Right-hander Charlie Morton overcame an early home run by Jose Altuve to pitch five effective innings and Kevin Kiermaier gave Tampa Bay the lead for good with a three-run homer, helping the host Rays stay alive in the American League Division Series with a 10-3 win over the Houston Astros on Monday.
Tampa Bay’s triumph allowed it to narrow the Astros’ lead in the best-of-five series to 2-1, with Game 4 also scheduled for the Rays’ home field on Tuesday.
Coming off a win at Oakland in the AL wild-card game last Wednesday, Morton served up a homer to Altuve on Monday’s eighth pitch. It was the second baseman’s second home run of the series.
The veteran Morton, a former Astro, allowed just two more hits in his five innings, leaving with an 8-1 lead. He struck out nine and walked two.
Cardinals 5, Braves 4: Yadier Molina’s 10th-inning sacrifice fly lifted the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 victory over visiting Atlanta on Monday and sent the National League Division Series to a decisive fifth game.
The series will conclude Wednesday in Atlanta, with the winner advancing to meet the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Washington Nationals in the NL Championship Series.
Molina tied the game 4-4 with his eighth-inning RBI single, then decided it in the 10th by driving home Kolten Wong from third base with his fly ball to left field.
Miles Mikolas (1-0), the eighth Cardinals pitcher, pitched one scoreless inning for the victory. Julio Teheran (0-1), the seventh Braves pitcher, took the loss by allowing one run in two-thirds of an inning.
Marcell Ozuna hit two homers for the Cardinals, and Paul Goldschmidt hit a homer and two doubles.
Nationals 6, Dodgers 1: Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run homer, Anthony Rendon drove in three more runs, and the Washington Nationals pulled away for a 6-1 win over the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Monday night in the nation's capital.
Washington evened the best-of-five series at 2-2 and forced a decisive Game 5 on Wednesday night in Los Angeles. Both teams have won one game at home and one game on the road.
Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer (1-0) stymied the Dodgers over seven quality innings on short rest. He gave up one run on four hits while walking three and striking out seven. The 35-year-old threw 72 of 109 pitches for strikes.
Dodgers right-hander Julio Urias (0-1) gave up three runs on three hits while recording only two outs in his relief stint. He was one of five relievers to follow starting left-hander Rich Hill, who allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers opened the scoring with Justin Turner's solo shot in the first. He pulled a 95 mph fastball over the wall in left field for his second homer of the series and the ninth postseason homer of his career.
The Nationals pulled even at 1-1 in the third. Rendon hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Michael Taylor.
In the fifth, the Nationals added four more runs to seize a 5-1 advantage. Rendon singled to left field to drive in Trea Turner, and Zimmerman slammed a three-run homer three batters later. It was Zimmerman's fourth career postseason homer and gave him 13 postseason RBIs, breaking a tie with Bryce Harper (10) for the franchise record.
Washington padded its lead in the sixth with another sacrifice fly from Rendon, who has four RBIs in four games this series after tallying 126 RBIs during the regular season to lead the majors.
Los Angeles loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but its comeback bid stalled when Chris Taylor struck out swinging and Joc Pederson grounded out to second base to end the inning.
Left-hander Sean Doolittle and right-hander Daniel Hudson combined for two scoreless innings of relief for the Nationals.