Don’t count the Giants out just yet.
Carlos Beltran went 4-for-4 with a two-run homer and Matt Cain allowed two runs over eight innings as the Giants beat the first-place Diamondbacks 6-2 last night. The win snapped the Diamondbacks season-high nine-game winning streak and brought the Giants back to within five games in the National League West.
Beltran finished the night a double short of the cycle. He tripled in the first inning, hit a go-ahead two home run in the third, plated an RBI single in the fifth and added another single in the seventh. It was his 20th career four-hit game and his first since June 20, 2007 as a member of the Mets.
The Giants will try to keep the pressure on when they send Tim Lincecum to the hill tonight to face Ian Kennedy, who is currently tied with Clayton Kershaw for the NL lead with 17 wins. Lincecum is just 5-4 in nine starts since the All-Star break, despite a 1.61 ERA and 61/29 K/BB ratio over 61 2/3 innings.
Your Friday box scores:
Diamondbacks 2, Giants 6
Pirates 3, Cubs 1
Blue Jays 2, Yankees 3
Mets 7, Nationals 3
White Sox 1, Tigers 8
Rangers 10, Red Sox 0
Phillies 5, Marlins 3
Dodgers 8, Braves 6
Orioles 3, Rays 2
Brewers 8, Astros 2
Indians 5, Royals 4
Reds 11, Cardinals 8
Twins 13, Angels 5
Rockies 3, Padres 0
Mariners 2, Athletics 9
The Dodgers and Astros have selected their starters for Game 1 of the World Series. Left-hander Dallas Keuchel will open the series for the Astros, while fellow lefty Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the first of two home games at Dodger Stadium.
Keuchel, 29, has been a steady presence for the Astros this postseason. He clinched Game 2 of the ALDS with 5 2/3 innings of one-run, seven-strikeout ball against the Red Sox and returned for his second postseason win with seven scoreless innings against the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS. He was outmatched in Game 5 of the Championship Series, however, scattering four runs and eight strikeouts across 4 2/3 innings while the Yankees worked their way up to a 5-0 shutout. Nevertheless, he’s perhaps the Astros’ strongest arm behind ALCS MVP Justin Verlander and has not surrendered a single home run in 17 1/3 consecutive innings this postseason.
Kershaw, on the other hand, has had a less consistent track record in the playoffs. While his postseason yips have been well-documented thus far, his struggles on the mound haven’t always led to disaster — at least not this time around. The Dodgers are 3-0 in all three of Kershaw’s starts this month and enjoyed a quality start from their ace during Game 5 of the NLCS last Thursday. The 29-year-old southpaw recorded his second win of the playoffs with a run, three hits, a walk and five strikeouts over six innings. Unlike Keuchel, he’s given up a home run in each of his outings to date (and four homers in Game 1 of the NLDS).
Game 1 is set for Tuesday evening at 8:00 PM ET. The Dodgers have home field advantage through Games 1 and 2 before the series moves to Houston, and will try to capitalize on that advantage in order to extend their postseason winning streak at Dodger Stadium. They’re 4-0 at home and 3-1 on the road this October, while the Astros boast a 6-0 advantage in Houston and a significantly less impressive 1-4 record away from home.