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Corey Dickerson has homered in four straight games

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Though not quite in Matt Carpenter territory yet, Pirates outfielder Corey Dickerson homered in his fourth consecutive game on Sunday, helping his team take down the Reds 9-2 in a road series finale. The Pirates have now won nine games in a row and are two games above .500 for the first time since early June.

Dickerson’s two-run homer game in the second inning off of Matt Harvey, increasing the Pirates’ lead to 5-0 at the time. It came just ahead of a Starling Marte solo shot.

Dickerson also hit a two-run homer on July 15 against the Brewers just ahead of the All-Star break. In the first game out of the break, Dickerson hit a solo shot off of Tyler Mahle and clubbed two solo dingers off of Anthony DeSclafani in Saturday’s win over the Reds. The power surge is a welcome sight as Dickerson went the entire month of June without homering. In fact, he had a 43-game homerless streak between May 5 and June 29.

Dickerson, 29, is now batting .315/.347/.509 with 11 home runs, 42 RBI, and 47 runs scored in 360 plate appearances this season. He’s been a tremendous pickup for the Pirates, who acquired him from the Rays in February.

Dodgers look to join the Red Sox in the World Series

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One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.

NLCS Game 6

Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
TV: FS1
Pitchers:  Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
Breakdown:

The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.

For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.

As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.