The Red Sox took a 2-1 lead over the Astros in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series with a big 8-2 victory in Game 3 on Tuesday evening at Minute Maid Park.
Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi scattered two earned runs over six strong innings, earning his second victory in as many postseason appearances. He gave up a run on three singles in a 26-pitch first inning but settled in nicely from there, throwing 18 pitches in the second inning, 12 in the third, nine in the fourth, 16 in the fifth, and 11 in the sixth.
The 28-year-old impending free agent right-hander now has a 2.08 ERA across two starts (13 innings) in the 2018 postseason and continues to line himself up for a big payday this winter. His next outing could come in a potential ALCS Game 7 back at Fenway Park, and he sure seems up to the task.
Jackie Bradley was the offensive hero for the Red Sox, belting a grand slam off Roberto Osuna in the top of the eighth inning to break the game wide open. Known more for his glove than his bat, JBJ was 1-for-17 with seven strikeouts in bases-loaded situations during the regular season. But he hit a go-ahead three-run double off Gerrit Cole in Boston’s ALCS Game 2 win on Sunday and he brought out the boo birds for Osuna and the host Astros on Tuesday.
Dallas Keuchel handled the first five innings for the defending World Series champions and failed to record a strikeout for the first time in 2018. He yielded just two runs and ultimately took a no-decision, with the loss going to Joe Smith, who surrendered a solo shot to Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce in the top of the sixth. Osuna gave up five total runs in the top of the eighth.
Alex Bregman again did his part, finishing 2-for-3 with an RBI and yet another walk while making several defensive gems at third base. The 24-year-old budding superstar has now reached safely in 20 of his 28 plate appearances since the playoffs began. He’s batting .467 with a ridiculous .714 on-base percentage and 1.714 OPS.
Dodgers Best Brewers In NLCS Game 4
In the later game Tuesday -- which turned into the much, much later game -- the Dodgers outlasted the Brewers 2-1 in a 13-inning, five-and-a-half hour affair to even the best-of-seven National League Championship Series at 2-2. The game was a slog, unless you’re a Dodgers fan.
Cody Bellinger walked it off with an RBI single that snuck through the right side of the infield and plated Manny Machado from second base. It was the second hit of the night for Bellinger, who came off the bench in the bottom of the sixth inning and managed a single off dominant Brewers left-hander Josh Hader in the bottom of the eighth. Bellinger also made a terrific diving catch in right field -- an unfamiliar position for him -- in the top of the 10th.
Bellinger is batting just .120 (3-for-25) this postseason, but you’ll find ugly batting averages up and down both teams’ rosters after what took place in Game 4 of the NLCS on Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
There were only three total runs scored in 13 innings, as a total of 48 runners were left on base.
The two squads will meet back up at Dodger Stadium at 5:05 p.m. ET (2:05 p.m. local time) for Game 5 on Wednesday. That’s as quick of a turnaround as you’ll ever see at this time of year.
Quick Hits: Brewers manager Craig Counsell said late Tuesday that Gio Gonzalez has a high left ankle sprain and will have to be replaced on the NLCS roster … Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters that Eduardo Nunez was removed from Game 3 of the ALCS on Tuesday due to lingering right ankle discomfort … Chris Sale (illness) said Tuesday that he is "good enough" to pitch, and he remains the tentative starter for the Red Sox in ALCS Game 5 on Thursday at Minute Maid Park … Justin Verlander will start Game 5 of the ALCS against the Red Sox on Thursday … Marcell Ozuna will meet with a specialist in Los Angeles later this month to determine the next course of treatment for his right shoulder … Cardinals president John Mozeliak said Tuesday that he expects to have a conversation in the coming weeks with Rick Ankiel about finding "common ground on a contract” … Rays signed left-hander Ryan Sherriff to a minor league contract … Astros acquired left-hander Brayan de Paula and outfielder Adonis Giron from the Marlins for international bonus pool money … Jose Oquendo will not return to the Cardinals’ coaching staff in 2019.