Friday featured the first full day of Division Series matchups during the MLB postseason, starting with the Cleveland Indians at the Houston Astros in the early afternoon. After the action concluded, no visiting team came out ahead.
Astros 7, Indians 2
W: Verlander; L: Kluber
Player of the Game: Alex Bregman (2-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HR)
Houston Leads 1-0
Cleveland SP Corey Kluber was uncharacteristically wild, hitting two batters, one less than his entire 2018 regular season total, and the Astros cruised to victory behind solo home runs from OF George Springer, C Martín Maldonado, INF Alex Bregman and INF José Alturve. Houston starter Justin Verlander went 5.1 IP, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts. OF Josh Reddick also had RBI singles to score INF Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the 4th and PR Myles Straw in the bottom of the 8th. Cleveland’s lone runs came in the top of the 6th on a wild pitch by Ryan Pressly that brought in C Yan Gomes with INF José Ramírez at bat that advanced INF Francisco Lindor to 3rd. Ramírez then grounded out to first, plating Lindor.
Brewers 4, Rockies 0
W: Chacín; L: Anderson; S: Jeffress
Player of the Game: Erik Kratz (2-4, 2 RBI)
Milwaukee Leads 2-0
Milwaukee cruised to its 10th straight victory, shutting out the Rockies behind 5.0 IP from SP Jhoulys Chacín, who allowed no runs and just 3 hits with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. The Crew pen took over to complete the shutout of the Rox, which included a better outing from closer Jeremy Jeffress, who secured the save. The big blow for Milwaukee came on C Erik Kratz’s 2-run single plating OF Ryan Braun and INF Orlando Arcía in the bottom of the 8th.
Red Sox 5, Yankees 4
W: Sale: L: Happ; S: Kimbrel
Player of the Game: J.D. Martinez (2-4, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 HR)
Boston Leads 1-0
The opener of the grudge match between the AL East rivals featured the closest result in Friday’s Division Series action. Boston took an early lead off Yankees starter J.A. (pronounced “Jay”) Happ thanks to a 3-run bomb by DH J.D. Martinez. The Sawx got 5.1 IP from Chris Sale, who was charged with 2 runs on 5 hits with 2 walks and 8 strikeouts, before he departed in favor of numerous relievers, who allowed the Yanks to claw their way back into the game and make it interesting. Yankees OF Aaron Judge hit a solo HR to lead off the top of the 9th versus Boston closer Craig Kimbrel, but the Bronx Bombers failed to tie things up, falling to the home team in the ALDS opener.
Dodgers 3, Braves 0
W: Kershaw; L: Sánchez S: Jansen
LA Leads 2-0
Player of the Game: Clayton Kershaw (8.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 SO)
The Dodgers came out swinging again, scoring on home runs from C Yasmani Grandal (solo, B5) and INF Manny Machado (2 runs, B1). The Braves’ were shut out again thanks to a sparkling performance from SP Clayton Kershaw, who pitched 8 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits with no walks and 3 strikeouts. RP Kenley Jansen came in to secure the save for LA.
Saturday is a travel day for the NL teams, so there will not be another full slate of action unless fourth games are necessary in both of the NL series on Monday. Game 2 of the Indians at Astros will start at 4:37 PM ET (probables: Carrasco – CLE; Cole – HOU), and Game 2 of the Yankees at Red Sox will be the prime-time matchup at 8:15 PM ET (probables: Tanaka – NYY; Price – BOS).