LEADING OFF: Dodgers try to clinch NL West, Verlander rolls

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Maeda hadn't pitched since Sept. 11, and after the game Roberts said he'll be used out of the bullpen going forward.

Hoskins and Crawford were at the corners when the Phillies beat the Dodgers on Tuesday. Since they were taking on a woebegone Phillies team and the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks were playing the rebuilding San Diego Padres, it wasn't much to ask for the Dodgers to leave Philly with some closure - and a few champagne-induced hangovers. "It shows the trend that we're on right now".

"I don't know if it's more important for us than other teams", he said, "but you want to finish strong and start strong". It just wasn't enough tonight against one of the worst teams in all of baseball. That'll be at the forefront of our minds. "That's baseball. You're going to have some ups and downs, and to take a series is a good thing".

Not all the news was good for the Dodgers. The rest of the guys have their pluses and minuses.

Corey Seager paid a visit to the same X-ray room following Wednesday night's game after he fouled a ball off his right ankle.

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner is day-to-day with a bruised right thumb after being hit by a pitch during Thursday's victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

What do you get the 90-year-old who has everything? "We'll see how it feels tomorrow". But we kind of got switched around a little bit in the end, which I think is a good thing. They turned Hoskins, a natural first baseman, into a leftfielder so they could call him up a month ago in order to keep Joseph at first base. Why can't Franco and Joseph begin 2018 on the bench? They owe the fans one. "The professionalism and quality never waivers".

CARDINALS 8, REDS 5: Dexter Fowler delivered again, getting three hits and driving in two runs as St. Louis overcame Scott Schebler's two home runs to win at Cincinnati for a three-game sweep. As a pinch hitter, a role he'd likely have in the playoffs, he's 2-for-11 with two homers. "Not that we can let up". At one point, he played error-free second base for 47 consecutive games.

The Phillies can pursue those swaps because, thanks to so many promising young players, they have plenty of viable lineup options.

Crawford made his eighth start at third base, and while he doesn't possess the power bat normally required of someone who plays the position, he certainly looks like he can hold his own with the glove.

Ethier, who has missed most of the season with a back problem, tied it with a home run in the seventh off reliever Ricardo Pinto (1-2) that made it 4-all.

Their clinching celebration postponed in Philadelphia, the Dodgers might have reason to party twice Friday night at Dodger Stadium. Better late than never. "We scratched one across". Previously, there were the young pitchers, Nick Pivetta and others.