Cardinals starter John Lackey opened Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Cubs on Friday at Busch Stadium with five no-hit innings before Addison Russell led off the sixth with a single.
Matt Holliday supported Lackey with an RBI single in the first inning to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead.
By Jeffrey Flanagan and Brian McTaggart
KANSAS CITY -- Ben Zobrist singled in the go-ahead run off Astros reliever Will Harris, scoring Alcides Escobar, and the Royals' bullpen tossed three scoreless innings in a pulsating 5-4 win on Friday at Kauffman Stadium as Kansas City evened the American League Division Series at 1-1.
LOS ANGELES -- This has been a season of thrills, chills and spills for the Mets, champions of the National League East, and the Dodgers, NL West kingpins. Now we find out which wild amusement park ride is about to end -- at Coney Island or the Santa Monica Pier -- and which one moves on to even greater adventures.
A riveting NL Division Series loaded with big names and intrigue opens tonight with the Mets sending Jacob deGrom out to engage three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. TBS will carry the Game 1 action starting at 9:30 p.m. ET.
TORONTO -- The place was sold out and the atmosphere was electric, but the hometown fervor at Rogers Centre couldn't stop the Rangers from riding a 6-4 victory over the Blue Jays in 14 innings to a 2-0 lead in the American League Division Series on Friday afternoon.
The best-of-five ALDS resumes on Sunday night in Arlington, and the Rangers need one more victory to advance to the AL Championship Series for the first time since 2011. Since Division Series play began in 1995, teams that have gone up 2-0 have advanced 42 of 47 times.
LOS ANGELES -- Rookies Corey Seager and Joc Pederson are in the Dodgers' starting lineup for Friday night's Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Mets and right-handed starter Jacob deGrom.
Manager Don Mattingly batted Seager third in his postseason debut as the starting shortstop over veteran Jimmy Rollins and Pederson got the start in center field over another rookie, Kike Hernandez.
It took four hours and 57 minutes, but the Rangers finally topped the Blue Jays on Friday in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. The 6-4 victory in 14 innings allows Texas to leave Toronto with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
This was only the ninth game in postseason history to last at least 14 innings, and the fourth Division Series game. It came up four frames short of the all-time record, which the Giants and Nationals tied last season, in Game 2 of the National League Division Series, a 2-1 San Francisco win in Washington. Before Friday, the Rangers had never surpassed 12 innings in the playoffs, while the Blue Jays had not gone past 11.
TORONTO -- Injured third baseman Adrian Beltre never left the bench on Friday afternoon. The Rangers' game-winning hit was delivered by a 22-year-old rookie infielder who had just two at-bats in the final month of the season.
Hanser Alberto was the one who wasn't supposed to leave the bench for the entire postseason, but there he was in the 14th inning, ruining a sellout crowd's day with a go-ahead single that propelled the Rangers to a 6-4 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
KANSAS CITY -- For a second straight day, the Astros wasted no time getting on the board, jumping out in front of the Royals by a three-run margin against right-hander Johnny Cueto in the second inning of Game 2 of the American League Division Series, a 5-4 loss to Kansas City on Friday.
Colby Rasmus, who homered in both Tuesday's AL Wild Card Game victory over the Yankees and again in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday, is the first player in Major League history to have an extra-base hit in each of his first six postseason games.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Prince Fielder takes a tumble over dugout railing trying to celebrate Rangers win
By Matt Monagan |
After 14 innings, the Rangers finally defeated the Blue Jays in Game 2 of the ALDS on Friday afternoon-evening-night. The game took 4 hours and 57 minutes -- using 14 total pitchers, one near fracas and a wild ending.
So, when Ross Ohlendorf finally got the last out of the game, players were very excited to get out on the field and celebrate. Prince Fielder was so excited to get out there that he forgot about that very important first step of climbing over the dugout railing:
Signups are underway for the MLB.TV Postseason Package and Postseason.TV now that the postseason field is set. Anywhere from 20 to 33 games (there were 25 last year) are on the slate en route to a trophy presentation at the 111th World Series.
If you already are among the millions who have subscribed to MLB.TV as a regular-season way of life, then you already get the Postseason Package -- either the U.S. or International version listed below.
TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson returned to the Blue Jays lineup with a bang in Game 2 of the American League Division Series as he homered in his first at-bat against Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels. However, the Blue Jays fell, 6-4, on Friday.
Donaldson was considered questionable for Game 2 after he was kneed in the head by Texas second baseman Rougned Odor while attempting to break up a double play in Thursday's opener of the best-of-five series. He passed concussion tests on Thursday night and additional tests Friday morning before getting clearance to play.
Stomping Grounds: Friends always pushed each other in college
By Carrie Muskat and Jenifer Langosch
ST. LOUIS -- When Jake Arrieta and Matt Carpenter were teammates at TCU, they created their own decathlon, including events such as ping pong, foosball and basketball. Since the Cubs acquired Arrieta in July 2013, the two have found themselves going head to head in the National League Central.
Carpenter said he could cheer for Arrieta when he was with the Orioles, but since the right-hander joined the Cubs, it's been tough.
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays will likely have to continue on their playoff journey without the services of Brett Cecil.
The lefty reliever suffered a "significant tear" of his left calf muscle in a rundown during Friday's 6-4 loss to the Rangers in Game 2 of the American League Division Series, according to manager John Gibbons.
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Joe Maddon answers important question about burgers in pregame presser
By Gemma Kaneko |
It's a big day for Joe Maddon: His Cubs are playing the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLDS. So, of course, the most crucial question he was asked in his pregame presser was about his go-to Steak 'N Shake order:
Cubs go with 11 pitchers on Division Series roster
Right-hander Hammel included; Berry left off
By Carrie Muskat
ST. LOUIS -- The Cubs will carry 11 pitchers and 14 position players on their National League Division Series roster, which was revealed on Friday. The only change from the NL Wild Card Game roster is that pitcher Jason Hammel was added and outfielder Quintin Berry was removed.
The best-of-five series against the Cardinals begins tonight at 5:30 CT at Busch Stadium (TBS).
Here's a fun fact: Matt Carpenter is 0-for-16 in 21 plate appearances against one of the groomsmen from his wedding, and in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Cubs on Monday, the Cardinals third baseman will have his 22nd attempt to record a hit. But considering that groomsman is Jake Arrieta … let's just say good luck, Matt.
ST. LOUIS -- With the Cardinals prioritizing offense over defense in their Game 1 National League Division Series lineup, Stephen Piscotty made his first career postseason appearance at a position where he made just nine previous big league starts. That's why just hours before Friday's first pitch, he and infield coach Jose Oquendo had another lengthy session in what has been a three-month crash course at first base.
"He has work to do, but he's making good progress," Oquendo said on Friday. "He's sharp. He's smart. He makes the routine plays, which is the main thing. After that, we'll go from there. It'll be nice starting fresh next year in Spring Training where we can have time to explain a lot of different things about playing first base."
TORONTO -- Troy Tulowitzki demonstrated why he was among the Blue Jays' prized acquisitions at the Trade Deadline during Friday's 6-4 loss at Rogers Centre.
The All-Star shortstop showed off his range in the fifth inning of Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Rangers, robbing Delino DeShields off a base hit with an impressive grab up the middle and an even better turn-and-throw to first base.
KANSAS CITY -- Craig Biggio wanted to be a part of the excitement.
After watching the Astros' Game 1 victory over the Royals in the American League Division Series on Thursday night from Houston, Biggio joined Astros minority partner John Havens and flew to Kansas City to take in Game 2 on Friday from Kauffman Stadium.
TORONTO -- Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor put together two excellent baserunning plays to manufacture a run in the second inning off Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman in Texas' 6-4, 14-inning Game 2 win in the best-of-five American League Division Series on Friday. The Rangers now lead the series, two games to none.
The Rangers led Friday's game, 2-1, headed into the second, when Odor led off with a walk and Chris Gimenez followed with a high chopper over the mound. Stroman backpedaled to field it, but shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and third baseman Josh Donaldson charged after it as well.
KANSAS CITY -- Astros ace Dallas Keuchel, undefeated in 18 regular-season home starts this season, will be the man on the mound at Minute Maid Park on Sunday (4 p.m. ET on MLB Network) for Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Royals.
"Always a comfort level at home just because of the fans supporting us and showing up," said Keuchel, whose Astros are tied with the Royals 1-1 in the best-of-five set after Friday's 5-4 loss in Kansas City.
Right-hander struggles in first, but impresses over next six frames
By Jamie Ross
TORONTO -- Remove the first inning from Marcus Stroman's start on Friday at Rogers Centre and you have a performance that on most nights would be worthy of a victory. Stroman turned in seven strong innings -- at one point retiring 14 batters in a row -- but didn't factor into the decision as the Blue Jays dropped an extra-innings affair to the Rangers, 6-4, to go down two games in the best-of-five American League Division Series.
Toronto will need a win on Sunday (8 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, Sportsnet) in Arlington if it hopes to keep its playoff drive alive.
TORONTO -- If any skeptics on the baseball landscape looked at the lineups for Game 2 of the American League Division Series, saw Chris Colabello's name in the six-hole for the Toronto Blue Jays, and doubted that a 31-year-old journeyman hitter would be ready to play in such an important game, well, they should have known something.
Colabello had spent his whole life being ready for this.
ST. LOUIS -- There was little question Jon Lester would be the Cubs' Game 1 starter in the National League Division Series. With Jake Arrieta on regular rest, there was no doubt he'd get the Game 3 nod.
But who would the Cubs send to the mound Saturday in Game 2 (4:30 p.m. CT on TBS) against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium? The way Kyle Hendricks pitched in his last two starts provided the Cubs with an obvious answer.