Kike Hernandez's game-winning sac-fly lifts Red Sox to series win over Rays
Giants swing momentum with win over Dodgers, take NLDS lead
Kike Hernandez delivered Boston's second straight walk-off win, scoring pinch-runner Danny Santana with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to send the Red Sox to the AL Championship Series with a 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night.
After winning Game 3 of their AL Division Series on Sunday with Christian Vazquez's two-run homer in the 13th, Boston took Game 4 for its first set of consecutive walk-off postseason wins since 2004 ALCS Games 4 and 5, both courtesy of David Ortiz against the Yankees.
Rafael Devers had a three-run home run off rookie Shane McClanahan to ignite a five-run third inning that put Boston in front 5-0. Tampa Bay battled back and tied it in the eighth.
The wild-card Red Sox will await the winner of the other ALDS matchup between the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox. Houston leads 2-1 going into Game 4 in Chicago on Tuesday, a makeup of Monday's rainout.
ANOTHER NIGHT, ANOTHER <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WALKOFF?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WALKOFF</a>!<br><br>THE RED SOX ARE ALCS BOUND! <a href="https://t.co/81fxAr4cU0">pic.twitter.com/81fxAr4cU0</a>—@MLB
Boston improved to 15-3 in potential clinching postseason games and have won each of their last eight. It brings an abrupt end to the season for the Rays, who'd been eyeing back-to-back trips to the World Series after winning 100 games during the regular season and rolling to AL East title.
Vazquez led off the ninth with a single through the hole to left field and moved to second a sacrifice bunt by Christian Arroyo. Travis Shaw then hit a bouncing ground ball to third that went for an infield single when Yandy Diaz bounced his throw to first baseman Ji-Man Choi.
Giants pull ahead in NLDS with low-scoring victory over Dodgers
Evan Longoria homered off Max Scherzer in the fifth inning and the San Francisco Giants edged the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 on a blustery Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in their NL Division Series.
It was the Giants' second shutout in the best-of-five series after winning the opener 4-0.
Game 4 is Tuesday at Dodger Stadium with Game 5 in San Francisco on Thursday, if necessary.
The Dodgers routed the Giants 9-2 to win Game 2, but mustered just five hits back at home. NL batting champion Trea Turner and Mookie Betts each went 0 for 4, and Corey Seager was 0 for 4 with a walk.
Longoria broke out of an 0-for-23 slump in a big way with his leadoff shot to left-center. He had just two hits in his last 40 at-bats. It was his first postseason homer since the 2013 ALDS with Tampa Bay. After that, Scherzer retired his final six batters.
Longo! <br><br>The <a href="https://twitter.com/SFGiants?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SFGiants</a> are on the board first. <a href="https://t.co/BbKFeAR2OE">pic.twitter.com/BbKFeAR2OE</a>—@MLB
The Giants' other two hits were singles by Buster Posey and Kris Bryant. Their final 15 batters were retired, including in the ninth when Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen struck out the side.
San Francisco starter Alex Wood allowed two hits over 4 2/3 innings against his former team. The left-hander struck out four and walked two. Tyler Rogers got the win with 1 2/3 innings of relief. Camilo Doval pitched two perfect innings for the save.
Cool, gusty winds whipped the flags in center field and even caused Scherzer to stumble delivering an early pitch on a night with weather more akin to Oracle Park in San Francisco.
Napkins, peanut bags and plastic bags blew on the warning track and through the stands. A dusty haze obliterated the usual picturesque view of the San Gabriel Mountains and kept a pregame flyover from being seen except on the videoboard. A fan's white cap came flying out of the stands and landed on the field in the second inning.
The fierce wind blew steadily from left to right field throughout the game, ruffling the pants of the pitchers on the mound.
Scherzer tweaked his mechanics in his last bullpen session before Game 3. It worked. He pitched with a rhythm missing from his last three starts, when he struggled with his command, including in the NL wild-card game against St. Louis.
He retired 10 batters between Posey's single in the first and Bryant's two-out single in the fourth. Bryant made his first start of the season at first for the Giants.
Scherzer gave up one run and three hits in seven innings in taking the loss. The three-time Cy Young Award winner struck out 10 — his fifth career double-digit postseason strikeout total — and walked one on 110 pitches.
The tension was palpable into the later innings.
With the sellout crowd of 53,299 on its feet chanting, "Let's go, Dodgers!", Betts hit a screaming liner into the glove of leaping shortstop Brandon Crawford to end the threat.
The Dodgers had three hits — all singles — through six innings.
Their first hit came off the bat of 41-year-old Albert Pujols, whose bloop single to right led off the third in his 75th career postseason game. Along with Pujols, the Dodgers started 37-year-old Scherzer and 36-year-old Justin Turner at third.
It was Pujols' first start and hit in the playoffs since the 2014 ALDS with the Los Angeles Angels. The three-time NL MVP hit .294 against left-handed pitching during the regular season.
Pujols singled again leading off the fifth before being replaced by pinch-runner Billy McKinney. It was his first multi-hit postseason game since his three-homer performance in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series for St. Louis.
Dominant pitching, Pederson's homer lifts Atlanta to victory
Joc Pederson kept enhancing his "Joctober" nickname with a three-run, pinch-hit homer and Atlanta shut down Milwaukee once again, beating the Brewers 3-0 on Monday in Atlanta to take a 2-1 edge in the NL Division Series.
In a matchup dominated by pitching, Ian Anderson and Atlanta's bullpen combined on a five-hitter and won by a 3-0 score for the second straight game.
Boosted by shortstop Dansby Swanson's athletic defence, Atlanta can try to reach its second straight NL Championship Series when it hosts Game 4 on Tuesday.
Pederson's homer in the fifth inning was his second of the series. Each drive came as a pinch-hitter against Adrian Houser. Pederson singled as a pinch-hitter in his only other at-bat in this series, and has driven in four of Atlanta's seven runs.
Joctober! <a href="https://t.co/ESnQWExoHI">pic.twitter.com/ESnQWExoHI</a>—@MLB
Pederson has hit 11 postseason home runs overall and helped the Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series last year with his longballs. He then signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs in the winter and was traded to Atlanta in July.
Since winning the opening game of the series, the NL Central champion Brewers have not scored in 19 consecutive innings. They were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position in this loss.
Milwaukee starter Freddy Peralta pitched four scoreless innings and was pulled for a pinch-hitter when the Brewers threatened in the fifth.
Houser gave up singles to Travis d'Arnaud and Swanson to open the fifth. Pederson, hitting for Anderson, pulled a high fastball deep into the right-field seats for a 3-0 lead.
Weather pushes back Game 4 between Astros, White Sox
Game 4 of the AL Division Series between the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox was postponed earlier Monday because of rain in the forecast. The teams are now set to meet Tuesday afternoon.
The Astros lead the best-of-five series 2-1.