Adam Duvall homered twice of Jose Quintana as the Atlanta Braves secured a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

William Contreras and Matt Olson also went deep off Quintana and Chase de Jong respectively, as the reigning World Series champions claimed their 11th consecutive victory.

Kyle Wright pitched solidly for the Braves in his start, striking out seven and giving up five hits over 79 pitches in six innings with an ERA of 2.57, moving to a 7-3 record over 12 games started.

Atlanta have outscored their opponents 74-30 over that 11-game winning streak, with an ERA of 2.47 over that period.

They continue to chip into the New York Mets' lead atop the National League East, moving to 34-27 for the season so far.

Mets account for Angels

The Mets were able to recover from Saturday's defeat away to the Los Angeles Angels however, winning 4-1 to claim their second game in a three-game series.

J.D. Davis and Pete Alonso homered for the NL East leaders, while Starling Marte had two hits and one RBI as they ended their two-week Californian road trip.

Taijuan Walker was in impressive form, striking out ten and giving up six hits over 97 pitches in six innings, maintaining the Mets' five-and-a-half game lead over the Braves.

Carpenter crushes Cubs for series sweep

Matt Carpenter claimed two home runs and tied his career high of seven RBIs, propelling the New York Yankees to a massive 18-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The 36-year-old Carpenter only signed for the Pinstripes in May as a free agent, with a release by the Texas Rangers following his Triple-A ball assignment, to account for injuries to Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson.

The three-time All-Star has now hit six home runs in his first 10 games, with the Yankees now winning 11 of their past 12 after this three-game sweep.

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker says his side "don't know how to quit" after fighting back from conceding a first-inning grand slam to force a Game 6 in the World Series against the Atlanta Braves.

The Braves raced to a 4-0 lead from Adam Duvall's first-inning grand slam as they looked to clinch the World Series on home soil at Truist Park leading the series 3-1.

The Astros, who were world champions in 2017, American League (AL) winners in 2019 and fought back from a 3-0 deficit in last year's AL Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays to force a Game 7, responded with back-to-back two-run inning, before a three-run rally in the fifth inning to take the lead.

"We've been through many of these battles," Baker said at the post-game news conference. "They don't know how to quit.

"They're always looking for an edge or an opening. Fortunately tonight we took advantage of some."

Carlos Correa, who was part of the title-winning 2017 team, had three hits and two RBIs for the game, while Martin Maldonado came up with three RBIs. The Astros catcher was the first player in history to drive in runs with a hit, walk and sacrifice fly in a postseason game.

Maldonado's improbable contribution came after the Braves appeared on their way to securing their first World Series since 1995 after Duvall's first-inning grand slam.

"I always say, if it's going to happen, let it happen early," Baker said about the grand slam. "You don't want it to happen in the middle of the game or toward the end of the game."

The home crowd was electric after Duvall's grand slam, demanding a curtain call, but he insisted they did not get carried away.

"We celebrated it, we got excited and that's what you do when you hit home runs, but it's a long game," Duvall said.

"That happened in the bottom of the first. It's a nine-inning game, and they didn't quit."

Braves manager Brian Snitker added: "We knew we had a long, long way to go in that game and anything could happen. It would have been great if we could have kept adding on. We just weren't able to do that."

The Houston Astros delayed the Atlanta Braves' World Series celebrations after flexing their muscles in Game 5, winning 9-5 in come-from-behind fashion.

Atlanta had the chance to clinch their first World Series title since 1995 on home soil, but the Astros spoiled the party to stay alive in MLB's showpiece.

The Braves led 4-0 after the opening-inning grand slam before the desperate Astros – led by Martin Maldonado's three RBIs – rallied to put Atlanta's celebrations on ice.

Atlanta still lead the best-of-seven matchup 3-2 and can claim their fourth World Series away to the Astros in Game 6 in Houston on Tuesday.

 

In MLB history, teams ahead 3-1 in a best-of-seven World Series have a 40-6 record. According to Stats Perform, clubs in that situation are 11-1, with the 2016 Cleveland Indians (against the Chicago Cubs) the only franchise to lose the series having held a 3-1 advantage.

Adam Duvall of the Braves became the first player in World Series history to hit a go-ahead slam in a potential clinching game.

But Houston's offence came up big with two runs apiece in the second and third innings before a three-run fifth-inning helped the Astros move 7-5 clear.

The Astros – also fuelled by a resolute bullpen – made sure of the win via runs from Kyle Tucker and Jose Altuve in the final two innings as Houston became the first ever team to trail by four-plus runs on the road in the World Series and win by four-plus runs, per Stats Perform.

Atlanta Braves star Jorge Soler conceded Charlie Morton's injury had taken the shine off his team's 6-2 triumph over the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series.

Morton took a hard grounder off the leg in the second inning but remained in the game to finish out the frame, then struck out the first batter of the third before leaving when the pain became too intense.

X-rays revealed the 37-year-old had suffered a broken right fibula, ruling him out of the remainder of the series.

Soler, who hit the third pitch of the game for a home run, said of Morton's setback: "It was extremely challenging for us.

"We saw him getting treatment and getting worked on. He went back out there to pitch on that broken leg.

"It was really challenging and emotional for us to have to see him in the game being hurt, our World Series opener, starter."

In the 117th edition of the World Series, Soler became the first player to lead off the top of the first inning of Game 1 with a homer – a welcome development for Atlanta as teams that score first in the 2021 postseason are now 25-7. 

"The energy was amazing and electric, especially after we took a 1-0 lead after that home run," said Soler.

"I feel extremely grateful to be here and be a member of this organisation. I feel like Atlanta opened its arms for me. They traded for me, and they gave me opportunity to play every day.

"So as far as I'm concerned, I'm extremely grateful to the organisation, to the fans who have definitely supported us, and like I said, I'm very happy to be here."

Astros starter Framber Valdez had been dominant early in games, allowing only one run in the first two innings over his previous six games combined, but he would retire only six of the 15 men he faced Tuesday before departing down 5-0 with no outs in the third inning. 

Beyond Soler's leadoff blast, the other big offensive blow for the Braves was a two-run laser over the left-field fence by Adam Duvall in the third that drove Valdez from the game.  

Game 2 is on Wednesday in Houston with Max Fried taking the mound for the Braves against the Astros' Jose Urquidy. 

The Atlanta Braves had the best possible start and held on from there to take Game 1 of the World Series from the Houston Astros 6-2 on Tuesday. 

Jorge Soler hit the third pitch of the game for a home run and the Braves scored in each of the first three innings to build what proved to be an insurmountable lead out of the gate at Minute Maid Park. 

In the 117th edition of the World Series, Soler became the first player to lead off the top of the first inning of Game 1 with a homer – a welcome development for Atlanta as teams that score first in the 2021 postseason are now 25-7. 

Astros starter Framber Valdez had been dominant early in games, allowing only one run in the first two innings over his previous six games combined, but he would retire only six of the 15 men he faced Tuesday before departing down 5-0 with no outs in the third inning. 

Beyond Soler's leadoff blast, the other big offensive blow for the Braves was a two-run laser over the left-field fence by Adam Duvall in the third that drove Valdez from the game. 

His opposite number, Charlie Morton, also failed to make it out of the third, but his departure came through injury rather than ineffectiveness. 

Morton took a hard grounder off the leg in the second inning but remained in the game to finish out the frame, then struck out the first batter of the third before leaving when the pain became too intense. X-rays would reveal the 37-year-old had suffered a broken right fibula. 

Losing Morton for the remainder of the series will be a blow to Atlanta, but they cannot complain about the all-around effort that allowed them to break a string of eight consecutive World Series game losses dating to their last Fall Classic appearances in 1999 and 1996. 

Every batter in the Braves' starting lineup had at least one hit by the sixth inning and four relievers managed to keep Houston under control after Morton's injury. 

Atlanta also scratched out a late run thanks to some aggressive baserunning by Dansby Swanson in the eighth and got out of the bottom of that inning when NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario threw out Yuli Gurriel at second base as he tried to stretch a drive off the outfield wall into a double. 

Game 2 is Wednesday in Houston with Max Fried taking the mound for the Braves against the Astros' Jose Urquidy. 

Eddie Rosario starred as the Atlanta Braves moved within one win of the World Series thanks to a 9-2 victory over defending champions the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.

Rosario delivered four hits, four RBIs and three runs in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS), including a ninth-inning three-run homer to ice the victory, giving the Braves a commanding 3-1 series lead in the MLB playoffs.

Atlanta raced to a 4-0 lead after three innings via solo home runs from Rosario, Adam Duvall and Freddie Freeman, before Joc Pederson drove in Rosario.

A.J. Pollock hit a two-run single in the fifth inning to offer hope of another Dodgers fightback following Tuesday's 6-5 win, but the Braves pulled away again led by Rosario – who became the first-ever player with two four-hit NLCS games. The 30-year-old is hitting at .600 with nine-for-15 in the NLCS.

Rosario needed a double from his ninth inning at-bat to complete a cycle and become the second player in MLB history to achieve the feat, but instead settled for a game-sealing three-run blast. 

According to Stats Perform, Rosario is the first player in major league playoff history to have two four-hit games in a three-game span in a single postseason.

Teams with a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven series have won 75 of 89 times. To make matters worse for the Dodgers – who are on the brink of elimination and being dethroned, Justin Turner limped out of the game with an apparent hamstring injury.

The Houston Astros shut down the Boston Red Sox behind Framber Valdez as they delivered a five-run sixth-inning rally to cruise to a 9-1 triumph and a 3-2 lead in the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

Valdez pitched eight innings, allowing only three hits and one earned run with five strikeouts, with the Red Sox only managing three hits for the game at Fenway Park in Boston.

Yordan Alvarez, who had a second-inning homer and finished with three hits, drove in two during the fifth inning, along with Jose Siri with a fly ball to open a 6-0 lead.

The Astros had won 9-2 in Game 4, meaning the Red Sox have allowed nine or more runs and been held to five or fewer hits in back-to-back wins for the first time ever at Fenway Park.

Houston, meanwhile, are the first team in MLB postseason history to be trailing in a series and then win back-to-back games on the road by seven-plus runs, according to Stats Perform.

 

Braves at Dodgers

The Braves can secure their first World Series appearance since 1999 when they face the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLCS on Thursday.

Cody Bellinger saved the Los Angeles Dodgers with their season on life support as he crushed a game-tying three-run homer in a 6-5 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

World Series champions the Dodgers were facing a 3-0 deficit in the NLCS, with the Braves leading 5-2 in the eighth inning before Bellinger's intervention at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.

With Will Smith and A.J. Pollock on base, Dodgers star Bellinger crushed a Luke Jackson fastball into the right-field bleachers.

Three batters later, Mookie Betts laced a go-ahead double with Chris Taylor touching down, before Kenley Jansen closed out the come-from-behind win.

Jansen moved to outright second most MLB postseason saves with 19.

Only the 2004 Boston Red Sox have ever erased a 3-0 deficit to win a postseason series, so the Dodgers significantly revived their hopes of reaching another MLB showpiece.

The Dodgers had opened a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Corey Seager's two-run homer, but the Braves produced a four-run fourth inning, before Adam Duvall drove in Ozzie Albies in the fifth inning for his second RBI of the game to build a 5-2 advantage.

The Braves held that lead until Bellinger's intervention in the eighth inning, with the Dodgers staying in the NLCS at 2-1.

Meanwhile, the Houston Astros levelled the American League Championship Series (ALCS) after a seven-run ninth inning guided them to a 9-2 rout of the Red Sox in Game 4 at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox had led 2-1 from the first inning after Xander Bogaerts' two-run inning, before Jose Altuve's game-tying home run in the eighth, which marked his 21st playoff home run, behind only Manny Ramirez (29) and Bernie Williams (22) overall.

With two out, Jason Castro hit a go-ahead double in the ninth inning, setting off a rush of runs – including Michael Brantley's three-run double. The Astros' seven-run ninth inning tied the most ever in the ninth inning of a postseason game.

 

Braves at Dodgers

The Dodgers will look to level the NLCS when they host the Braves on Wednesday, with Julio Urias confirmed to start on the mound for the storied Los Angeles franchise in Game 4. Elsewhere, the Red Sox and Astros will meet in Game 5 of the ALCS.

Yandy Diaz smashed a three-run go-ahead homer while Shane Baz impressed on debut as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 in MLB on Monday.

Trailing 2-0 at the bottom of the fifth inning with two on base, Diaz stepped up and sent Robbie Ray over the wall at left-center field.

Tampa Bay would not be headed from that point on, with Joey Wendle and Yandy Diaz adding further runs. Wendle also hit a solo home run, before Marcus Semien's two-run homer halved the deficit in the ninth inning.

Dietrich Enns held his nerve to close out the victory for the Rays but another pitcher grabbed plenty of attention as debutant Baz sent down five strikeouts in five innings.

The 22-year-old right-hander held the in-form Blue Jays to only two solo home runs across the first five innings and did not look out of place at majors level.

"It was like a dream-come-true type thing," Baz said. "When I got on the field, it just felt right."

Rays manager Kevin Cash added: "You're not going to see many more impressive outings against Toronto's lineup. So happy for him. He was awesome. Fun to watch."

 

Flying Cardinals make it nine straight

The surging St Louis Cardinals claimed their ninth successive victory, topping the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 after Nolan Arenado's first-inning two-run homer.

The victory, which marked Cards starting pitcher Jon Lester's 200th win of his majors career, keeps St Louis three games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds in the National League (NL) Wild Card race.

The Reds got past the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-5, with Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez hitting back-to-back home runs to turn the game.

Votto enjoyed his fourth multi home-run game for this season, as well as the 17th of his career.

Salvador Perez broke the record for most home runs in a season by a primary catcher, surpassing Johnny Bench's mark of 45, with a homer in the Kansas City Royals' 7-2 win over the Cleveland Indians.

Gary Sanchez's early homer along with a strong bullpen display helped the New York Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 4-3.

 

Angels wings clipped again

Things have gone south for Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels in the second half of this season, managing only six hits and no runs in their 10-0 defeat to the Houston Astros. The Astros piled on eight runs in the final two innings, with Andrew Wantz and Jose Marte unable to stop a fourth straight loss.

 

Duvall creams monster home run

Adam Duvall provided a major highlight when he smoked a monster two-run home run in the Atlanta Braves' 11-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The HR travelled a projected 483 feet, per Statcast, going down as the fourth longest home run of the 2021 majors.

 

Monday's results 

Kansas City Royals 7-2 Cleveland Indians
Miami Marlins 8-7 Washington Nationals
Cincinnati Reds 9-5 Pittsburgh Pirates
Detroit Tigers 4-3 Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees 4-3 Texas Rangers
Baltimore Orioles 2-0 Philadelphia Phillies
Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Toronto Blue Jays
St Louis Cardinals 5-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Kansas City Royals 4-2 Cleveland Indians
Houston Astros 10-0 Los Angeles Angels
Atlanta Braves 11-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 4-2 Oakland Athletics

 

Cardinals at Brewers

The Cardinals will chase their 10th consecutive victory, which would reinforce their grip on the second NL Wild Card spot, when they face the Brewers in the second game of their four-game series.

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