Jae Hong/Associated Press
In less than 24 hours, the Los Angeles Dodgers went from the edge of falling into a deep chasm to putting their foot on the throats of the Milwaukee Brewers.
It took 13 innings for the Dodgers to square the National League Championship Series in Game 4, and they took a much more conventional victory in the pivotal fifth game.
The Dodgers relied on seven innings of strong pitching from Clayton Kershaw in Game 5, and they earned a 5-2 victory over the Brewers.
The series moves back to Milwaukee for Game 6 Friday night, and Game 7 will be played Saturday at Miller Park, if necessary.
The first pitch in Game 1 is scheduled for 8:39 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised by FS1.
Kershaw gave up just three hits and kept the Brewers from doing any serious damage with his fastball and scintillating breaking pitches. It was a complete turnaround from his Game 1 performance when he gave up five runs (four of which were earned) in three-plus innings.
“It wasn’t as easy maybe as last year to get to this point,” Kershaw said, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. “I realize we’ve got some work to finish it off and get back. It doesn’t really matter how you get there, but thankful that we are here now, for sure.”
The Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs in five games in the NLCS last year.
Manager Dave Roberts was happy with the way Kershaw responded to his second start in the NLCS, per Gurnick: “You could see the same look that you always see, there’s a determination and when you get a champion like him that gets hit around a little bit, he’s going to respond, and that’s what he did today.”
The Dodgers got RBI singles from Austin Barnes, Max Muncy, Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner. Brian Dozier added an RBI groundout.
Jae Hong/Associated Press/Associated Press
One of the more interesting strategic aspects of the game came in the first inning. Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell gave the ball to Wade Miley to start the game, but he was replaced after one batter by Brandon Woodruff.
Miley will start Game 6, and Jhoulys Chacin will get the ball in Game 7 for the Brewers if it goes that far.
“We’re sitting in a very good spot and we have a great opportunity,” Counsell said, per Joe Trezza of MLB.com. “And I know you’re going to play, ‘What if we could have captured another of these games?’ But we’re still going home and have a chance with this thing, with a bunch of guys in really good shape.”
Hyun-Jin Ryu will get the start for the Dodgers in Game 6.
Kershaw struck out nine batters in seven innings, while Miley walked the only batter he faced before he was removed from the game. Reliever Joakim Soria gave up two runs on two hits in 0.1 innings. Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner had two hits for the Dodgers, while Lorenzo Cain had two hits for the Brewers.
Game 1: Brewers 6, Dodgers 5
Game 2: Dodgers 4, Brewers 3
Game 3: Brewers 4, Dodgers 0
Game 4: Dodgers 2, Brewers 1 (13 innings)
Game 5: Dodgers 5, Brewers 2; Dodgers lead, 3-2
Game 6: Dodgers at Brewers; Friday, Oct. 19 at 8:39 p.m. ET on FS1
*Game 7: Dodgers at Brewers; Saturday, Oct. 20 at 9:09 p.m. ET on FS1
ANDREW BENINTENDI HAS THE RED SOX ONE WIN AWAY FROM THE WORLD SERIES #SCtop10 https://t.co/jiroz0r794
American League Championship Series
The Boston Red Sox took a commanding 3-1 series lead over the defending World Series champion Houston Astros in the ALCS after recording an 8-6 victory in Game 4.
The game came down to an Alex Bregman at-bat in the bottom of the ninth inning against Craig Kimbrel with two outs and the bases loaded.
The Astros star lined Kimbrel’s first pitch to left field, and Andrew Benintendi took off with the crack of the bat and made a head-long dive to catch the ball and end the game. If Benintendi had failed to make the catch but kept the ball in front of him, the tying run would have scored. If it had gotten by him, the Astros would have won the game and tied the series.
It was a tremendous game for the Boston outfielders.
Mookie Betts had just one base hit, but he was a pivotal figure because of his defense. He leapt high at the right field wall in the first inning, and he appeared to be in a position to take away a home run from Houston’s Jose Altuve. However, just as the ball was about to close his glove on the ball, a fan in the right-field seats knocked Betts’ glove, and the ball careened off of it and back into the field.
Umpire Joe West immediately called Altuve out because of the interference, and the call was upheld after video review.
Betts made another brilliant defensive play in the eighth inning as he threw out the Astros’ Tony Kemp after he tried to stretch a single into a double. Kemp has excellent speed, but Betts got to his line drive faster than Kemp could have expected and fired a perfect strike, and Xander Bogaerts tagged him out.
The play poured cold water on what could have been a big rally in the eighth inning.
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Jackie Bradley Jr.: 3rd consecutive game with an extra-base hit and multiple RBI.
Bradley Jr. becomes the 2nd player in franchise history with an XBH and 2+ RBI in 3 consecutive postseason games, joining Nomar Garciaparra in 1998. https://t.co/jme4FOwBoA
The Red Sox were trailing 5-4 in the top of the sixth inning when they took the lead for good. Jackie Bradley Jr., the hitting star in Games 2 and 3, played the role of hero once again when he blasted a two-run homer to right field.
Bradley was guessing that he would see an off-speed pitch when he came to the plate in the sixth. “I’ve been seeing the ball well and I put a good swing on it,” Bradley told the MLB Network’s Scott Braun. “I thought he might throw me a change-up and he did.”
The Astros are one game away from elimination, but they will send Justin Verlander to the mound to keep their season alive in Game 5. Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced after the game that David Price will get the start as Boston attempts to close out the series and move on to the World Series.
First pitch is scheduled for 8:09 p.m. and the game will be televised by TBS.
Bradley has nine runs batted in in the last three games for the Red Sox. The Red Sox were 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position, while the Astros were 3-for-12. Charlie Morton gave up three earned runs in 2.1 innings of work for the Astros. Rick Porcello gave up four runs in 4.0 innings for the Red Sox.
Game 1: Astros 7, Red Sox 2
Game 2: Red Sox 7, Astros 5
Game 3: Red Sox 8, Astros 2
Game 4: Red Sox 8, Astros 6; Red Sox lead, 3-1
Game 5: Red Sox at Astros; Thursday, Oct. 18 at 8:09 p.m. ET on TBS
*Game 6: Astros at Red Sox; Saturday, Oct. 20 at 5:09 p.m. ET on TBS
*Game 7: Astros at Red Sox; Sunday, Oct. 21 at 7:39 p.m. ET on TBS