CHICAGO -- Jon Lester outpitched Johnny Cueto with eight sparkling innings, Javier Baez homered in the eighth and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 1-0 in a tense Game 1 of their NL Division Series on Friday night.
Lester retired his last 13 batters in a dominant performance, but the game was scoreless when Baez sent Angel Pagan scrambling to the left-field wall with a towering drive. With a raucous crowd of 42,148 and every player anxiously tracking the flight of the ball, Pagan ran out of room as it landed in the basket that tops the ivy-covered walls at Wrigley Field.
Aroldis Chapman gave up Buster Posey's two-out double off the ivy in the ninth before Hunter Pence bounced to second for the final out, wrapping a bow on Chicago's first meaningful game in weeks (see full recap).
Dodgers hold off Nationals in series opener
WASHINGTON -- Clayton Kershaw earned a rare postseason victory, and rookie Corey Seager and Justin Turner homered off Max Scherzer on Friday night, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers past the Washington Nationals 4-3 in Game 1 of their NL Division Series.
Kershaw, a lefty who owns three NL Cy Young Awards, worked around eight hits with the help of seven strikeouts, and exited after allowing three runs in five innings. He improved his career record in the playoffs to 3-6 even though his ERA rose to 4.65.
Four Dodgers relievers combined to allow one hit over four scoreless innings, with closer Kenley Jansen earning his first five-out save since April 13.
Seager homered on the first postseason pitch he's ever seen, and Turner added a two-run shot in the third as LA built a 4-0 lead against 20-game winner Scherzer (see full recap).
Kluber, Indians shut down Red Sox
CLEVELAND -- Corey Kluber carried a shutout into the eighth inning and Lonnie Chisenhall hit a three-run homer off postseason-cursed David Price, giving the Cleveland Indians a 6-0 win on Friday over the Boston Red Sox and a 2-0 lead in their AL Division Series.
Showing no signs of a late-season leg injury, Kluber limited the AL East champions to three hits over seven innings as the Indians moved within one win of returning to the ALCS for the first time since 2007.
David Ortiz and the Red Sox are in serious trouble and have to hope they can get things turned around Sunday in Game 3 at Fenway Park or their turnaround season will be over and Big Papi's career will be done.
Chisenhall connected in the second inning off Price, who fell to 0-8 in nine playoff starts and must now face the wrath of Red Sox Nation. The left-hander lasted just 3 1/3 innings and once again crumbled with a chance to silence critics who say he can't pitch in the big game (see full recap).
Blue Jays hit 4 more HRs to take 2-0 lead
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Edwin Encarnacion capped a three-homer burst in the fifth inning off Yu Darvish and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 5-3 Friday to take a 2-0 lead in the AL Division Series.
The wild-card Blue Jays now go home looking to clinch the best-of-five matchup after beating the Rangers' two ace pitchers. Game 3 is Sunday night.
A reminder, though: Last year, Toronto lost the first two games of the ALDS at home against Texas, then rallied to win the series.
Kevin Pillar, Ezequiel Carrera and Encarnacion, who ended the AL wild-card game with a three-run homer in the 11th inning Tuesday night, hit solo homers in a five-batter span in the fifth. Troy Tulowitzki's two-run drive in the second put 20-game winner J.A. Happ and the Blue Jays ahead to stay.
Texas scored twice in the eighth, including an RBI single by Carlos Gomez that hit reliever Francisco Liriano in the back of the neck. Liriano walked off the mound, and an ambulance was waiting to take him to the hospital after the game.
Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna got five outs for a save (see full recap).