Phillies-Marlins observations: Nick Williams delivers win in extras

Phillies-Marlins observations: Nick Williams delivers win in extras


MIAMI — Nick Williams came through just in time.

The rookie stroked a two-run single to right in the top of the 12th inning to lead the Phillies to a 3-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park.

Williams, who had failed to get a runner home from third base with one out in the fifth inning and again in the 10th, found redemption against Marlins reliever Junichi Tazawa (3-4).

The Phillies (52-84) took three out of four games from the Marlins (67-69).

• Reliever Adam Morgan (3-1) was brilliant with three scoreless innings. He allowed no hits and just one walk, a splendid encore to his work earlier this weekend when he pitched one scoreless inning.

Hector Neris got the save, his 19th.

• The Phillies got a stellar start from 23-year-old Jake Thompson.

Called up from Triple A Lehigh Valley in time to make his 14th career start, Thompson struck out a career-high seven batters in six innings. He allowed three hits and no walks but took a no-decision.

• With no Rhys Hoskins (bruised hand) in the lineup, the Phillies struggled to score. The middle of the lineup — where Hoskins normally resides — was especially poor … until the 12th.

Still, Williams, in the three-hole, went 1 for 5 with a strikeout, stranding five runners.

Clean-up man Tommy Joseph went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts, stranding six.

Williams had opportunities to drive in runs in both the fifth and 10th innings, but he failed both times. Joseph followed him with an inning-ending out in both of those frames.  

• Cameron Perkins nearly won the game for the Phillies in the ninth. With a runner on first and two outs, his long drive to dead center was run down by Christian Yelich.

• The Phillies had a forgettable eighth inning as all three of their batters — Freddy Galvis, Williams and Joseph — struck out against reliever Kyle Barraclough.

• From the hole at shortstop, Galvis threw out Marcell Ozuna at first on a bang-bang-bang play in the seventh.

That’s three “bangs” because the ball tipped off the glove of third baseman Maikel Franco, was caught by Galvis and then dug out of the dirt at first by Joseph. Ozuna was originally called safe, but that ruling was overturned on video review.

• The Phillies opened the scoring with one run in the fifth, but the Phillies really should have cashed in a bit better.

The Phillies produced four singles, making Marlins starter Jose Urena throw 27 pitches. Cesar Hernandez got the RBI on an opposite-field single, but Williams (lineout) and Joseph (groundout) both stranded the bases loaded.

• Miami tied the score in the bottom of the fifth due to an unfortunate circumstance. Miami’s Brian Anderson, playing his first weekend of Major League Baseball, pulled a leadoff double down the third-base line, advanced to third on an A.J. Ellis groundout and scored on a wild pitch in the dirt.

Certainly, Thompson has to wear that wild pitch, which occurred on an 84-mph breaking ball away. But it was also not catcher Jorge Alfaro’s finest moment as he failed to block that pitch and save his pitcher.

MLB Playoffs: Javier Baez snaps out of funk to help Cubs avoid sweep

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MLB Playoffs: Javier Baez snaps out of funk to help Cubs avoid sweep

CHICAGO -- Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Chicago Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

Jake Arrieta pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning to held the defending World Series champion Cubs close their deficit to 3-1. Manager Joe Maddon got ejected for the second time in this series in the eighth, and a packed Wrigley Field crowd watched Davis get Cody Bellinger to ground into a game-ending double play.

Maddon was heavily criticized for not using Davis during a 4-1 loss in Game 2. This time, the Cubs closer threw 48 pitches to finish the job.

Willson Contreras also homered for the Cubs. Bellinger and Justin Turner connected for the Dodgers, who had won a team-record six straight playoff games.

Game 5 is Thursday, with Jose Quintana pitching for Chicago against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (see full recap).

Tanaka, Yankees blank Astros to take ALCS 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 (see full recap).

MLB Playoffs: Yankees storm back for win over Astros to even ALCS

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MLB Playoffs: Yankees storm back for win over Astros to even ALCS

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge ignited a rousing rally with a home run, then doubled during a four-run eighth inning to spur the New York Yankees over the Houston Astros 6-4 Tuesday night and level the AL Championship Series 2-2.

The Yankees trailed 4-0 against starter Lance McCullers Jr. until Judge homered leading off the seventh. He tied it with a line drive that nearly left the park in the eighth and scored on Gary Sanchez's go-ahead two-run double off loser Ken Giles.

The Yankees have rallied from a second straight 0-2 series deficit -- they beat Cleveland in the Division Series by winning three in a row to take that best-of-five matchup.

Aroldis Chapman struck out two in a perfect ninth, and New York improved to 5-0 at home in the playoffs.

Masahiro Tanaka pitches for New York against Dallas Keuchel in Game 5 Wednesday and rematch of the opener, won by the Astros 2-1 (see full recap).

Dodgers on brink of World Series after shutout
CHICAGO -- Yu Darvish pitched sparkling ball into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a commanding 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 set a franchise record with its sixth consecutive playoff win. 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.

Looking for a four-game sweep and their 22nd NL 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 their last championship in 1988. Jake Arrieta, eligible for free agency after the season, pitches for the Cubs in what could be his final start with the team.

Los Angeles was eliminated by Chicago in the NLCS last year, but this is a different group of Dodgers. The lineup is patient and pesky 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 (see full recap).