MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gleyber Torres got New York going with a second-inning home run, scored on each of his two doubles and made a pair of sparkling defensive plays, fueling the Yankees to a 5-1 victory over Minnesota on Monday night to finish yet another sweep of the Twins and advance to the AL Championship Series.
Didi Gregorius hit two RBI singles for the Yankees, who stretched their postseason winning streak over the Twins to 13 straight games. Minnesota has lost 16 consecutive postseason games, matching the North American major sports record held by the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL from 1975-79.
New York starts the AL Championship Series on Saturday, at home against Tampa Bay or at Houston.
Rays 10, Astros 3
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Charlie Morton to the rescue, again.
Kevin Kiermaier hit a go-ahead, three-run homer as Tampa Bay teed off on Zack Greinke, and the Rays got another clutch playoff performance from Morton to beat the Houston Astros 10-3 and cut their AL Division Series deficit to 2-1.
Facing the team he helped win the World Series two years ago, Morton allowed one run and three hits while striking out nine over five innings. The 35-year-old right-hander is 4-0 with an 0.95 ERA in four career elimination starts, including last week’s wild-card win at Oakland.
Astros manager AJ Hinch announced after the game that Houston will start Justin Verlander on three days of rest in Game 4 of the best-of-five matchup at Tropicana Field today. Tampa Bay will use Diego Castillo as an opener.
Nationals 6, Dodgers 1
WASHINGTON — Max Scherzer’s season-saving, seven-inning pitching performance and Ryan Zimmerman’s three-run homer lifted the wild-card Washington Nationals to a 6-1 victory over the league-best Los Angeles Dodgers to force a deciding Game 5 in their NL Division Series.
Scowling and muttering to himself in his third appearance of this postseason, Scherzer allowed one run and four hits while striking out nine. Most importantly for Washington, he and the Nats prevented LA from closing out the NLDS after taking a 2-1 lead into Game 4.
Game 5 will be Wednesday in Los Angeles, with Stephen Strasburg set to start for the Nationals against Walker Buehler.
Cardinals 5, Braves 4
ST. LOUIS — Yadier Molina pushed the St. Louis Cardinals to a deciding Game 5 of the NL Division Series, hitting a tying single in the eighth inning and a winning sacrifice fly in the 10th to beat Atlanta.
Molina slung his bat far into the outfield after his winner, and the packed crowd at Busch Stadium roared along with him.
Game 5 will be Wednesday in Atlanta. The Cardinals will have ace Jack Flaherty on the mound, and the Braves will go with Mike Foltynewicz.
Kolten Wong led off the St. Louis 10th with a ground-rule double against Julio Teheran. After Paul Goldschmidt was intentionally walked, Wong advanced on Marcell Ozuna’s forceout and easily scored on Molina’s deep fly to left field.