MLB·MLB PLAYOFFS

Austin Riley's 9th-inning single wins it for Atlanta in NLCS opener against Dodgers

Austin Riley homered and drove in the winning run with a single in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting Atlanta to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series on Saturday night in Atlanta, Ga.

Martinez, Devers' grand hitting lifts Red Sox past Astros to even ALCS

Atlanta's Austin Riley, centre-right, celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk-off single in a 3-2 win over the Dodgers in Game One of the National League Championship Series on Saturday in Atlanta, Ga. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Austin Riley homered and drove in the winning run with a single in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting Atlanta to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series on Saturday night in Atlanta, Ga.

Blake Treinen struck out Freddie Freeman to open the ninth before giving up Ozzie Albies' bloop single to centre field. Albies stole second before Riley followed with his line drive into left field.

Riley spread his arms in celebration as he rounded first base before he was swarmed by his Atlanta teammates. Riley was mobbed as the celebration carried into shallow centre field.

The slugging third baseman also homered in the fourth.

The teams are meeting in the NL Championship Series for the second consecutive season. The Dodgers rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win last year's series in seven games before also winning the World Series.

Game 2 is Sunday night in Atlanta before the series shifts to Los Angeles.

The Dodgers wasted a scoring opportunity in the top of the ninth. Will Smith got two outs before walking Chris Taylor. Pinch-hitter Cody Bellinger hit a soft single to right field, but Taylor got caught in a rundown between second and third that started with right fielder Joc Pederson's throw to shortstop Dansby Swanson.

Corey Knebel lasted one inning as the Dodgers' opener, giving up a run. Eddie Rosario led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on Albies' groundout and scored on Knebel's wild pitch to Riley.

The Dodgers pulled even in the second on AJ Pollock's two-out double and Taylor's single to left field.

Smith's homer in the fourth, his third of the postseason, gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Riley's two-out homer off Tony Gonsolin in the fourth tied the game.

Atlanta starter Max Fried gave up two runs on eight hits, including Smith's homer, in six innings. Fried threw 23 consecutive strikes, the most in a postseason game in 20 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Dodgers outhit Atlanta 10-6 but left runners on base in each of the first seven innings except the fourth, when Smith hit the homer. Los Angeles hitters were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

No Atlanta pitcher posted a perfect inning until the eighth, when Luke Jackson got three consecutive outs.

Justin Turner, who was 2 for 24 in the Dodgers' first two postseason rounds, had one hit. Albert Pujols was held without a hit on three groundouts before popping out in the ninth.

Freeman had four strikeouts against four different Los Angeles pitchers after having only one four-strikeout game in the regular season.

Martinez, Devers lead Red Sox to win over Astros to even ALCS

J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers helped the Red Sox have a grand old time in Houston.

Boston became the first team to slug two grand slams in a postseason game, with Martinez and Devers connecting in the first two innings of a 9-5 win over the Astros on Saturday that tied their AL Championship Series at one game apiece.

Martinez made it 4-0 with his opposite-field shot off rookie Luis Garcia with two outs in the first. It was the first career playoff slam for the four-time All-Star, who began his career with the Astros.

Garcia exited with right knee discomfort after walking the first batter of the second inning. Jake Odorizzi took over, and shortly after a 13-minute delay while the right-hander warmed up on the field, Devers connected with one out for slam No. 2.

Game 3 is Monday night in Boston. It's the first of three consecutive home games for the Red Sox, back in the playoffs for the first time since winning the 2018 World Series after downing Houston in the ALCS.

Kike Hernandez, who Boston manager Alex Cora referred to Friday night as "en fuego" after a two-homer performance in Game 1, remained on fire Saturday. He had two hits, highlighted by a solo homer in the fourth inning.

Hernandez has been this postseason's hottest hitter, leading all players with 16 hits, five homers and four doubles. His nine extra-base hits are also the most in these playoffs and tied a Red Sox postseason record with Mike Lowell (2007), Kevin Youkilis (2007) and David Ortiz (2004 and 2007).

Red Sox's J.D. Martinez, left, is congratulated by teammate Rafael Devers, right, after a first inning grand slam home run in a 9-5 Game Two win over the Astros in the American League Championship Series on Saturday in Houston, Tx. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Red Sox come out of the gates swinging

Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi permitted five hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings.

The Astros captured a 5-4 win in the series opener as they rallied behind homers from Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa before falling into the huge hole early in this one.

The Red Sox were up 9-0 when Houston got on the board with an RBI double by Kyle Tucker with two outs in the fourth. The Astros cut the lead to 9-3 when Yuli Gurriel followed with single to right field that scored two more.

Gurriel and Jason Castro added solo homers in the ninth off Darwinzon Hernandez before Ryan Brasier got the final out.

Astros' injuries

The injury to Garcia is another blow to a Houston team trying to reach the World Series for the second time in three years. The Astros are already reeling after an injury to staff ace Lance McCullers Jr. that kept him off the roster for this series.

They won the championship in 2017, a crown tainted by the team's sign-stealing scandal.

When McCullers went out, manager Dusty Baker said the team would just have to "hit more" to absorb the loss. But now that the rotation is further depleted, it'll be an even taller task for this powerful lineup outgunning a Boston team whose offence has outpaced everyone this postseason.

Odorizzi was left off the Division Series roster after a disappointing first season in Houston before getting a spot in this round after the injury to McCullers. He allowed seven hits and four runs in four innings Saturday in a performance that certainly isn't good news for a team that is running short on starters.

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