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Astros ace Justin Verlander blames baseball’s home run surge on livelier baseballs, and pitchers are preparing for a slugfest-filled postseason.
Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer, Chris Taylor made a key catch and the Los Angeles Dodgers reached the World Series for the second straight year, beating the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw closed out the win, setting up a showdown with the Boston Red Sox starting Tuesday night at Fenway Park. Los Angeles fell short last year, losing to Houston in Game 7.
Jesus Aguilar and the Milwaukee Brewers forced the NL Championship Series to Game 7, bolting to a big lead and handing it to their dominant bullpen in a 7-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Aguilar hit a two-run double in the Brewers’ four-run first inning against Hyun-Jin Ryu and added a late RBI single that helped the Brewers even the matchup at three games each. Game 7 is Saturday night at Miller Park with Dodgers rookie Walker Buehler facing journeyman Jhoulys Chacin.
David Price put his postseason woes behind him, pitching the Boston Red Sox back into another World Series with a 4-1 victory over the defending champion Houston Astros. Rafael Devers hit a three-run homer as the Red Sox stunned Justin Verlander and the Astros in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series to win the best-of-seven set 4-1, a perfect 43rd birthday present for rookie manager Alex Cora.
Left fielder Andrew Benintendi made a diving catch with the bases loaded for the final out, and the Boston Red Sox held off the Houston Astros 8-6 on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the American League Championship Series.
Clayton Kershaw bounced back from one of his worst postseason starts with one of his best, pitching the Los Angeles Dodgers past the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 Wednesday to move one win from a return trip to the World Series.
Cody Bellinger singled home the winning run in the 13th inning, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers and tying the NL Championship Series at two games apiece. Bellinger grounded a 3-2 pitch from Junior Guerra into right field, scoring Manny Machado, who slid home and touched the plate with his left hand to beat the tag and end a thriller that took 5 hours, 15 minutes.
Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a grand slam, Nathan Eovaldi hushed Houston a day after some social media trash talk and the Boston Red Sox beat the Astros 8-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the AL Championship Series. Steve Pearce hit a tiebreaking solo homer for Boston off Joe Smith in the sixth inning, a drive that sailed just inside the foul pole in left field for a 3-2 lead. Bradley’s slam capped a five-run burst in the eighth against Roberto Osuna.
Justin Verlander outlasted an uncharacteristically wild Chris Sale, overcoming control problems of his own to give Houston six innings of two-hit ball and lead the Astros over the Boston Red Sox 7-2 in the AL Championship Series opener. On a 48-degree night that left both aces struggling to find the plate – and rookie Red Sox manager Alex Cora struggling to control his temper – Carlos Correa fisted a single into left field to break a sixth-inning tie.
Justin Turner hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 to even the NL Championship Series at a game apiece. High-powered Los Angeles had just two singles against starter Wade Miley before breaking through against Milwaukee’s vaunted bullpen. Cody Bellinger hit an RBI single and Austin Barnes brought in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the seventh, then Turner’s long drive to left off Jeremy Jeffress put the Dodgers ahead to stay.
Craig Kimbrel and the Boston Red Sox held off the Yankees’ ninth-inning rally that ended with a video replay, eliminating New York with a 4-3 victory in Game 4 of the A.L. Division Series that set up a postseason rematch with the World Series champion Houston Astros. J.D. Martinez and the 108-win Red Sox reached the A.L. Championship Series for the first time since 2013.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are making another run at their first World Series title since 1988, and this time they brought Manny Machado along for the ride. The slugging shortstop hit a three-run homer that clinched a victory over the Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series. Now, the Dodgers are moving on to the NL Championship Series, where they’ll face the Milwaukee Brewers.
The MLB playoffs will have a somewhat local flair, as a pair of former Spokane Indians are employed by a postseason favorite.
Tony Wolters hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the 13th inning, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 in an epic NL wild-card game. Wolters, a reserve catcher who entered as part of a double switch in the bottom of the 12th, came up with runners at the corners and drove in Trevor Story with a liner back up the middle off Kyle Hendricks, quieting the Wrigley Field crowd of 40,151 on a crisp fall night.
Every time the Astros suit up, they wear a simple patch as a reminder of what Houston lost to Hurricane Harvey and its catastrophic flooding. The city is determined to rebuild, and the Astros are careful to honor Houston with every game as they chase a second trip to the World Series in the franchise’s history.
Trailing again 2-0 in the postseason, these young New York Yankees remain even keeled going into Game 3 of the A.L. Championship Series against the Houston Astros.
Didi Gregorius, following in the October footprints left by Derek Jeter, homered twice off Corey Kluber as the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2 in Game 5 on Wednesday night to complete their comeback from a 2-0 deficit in the Division Series and dethrone the American League champions.
The Dodgers’ 1-16 skid from late August into September seemed strange while it was happening. After spending all summer as the most resilient, resourceful team in baseball, Los Angeles suddenly stopped scoring the extra runs and earning the late-game breaks that had made it so dominant.
There were no noticeable signs of panic or pressure. Now is not the time to show any weakness. As the Cleveland Indians got ready for their biggest game this season, a winner-take-all Game 5 against the New York Yankees, everything seemed normal, routine.
Cody Bellinger homered, drove in two runs and flipped over a dugout railing to steal an out for a dominant Yu Darvish, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 Monday night to finish a three-game sweep in their NL Division Series.