Red Sox

Porcello allows three more homers as Blue Jays rout Red Sox, 10-4

Porcello allows three more homers as Blue Jays rout Red Sox, 10-4

BOSTON -- Kendrys Morales hit a three-run shot in the first inning.

Jose Bautista connected for a solo home run in the third.

Raffy Lopez chased reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello with a two-run homer in the sixth.

"Six of the seven runs he allowed were on those three swings," Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the Toronto Blue Jays beat Boston 10-4 on Monday night, handing Porcello his major league-leading 16th loss.

Steve Pearce had three of Toronto's 14 hits, and J.A. Happ allowed just one earned run in 5 2/3 innings. Toronto carried a 7-4 lead into the ninth and scored three more times, highlighted by Justin Smoak's 37th homer and a run-scoring double from Morales.

"It seems like we've never had enough runs since I've been here. So that was nice," said Lopez, who was playing in Fenway Park for the first time. "It's always nice in any environment to get a home run, but this is pretty awesome."

Boston lost for the fourth time in five games. Its lead in the AL East was trimmed to 2 1/2 games over the New York Yankees, who beat Baltimore in the afternoon.

"Our guys are well aware of where we stand," said Farrell, who revealed that the team had a meeting four days ago. He would not elaborate on what was said.

Eduardo Nunez had two hits and three RBIs for Boston.

FALLING FAST

Less than a year after he was named the AL's top pitcher, Porcello (9-16) picked up a career-worst 16th loss. Since starting the season with a 4-14 record, he had won five of six decisions - including his previous start on Wednesday, when he held Toronto to one run over 6 2/3 innings.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed in my performance tonight," he said, noting his teammates had a long night after losing to the Yankees in New York on Sunday night. "I was probably the only one that was fresh."

Porcello was charged with seven runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

NOT HELPING

Happ (7-10) gave up three runs and six hits. He was charged with an error that led to two runs in the second inning when he threw the ball into center field on a would-be fielder's choice.

TACKING ON

The Blue Jays led 3-0 after one inning and 4-2 after three before they pulled away with a three-run sixth against Porcello.

Ryan Goins singled with one out, Darwin Barney doubled off the Green Monster to score one run and bring pitching coach Carl Willis out to the mound. But on Porcello's first pitch to Lopez - his 100th of the game - the No. 9 hitter homered over the Toronto bullpen to make it 7-2.

"We thought he settled down after that Bautista home run," Farrell said.

BUNTS

The Red Sox had been 10-3 against the Blue Jays this season, including a three-game sweep in Toronto last week. ... The Jays have won just five times in their last 17 games. They had lost seven of nine in Boston. ... Fernando Abad struck out Lopez on a 59 mph changeup to end the eighth inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman is penciled in to pitch Friday night against Detroit, acting manager DeMarlo Hale said. Stroman left his last outing on Saturday when was hit by Mark Trumbo's 107 mph line drive on the right elbow. X-rays were negative.

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia got a "planned day off," Farrell said, and will be back in Tuesday and Wednesday. ... LHP David Price is ready to begin pitching in simulated games. He has been out since July 22 with left elbow inflammation.

UP NEXT

The teams meet again on Tuesday, with Eduardo Rodriguez (4-5) facing Toronto's Marco Estrada (7-8).

ALCS: Tanaka, Yankees top Keuchel, Astros 5-0 for 3-2 lead

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ALCS: Tanaka, Yankees top Keuchel, Astros 5-0 for 3-2 lead

NEW YORK - Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and the New York Yankees finally solved Houston Astros nemesis Dallas Keuchel, beating the ace lefty 5-0 on Wednesday for a 3-2 lead in the AL Championship Series.

Gary Sanchez hit an RBI single off Keuchel and later homered to help the wild-card Yankees win for the third straight day at home and move within one victory of their first trip to the World Series since 2009.

The teams head back to Houston for Game 6 on Friday night, when Justin Verlander and the reeling Astros will try to regain their footing following an off day and force a decisive Game 7. Luis Severino is scheduled to start for New York.

Just days ago, Houston was up two games to none and appeared to be closing in on its second World Series appearance. But the Astros, like defending AL champion Cleveland before them, have been unable to put away these poised Yankees, who improved to 6-0 at home in this postseason in front of their cheering, chanting fans.

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NLCS: Dodgers close in on World Series with 6-1 win over Cubs

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NLCS: Dodgers close in on World Series with 6-1 win over Cubs

CHICAGO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have a tough lineup, a talented pitching staff and a manager making all the right moves.

Yup, it's beginning to look a lot like 1988.

Yu Darvish pitched sparkling ball into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.

Andre Ethier also went deep and Taylor added an RBI triple in the fifth as Los Angeles improved to 6-0 in this postseason, setting a franchise record for consecutive playoff wins. Yasiel Puig had two more hits in another entertaining performance that included an impressive bat flip - on a long foul ball in the first inning.

"The focus has certainly been heightened in the postseason," manager Dave Roberts said.

Looking for a four-game sweep and their 22nd pennant, the Dodgers will send Alex Wood to the mound Wednesday night at Wrigley Field with a chance to reach the World Series for the first time since Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda managed Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser and Co. to the club's last championship 29 years ago.

Jake Arrieta, eligible for free agency after the season, pitches for the Cubs in what could be his final start with the team.

"I think we've won four games in a row before," Chicago slugger Kris Bryant said. "Obviously, it's going to be a tougher road. But it'll make the story that much better. Can you imagine that?"

Los Angeles was eliminated by Chicago in the NLCS last year, but this is a different group of Dodgers. Their patient lineup is coming up big in key spots and the pitching staff is much deeper, especially since Darvish was acquired in a trade with Texas in the final minutes before the July 31 deadline.

Not even a return to Wrigley could get the Cubs back on track after a rough stay in Los Angeles. Chicago manager Joe Maddon juggled his lineup, inserting Kyle Schwarber into the No. 2 slot and benching slumping second baseman Javier Baez, but the defending World Series champions were shut down by another Dodgers starter and more stellar relief from the NL West champions.

"I really didn't change much approach-wise from first inning until the end of the game," Darvish said through a translator. "I just kept pitching the same way."

Making their third straight appearance in the NLCS, the weary Cubs also hurt themselves with a couple of big mistakes. Carl Edwards Jr. walked Darvish on four pitches with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, continuing a rocky postseason for the reliever and leading to a round of boos from a frustrated crowd of 41,871.

A passed ball brought home another run in the eighth, and pinch hitter Kyle Farmer hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-1.

Darvish departed after striking out Addison Russell in the seventh, pausing for congratulations from his whole infield before heading to the dugout. The Japanese right-hander allowed six hits, including Schwarber's first-inning homer, in his second career playoff win - both this year. He struck out seven and walked one.

Tony Watson got two outs, Brandon Morrow worked the eighth and Kenley Jansen closed it out after Ross Stripling gave up two hits in the ninth. With Roberts pushing the right buttons, Los Angeles' bullpen has yet to allow a run in the series.

"I think everybody's just been attacking," Morrow said. "That's the No. 1 thing."

The only four-game postseason sweep for the Dodgers came in the 1963 World Series against the New York Yankees. If Los Angeles can finish off Chicago on Wednesday, the Dodgers would have five days off before hosting the Yankees or Houston Astros in the World Series opener.

"We knew today was the most important game, and now tomorrow's the most important game," Ethier said. "We're going to come out and figure out how to get the job done again."

Schwarber's sixth career postseason homer got Chicago off to a fast start, but Jon Jay struck out with two on to end the inning. The Dodgers responded with Ethier's leadoff drive in the second and Taylor's second homer of the series in the third, a mammoth shot to center off losing pitcher Kyle Hendricks.

"We had a chance obviously, early," Maddon said. "We hit some balls well early in the game, and then he settled in."

Ethier had two hits in his first start of this year's playoffs after he missed most of the season with a herniated lumbar disk. Taylor also had two hits and is 4 for 14 for the series, helping make up for the loss of All-Star shortstop Corey Seager to a back injury.

ON THIS DAY

Tuesday was the 13th anniversary of Roberts' memorable stolen base for Boston in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS against the New York Yankees. The Red Sox were three outs from elimination when Roberts ran for Kevin Millar, swiped second and scored on Bill Mueller's single.

Boston went on to rally past New York and sweep St. Louis for its first World Series championship since 1918. Roberts said he never mentions the steal to his players, but it comes up occasionally.

"Yu Darvish about two weeks ago I guess was surfing the internet, and there was an `aha' moment," Roberts said. "He ran across the stolen base and kind of put two and two together and didn't realize that was his manager. So he proceeded to kind of awkwardly approach me about it and talked about my goatee and how I could steal a base."

UP NEXT

Dodgers: Wood, who had a career-high 16 wins this season, will make his first appearance since Sept. 26. He was lined up for Game 4 of the NLDS, but the Dodgers swept the Diamondbacks in three games.

Cubs: Arrieta has pitched just 14 1/3 innings since Aug. 30, including four innings of two-hit ball against Washington in Game 4 of the NLDS. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner was hampered by a right hamstring injury at the end of the season.

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