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MLB Playoffs: Red Sox, Yankees avoid elimination with ALDS Game 3 wins

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MLB Playoffs: Red Sox, Yankees avoid elimination with ALDS Game 3 wins

NEW YORK  -- Masahiro Tanaka's seven-inning gem was saved when Aaron Judge prevented a home run in right field, and Greg Bird homered to give the New York Yankees a 1-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 3 on Sunday night, extending their AL Division Series.

Aroldis Chapman got a five-out save as New York avoided a three-game sweep by the defending AL champions. With two on in the ninth, Chapman struck out cleanup hitter and former Reds teammate Jay Bruce, and Carlos Santana flied out to center.

The Yankees got a splendid performance from Tanaka in an old-fashioned October pitching duel with Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco. Tanaka got a boost when Judge robbed Francisco Lindor of a two-run homer in the sixth.

Bird came through with the huge hit New York had to have when he connected against loser Andrew Miller in the seventh.

New York rebounded from a bruising loss Friday in Game 2 that led to heavy criticism of manager Joe Girardi, booed Sunday night by the home crowd during pregame introductions.

Game 4 is Monday night at Yankee Stadium, with young ace Luis Severino scheduled to start for New York. Cleveland might go with Game 1 winner Trevor Bauer on three days' rest (see full recap).

Red Sox rout Astros, avoid elimination in ALDS Game 3
BOSTON -- Hanley Ramirez waved a "Believe in Boston" flag during pregame introductions, drawing cheers from a Fenway Park crowd fearful of a second straight postseason sweep.

Then he gave the Red Sox exactly what they wished for: more October baseball.

"I just tried to wake everybody up," Ramirez said after delivering four hits and three RBIs to lead the AL East champions to a 10-3 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the AL Division Series on Sunday.

"I think that's my job: Find a way to come through in big situations," the designated hitter said. "It's the playoffs. It's go time."

David Price pitched four scoreless innings after another Boston starter faltered, and 20-year-old Rafael Devers hit the go-ahead homer to help the Red Sox snap a five-game postseason losing streak.

Mitch Moreland had three of Boston's 15 hits -- matching its combined total from Games 1 and 2, a pair of 8-2 losses. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit his first postseason homer, a three-run shot in a six-run seventh that put the game away (see full recap).

MLB Playoffs: Indians rally past Yankees in 13 innings for 2-0 series lead

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MLB Playoffs: Indians rally past Yankees in 13 innings for 2-0 series lead

CLEVELAND -- Yan Gomes singled home Austin Jackson from second base with none out in the 13th inning as the Cleveland Indians rallied from five runs down to stun the New York Yankees 9-8 Friday and snatch a 2-0 lead in the AL Division Series.

Jackson drew a leadoff walk in the 13th from Dellin Betances and stole second. Gomes went to a full count before pulling his bouncer just inside the third-base bag, easily scoring Jackson. The Indians poured out of their dugout to mob Gomes, who ended the 5-hour, 8-minute thriller.

The Indians overcame an 8-3 deficit, a terrible start by ace Corey Kluber and a potentially serious injury to slugger Edwin Encarnacion. Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam in the sixth to rally Cleveland, right after a close call on a hit by pitch that the Yankees didn't challenge.

The Yankees had their chances late, but they stranded the go-ahead run at third in the ninth and 10th -- and had pinch-runner Ronald Torreyes picked off second in the 11th by Gomes from the behind the plate.

Cleveland will try for a sweep in Game 3 Sunday at Yankee Stadium (see full recap).

Cubs open title defense by blanking Nationals
WASHINGTON -- Kyle Hendricks outpitched Stephen Strasburg, and the Chicago Cubs opened defense of their first World Series title in 108 years by beating the Washington Nationals 3-0 on Friday in Game 1 of their NL Division Series.

Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo produced RBI singles in the sixth inning for the first two hits off an otherwise-dominant Strasburg. Hendricks was even better, giving up only two singles in seven strong innings.

Rizzo added an RBI double off reliever Ryan Madson in the eighth. Carl Edwards Jr. threw a perfect inning and Wade Davis finished the two-hitter for a save.

Game 2 in the best-of-five series is Saturday, with Jon Lester set to start for Chicago against fellow left-hander Gio Gonzalez (see full recap).

Turner’s 5 RBIs spark Dodgers’ Game 1 win
LOS ANGELES -- Justin Turner homered and drove in five runs, Clayton Kershaw won despite giving up four homers and the Los Angeles Dodgers roared to a 9-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night in their NL Division Series opener.

Turner hit a three-run homer and Yasiel Puig added an RBI double before the Dodgers made their first out against Arizona starter Taijuan Walker, who lasted just one inning in his playoff debut.

Turner added an RBI single in the fourth and another in the eighth. The red-bearded slugger tied a Dodgers record for most RBIs in a postseason game, sharing it with Pedro Guerrero and Davey Lopes.

A.J. Pollock, J.D. Martinez, Ketel Marte and Jeff Mathis homered off Kershaw, but Arizona's euphoria from its wild-card victory over Colorado was erased during a rough first inning in Chavez Ravine.

Game 2 is Saturday night, with Rich Hill facing Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray (see full recap).

Astros pound Red Sox again for 2-0 series lead
HOUSTON -- Carlos Correa homered, doubled and drove in four runs, Jose Altuve got two more hits and the Houston Astros hammered the Boston Red Sox 8-2 Friday to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the AL Division Series.

George Springer also homered to help Dallas Keuchel coast in Houston's second straight romp by the same score.

The Astros will go for a sweep in the best-of-five matchup Sunday at Fenway Park.

A day after Altuve hit three home runs in the playoff opener, he got things going with a two-out single in the first inning off Drew Pomeranz. Correa, who went 0 for 4 on Thursday, made it 2-0 when he launched a towering shot onto the train tracks atop left field.

Keuchel pitched into the sixth, allowing one run and three hits while striking out seven (see full recap).

MLB Playoffs: Jose Altuve blasts 3 HRs as Astros cruise past Red Sox

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MLB Playoffs: Jose Altuve blasts 3 HRs as Astros cruise past Red Sox

HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve had just arrived in the Astros dugout after launching his third home run of the game when George Springer grabbed his right biceps and examined it, as if searching for an explanation for his teammate's extraordinary pop.

"He makes sure he stays on top of his gym routine, whatever it is," Springer said. "The dude is just a joke."

The major league batting champion put on an unprecedented show of power Thursday as Houston roughed up Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox 8-2 in Game 1 of the AL Division Series.

Buoyed by chants of "MVP" in each trip to the plate, the 5-foot-6 Altuve hit solo homers in the first and fifth innings off Sale. He connected again in the seventh off reliever Austin Maddox to give Houston a quick boost in the best-of-five series.

"As soon as I cross the white line, I feel the same size as everyone else," Altuve said.

It was just the 10th time a player hit three homers in a postseason game, and first since Pablo Sandoval for the Giants in the 2012 World Series opener against Detroit. Babe Ruth did it twice (see full recap).

Bauer helps Indians blank Yankees in Game 1
CLEVELAND -- Trevor Bauer made Aaron Judge look silly, and made his manager look like a genius.

One year after nearly costing the Indians a trip to the World Series, Bauer helped them take the first step back.

Named a surprise starter for Game 1, Bauer chopped Judge and New York's other big bats down to size, and Jay Bruce drove in three runs as Cleveland began chasing its first World Series title in 69 years with a 4-0 win over the Yankees on the Thursday night in the opener of the AL Division Series.

Bauer struck out Judge three times , twice getting the MVP candidate looking. He allowed just two hits in 6 2-3 innings before manager Terry Francona, who chose to start the right-hander over ace Corey Kluber, turned to baseball's best bullpen, using Andrew Miller and closer Cody Allen to finish the three-hitter.

Allen came in with two on and two outs in the eighth to face Judge, who struck out for the fourth time and the rookie angrily snatched at his bat frustration. Allen then worked the ninth for a save.

Judge's verdict on Bauer was unanimous in New York's clubhouse.

"He was mixing his pitches well, he was using the corners extremely well," he said. "You've got to tip your cap sometimes. We've just got to pick ourselves up and get ready for tomorrow" (see full recap).