Yordan Alvarez hit a two-run home run and Kyle Tucker had three RBIs to give the Houston Astros an 8-2 win over the New York Mets in Tuesday's high-profile interleague matchup.

Jose Altuve and Jose Siri contributed solo home runs for Houston, who have only gone 6-4 over their past 10 games.

Altuve and Alvarez, who missed Sunday's win over the Chicago White Sox with injury, set up a 3-0 lead in the third inning, connecting off Trevor Williams. Tucker's three-run double extended the lead to 7-0, effectively securing the victory.

With the win, the Astros moved to 42-25 and only trail the New York Yankees in the American League, while the Mets lead the National League with a record of 45-25.

It was the first of nine straight games against the Mets and Yankees, with a trip to New York following this two-game stand at home.

Yaz stands up in Giants win

Mike Yastrzemski returned to form with an important two-run double, propelling the San Francisco Giants to an 8-7 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Claiming only one hit from his previous 16 at-bats, the 31-year-old drove Collin McHugh deep into right-field, putting the Giants up 8-7.

The Giants moved ahead of the reigning World Series champions in the Nationa League standings with the win, claiming their eighth win in the past 11 games.

Gimenez gets Guardians up over Twins

The Cleveland Guardians moved to the top of the AL Central standings, beating the Minnesota Twins 6-5 in 11 innings.

Leading the major leagues with a .362 batting average, Guardians' lead-off hitter Luis Arraez hit a three-run home run in the seventh, sending Eli Morgan over right-center field.

Andres Gimenez hit the important RBI single in the 11th, as Emmanuel Clase earned his 16th save in 18 attempts. The Guardians' 35-28 record (.556) now inches them ahead of the Twins on 38-31 (.551).

St Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas fell agonisingly short of a career-first no-hitter as his side won 9-1 over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.

Mikolas came within one strike of the rare feat, achieved only 10 times in Cardinals' history, with two outs and two strikes against the Pirates in the ninth inning.

It was Cal Mitchell who denied Mikolas in his no-no bid with a center-field hit that eluded Harrison Bader by inches and bounced over the wall.

Mikolas tossed down a season-high 129 pitches throughout the game, with six strikeouts.

"It kinda stinks to not finish that out," Mikolas said after the game. "I don’t have one yet. I've got friends who have one, it would’ve been nice to join that conversation but I can't say enough about our defense. I kinda feel like I let them down."

Mikolas overshadowed Mike Goldschmidt who had a four-hit, two-homer and five-RBI display in the second game of the double-header.

Goldschmidt sits atop the National League (NL) rankings for batting average (.349) and on-base plus slugging (1.073). He is second in the NL for RBIs (56) and tied for second for home runs (16).

The Cardinals won both games, triumphing 3-1 in the earlier match-up, with Yadier Molina reaching 14,865 putouts which is the most by a catcher in MLB history.

 

Voit leads Padres' turnaround against Cubs

The Chicago Cubs' slide continued despite boasting a 5-0 lead heading into the sixth inning as Luke Voit turned things around for the San Diego Padres in a 12-5 win.

Willson Contreras enjoyed his 10th career multi-home run game to help the Cubs lead 5-0 before Voit's two-run blast narrowed the gap, followed by another two runs in the sixth for the Padres.

Voit emptied the bases in the seventh inning, finishing the game with five RBIs along with his two hits and two runs from six at-bats.

 

Astros launch with eighth-inning rearguard

The Texas Rangers blew their shot at a fourth consecutive win after poor fielding cost them in the eighth inning, losing 4-3 to the Houston Astros.

The Rangers were leading 3-0 in the eighth when third baseman Ezequiel Duran misplayed, allowing Jose Altuve to get home despite a mix-up between bases from Alex Bregman's hit.

Two batters later, with Michael Brantley having added a second run, Kyle Tucker hit a two-run blast to clinch a 4-3 victory for the Astros. Tucker extended his active hitting streak to 13 games.

The New York Mets produced a remarkable ninth-inning comeback to stun the Philadelphia Phillies 8-7.

It was all Philadelphia early in front of their home fans, piling on four runs in the first inning, with Bryce Harper's RBI double to deep left-field the highlight.

Nick Castellanos also batted in one of the four early runs, and then added another in the second inning to make it 5-0 through two innings in a rough start for Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker. 

Walker's work came to an end at the end of the fourth inning after Harper and Castellanos both hit solo home runs, with Harper's 427-foot shot the biggest hit of the game, opening up a 7-0 lead.

Starling Marte finally got the Mets on the scoreboard with a solo home run in the sixth inning, but that would be all Phillies ace Aaron Nola would give up, pitching seven full innings for one earned run from three hits and one walk, striking out seven.

Leading 7-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, ESPN gave the Phillies a win probability of 99.9 per cent – but the ninth inning would be one to remember for Mets fans.

Marte led off the inning with an infield single, with Francisco Lindor driving him home with a two-run homer for two of the eight Mets hits in the final frame.

Pete Alonso doubled as the next man to the plate, and after an out, Jeff McNeil singled to put runners on first and third.

Mark Canha's infield single brought Alonso home, but a strikeout for the next batter still left the Mets trailing 7-4 with two outs.

J.D. Davis kept the game alive with a clutch double, bringing one more run home to leave runners on second and third, needing a base hit from Brandon Nimmo to tie the game.

Nimmo delivered, bringing home the two runners to tie the game at 7-7.

Not done there, Marte came back to the plate and collected his second hit of the inning, with his long double hitting the wall on the full to bring Nimmo home from first base and take the 8-7 lead, before the next batter grounded out.

Mets closer Edwin Diaz made no mistakes, retiring the last three batters in order for an unlikely victory.

Ohtani gives MVP performance

Shohei Ohtani showed why he could be in line to go back-to-back as the American League MVP, as he dominated the Boston Red Sox to give the Los Angeles Angels a 8-0 win.

Ohtani pitched seven shutout innings for the Halos in his pitching debut at Fenway Park, striking out 11 while only allowing six hits and no walks over 99 pitches.

He also went two-for-four with the bat, driving in a run with a base hit in the eighth inning.

Astros walk-off against Tigers

The Detroit Tigers gave the Houston Astros a scare in the ninth inning, but the Astros sent their fans home happy with a 3-2 walk-off win.

In a strong pitching showing from both teams, the only two runs through eight innings were solo home runs to Jose Altuve and rookie Jeremy Pena to give the Astros a 2-0 lead.

Jeimer Candalario tied the game in the top of the last inning with a two-run homer, but any hope of a win was short-lived as Kyle Tucker hit a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth.

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was surprised about long-time team-mate Carlos Correa's move to the Minnesota Twins.

The pair, who won the 2017 World Series together and were part of the Astros' side that lost last year's edition 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves, will be split up after Correa inked a bumper deal with the Twins.

Correa was declared a free agent for the first time in his career in November and rejected a qualifying offer from the Astros, before the Twins won the race to land him amid interest from several top teams.

Despite that interest and two-time All-Star Correa arguably being the most coveted free agent left on the market, the 27-year-old ended up with the Twins, who finished last in the American League (AL) Central last season with a 73-89 record.

"I was surprised. I wasn't expecting that," Altuve said. "Obviously we're going to miss him. He's a great player and a great guy inside the clubhouse. He was one of our leaders."

Altuve, who played alongside Correa since 2015, added: "Now that he's on another team, I'm happy for him. He got a great deal. Happy for him. I know he's going to play good. He's going to make the Twins better."

Shortstop Correa has reportedly signed with the Twins on a three-year, $105.3million deal, making him the MLB's highest paid infielder on average annual salary.

Correa is a career .277 hitter with 133 home runs, batting at .279 with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs last season, along with claiming his first Gold Glove. Puerto Rico-born Correa finished fifth in AL MVP voting last season.

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was surprised about long-time teammate Carlos Correa's move to the Minnesota Twins.

The pair, who won the 2017 World Series together and were part of the Astros' side that lost last year's edition 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves, will be split up after Correa inked a bumper deal with the Twins.

Correa was declared a free agent for the first time in his career in November and rejected a qualifying offer from the Astros, before the Twins won the race to land him amid interest from several top teams.

Despite that interest and two-time All-Star Correa arguably being the most coveted free agent left on the market, the 27-year-old ended up with the Twins, who finished last in the American League (AL) Central last season with a 73-89 record.

"I was surprised. I wasn't expecting that," Altuve said. "Obviously we're going to miss him. He's a great player and a great guy inside the clubhouse. He was one of our leaders."

Altuve, who played alongside Correa since 2015, added: "Now that he's on another team, I'm happy for him. He got a great deal. Happy for him. I know he's going to play good. He's going to make the Twins better."

Shortstop Correa has reportedly signed with the Twins on a three-year, $105.3million deal, making him the MLB's highest paid infielder on average annual salary.

Correa is a career .277 hitter with 133 home runs, batting at .279 with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs last season, along with claiming his first Gold Glove. Puerto Rico-born Correa finished fifth in AL MVP voting last season.

The Atlanta Braves are one win away from their first World Series championship since 1995 after rallying past the Houston Astros 3-2 in Game 4.

Atlanta hammered their way to within touching distance of a fourth World Series title thanks to back-to-back home runs from Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler on Saturday.

Swanson levelled the contest with a solo homer in the seventh inning before Soler put the Braves ahead one batter later as Atlanta hit back-to-back home runs in a World Series for the first time in franchise history.

Soler became the fourth pinch-hitter to launch a go-ahead homer in the World Series and first since Ed Sprague in 1992.

 

The Astros had led 2-0 on the road courtesy of star Jose Altuve's fourth-inning solo hit after he opened the scoring in the first.

But Eddie Rosario sparked Atlanta's rally in the bottom of the sixth inning before Swanson – just the second Braves shortstop to hit a home run in the World Series after Johnny Logan in 1957 – and Soler took control in the seventh, finishing the job.

Atlanta's Dylan Lee became the first pitcher to make his first major league start in the World Series and he struck out one batter while giving up one run in 0.1 innings.

Astros veteran Zack Greinke pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just four hits while striking out three before team-mate Cristian Javier gave up two homers in the seventh.

 

Astros at Braves

The Braves can wrap up the World Series with a win over the Astros in Atlanta on Sunday.

Jose Altuve admits equalling Bernie Williams for career postseason home runs means a lot but says it only matters as long as the Houston Astros are winning.

Altuve brought up his 22nd career postseason home run in the seventh inning to cap the Astros' 7-2 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 to level the World Series on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old drew level with Williams in equal second on the overall majors list for postseason homers, behind only Manny Ramirez on 29.

“To hit 22 homers in the playoffs and tie [Williams] – always every time that my name is mentioned, before it was Derek Jeter, now it's Bernie Williams – it means a lot to me," Altuve told reporters.

"It makes me keep going out there, hitting homers to help my team, to keep accomplishing things like this. As long as we win, everything's good.”

Altuve scored the opening run of Game 2, with Alex Bregman driving him home in the first inning, finishing the game with two hits, two runs and one RBI. He had gone zero-for-five in Game 1.

The second baseman is hitting at .200 with four home runs, eight RBIs and 10 hits this postseason but team success is the main objective.

"For me, stats in the playoffs don’t matter, as long as you're winning," Altuve said.

"You could be zero-for-20 but if you get the big hit, that's what playoffs are about. I went zero-for-five last night but I didn’t care, I show up, I tried to get good pitches to hit.

"I'm glad I helped my team win tonight."

Five right-handed Astros hitters had six hits, five RBIs and one home run between them on Wednesday.

Houston have scored five or more runs in 10 games this postseason, which is tied for the second most in a single postseason, trailing only the 2015 Kansas City Royals with 11.

The Houston Astros have levelled the World Series after a four-run second inning and another Jose Altuve postseason home run to win 7-2 over the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 on Wednesday.

The Braves had won Game 1 at Houston's Minute Maid Park 6-2 on Tuesday, but the Astros showed intent opening up a 5-1 lead after two innings.

Altuve's seventh-inning solo blast extended the lead to 7-2, taking him to 22 postseason homers, equalling Bernie Williams for second in majors history.

The Astros second baseman, who has four home runs this postseason, trails only Manny Ramirez for postseason homers with 29.

Astros starting pitcher Jose Urquidy played a strong role with seven strikeouts with two runs across five innings, outpitching Braves starter Max Fried who allowed seven hits and five earned runs.

Urquidy becomes the fourth Astros pitcher to have seven or more strikeouts and no walks in a World Series. Eddie Rosario, who came into the game with 20 hits this postseason, had an off-night with no hits.

Altuve scored the opening run from Alex Bregman's first-inning sacrifice fly, before Travis d'Arnaud's second-inning home run tied the game up.

Houston blew the game open at the bottom of the second inning, with Jose Siri's RBI single followed by Martin Maldonado's single allowing Yuli Gurriel and Siri to get home, the latter after an Eddie Rosario fielding error. Michael Brantley's base hit drove in Maldonado too.

The Astros had five hits in the second inning, which matched their most ever in an inning in a World Series game, having had five hits in the second inning in Game 3 in 2017.

Freddie Freeman's single got d'Arnaud in for his second run in the fifth inning, before Ozzie Albies mistake on second base allowed Yordan Alvarez to score in the sixth inning, before Altuve's homered to left field in the seventh inning.

 

Astros at Braves

Both sides will travel on Thursday as the series moves to Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday.

The Houston Astros brushed off any suggestions that they are using 2017's sign-stealing scandal as motivation ahead of their World Series against the Atlanta Braves.

Houston will host the Braves in Game 1 on Tuesday, with the Astros featuring in the third World Series in five seasons.

Houston's 2017 World Series title remains shrouded in controversy the Astros were found to have stolen signs of opposition teams on the way to winning the championship, as well as for part of 2018.

General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were subsequently fired by the team after they were initially suspended.

The Astros have since regularly been greeted with jeers and boos in road games but manager Dusty Baker, who was appointed in 2020, insisted they were not out to prove people wrong.

"I don't think that's their main source of motivation," Baker told reporters on Monday. "I think people are trying to make it as their main source of motivation. That doesn't motivate you nearly as much as thriving to win and thriving for excellence.

"I think this team is way past that because they know they can play. You can only be driven by 'I'll show you,' or you can only be driven by negative motivation so far."

Houston infielders Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are both holdovers from the 2017 roster but reiterated Baker's stance.

"I don't think the outside noise motivates us at all," said Correa, who has hit .297 with five RBIs and 11 hits this postseason.

"The guys inside [the clubhouse] - we motivate ourselves to just be better every single day, and you see the results on the field.

"I don't think we're playing here in the World Series because we're motivated to prove to people that we're a really good team."

Altuve, who hit .278 with 31 home runs and 83 RBIs across the regular season, said he had not considered the sign-stealing scandal in the lead-up to the World Series.

"I haven't thought about that, but I think we have the same mindset we always have, just going out there and try to win," Altuve said.

"This is a pretty special team. Everybody just talks about winning. We all want to win. There's not a single guy who talks about something else."

Correa and Altuve were both crucial in offense for the Astros in 2017, recording 14 RBIs in the postseason, with both hitting two home runs in the World Series.

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.

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker compared Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa to NFL greats Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski after the star pair helped take down the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

Altuve and Correa each homered for the Astros, who rallied to top the Red Sox 5-4 in Friday's ALCS opener at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

The Astros wiped out a 3-1 deficit behind Altuve's two-run homer in the sixth inning – his 20th postseason home run as he became the fourth player to achieve the feat.

Correa then completed the comeback in the seventh with his 18th playoff homer – tied for seven-most all-time, while he recorded his 55th postseason RBI, the most among active players.

Baker hailed Altuve and Correa after the Astros drew first blood in the best-of-seven matchup, likening them to Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstars Brady and Gronkowski.

"It's kind of like Tom Brady and [Rob] Gronkowski," Baker said, with Brady and Gronkowski enjoying great success together with the New England Patriots and now the Buccaneers.

"They know how they think. They know probably what they eat for dinner, what they like and what their kids like."

Altuve became the fastest player (68) to reach 20 playoff home runs.

The World Series winner has now scored 11 runs in Houston's five playoff games this season. According to Stats Perform, that is tied with Carlos Beltran (2004) for the most runs in any five-game span in a single postseason.

"He is just so dangerous," Correa said of Altuve. "His track record in the playoffs is insane, and he just inspires me. He inspires me without saying much."

"When I walk into that clubhouse in spring training and I see this guy that has won MVPs, Silver Sluggers, batting titles, Gold Gloves, Hank Aaron Awards," added Correa. "Every single award you can imagine, he has won it, and then he shows up to spring training wanting to work on different things to get even better."

Correa celebrated his fourth career go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later of playoff games, the most in postseason history.

"He is amazing. He likes this kind of game," Altuve said of Correa. "He wants to go out there and hit big homers. It seems like he expects to go out there and do it, so if you're expecting something, eventually you're going to make it happen, and that's him."

Correa's heroics prompted the Astros star to drop his bat and point to his wrist after homering against the Red Sox.

"It's to my team-mates," Correa explained. "When the playoffs start, they always tell me 'it's your time now to go out there, hit homers.' They told me to hit the watch, when I hit the homer.

"I did it in Chicago [in the ALDS] the first time on my own, and today they told me 'if you hit a homer, hit them with the, it's your time'."

Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve lifted the Houston Astros to a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

Correa and Altuve homered as the rallying Astros drew first blood in the best-of-seven series at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Friday.

The Red Sox, who stunned the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Division Series (ALDS), led 3-1 early on the road – Kike Hernandez the architect with a solo shot in the third inning.

But the Astros wiped out the deficit behind Altuve and 6.1 scoreless innings from their bullpen.

Altuve levelled the game with a two-run homer in the sixth inning – his 20th postseason homer as he became the fourth player to achieve the feat.

The Astros star also became the fastest player (68) to reach 20 playoff home runs. Altuve has now scored 11 runs in Houston's five playoff games this season. According to Stats Perform, that is tied with Carlos Beltran (2004) for the most runs in any five-game span in a single postseason.

Correa then completed the comeback in the seventh with his 18th postseason homer – tied for seventh-most all-time, while he recorded his 55th playoff RBI, the most among active players.

It saw Correa celebrate his fourth career go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later of playoff games, the most in postseason history.

Hernandez – the fourth player to have multiple four-plus hit games in the same postseason, after Albert Pujols (2011), Robin Yount (1982) and George Brett (1985), homered again for the Red Sox in the ninth but it was not enough to prevent the Astros from winning.

Game 2 is back at Minute Maid Park on Saturday.

 

Dodgers at Braves

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers will open their National League Championship Series (NLCS) at the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

There will be a winner-takes-all Game 5 in the National League Division Series (NLDS) after MLB World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers avoided elimination with a 7-2 win over the San Francisco Giants.

The Giants had the chance to book their spot in the NL Championship Series (NLCS) on Tuesday, but they were instead blown away by the Dodgers, who levelled the best-of-five matchup at 2-2.

Mookie Betts and Will Smith homered for the Dodgers in Los Angeles, where ace Walker Buehler gave up just one run on three hits while striking out four batters in 4.1 innings.

The deciding Game 5 will take place at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Thursday.

 

Astros reach fifth straight ALCS

The Houston Astros will face the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series (ALCS) after crushing the Chicago White Sox 10-1. Houston became the third team ever to appear in five successive league championship series. Astros star Carlos Correa tied Albert Pujols for the most playoff RBIs among active players after reaching 54, while Jose Altuve also hit his 19th postseason homer – matching George Springer and future Hall of Famer Pujols for fourth all-time.

 

Houston get to Hendriks and White Sox

On a rough day for the White Sox, closer Liam Hendriks conceded a three-run homer off Altuve in the top of the ninth inning. White Sox team-mate Michael Kopech allowed three runs on three hits in 0.2 innings.

 

Freeman sends Braves through

Freddie Freeman was the hero in Game 4, hitting a two-out home run in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Atlanta Braves came from behind to top the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 en route to the NLCS. Freeman's 428-foot go-ahead bomb was the furthest opposite-field homer of his career. The Braves will feature in back-to-back championship series for the first time since they advanced to eight straight from 1991 to 1999.

 

Tuesday's results

Houston Astros 10-1 Chicago White Sox
Atlanta Braves 5-4 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-2 San Francisco Giants

 

Dodgers at Giants

NL West rivals the Dodgers and Giants will put it all on the line in Thursday's do-or-die showdown. Both teams have won an incredible 107 games this season as the Dodgers prepare to pit Julio Urias against Logan Webb.

The San Francisco Giants shut out the prolific Los Angeles Dodgers led by Logan Webb as they secured a 4-0 win and a 1-0 lead in the National League Division Series on Friday.

The Dodgers, who were shut out just five times in the regular season, could not convert any of their five hits on Friday, while the Giants delivered three home runs.

Seven-time All-Star Buster Posey got the Giants on the board with a two-run blast in the first inning from Walker Buehler, who allowed six hits across six-and-one-third innings.

Buehler still managed five strikeouts on the mound for the Dodgers but he was over-shadowed by Giants right-hander Webb, who tossed down 10 Ks across seven-and-two-thirds scoreless innings.

Kris Bryant, who had three hits to mark an outstanding game, padded the Giants' lead in the seventh inning with a left-field home run from a tiring Buehler.

Brandon Crawford, who had 24 home runs across the regular season added, another in the eighth inning, recording his second career post-season homer to add insurance.

 

Astros launch into 2-0 lead

The Houston Astros produced a five-run rally in the seventh inning to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the American League Division Series (ALDS) against the Chicago White Sox with a 9-4 victory.

But the Astros had to come from behind, trailing 4-2 after Luis Robert, who had two runs, three hits and one RBI for the game, touched down at the top of the fifth inning.

Jose Altuve, who had a great defensive game in the field, and Alex Bregman levelled it from a Yuli Gurriel base hit, before the five-run rally in the seventh underlined by Kyle Tucker's two-run shot.

With two out and two on leading 5-4, Carlos Correa's powerful shot to right-field eluded Leury Garcia, driving in two runs before Tucker padded the advantage.

 

Sale loses his puff

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale endured a nightmare first inning, allowing four hits and five earned runs as the Tampa Bay Rays opened up an early 5-2 lead. Sale was pulled after that before the Red Sox launched an admirable fightback in a run-fest 14-6 victory over the Rays to square up their ALDS. Tanner Houck steadied on the mound, with five strikeouts across five innings allowing only one run and two hits.

 

 

Burnes still on fire

Corbin Burnes continued his excellent regular season form in the Milwaukee Brewers' opening game of their NLDS with six scoreless innings and six strikeouts in a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. Burnes, who finished the regular season with an MLB-best 2.43 ERA, set up the victory before Josh Hader closed it out, with Rowdy Tellez scoring a two-run homer in the seventh inning.

 

Saturday's results

Houston Astros 9-4 Chicago White Sox
Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Atlanta Braves
Boston Red Sox 14-6 Tampa Bay Rays
San Francisco Giants 4-0 Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Dodgers at Giants

The Dodgers will look to bounce back in Game 2 against the Giants, with Julio Urias and Kevin Gausman starting on the mound for the respective sides.

A trio of rookies starred as the Tampa Bay Rays began the road back to the World Series with a 5-0 win over the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Division Series (ALDS). 

After posting an AL-best 100-62 record during the regular MLB season, the Rays got standout performances from pitcher Shane McClanahan and hitters Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena as they opened their defence of the AL pennant at Tropicana Field. 

McClanahan scattered five hits in five shut-out innings on Thursday, striking out three without walking a batter in his first postseason start. 

The Rays became the first team in MLB playoff history to have two rookies post an extra-base hit and another rookie toss a scoreless start in the same game, per Stats Perform.

His team-mates gave him run support early, as Franco doubled home a run in the first, then came around to score on a Yandy Diaz single. The 20-year-old phenom would add another double in the seventh.

Nelson Cruz, who at 41 is more than twice as old as his Dominican countryman Franco, went deep in the third for his 18th postseason home run. 

Not to be outdone, the breakout star of the 2020 playoffs – though still technically a rookie – Arozarena added a majestic solo shot to left in the fifth inning, then stole home in the seventh. 

According to Stats Perform, Arozarena is the first player in MLB postseason history to hit a home run and steal home in the same game. 

Tampa Bay will send another rookie to the mound in Game 2 as Shane Baz takes the ball against Red Sox veteran Chris Sale. 

The Houston Astros opened the other ALDS with an emphatic 6-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox as Lance McCullers Jr. was dominant on the mound for the home side. 

McCullers allowed four hits and did not walk a batter in 6.2 shut-out innings while striking out four, making him the first Astros pitcher to go at least that long in a postseason game without a walk since Brandon Backe against the White Sox in the 2005 World Series.

In 15 career postseason games, McCullers has a 2.87 ERA and has struck out 9.62 batters per nine innings. 

Yordan Alvarez entered the game with just 14 hits in 58 postseason at-bats (.241) but he was the hitting star for Houston in Game 1.

The designated hitter reached base three times in four trips to the plate, driving in a run with a double in the third inning and another with a solo homer in the fifth. 

While Alvarez did the heavy lifting, Jose Altuve provided the highlight of the night with a nifty slide to score from third on an Alex Bregman grounder to third base in the third inning. 

Game 2 is Friday in Houston with the Astros sending Framber Valdez to the mound against Chicago's Lucas Giolito. 

 

Dodgers at Giants

Eternal rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants have each won 107 games this season, and they open their National League Division Series (NLDS) with Walker Buehler and Logan Webb on the mound on Friday. 

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