Video: Dodgers grab early lead in Game 3 of NLCS against Cardinals

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After dropping the first two games of the NLCS, the Dodgers have grabbed an early lead against the Cardinals in Game 3 behind an RBI double from Adrian Gonzalez and a run-scoring triple from Yasiel Puig.

The fourth-inning rally against Adam Wainwright started after Mark Ellis hit a ball to right-center field which dropped in following a miscommunication between Jon Jay and Carlos Beltran. Ellis ended up at second base on the play and was brought home on the Gonzalez hit. Puig then drove in Gonzalez with a triple which bounced off the right field wall.

It’s worth noting that Puig flipped the bat in epic fashion and raised both of his arms after his swing, as he thought he hit a two-run home run, but he eventually kicked it into gear and motored into third base standing. Always interesting, this guy. The 22-year-old was 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts in the series before the triple. Meanwhile, the rally against Wainwright ended a 22-inning scoreless streak for the Dodgers dating back to the top of the third inning in Game 1.

Check out the video of Puig’s triple below:

Hyun-Jin Ryu struggled in his start against the Braves during the NLDS, but he has been very impressive so far. The southpaw has yet to allow a hit and has retired 11 in a row since a first-inning walk to Carlos Beltran.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.