Dodgers extend lead against Braves in Game 1 of NLDS

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The Braves got on the board against Clayton Kershaw in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Dodgers got a run right back in the top of the sixth inning.

Jordan Walden took over for Luis Ayala to begin the sixth inning and retired Carl Crawford on a ground out, but he then gave up a single to Mark Ellis and an RBI double to Hanley Ramirez. Walden was able to get Adrian Gonzalez on ground out and strike out Yasiel Puig swinging to avoid any further damage, but the Dodgers lead this one 6-1 going into the bottom of the sixth.

And while Clayton Kershaw labored through the bottom of the fourth inning, he struck out the side in the fifth. Time is running out for the Braves.

Report: Angels to sign Cody Allen

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.

Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.

The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.