MLB Thursday Takeaways: Astros pound A's, Braves thump Marlins in clinching wins

7:15 PM ET

MLB InsidersESPN

On a Thursday that could see as many as four teams sent home from the 2020 MLB playoffs, the Atlanta Braves got things started by completing an NLDS sweep of the Miami Marlins, and the Houston Astros followed by finishing off the Oakland Athletics. Will the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers join them in advancing, or will the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres keep their seasons alive?

Here are the stars, turning points and takeaways from each of Thursday’s games.

Key links: Ranking the remaining teams | Guide to bubble ballparks | Schedule, bracket

Jump to … HOU-OAK | MIA-ATL

Houston Astros 11, Oakland Athletics 6

What it means: The Astros didn’t possess the pitching depth to match the A’s going into this series. Their path to victory was obvious — they needed to hit like the Astros of old. And they did just that. A decorated lineup that languished through the shortened season finally came to life at Dodger Stadium, which consistently provided warm day games that heavily favored the hitters.

Carlos Correa, George Springer and Michael Brantley each provided multihomer performances during the series

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