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Hanley Ramirez leads Red Sox past Astros 10-3, forces ALDS Game 4

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Red Sox DH Hanley Ramirez had himself a day on Sunday in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Astros. The veteran of 13 seasons went 4-for-4 with a double and three RBI, helping the Red Sox defeat the Astros 10-3 to force Game 4. Ramirez joins Jake Lamb as players to have four-hit games so far this postseason.

The Astros started quick, plating three runs off of Red Sox starter Doug Fister in the top of the first inning. Josh Reddick knocked in the first run with a single and Carlos Correa followed up with a two-run home run with one out. In the top of the second, the Astros nearly had another three-spot. Carlos Beltran walked and Yuli Gurriel singled to open the frame. After getting Brian McCann to line out, manager John Farrell yanked Fister from the game, handing him the shortest ALDS start since 2014. Joe Kelly came in and had his heart sink when Reddick lifted a fly ball to deep right field, but Mookie Betts caught the ball over the wall before it could land, stealing a three-run home run.

From there, it was all Red Sox. They cut the deficit by one with a Sandy Leon RBI single in the bottom of the second against starter Brad Peacock. In the third, the Sox put together a two-out rally. Mitch Moreland doubled, then scored on Ramirez’s single. Francisco Liriano relieved Peacock, then served up a go-ahead two-run home run to Rafael Devers. Devers is the sixth player since 1903 to hit a postseason homer before the age of 21.

David Price came in to relieve Kelly to start the fourth and turned in a stellar performance. His tenure in Boston has been rocky, to say the least, so he needed this and so did the Red Sox. He hurled four shutout innings, yielding four hits and a walk while striking out four on 57 pitches.

The Red Sox broke the game open in the seventh. The first five batters reached base: Andrew Benintendi walked, then Betts and Moreland singled to load the bases. Ramirez then ripped a ground ball double to left-center field, pushing two more runs across for a 6-3 game. Devers then blooped a weak single to shallow left field to score another run. After Leon flied out, Jackie Bradley, Jr. lifted a home run down the right field line that glanced off of the glove of a leaping Reddick, bumping the score to 10-3.

Addison Reed entered in the eighth, working around a two-out Gurriel single for a scoreless frame. Carson Smith came on in the ninth and, despite giving up a pair of singles, had a stress-free time closing out the 10-3 victory.

The series continues on Monday (time to be determined, per MLB.com’s Alyson Footer) with the Astros leading two games to one. The Astros will send Charlie Morton to the hill. The Red Sox have not announced a starter yet.

Cody Bellinger wins 2019 National League Most Valuable Player Award

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Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger was named the 2019 National League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers Associated of America. He received 19 of 30 first-place votes.

Bellinger, 24, was the NL Rookie of the Year two years ago and is now the MVP. In 2019, he hit .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs, 115 RBI, 121 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. Among qualified position players in the NL, Bellinger and Christian Yelich tied in Wins Above Replacement at 7.8, according to FanGraphs. Bellinger’s strong year helped the Dodgers win a franchise record 106 games, though they were stopped short in the NLDS by the eventual world champion Nationals.

Bellinger is the first Dodger to win the award since Clayton Kershaw in 2014. He also joins Kirk Gibson, Steve Garvey, Sandy Koufax, and Maury Wills to win the award since the team moved to Los Angeles. Bellinger is overall the 13th Dodger to be named the MVP. He is the 18th NL player to win both a Rookie of the Year Award and an MVP award.

Yelich finished in second place and Anthony Rendon finished in third place. They were followed by Ketel Marte, Ronald Acuña Jr., Nolan Arenado, and Pete Alonso. Also receiving votes were Freddie Freeman, Juan Soto, Jacob deGrom, Josh Donaldson, Trevor Story, Jack Flaherty, J.T. Realmuto, Yasmani Grandal, Max Muncy, Stephen Strasburg, Eugenio Suárez, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Paul Goldschmidt, Kolten Wong, Kevin Pillar, and Max Scherzer.