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Christian Yelich hits for cycle against Reds again

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Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich hit for the cycle for the second time this season, helping his team earn an 8-0 victory over the Reds on Monday night.

Yelich singled in the first inning, doubled in the third, hit a two-run home run in the fifth, and completed the cycle with a two-run triple in the sixth.

Yelich’s last cycle was quite recent, occurring on August 29 against… the Reds. He is the fifth player to hit for the cycle twice in the same season and the first in baseball history to do it twice in the same season against the same team. Those five players, along with Yelich, are Aaron Hill (2012 Diamondbacks), Babe Herman (1931 Brooklyn Dodgers), Tip O’Neill (1887 St. Louis Browns), and Long John Reilly (1883 Cincinnati Red Stockings), according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy.

Yelich’s cycle is the third this season. Along with his two, Mookie Betts also completed the cycle on August 9 against the Blue Jays.

On the season, Yelich is now hitting .318/.385/.570 with 31 home runs, 93 RBI, 102 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 597 plate appearances. His torrid second half has certainly put him into the NL MVP conversation.

With the win on Monday, the Brewers trail the Cubs by two games in the NL Central. As of this writing, the Cubs are in a scoreless tie with the D-Backs. The Brewers hold a 3.5-game lead over the Dodgers and Cardinals for the first of two Wild Card slots.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.