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.

Luis Severino made a successful return from long-term injury on the hill as the New York Yankees stayed in the American League (AL) Wild Card hunt with a 7-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

Giancarlo Stanton creamed a solo home run, with a recorded 118 mph exit velocity, to get the Yankees on their way to victory.

Joey Galllo homered for the 38th time this season, while Aaron Judge's three-run home run in the seventh inning put the Yankees up 7-1.

But with the game practically done and dusted, Severino's return was one of the game's big highlights.

The 27-year-old was making his first appearance since October 15, 2019 due to injuries, and produced two scoreless innings and two strikeouts.

The win keeps the Yankees (85-67) just behind the Toronto Blue Jays (85-66), who overcame the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2.

 

Rare air for 10-straight Cardinals

The St Louis Cardinals recorded their 10th straight win to further enhance their Wild Card hopes with a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The 10-game winning streak is the Cards' first since 2001, while they became the second team in the Wild Card era to move into a playoff spot with such a September run.

The Brewers almost snatched the win, down 2-1 in the ninth inning with bases loaded after Christian Yelich was walked, but Giovanny Gallegos struck out Pablo Reyes with a vicious breaking ball to close it out.

Xander Bogaerts had a game to remember, delivering his 23rd home run for the season and driving in four runs as the Boston Red Sox won 6-3 over the New York Mets to solidify their grip on an AL Wild Card spot.

LaMonte Wade Jr drove in Brandon Belt in the ninth inning as the San Francisco Giants got past the San Diego Padres 6-5 despite two homers from Manny Machado to hold sole possession of first place.

Albert Pujols drove in Gavin Lux for the game-winning run in the 10th inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers survived a scare to beat the Colorado Rockies 5-4.

Bryce Harper put on the jets to get home from J.T. Realmuto's right-field flyball to seal a crucial walk-off win for the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 over the Baltimore Orioles.

 

Reds miss golden opportunity

Nicholas Castellanos, Joey Votto and Kyle Farmer all fluffed a golden chance to press the Cincinnati Reds' National League (NL) Wild Card case, getting out on consecutive at-bats trailing 3-2 with bases loaded in the sixth inning. The Reds eventually went down 6-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates, leaving Cincinnati 78-74, trailing the Cards by four games in the race for the second NL Wild Card spot.

 

Ohtani homes in on more records

Shohei Ohtani homered for the first time since September 10 as the Los Angeles Angels went down 10-5 to the Houston Astros. Ohtani's solo shot was his 45th home run for the season, pulling him within one of the equal league lead alongside Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Salvador Perez. Ohtani is also now tied with Mike Trout in second for most homers in a single season in Angels franchise history.

 

Tuesday's results 

Detroit Tigers 5-3 Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians 4-1 Kansas City Royals
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Cincinnati Reds
Washington Nationals 7-1 Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees 7-1 Texas Rangers
Boston Red Sox 6-3 New York Mets
Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 Tampa Bay Rays
Minnesota Twins 9-5 Chicago Cubs
St Louis Cardinals 2-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 Colorado Rockies
Houston Astros 10-5 Los Angeles Angels
Seattle Mariners 5-2 Oakland Athletics
Atlanta Braves 6-1 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants 6-5 San Diego Padres

 

Blue Jays at Rays

The Blue Jays' (85-66) battle for the second AL Wild Card spot is getting tight, and they will look to round out their series with the Rays with another victory, with the Yankees (85-67) breathing down their necks.

Toronto Blue Jays sensation Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani and Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres headline the starters for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.

The starters for the upcoming All-Star Game, scheduled for July 13 at Coors Field – home of the Colorado Rockies, were revealed after two rounds of fan voting on Thursday.

Guerrero (aged 22 years and 119 days) will be the youngest Blue Jays player to start an All-Star Game, while he is also the youngest player to start at first base since George Scott in 1966.

Son of an MLB Hall of Famer, Guerrero is only second to Ohtani (28) for home runs this season with 26, while he leads the majors in RBI (66), on-base percentage (.442), OPS (1.117) and three-plus hit games (11 – level with Trea Turner).

Ohtani, 26, is set to become the first Japanese-born player to start an All-Star Game since Ichiro Suzuki in 2010.

The Angels' Ohtani has the most homers this season, while he owns a 3.60 ERA and 83 strikeouts across 60 innings on the mound.

As for Tatis, the 22-year-old shortstop will be the youngest player to start for the Padres in an All-Star Game.

Tatis entered Thursday's action leading MLB with an incredible .705 slugging percentage, while leading the National League (NL) in homers.

Elsewhere, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers will become the first shortstop/third base combo in Boston Red Sox history to start the All-Star Game.

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. will join Eddie Matthews as the player in franchise history to start multiple All-Star Games before turning 24, while Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker will give the Cincinnati Reds multiple outfield starters for the first time since 1956.

 

All-Star Game starters:

American League

C: Salvador Perez (Kansas City Royals)
2B: Marcus Semien (Toronto Blue Jays)
3B: Rafael Devers (Boston Red Sox)
SS: Xander Bogaerts (Boston Red Sox)
OF: Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels) 
OF: Aaron Judge (New York Yankees)
OF: Teoscar Hernandez (Toronto Blue Jays) 

National League

C: Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants)
1B: Freddie Freeman (Atlanta Braves)
2B: Adam Frazier (Pittsburgh Pirates)
3B: Nolan Arenado (St Louis Cardinals)
OF: Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta Braves)
OF: Nick Castellanos (Cincinnati Reds)
OF: Jesse Winker (Cincinnati Reds)

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