Division Series Weekend Top Plays
The Division Series got underway on Thursday with the first National League contests, followed by a full four-game slate on Friday with the beginning of American League action. Here are the current standings of each series:
#4 Nationals vs. #1 Dodgers
LAD leads 2-1
#3 Cardinals vs. #2 Braves
ATL leads 2-1
#4 Rays vs. #1 Astros
HOU leads 2-0
#3 Twins vs. #2 Yankees
NYY leads 2-0
Friday, October 4
Astros 6, Rays 2 (box score)
W: Justin Verlander
L: Tyler Glasnow
Verlander pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing only one hit. His team opened the scoring with a solo home run by INF José Altuve and an error on a ground ball hit by INF Yuli Gurriel to drive in OF Michael Brantley, chasing opposing SP Glasnow in the 5th inning.
The Astros would score four more times in back of Verlander and hold off the Rays to get their first win of the series.
Yankees 10, Twins 4 (box score)
W: Tommy Kahnle
L: Zack Littell
The Twins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on homers by INF Jorge Polanco and DH Nelson Cruz, but the Yankees rallied for three runs to take the lead in the bottom of the third. After Polanco’s RBI single tied the game in the top of the 5th, Gleyber Torres answered with a two-run double in the bottom of the inning.
The Yankees would not surrender the lead again, scoring five more runs in a commanding victory.
Braves 3, Cardinals 0 (box score)
W: Mike Foltynewicz
L: Jack Flaherty
S: Mark Melancon
SP Foltynewicz pitched seven scoreless innings for Atlanta, striking out seven Cardinals batters. Max Fried and Melancon also did not allow any runs in relief to shut out the Cardinals and even the series at 1-1.
Nationals 4, Dodgers 2 (box score)
W: Stephen Strasburg
L: Clayton Kershaw
S: Daniel Hudson
The Nationals bats got to work early against Dodgers SP Kershaw, scoring three times in the first two innings. INF Anthony Rendon doubled to drive in OF Adam Eaton in the top of the 2nd, which proved to be the decisive tally.
Saturday, October 5
Yankees 8, Twins 2 (box score)
W: Masahiro Tanaka
L: Randy Dobnak
The Yankees scored seven runs in the 3rd inning to blow out the Twins, capped off by a grand slam by INF Didi Gregorius to drive in DH Edwin Encarnación, Torres and C Gary Sánchez.
Astros 3, Rays 1 (box score)
W: Gerrit Cole
L: Blake Snell
S: Will Harris
Astros SP Cole had a historic night with 15 punchouts over 7.2 IP.
The Rays made it interesting, scoring one run in the top of the 9th inning against closer Roberto Osuna and loading the bases with one away. Astros manager A.J. Hinch made a call to the pen for RP Harris, who would strike out C Travis d’Arnaud and induce a groundout by OF Kevin Kiermaier to end the game.
Sunday, October 6
Braves 3, Cardinals 1 (box score)
W: Sean Newcomb
L: Carlos Martínez
S: Mark Melancon
The Cardinals held a 1-0 lead going into the top of the 9th inning, when closer Martínez came on to attempt to lock down the save. INF Josh Donaldson led off the inning with a double. As he represented the tying run, Braves manager Brian Snitker replaced him with pinch runner Billy Hamilton. After two strikeouts and an intentional walk, INF Dansby Swanson doubled to tie the game.
OF Adam Duvall provided the winning runs with a two-run single to center field to score C Brian McCann‘s pinch runner, Rafael Ortega, and Swanson.
Dodgers 10, Nationals 4 (box score)
W: Hyun-Jin Ryu
L: Patrick Corbin
The Dodgers trailed 2-1 in the 6th inning when Nats manager Dave Martinez replaced SP Aníbal Sánchez with Corbin, who had not made a relief appearance since 2017. Corbin was not sharp, leading to a seven-run Dodgers rally.
C Russell Martin provided the go-ahead tallies on a two-run double to center field that drove in OF Cody Bellinger and PH David Freese.
Monday will feature a full slate of action and elimination games. First up are the Astros at Rays at 1:05 PM ET, followed by the Braves at Cardinals at 3:07 PM ET, and the Dodgers at Nationals at 6:40 PM ET. The Yankees at Twins will be the nightcap at 8:40 PM ET. Please continue to follow the site for updates on the significant plays of the day!