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Short series, classic finishes, and an October weekend without baseball

SAN FRANCISCO — A decade from now, even a year from now, this National League Championship Series may seem like a blowout. The San Francisco Giants, in the midst of a five-year run that can be characterized as either impressive or unlikely, put away the St. Louis Cardinals in five games. Busch Stadium waited to welcome all those fans in red this weekend, the Cardinals still alive. Alas, it will sit quiet and empty.

Gordon’s homer in 10th helps Royals top O’s, 8-6

BALTIMORE — The baseball tore a hole through rain and the wind and the mid-October chill before it splashed into a stunned sea of orange. In the lower bowl of Camden Yards, a rowdy pocket of Kansas City Royals fans leapt to their feet. All around them sat Baltimore Orioles fans stunned by the 10th inning feat of Alex Gordon and his game-winning homer in an 8-6 victory on the first night of the American League Championship Series.

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New-look New York Giants offense suddenly clicks

WASHINGTON, D.C. — They had spent the first three games of the season building confidence in the new offense and here, as halftime approached at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, the new-look New York Giants, suddenly high-speed and no-huddle, reached their most dangerous iteration.

N.Y. Red Bulls thump Sounders FC, 4-1

HARRISON, N.J. — New York forward Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his third hat trick of the season as the Red Bulls pulled away from the Sounders — a Sounders team with a host of lineup changes from its U.S. Open Cup triumph earlier this week — for a resounding 4-1 victory Saturday night at Red Bull Arena.