PITTSBURGH — Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin delivered RBI singles in the eighth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates moved within one win of capturing the National League Division Series with a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday night.
Alvarez greeted left-handed reliever Kevin Siegrist with a tiebreaking single to right field that plated pinch runner Josh Harrison as the Pirates took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series — with Game 4 set for Monday afternoon in Pittsburgh. Martin and Marlon Byrd each drove in a pair of runs and Jason Grilli worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to nail down his first save.
Carlos Beltran continued his postseason heroics for St. Louis by driving in all three runs with a two-run single in the fifth inning and a tying homer in the eighth off Mark Melancon (1-0). Carlos Martinez (0-1) was charged with two runs while retiring only one of the three batters he faced for the Cardinals, who fell to 3-8 in Pittsburgh this season.
A throwing error by St. Louis shortstop Pete Kozma in the first inning put two runners in scoring position, and Byrd plated them both with a two-out single for a 2-0 edge. The Cardinals pulled even against a laboring Francisco Liriano in the fifth, executing a double steal before Beltran singled up the middle.
Pittsburgh went back on top in the sixth, loading the bases against Joe Kelly on two walks and Byrd’s double before Martin lifted a sacrifice fly against reliever Seth Maness. Beltran responded in the eighth with a leadoff shot off Melancon, the first homer by a St. Louis player in 13 games at PNC Park and just the second blast surrendered by Melancon this season.
DODGERS 13, BRAVES 6: The Los Angeles Dodgers scored 10 runs in the first four innings and cruised to a 13-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the National League Division Series Sunday night.
The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. They would move on to the NL Championship Series with a win in Game 4 on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
Carl Crawford struck the big blow, a three-run home run in a four-run second inning that set the tone of the ballgame. Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer, Hanley Ramirez finished a home run short of hitting for the cycle, and Yasiel Puig collected three hits, three runs and two RBIs for the Dodgers, who totaled 14 hits.
The 13 runs tied a Dodgers record for runs in a postseason game, matching the total the Brooklyn Dodgers put up against the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the 1956 World Series.
All the offense rendered meaningless Dodger pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu’s poor performance in his first career postseason start. Ryu, who went 14-8 during the regular season, lasted just three innings, giving up four runs and six hits.
Chris Capuano, regularly a starter but on the postseason roster as a long reliever, got the victory with three scoreless innings in relief of Ryu. He didn’t allow a hit, though he walked the first batter in each of his three innings. Capuano struck out three.
Braves starter Julio Teheran was knocked out after 2 2/3 innings. He allowed six runs on eight hits and one walk.
Evan Gattis had three hits, and Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman each had two for the Braves, who also got a two-run homer in the ninth inning from Jason Heyward.
The Braves took an early lead with two runs in the first inning off Ryu. Both runs scored on two-out hits, RBI singles by Gattis and Chris Johnson.
The Dodgers rallied for four runs in the second inning off Teheran after loading the bases with one out. Ryu drove in the first run of the inning with a sacrifice fly, and Crawford followed with his three-run blast, giving the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.
Ryu, though, gave it back in the third inning after the Braves loaded the bases on consecutive singles by Upton, Freeman and Gattis with no outs. The Braves scored two runs in the inning to tie the game at 4, with Ryu hurting his cause when he couldn’t find first base with his foot on a potential 3-6-1 double play.
The Dodgers regained the lead at 6-4 in the bottom of the third with two more runs. Ramirez began the inning with a double, and he scored on a single by Adrian Gonzalez. Later in the inning, Puig scored on a two-out single by Skip Schumaker.
The Dodgers continued their offensive onslaught in the fourth against Braves reliever Alex Wood, scoring four more runs. Ramirez had an RBI triple, Puig an RBI single and Uribe added his two-run shot for a 10-4 Dodgers lead.