The Los Angeles Dodgers were too good for the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the MLB World Series, winning 8-3 on Tuesday.

Not since 1988 have the Dodgers been crowned MLB champions but the Los Angeles franchise have a chance to end their drought following a third trip to the World Series in four years.

The Dodgers drew first blood against the Rays at Globe Life field, where ace Clayton Kershaw starred, and Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger homered.

Former National League (NL) MVP Kershaw reached 200 career strikeouts in the playoffs to move second on the all-time list, only behind Justin Verlander (205).

Kershaw – a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner, eight-time All-Star and 2011 Gold Glove recipient – only gave up two hits and one run in six innings, finishing with eight strikeouts and retiring 17 of the 18 batters faced.

The scores were level until the fourth inning, when the Dodgers registered two runs thanks to help from Bellinger.

Bellinger became the second player to hit a go-ahead home run in Game 7 of the League Championship Series and Game 1 of the World Series in the same year, following in the footsteps of David Ortiz in 2004, per Stats Perform.

The Dodgers star homered off Rays starter Tyler Glasnow, who threw 112 pitches over 4.1 innings. It was the fewest innings pitched by any pitcher in an outing of 110-plus pitches in any postseason game since pitches were first tracked in 1988, according to Stats Perform.

Tampa Bay – back in the World Series for the first time in 12 years – got on the board thanks to Kevin Kiermaier's homer in the fifth inning but the Dodgers blew the game open with four runs in the same inning.

Betts flexed his muscles, taking a walk from Glasnow to set the tone before stealing second and third base before scoring – becoming the first player since Babe Ruth to walk and steal two bases in the same inning of a World Series game.

A World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox, Betts then homered leading off in the sixth inning, becoming only the second player in history with a home run and two stolen bases in a World Series game.

The Rays closed the gap with two runs in the seventh, but it was merely a consolation as Tampa Bay look to bounce back on Wednesday.

Dave Roberts said there is "no better player" than Corey Seager after the National League Championship Series (NLCS) Most Valuable Player guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to their third World Series in four years.

The rallying Dodgers overcame a 3-1 NLCS deficit and early 2-0 hole in Game 7 to top the Atlanta Braves 4-3 in Sunday's decider in Texas.

Kike Hernandez tied the game in the sixth inning before Cody Bellinger hit the go-ahead homer in the seventh as the Dodgers – without a championship since 1988 – earned a showdown with the Tampa Bay Rays.

According to Stats Perform, the Dodgers became the first team in MLB history to hit both a game-tying and go-ahead homer in a Game 7 win.

Dodgers star Seager was crowned NLCS MVP after going nine-for-29 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in the series.

"He's healthy," Dodgers manager Roberts said. "He's been healthy. He's had a tremendous year, the experience that he's had in the postseason, all that stuff is lining up right now.

"There's just no better player."

Seager's five homers and 11 RBIs were NLCS records, while the two-time All-Star also surpassed Davey Lopes and Justin Turner for the most home runs (six) and RBIs (15) in a single postseason for the Dodgers.

Dodgers team-mate Hernandez also became the first pinch-hitter in MLB history to hit a game-tying or go-ahead home run in a winner-takes-all playoff game, per Stats Perform.

"It wasn't me, man," Seager told FOX. "It was this team. It was this whole team. Defensively, pitching, game-calling, planning, everything.

"We grinded all the way through this series. This wasn't an easy one, and we're glad to be on top."

Former American League (AL) MVP Mookie Betts – acquired from the Boston Red Sox at the start of the season after winning the 2018 World Series – also lauded Seager.

"It's been amazing," Betts, who robbed Freddie Freeman of a home run with a stunning catch in the fifth inning, said. "I didn't know much before I came over. I just knew he was a good shortstop, could swing it a little bit.

"Getting to see him day in and day out is definitely a blessing."

The Los Angeles Dodgers completed a stunning comeback against the Atlanta Braves as they reached the MLB World Series thanks to a 4-3 victory on Sunday.

National League (NL) top seeds the Dodgers trailed the Braves 3-1 in the NL Championship Series before rallying on Saturday to force a deciding Game 7.

The Dodgers also overturned a 2-0 deficit in the NLCS decider to earn their third World Series berth in four years – Kike Hernandez tying the game in the sixth inning before Cody Bellinger hit the go-ahead homer in the seventh.

American League (AL) top seeds the Tampa Bay Rays await in the World Series, which gets underway at Globe Life Field in Texas on Tuesday.

"We're resilient. Every day you see the line-up that we have and we've got Joc [Pederson] hitting eight and CT [Chris Taylor] hitting nine, we're like, 'We can do this, why can't we do this?' We're only down two games, we've won three games before all the time so we've been in this situation before," Bellinger told Fox Sports.

"We were grinding, it was a team win. Atlanta Braves are an amazing team, it was not an easy series. That was fun right there."

Corey Seager was crowned NLCS MVP after going nine-for-29 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in the series.

The Dodgers, who have not won the World Series since 1988, found themselves down early against the Braves at Globe Life Field.

Marcell Ozuna singled home a run in the first, and Dansby Swanson's huge homer in the second inning gave the Braves – without a World Series appearance since 1999 – a 2-0 advantage over the Dodgers.

A two-run single via Will Smith levelled proceedings in the third as the two teams went head-to-head.

Atlanta regained the lead in the fourth before Hernandez answered again with a pinch-hit homer in the sixth – the Dodgers star becoming the first pinch-hitter in MLB history to hit a game-tying or go-ahead home run in a winner-takes-all playoff game, per Stats Perform.

Bellinger then stepped up and connected on a Chris Martin pitch for the game-winner, while Dodgers team-mate Mookie Betts produced a memorable moment of his own with a stunning catch to rob Freddie Freeman of a homer in the fifth.

According to Stats Perform, the Dodgers became the first team in MLB history to hit both a game-tying and go-ahead homer in a Game 7 win.

Braves starter Ian Anderson lasted just three innings, giving up five hits and two runs, while the Dodgers' Dustin May only pitched one inning following a hit and one run.

Julio Urias earned the win after shutting out the Braves through three innings as he did not concede a hit.

The Tampa Bay Rays revelled in their American League Championship Series (ALCS) success after reaching the MLB World Series for the first time in 12 years.

Tampa Bay will feature in the World Series for just the second time after topping the Houston Astros 4-2 in the winner-takes-all Game 7 of the ALCS on Saturday.

Eyeing their maiden World Series championship, the Rays are back in MLB's showpiece series for the first time since 2008 as either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Atlanta Braves await.

Charlie Morton pitched 5.2 scoreless innings to set the tone for the Rays, allowing just two hits against his former team, while becoming the only pitcher in league history with four winner-take-all wins.

"It was pretty apparent early on the guys had bought into each other during this time," Rays pitcher Morton said after the reduced MLB season went ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"It was very challenging, because at first it everything was about the protocols and trying to keep guys safe. Just guys come onto the field every day, knowing they could get sick and staff coming in, and just a ton of work by people behind the scenes. I am so proud of these guys."

Randy Arozarena hit a two-run homer in the first inning to give the Rays a 2-0 lead – a record-setting seventh home run by a rookie in a single postseason, per Stats Perform.

Arozarena also became the first rookie with a go-ahead home run in a Game 7 since Miguel Cabrera's homer in Game 7 of the 2003 National League Championship Series (NLCS) as he was crowned ALCS MVP.

Mike Zunino homered for the Rays, while Pete Fairbanks became the first rookie to save a Game 7 since David Price in the 2008 ALCS – both sent Tampa Bay to the World Series.

Rays manager Kevin Cash added: "Pretty special feeling. I don't know if I've had many better [moments] other than getting married and having three kids.

"This is right there below that. It can't get much better than that. This is a special group to be a part of."

"We are lucky to have Charlie Morton," Cash said. "For a group that doesn't have a wealth of experience in these roles, Charlie does. He has been there done that. It lined up really really well for us."

The Tampa Bay Rays are World Series-bound for just the second time in their history after defeating the Houston Astros 4-2 in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

A series decider was needed in the ALCS after the Astros won 7-4 on Friday – becoming the second team in MLB history to fall 3-0 behind in a best-of-seven matchup and force a Game 7.

But that is as good as it got for the Astros as the Rays – chasing their first championship – advanced to their first World Series since 2008 on Saturday.

Charlie Morton pitched 5.2 scoreless innings to set the tone for the Rays, allowing just two hits against his former team.

Morton is the only pitcher in MLB history with four winner-take-all wins after Tampa Bay's success.

ALCS MVP Randy Arozarena hit a two-run homer in the first inning to give the Rays a 2-0 lead – a record-setting seventh home run by a rookie in a single postseason, per Stats Perform.

Arozarena also became the first rookie with a go-ahead home run in a Game 7 since Miguel Cabrera's homer in Game 7 of the 2003 National League Championship Series.

Mike Zunino also homered for the Rays, while Pete Fairbanks became the first rookie to save a Game 7 since David Price in the 2008 ALCS – both sent Tampa Bay to the World Series.

The Rays will face either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Atlanta Braves in the World Series.

The Dodgers forced a Game 7 in the National League Championship Series (NLCS) following Saturday's 3-1 triumph.

Los Angeles used a three-run opening inning to top Atlanta – Justin Turner and Corey Seager both homering for the Dodgers.

Dodgers starter Walker Buehler pitched six scoreless innings, allowing seven hits and striking out six.

The Los Angeles Dodgers stayed alive in the MLB playoffs, while the Houston Astros forced a Game 7 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Dodgers reduced the Atlanta Braves' National League Championship Series (NLCS) lead to 3-2 with a 7-3 victory on Friday.

Will Smith crushed a go-ahead three-run homer off Braves pitcher Will Smith in the sixth inning and the Dodgers never looked back.

Corey Seager went two-for-four with two homers and three RBIs for the Dodgers.

It came as both starters struggled – Dustin May getting through just two innings for the Dodgers while A.J. Minter was removed after three for the Braves.

Travis d'Arnaud's sacrifice fly and Cristian Pache's RBI single had the Braves on track before Seager and Smith stepped up.

In the American League Championship Series (ALCS), the Astros became the second team in MLB history to fall 3-0 behind in a best-of-seven series and force a Game 7 thanks to a 7-4 win over the Rays.

Houston broke the game open in the fifth inning through three of their stars.

George Springer, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa all brought in runs as the Astros opened up a 4-1 lead – one they would not relinquish.

Framber Valdez delivered a fine start for Houston, striking out nine and conceding just three hits in six innings.

Both the NLCS and ALCS continue on Saturday.

Carlos Correa delivered a walk-off home run for the Houston Astros, while the Atlanta Braves moved within a win of the World Series on Thursday.

Correa's heroics gave the Astros a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, whose lead in the American League Championship Series (ALCS) has been cut to 3-2.

The Astros never trailed in Game 5, with George Springer hitting a lead-off home run to put them in front.

After Brandon Lowe's solo shot, Michael Brantley's two-run single pushed the Astros clear.

The in-form Randy Arozarena and Choi Ji-man crushed homers before Correa stepped up to deliver the game-winning blow.

"Carlos told me before he went up there, he goes: 'Walk-off'," Astros manager Dusty Baker said on MLB.com. "I said, 'Go ahead on, man'."

It marked the first time in postseason history that a team have hit a lead-off and walk-off homers in the same game.

The Braves are a win away from a first World Series appearance since 1999 after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-2 to take a 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

Clayton Kershaw started, but the Dodgers star was outdone by Braves rookie Bryse Wilson.

Kershaw conceded seven hits and four runs in five innings, while Wilson got through six innings, giving up just one hit and striking out five.

A six-run sixth inning catapulted the Braves to victory as Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, Dansby Swanson, Austin Riley and Cristian Pache all brought in runs.

Ozuna went four-for-five with four RBIs for the Braves, who can close out the series on Friday.

The Houston Astros stayed alive in the MLB playoffs, while the Los Angeles Dodgers made history in a resounding win on Wednesday.

Staring at being swept in the American League Championship Series (ALCS), the Astros edged the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 to reduce the deficit to 3-1.

Zack Greinke delivered a fine start for the Astros, striking out seven across six innings and conceding five hits.

Jose Altuve crushed his 18th postseason home run and also had an RBI double in the third inning before Randy Arozarena's two-run homer brought the Rays level.

However, George Springer belted a two-run homer in the fifth as the Astros stayed alive in the playoffs.

Altuve and Stringer are tied for the most homers in the postseason for the Astros with 18.

The Dodgers thrashed Atlanta 15-3 to reduce the Braves' National League Championship Series (NLCS) lead to 2-1.

Max Muncy belted a grand slam and Joc Pederson hit a three-run homer in an 11-run first innings for the Dodgers

That marked the most ever runs scored in a single postseason inning.

Corey Seager went three-for-four with a home run and three RBIs for the Dodgers.

Braves starter Kyle Wright got through just 0.2 innings, giving up five hits and seven runs in the huge loss.

The Los Angeles Dodgers made history with an incredible 11-run inning to begin Game 3 against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

Trailing the National League Championship Series (NLCS) 2-0, the Dodgers made the perfect start to Game 3.

They scored 11 runs in the first inning, which is the most ever in a playoff inning.

It was highlighted by a Max Muncy grand slam to make it 11-0, while Joc Pederson had earlier hit a three-run homer.

Incredibly, 10 of the 11 runs came with two out.

The Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves moved further ahead in their respective MLB series on Tuesday.

The Rays are one win away from the World Series after a 5-2 victory over the Houston Astros saw them go 3-0 up in the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

A five-run sixth inning set up the Rays' win in Game 3, with Joey Wendle hitting a two-run single and Hunter Renfroe a two-run double.

Jose Altuve's home run had put the Astros ahead and Michael Brantley also went deep in the sixth inning, but Houston are looking at a series loss.

Both starters – the Rays' Ryan Yarbrough and Astros' Jose Urquidy – got through five innings.

The Braves moved into a 2-0 National League Championship Series (NLCS) lead against the Los Angeles Dodgers thanks to an 8-7 win.

Atlanta held off a late rally from the Dodgers, who scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies both homered for the Braves.

Albies became the first player in MLB history to hit a ninth-inning homer in back-to-back playoff games, as per Stats Perform.

The Atlanta Braves powered past the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS), while the Tampa Bay Rays opened up a commanding lead over the Houston Astros in the MLB playoffs.

Atlanta – who won their first postseason series since 2001 entering the NLCS – drew first blood against the top-ranked Dodgers thanks to a four-run ninth inning at Globe Life Field on Monday.

Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley both homered in the ninth to blow the game wide open as the Braves earned a lead in the NLCS for the first time since 1999.

Riley's go-ahead home run ignited the Braves before Albies extended the lead with a two-run homer off Jake McGee.

Riley and Albies became the first pair of team-mates aged 23 or younger to hit a home run in the same inning in playoff history, per Stats Perform.

Atlanta took the lead through Freddie Freeman in the opening inning, before Dodgers utility Kike Hernandez restored parity with a fifth-inning homer.

Dodgers pitcher Blake Treinen was tagged with the loss after allowing three hits and three runs in just 0.1 innings, while Braves starter Max Fried pitched six strong innings – giving up just four hits and one run.

The Dodgers and Braves will meet again in the best-of-seven series on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Charlie Morton impressed and Manuel Margot homered as the Rays claimed a 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series (ALCS) after defeating the Astros 4-2.

Morton pitched five scoreless innings, giving up just five hits as he exited with the Rays leading the Astros 3-0 in Game 2.

In four postseason starts with the Rays, Morton is now 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA. His four wins are the most by a Rays pitcher in playoff history.

Margot helped set the tone with a first-inning, three-run homer before thwarting a Houston comeback with an incredible tumbling-over-the-wall catch as the Astros had two runners in scoring positions.

Rick Renteria's reign as Chicago White Sox manager came to an end on Monday.

The White Sox announced that they have agreed to part ways with the 58-year-old after four years with the franchise.

Renteria departs after the White Sox were beaten by the Oakland Athletics in the best-of-three American League postseason Wild Card series

The Sox finished tied for second in the American League Central with a 35-25 (.583) record before the A's ended their season.

A statement from the Sox added that "the status of the coaching staff will be determined moving forward and in consultation with the team's next manager."

Renteria was initially appointed as bench coach by the Sox in November 2015 before taking over as manager 11 months later.

The former Chicago Cubs manager holds a 309-398 (.437) record as a major league manager.

The Tampa Bay Rays prevailed 2-1 in a nail-biting showdown against the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

Tampa Bay drew first blood in the best-of-seven MLB playoff series after holding on to a one-run lead from the fifth inning on Sunday.

In a tense finale, the Astros loaded the bases against Aaron Loup in the eighth inning as Rays manager Kevin Cash turned to Diego Castillo.

Rays pitcher Castillo emerged the hero, needing just one pitch as Yuli Gurriel grounded into a double-play.

Castillo finished with five outs for the save for the AL East champions at Petco Park.

Astros star Jose Altuve homered off Tampa Bay ace Blake Snell in the first inning, but the Rays responded through in-form Randy Arozarena.

Arozarena hit a home run in the fourth inning to tie the game, going deep off Astros starter Framber Valdez.

Tampa Bay outfielder Arozarena became just the fifth rookie in MLB history with four-plus homers in a single postseason.

Mike Zunino then delivered the decisive RBI in the fifth inning.

Game 2 between the Rays and Astros is on Monday.

The Tampa Bay Rays overcame the New York Yankees 2-1 to book their spot in the American League Championship Series (ALCS) for the first time in 12 seasons.

Mike Brosseau's eighth-inning homer lifted the top-ranked Rays past the Yankees in the fifth and deciding game in the AL Division Series on Friday.

With the ALDS series deadlocked at 2-2 following the Yankees' victory on Thursday, the two teams returned to settle the matchup in San Diego.

The Rays came out on top thanks to Brosseau, who hit a home run off Aroldis Chapman with one out in the eighth – his first career postseason homer, to set up a showdown with the Houston Astros.

All-Star Austin Meadows also homered for the Rays, going long off ace Gerrit Cole in the fifth after Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit a home run in the fourth.

Cole struck out nine in 5.1 innings, while Rays counterpart Tyler Glasnow pitched just 2.1 innings with no hits or runs.

Tampa Bay have not featured in the ALCS since 2008, when they beat the Boston Red Sox in seven games but fell to the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.

For the Yankees, their quest for a World Series berth will have to wait at least another year, having not played in the MLB's showpiece since topping the Phillies in 2009.

Per Stats Perform, Tampa Bay's victory is the first playoff game in MLB history in which both teams had 10-plus strikeouts and three hits or fewer.

Also, 34 of the 45 runs in the Rays-Yankees series were scored on home runs. The 75.6 percentage of runs via homers is the highest in any playoff matchup of three-plus games all-time, according to Stats Perform.

The Los Angeles Dodgers eased through to the National League Champions Series (NLCS), while the New York Yankees kept their MLB playoff hopes alive.

The high-flying and unbeaten Dodgers swept the San Diego Padres with a 12-3 rout in the NL Division Series on Thursday.

Will Smith went five-for-five against the Padres, setting a new Dodgers playoff record, while team-mate Justin Turner also set a mark with his 64th postseason base hit – breaking a franchise tie with Steve Garvey.

The Dodgers – back-to-back World Series runners-up in 2017 and 2018 before falling in the NLDS last year – used five runs in the third inning and four in the ninth to set up a blockbuster showdown with the in-form Atlanta Braves.

The Yankees, meanwhile, forced a deciding Game 5 after topping the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1.

Luke Voit and Gleyber Torres homered for the Yankees, who levelled the best-of-five ALCS at 2-2.

 

Braves end 19-year wait for NLCS appearance

The Braves will contest their first NLCS since 2001 following a 7-0 demolition of the Miami Marlins. The shut-out win sealed a sweep in the NLDS. Kyle Wright produced six scoreless innings and Travis d'Arnaud recorded another multi-hit performance. Atlanta also joined the 1905 New York Giants as the only teams to post four shutouts in five games at any point in a playoff campaign.

Houston Astros leftfielder Michael Brantley had one home run in 30 career playoff games entering Thursday's clash. He is now the first player in MLB postseason history with multiple homers after entering the game with one or fewer in 30-plus games, per Stats Perform. The Astros advanced to the ALCS for the fourth consecutive year courtesy of an 11-6 victory against the Oakland Athletics, which sealed a 3-1 triumph.

 

Sanchez struggles

Sixto Sanchez lasted just three innings for the Marlins. He allowed four hits, four runs and three walks in his joint-shortest outing the season.

It was a tough day and series for the Athletics' relievers. They combined for a 6.27 ERA in the ALDS, including six earned runs on Thursday. Starter Frankie Montas gave up five runs and seven hits in 3.2 innings. He struck out three and walked one.

 

Thursday's results

Atlanta Braves 7-0 Miami Marlins
Houston Astros 11-6 Oakland Athletics
New York Yankees 5-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Los Angeles Dodgers 12-3 San Diego Padres

 

Yankees at Rays

It is winner-takes-all as the Yankees and Rays meet in Game 5 on Friday. The Yankees will send ace Gerrit Cole to the mound, while Tyler Glasnow starts for the Rays.

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