Chris Taylor made history by homering three times to keep the Los Angeles Dodgers alive in the National League Championship Series (NLCS) with an 11-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.

Facing elimination at 3-1 down in the NLCS, the World Series champions trailed 2-0 early before 11 unanswered runs headlined by Taylor's trio of home runs, going four-from-five for the game with six RBIs.

Taylor joined Enrique Hernandez as the only Dodgers player to ever have a three-homer postseason game. The 31-year-old moves to an equal-postseason high 12 RBIs, along with four home runs and 12 hits. All four of Taylor's home runs have come in games when the Dodgers were facing elimination.

A.J. Pollock also finished the game with two home runs, including an eighth-inning three-run blast, going three-from-five.

The Dodgers become the third team in postseason history to have two players with a multi-home run game in the same postseason game. They also set a new franchise record for hits in a postseason game with 17, tying their postseason home-run record of five.

The Braves threatened to run away with the series after Freddie Freeman's first-inning two-run blast with Dodgers starting pitcher Joe Kelly withdrawn soon after.

But LA responded with home runs from Pollock and Taylor in the third inning from Max Fried to claim the lead.

Taylor extended the Dodgers lead with a two-run home run in the sixth inning, adding a third homer in the seventh inning to open up a 7-2 lead.

Pollock put the icing on the cake in the eighth inning, before Kenley Jansen closed it out.

The Dodgers had trailed the Braves 3-1 in last season's NLCS, before triumphing in the next three games and ultimately winning the World Series.

 

Red Sox at Astros

The Houston Astros can secure their spot in the World Series for the third time in five years when they host the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series leading 3-2.

The Los Angeles Dodgers fought back on Saturday, getting to San Francisco Giants starter Kevin Gausman early and knocking him out later in the game as the reigning World Series champions evened their National League Division Series (NLDS) with a 9-2 road victory. 

The Dodgers got their offence back on track after being blanked by Giants starter Logan Webb in Game 1, pounding out 11 hits at Oracle Park before heading home for Monday's Game 3 in the MLB playoffs. 

Oddly enough, it was Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias who got everything going with a run-scoring single in the second inning as Los Angeles earned a 2-0 lead that the Giants answered with one in the bottom of that inning. 

Both teams' bats stayed quiet until the sixth, when the Dodgers drove Gausman from the game and broke it open with two-run doubles from Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock. 

They piled on three more against the Giants' bullpen in the eighth thanks to a Will Smith solo homer and RBI singles from Matt Beaty and Corey Seager. 

Urias did his job on the mound, too, limiting NL West champions San Francisco to one run in his five innings of work before four Dodgers relievers finished it off. 

Urias lowered his postseason ERA to 2.68 in 19 career appearances while improving his record to 7-2. The seven wins equal former Giants ace Madison Bumgarner for the most postseason victories by a pitcher aged 25 or younger. 

In the other NLDS matchup, Max Fried was brilliant on the mound as the Atlanta Braves evened the series with a 3-0 defeat of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Fried allowed just three hits and did not walk a batter while striking out nine in his six innings of work before three Atlanta relievers finished off the shutout. 

The Braves scored twice in the third inning on an RBI single by Freddie Freeman and a double by Ozzie Albies, and Austin Riley added a home run in the sixth for insurance. 

The series moves to Atlanta on Monday for Game 3.

 

Rays at Red Sox

After pounding out 20 hits in a 14-6 Game 2 rout to even the series, the Boston Red Sox will look to keep it going as they return to Fenway Park for Monday's Game 3, with Nathan Eovaldi set to start against the Tampa Bay Rays' Drew Rasmussen. 

A.J. Pollock pulled off an amazing catch on the wall along with two RBI as the in-form Los Angeles Dodgers won 5-2 over the San Diego Padres in the MLB on Tuesday.

With the Dodgers in the field leading 1-0 at the bottom of the fourth inning, Manny Machado launched a deep shot which appeared home-run bound but Pollock leapt up for an improbable catch.

Machado's shot would have been a go-ahead two-run homer but instead Pollock robbed him and the front row of fans of a memento.

Earlier, Will Smith had put the Dodgers ahead with a solo shot in the second inning.

Pollock continued to play a key role, helping the Dodgers pull further ahead with a two-run single in the seventh inning.

Sacrifice flies from Justin Turner and Corey Seager brought home Trea Turner and Max Muncy respectively, before Jurickson Profar's two-run homer reduced it to 5-2 in the eighth inning.

Emilio Pagan had four strikeouts for the Padres who used their bullpen, while Julio Urias had four K's across five innings for the Dodgers, before Kenley Jansen closed it out.

The victory means the world champions have won 14 of their past 16 games, while the Padres slump to their 10th loss from their past 12.

 

11 straight for hot Yankees

The New York Yankees continued their hot streak with a 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Braves to close their series making it 11 consecutive victories, capped by D.J. LeMahieu's two-run homer in the fifth inning.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was in attendance for the first time as a Milwaukee Brewers investor, cheering on the side to a 7-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds, with Omar Narvaez delivering a go-ahead double to top a four-run seventh inning rally.

Nelson Cruz's eighth inning two-run double led the Tampa Bay Rays to a hard-fought 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. It was Cruz's third hit of the game, taking his season RBI tally to 70.

Rookie of the Year prospect Luis Garcia impressed again on the mound, keeping the Kansas City Royals scoreless across six and two-third innings in the Houston Astros' 4-0 win. Garcia had seven K's and allowed only four hits.

Hunter Renfroe produced a two-homer game to lead the Boston Red Sox past the Minnesota Twins 11-9, while the Seattle Mariners improved their ordinary run differential with a 5-1 win to sweep rival the Oakland Athletics.

 

Unwanted history beckons for Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles' 14-8 loss to the Los Angeles Angels condemned them to their 19th straight defeat. The Orioles' losing streak is the equal worst in the majors in 16 years, when the Kansas City Royals lost 19 in a row in 2005. The run is also the fourth longest since 1900. The American League record is held by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961 with 23 successive defeats.

 

Giants' home-run barrage

The San Francisco Giants slammed four home runs on their way to an 8-0 rout of the New York Mets, meaning they lead the majors with 191 homers. Brandon Belt hit two to reach a career-high 19 homers, while LaMonte Wade Hr and Mike Yastrzemski also homered. Yastrzemski's mammoth blast went a projected home-run distance of 451 feet.

 

Tuesday's results 

Seattle Mariners 5-1 Oakland Athletics
Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Philadelphia Phillies
Los Angeles Angels 14-8 Baltimore Orioles
Chicago White Sox 5-2 Toronto Blue Jays
San Francisco Giants 8-0 New York Mets
Washington Nationals 5-1 Miami Marlins
Texas Rangers 7-3 Cleveland Indians
Boston Red Sox 11-9 Minnesota Twins
New York Yankees 5-4 Atlanta Braves
Detroit Tigers 4-3 St Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers 7-4 Cincinnati Reds
Houston Astros 4-0 Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Dodgers x-x San Diego Padres
Chicago Cubs - Colorado Rockies (postponed)

 

Giants at Mets

The Mets (61-64) have lost four of their past five games and eight of their past 10, including an 8-0 loss to the Giants (81-44), and need to find form when the two sides meet again in the second game of their three-game series.

MLB World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers broke their slump with a 16-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Dodgers arrested a three-game skid and avoided a series sweep at the hands of the Brewers thanks to Sunday's onslaught.

A.J. Pollock and Matt Beaty fuelled the Dodgers with grand slams off Brewers rookie Alec Bettinger in each of the first two innings.

Pollock had two home runs and eight RBI, while Beaty contributed four hits and seven RBI against the Brewers as they became the first Dodger duo in history to record seven-plus RBI in the same game.

Elsewhere, the Cincinnati Reds topped the Chicago Cubs 13-12 in a wild walk-off win.

Nick Castellanos – who also clubbed two home runs – hit a game-ending RBI single in the 10th inning to lead the Reds past the Cubs in an epic encounter.

"It felt like a playoff game, to be honest with you," Cubs manager David Ross said. "Back and forth. Heavyweight fight. Wind blowing out in Cincinnati. And we just came up on the short end."

 

Scherzer sizzles as Kluber celebrates 100th win

Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer dominated in a 3-1 win over the Miami Marlins. Scherzer – who carried a shutout into the ninth inning – pitched a five-hitter, finishing with nine strikeouts, five hits and no walks before hurrying to the hospital for the birth of his third child.

Corey Kluber earned his 100th career victory as the New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0. A two-time Cy Young Award winner, Kluber gave up two hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out 10 batters – his first 10-strikeout game since September 2018. He became the 17th active pitcher in the majors to reach 100 wins.

Andrelton Simmons and Mitch Garver homered in a seven-run third inning to inspire the Minnesota Twins' 13-4 rout of the Kansas City Royals.

Marcus Semien homered and drove in four runs as the Toronto Blue Jays swept the Atlanta Braves with a 7-2 triumph. Toronto's Bo Bichette carried an historic start into the game, with a franchise record 124 hits, 69 runs, 32 doubles, 23 homers and 56 extra-base hits through his first 100 career games.

 

Bettinger schooled on debut

It was a forgettable first MLB appearance for Milwaukee's Bettinger. Having never pitched above Double-A previously, debutant Bettinger gave up 11 runs against the Dodgers. He allowed 11 hits and two walks in four innings, while hitting a batter and striking out none.

 

Tatis homer!

The San Diego Padres lost 7-1 to rivals the San Francisco Giants but Fernando Tatis Jr. stayed hot. Tatis homered for the eighth time this season as he became the first player to record 40-plus home runs and 30-plus stolen bases in his first 162 career games.

 

Sunday's results

New York Yankees 2-0 Detroit Tigers
Washington Nationals 3-1 Miami Marlins
St Louis Cardinals 3-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Atlanta Braves
Cincinnati Reds 13-12 Chicago Cubs
Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Houston Astros
Cleveland Indians 5-0 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 13-4 Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Dodgers 16-4 Milwaukee Brewers
Texas Rangers 5-3 Boston Red Sox
Oakland Athletics 7-5 Baltimore Orioles
Seattle Mariners 2-0 Los Angeles Angels
Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4 Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants 7-1 San Diego Padres
New York Mets 8-7 Philadelphia Phillies

 

Rays at Angels

Two-way star Shohei Ohtani will take to the mound for the Angels (13-13), who host the Rays (14-15) on Monday.

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