Matt Kemp homers late, sends Dodgers to NLDS Game 2 win to even the series at 1-1

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The Dodgers experienced a bit of deja vu when Matt Carpenter again turned the game on its head with a game-tying two-run home run in the eighth inning. It was only a day prior when Carpenter flipped the script, giving the Cardinals a 7-6 lead with a bases-clearing double to right-center off of Clayton Kershaw.

Game 2 starter Zack Greinke had tossed seven shutout innings and took the mound to begin the eighth inning. However, manager Don Mattingly opted to play the match-up when lefty Oscar Taveras was announced as a pinch-hitter. Mattingly strode to the mound, called on southpaw reliever J.P. Howell, and took the ball from Greinke. In a span of about one minute, Taveras ripped a single down the right field line and Carpenter smashed a two-run home run to right-center to tie the game at two apiece.

Just as quickly as Carpenter turned Dodger fans’ smiles upside-down, Matt Kemp fixed the frowns with a go-ahead solo home run to lead off the bottom of the eighth against sidewinding reliever Pat Neshek. The Dodgers were held scoreless from there, giving way to flame-throwing closer Kenley Jansen for the top of the ninth.

Jansen was able to get Yadier Molina to ground out before striking out Kolten Wong and Randal Grichuk consecutively to end the game, evening out the NLDS at 1-1.

The Dodgers scored their first two runs in the bottom of the third inning against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn. A.J. Ellis led off the frame with a double and moved to third on a bloop single to right field by Greinke. Ellis scored on what appeared to be a ground ball double play, but after replay review, was changed to a simple 4-3 ground out. The review helped the Dodgers, as Greinke was on second base and scored on a two-out single by Adrian Gonzalez.

Greinke was outstanding not just on the mound, but at the plate — something he’s well-known for doing. The pitcher went 2-for-3 at the plate. On the mound, the right-hander limited the Cardinals to two hits and two walks while striking out seven in seven innings.

Lynn’s performance would have been good enough to win on most nights. In six innings, he allowed seven hits, walked two, and struck out eight. Carpenter aside, the rest of the Cardinals’ lineup was 3-for-28 (.107) with one extra-base hit (a Wong double). If you’re the Cardinals, it’s hard to blame the pitching for Saturday’s loss when Carpenter was the only one doing any hitting.

Game 3 of the NLDS will take place on Monday in St. Louis as Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu will oppose Cardinals right-hander John Lackey.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.