The Texas Rangers rolled out an expensive but exciting new era with mega deals for star duo Corey Seager and Marcus Semien on Wednesday.

Texas mean business heading into the 2022 MLB season after splashing out $500million to lure championship winner and World Series MVP Seager, and All-Star Semien to the franchise.

The Rangers gave free agent Seager – a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger with the Los Angeles Dodgers – a 10-year contract worth $325million.

After finishing third in the American League (AL) MVP race following his exploits for the Toronto Blue Jays, Semien signed a seven-year, $175m deal in Texas.

"How can you not be excited about that?" Seager said. "Not only the elite player, but he's an elite person who carries himself well. He's a great team-mate. There's not a bad word that you can say about Marcus.

"To be able to learn from somebody who's that talented and to take little things that he does in this game that I might not and be able to bounce off each other and to be up the middle here for a long time, it’s all very exciting."

Seager led the Dodgers to World Series glory in 2020 with a slash line of .328/.425/.746, while he was .297/.367/.504 as the Los Angeles franchise reached the National League Championship Series (NLCS) before losing to eventual winners the Atlanta Braves in 2021.

The 27-year-old shortstop finished the season with 16 homers and 54 runs on 108 hits, and 57 RBIs.

Semien enjoyed a stunning campaign for the Blue Jays, where he played all 162 games and slashed .265/.334/.538 en route to his first All-Star appearance, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards.

The 31-year-old hit 45 homers – a single-season record for a primary second baseman, to go with 102 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in Toronto.

Semien finished third in AL MVP voting, behind winner Shohei Ohtani and former Blue Jays team-mate Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

"Marcus' reputation around the game is impeccable. He's a leader in every clubhouse he steps into, respected for the way he goes about his work and how he treats others," said Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels.

"There are few players in the game who garner the level of respect that he does from team-mates and opponents alike. We're thrilled to add a player of his calibre to the organisation."

"We feel that Marcus is an excellent fit for the Rangers organisation from a talent, culture, and leadership standpoint," said Rangers executive vice president and general manager Chris Young. "Beyond his ability as a player, Marcus is an outstanding person who leads by example both on and off the field."

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.

The Atlanta Braves came through in the bottom of the ninth inning for the second consecutive night as Eddie Rosario's two-out single secured a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS). 

After winning 18 fewer games than reigning World Series champions the Dodgers during the regular season, the Braves took a 2-0 lead in the NLCS with two wins at home by the slimmest of margins. 

Rosario hit the first pitch from Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen back up the middle, driving home Dansby Swanson from second with the winning run on Sunday.

It was the fourth hit of the night for Rosario, making him the fifth player in postseason history to record at least four hits in a game, including a walkoff. 

The dramatic finish was appropriate for a game that was tight throughout. 

The Dodgers wasted no time getting their offence started, as Mookie Betts singled to lead off the game and Corey Seager followed with a home run. 

A man who performed most of his October heroics for the Dodgers had an answer, though, as Joc Pederson hit yet another postseason home run – his 12th – to tie it up in the fourth. 

The Dodgers jumped back on top in the seventh when Chris Taylor dumped a sinking fly ball in front of onrushing Atlanta centerfielder Guillermo Heredia, who had just entered the game as part of a double switch. 

Even worse for the Braves, the ball got by Heredia, allowing an additional run to score as the Dodgers went up 4-2. 

Some aggressive base-running levelled up the game in the eighth, as Rosario manufactured a run by tagging up on a Freddie Freeman fly out to left field, then came around to score with an acrobatic slide after Ozzie Albies singled. 

Atlanta's Game 1 hero, Austin Riley, then drove a double to the wall in deep left centre to score Albies and make it 4-4. 

After the Braves held the Dodgers scoreless in the top of the ninth, Atlanta's offence came through once again in the end. 

Game 3 is in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

 

Astros at Red Sox

The American League Championship Series (ALCS), tied 1-1, shifts to Fenway Park on Monday as the Houston Astros send Jose Urquidy to the mound against Eduardo Rodriguez and the Boston Red Sox. 

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. 

World Series MVP and Los Angeles Dodgers star Corey Seager has landed on the injured list, but he will not require surgery on a broken hand.

Seager suffered a fractured right hand during Saturday's 7-0 MLB rout of the Miami Marlins, having been hit by a Ross Detwiler pitch in the fifth inning.

An X-ray on Sunday revealed the extent of the injury ahead of a trip to the 10-day IL, though Seager escaped surgery in a boost for the Dodgers.

"Fortunately, I think we dodged a bullet on that one," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "We're just kind of going to let it heal."

Roberts, however, is unsure when two-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Seager will return.

"I don't know," Roberts said. "You've just got to let it happen."

Seager has been hitting .265 this season, with four home runs. But the 27-year-old shortstop hit .375 with four RBIs in his last six games.

The Dodgers (22-18) are third in the National League (NL) West in 2021 following Sunday's 3-2 defeat to the Marlins.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will have to play without Corey Seager for a while after the World Series MVP suffered a broken right hand on Saturday. 

Seager took a Ross Detwiler pitch off the hand in the fifth inning of a 7-0 Dodgers victory over the Miami Marlins and immediately left the game. 

Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts told reporters afterward that Seager was still in pain, and X-rays soon revealed the fracture. 

Seager, 27, is a two-time All-Star who was named MVP of the National League Championship Series and the World Series last year as the Dodgers won the title. 

He is hitting .265 with a .783 OPS and has four home runs in 37 games this season. 

Los Angeles have been beset by injuries, mostly to their pitchers, but outfielder AJ Pollock went on the 10-day injured list earlier Saturday with a hamstring problem. 

The front office moved quickly to counter that loss by acquiring the versatile Yoshi Tsutsugo from the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Dodgers also reportedly plan to sign Albert Pujols. 

Those additions will not solve the problem of how to compensate for Seager's loss, though. 

Gavin Lux moved over from second base to replace Seager at shortstop Saturday and would appear to be the Dodgers' first choice to start there in the interim. 

Despite their injury woes, the reigning World Series champions are 22-17, the fourth-best record in the National League, as they fight it out with the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres in the NL West. 

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