros .
Puig has been out more than a month with a hamstring injury, so it was crucial for the Dodgers to get him back before the postseason. The star outfielder has not lived up to his draft-day price tag this season, but he can make an impact for LA when it matters most. With the depth the Dodgers have, it seems very possible that Puig will only play against lefties for the remainder of the season.
Orioles' Manny Machado homers in both ends of Saturday's doubleheader
Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado went 1 for 4 with a solo homer in Saturday's Game 2 victory over the New York Yankees .
Machado is wrapping up 2015 on a homer tear, with Saturday night's solo shot marking his second dinger of the day and making it four consecutive contests with at least one long ball. The superstar third baseman has also totaled 8 RBI over those four games, and has set benchmarks in every offensive category in what has been a breakout campaign.
Justin Turner helps Dodgers clinch home field advantage in NLDS
Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner went 2 for 3 with a solo home run in a 2-1 win over San Diego Toreros on Saturday.
Turner just continues his breakout season, as this marks his 16th dinger of the year. Since joining the Dodgers last season, Turner has developed into a completely different player, as he has doubled most of his career numbers in that two-year span. It remains to be seen what they'll do with him next year considering all the young depth the Dodgers have, but he's definitely played well enough to earn an everyday role yet again.
Phillies SP Alec Asher has dismal end to rookie campaign on Saturday
Philadelphia Phillies starter Alec Asher (0-6) lasted just two innings Saturday, giving up three earned runs on six hits while walking none and striking out one in a 5-2 loss to the Miami Marlins .
Asher threw just 43 pitches in his Sept. 30 shellacking against the New York Mets , allowing him to start against Miami on short rest. The outing may have been ill-advised, as Asher was pummeled in his two innings, lasting just 44 pitches in Game 2 of the doubleheader. The 23-year-old posted a 4.73 ERA in Triple-A Round Rock while still in the Texas Rangers organization -- perhaps an indication that Asher is not ready to face big league hitting.
White Sox SP Erik Johnson wraps up rookie campaign with strong outing
Chicago White Sox starter Erik Johnson went 6 1/3 innings Saturday, giving up two earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out four in a 4-3 win over the Detroit Tigers .
The 25-year-old continued his bid for a 2016 rotation spot, ending his season with four quality starts in six outings. Johnson doesn't miss many bats and allows too many walks, which limits his fantasy value, but his peripherals generally show improvement from his major league stint last season.
Orioles RP Zach Britton shuts the door for 36th save on Saturday
Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton recorded his 36th save in Saturday's 4-3 victory over the New York Yankees , surrendering a hit in a scoreless ninth inning.
Britton recorded his third consecutive scoreless outing after a rare hiccup on Sept. 20 against the Tampa Bay Rays , in which he blew a save while surrendering a pair of earned runs in less than an inning. As customary, Britton was sharp with his control and stingy with fly balls, throwing seven of his 11 pitches for strikes and keeping batted balls exclusively on the ground for the third straight appearance. The only blemish on Saturday's performance was the hard-throwing southpaw's failure to record at least one strikeout for the first time since Aug. 19 against the New York Mets .
Tigers' Justin Verlander posts solid outing in no-decision Saturday
Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander went six innings Saturday, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out nine in a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox .
Verlander took a no-decision in his final outing of 2015, wrapping his season up with four consecutive quality starts. The former Cy Young winner put up solid numbers in his abbreviated season, improving his K/9 to 7.63 from 6.95 in 2014.
Cubs RP Jason Motte dispatched to Arizona to continue shoulder rehab
Chicago Cubs reliever Jason Motte (shoulder) left the Cubs on Saturday to continue his rehab at the team's complex in Arizona Wildcats .
Motte is not expected to be ready for the Wednesday's game against Pittsburgh, but he might be able to return if the Cubs advance to the the NLDS. He's been on the DL since Aug. 24.
Orioles RP T.J. McFarland earns win in relief Saturday vs. Yankees
Baltimore Orioles reliever T.J. McFarland (2-2) picked up the victory in the 4-3 win over the New York Yankees on Saturday, throwing two scoreless innings in which he did not surrender any hits or walks. He also struck out a batter.
McFarland pitched impressively after throwing 59 pitches over four innings Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays . The 26-year-old performed relatively well for the Orioles during two separate stints in 2015, with a pair of particularly poor outings in which he gave up a combined 11 earned runs over 2 1/3 innings serving as the primary culprits for the slightly elevated 4.58 ERA he wraps up the season with.