Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers advance in Major League playoffs; Boston Red Sox blow out New York Yankees
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Houston Astros advanced to the AL Championship Series for the second straight year, completing a division-round sweep of Cleveland on Monday with an 11-3 win in Game 3 helped by two key throwing errors from Indians reliever Trevor Bauer.
Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run double off Bauer on a shoulder-high pitch as the Astros scored three runs in the seventh inning and closed a series that figured to be much more competitive.
George Springer homered twice, Carlos Correa hit three-run homer for his first hit of the postseason and Houston’s bullpen combined for four scoreless innings as the defending champion Astros moved closer to reaching their second straight World Series.
Red Sox 16, Yankees 1
At New York, Brock Holt became the first player to hit for the cycle in a postseason game as Boston routed New York to grab a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five AL Division Series.
Andrew Benintendi lined a three-run double and Holt tripled home two more in a seven-run fourth inning that quickly turned the latest playoff matchup between these longtime rivals into a laugher. Handed a big early lead, Nathan Eovaldi shut down his former team during New York’s most lopsided defeat in 396 postseason games.
Boston battered an ineffective Luis Severino and silenced a charged-up Yankee Stadium crowd that emptied out fast on a night when Red Sox rookie manager Alex Cora made all the right moves. By the ninth, backup catcher Austin Romine was on the mound for New York — he gave up a two-run homer to Holt that completed his cycle.
Game 4 is tonight in the Bronx, where the 108-win Red Sox can put away the wild-card Yankees for good and advance to the AL Championship Serie. Rick Porcello is scheduled to pitch for Boston against CC Sabathia.
Dodgers 6, Braves 2
At Atlanta, when Los Angeles bolstered its already power-packed lineup with slugging shortstop Manny Machado, this is just what they had in mind.
Machado drove in four runs — three of them with a seventh-inning shot into the left-field seats — and the Dodgers finished off the Atlanta Braves in an NL Division Series.
Los Angeles advanced to face the Brewers. Game 1 is Friday night in Milwaukee.
Coming off a tense victory in Game 3, the Baby Braves grabbed the lead on pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki’s two-run single in the fourth.
But David Freese, the 2011 World Series MVP with St. Louis, came through again in the postseason. He delivered a pinch-hit single of his own in the sixth off Jonny Venters (0-1), driving home Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig for a 3-2 lead with a grounder past backup shortstop Charlie Culberson after Atlanta allowed Puig to steal second uncontested.