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Keuchel, Carter carry Astros to 2-1 AL Division Series lead

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Dallas Keuchel tossed seven innings of one-run ball and Chris Carter provided three hits, powering the Astros to a 4-2 victory over the Royals in Game 3 of the ALDS on Sunday evening. The Astros now hold a 2-1 series lead.

The Astros fell behind 1-0 when Keuchel served up a solo home run to Lorenzo Cain in the fourth inning. Carter, however, kickstarted a one-out rally in the fifth against Royals starter Edinson Volquez when he hit a one-out double to left field after Luis Valbuena had drawn a walk. Jason Castro brought both of them home with a ground ball single up the middle, putting the Astros up 2-1.

A two-out RBI single by Carlos Gomez in the sixth pushed the score to 3-1, and Carter provided additional insurance when he slugged a towering solo home run to left field off of Danny Duffy in the seventh. Carter finished 3-for-3, marking the only time this season he’s had three hits in a game.

The Royals had a few opportunities to score, but Keuchel managed to pitch out of trouble repeatedly. He finished having allowed the one run on five hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. Volquez was on the hook for three runs on five hits and four walks with eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Reliever Tony Sipp walked a batter before leaving with two outs in the eighth inning. Closer Luke Gregerson was able to notch the final out of the eighth with a ground ball. In the ninth, Alex Gordon led off with a solo home run to left-center, but Gregerson was able to see his way out of the ninth inning without any further damage for the save.

The Astros will attempt to clinch the ALDS at home on Monday at 1:00 PM EDT. Yordano Ventura will start for the Royals against Astros rookie right-hander Lance McCullers.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.