MLB

MLB: Diamondbacks score 6 in 1st off Kershaw in stunning rout of Dodgers in NLDS opener

By Sports Desk October 07, 2023

Gabriel Moreno highlighted a six-run first against Clayton Kershaw with a three-run homer and the Arizona Diamondbacks rolled to a stunning 11-2 rout of the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the NL Division Series.

Tommy Pham had four hits with a homer and Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas also went deep for Arizona, which is 3-0 in these playoffs – all on the road.

Arizona wasted no time jumping on Kershaw, who gave up a leadoff double to Ketel Marte and an RBI single to Carroll before Christian Walker’s double made it 2-0.

Moreno followed with a blast over the wall in left field to extend the lead to 5-0 and after a groundout and Thomas’ walk, Evan Longoria doubled home another run.

Kershaw – a three-time Cy Young Award winner - was relieved by Emmet Sheehan after he was tagged for six runs and six hits while recording just one out.

He had never made a start where he pitched less than one inning.

Carroll led off the second with a home run and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. added an RBI double before Longoria’s sacrifice fly upped the advantage to 9-0.

Merrill Kelly didn’t need all the offensive support, as he allowed three hits in 6 1/3 scoreless innings for his first win against the Dodgers.

He entered 0-11 with a 5.49 ERA in 16 starts against them.

Thomas homered in the seventh and Pham’s blast in the eighth made it 11-0.

Will Smith had a two-run triple in the eighth to get Los Angeles on the board.

 

Harper homers, Phillies shut out Braves

Bryce Harper’s home run backed a stellar pitching performance, and the Philadelphia Phillies stifled the MLB-best Atlanta Braves 3-0 in Game 1 of the NL Division Series on Saturday night.

Wild-card series hero Bryson Stott broke a scoreless tie with a run-scoring single off Spencer Strider in the fourth.

Harper took Strider deep in the sixth to make it 2-0 and the Phillies tacked on another run in the eighth when catcher’s interference was called against Sean Murphy.

After the call was reviewed and upheld, there was a brief delay when a handful of fans threw rubbish on the field.

The Phillies took a 1-0 lead over the Braves in the NLDS for the second consecutive season after they upset Atlanta 3-1 on an improbable run to the 2022 World Series.

Ranger Suarez limited the 104-win Braves to one hit in 3 2/3 innings and Jeff Hoffman escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.

Seranthony Dominguez struck out the side in the fifth and Jose Alvarado, rookie Orion Kerkering, Matt Strahm and Craig Kimbrel shut down Atlanta the rest of the way.

Strider, the majors’ only 20-game winner this season, allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings with two walks and eight strikeouts.

 

Alvarez hits 2 home runs as Astros beat Twins

Yordan Alvarez homered twice, and Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings to lead the defending World Series champion Houston Astros to a 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins in an AL Division Series opener.

Jose Altuve led off the bottom of the first with a home run and Alvarez finished with three RBIs to help Houston win its 10th straight in Game 1 of a Division Series.

The 40-year-old Verlander allowed four hits with three walks and six strikeouts for his 17th career playoff win, most among active pitchers.

Minnesota rallied against Hector Neris in the seventh, with Jorge Polanco providing the big hit with a three-run homer. Two pitches later, Royce Lewis belted his third home run in three playoff games to get the Twins within 5-4.

Alvarez connected off Caleb Thielbar in the bottom half to extend Houston’s lead.

The Houston slugger took starter Bailey Ober deep in the third for a two-run shot for a 3-0 advantage.

 

Rangers’ bullpen holds off Orioles

Five Texas relievers kept the Baltimore Orioles in check and the Rangers held on for a 3-2 victory in their AL Division Series opener.

Third baseman Josh Jung homered and came up with a key defensive play as the Rangers improved to 3-0 in these playoffs – all on the road.

After Dane Dunning gave up Anthony Santander’s solo home run in the sixth to cut Texas’ lead to 3-2, Will Smith, Josh Sborz, Aroldis Chapman and Jose Leclerc combined for the final 10 outs.

Chapman walked the first two batters in the eighth before Jung ranged to his left and snagged Santander’s bouncer on a short hop to start a 5-4-3 double play.

Chapman then struck out Ryan Mountcastle with a runner on third to end the inning.

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