Video: Manny Machado powers Dodgers’ lead with a two-run homer

Manny Machado
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Dodgers slugger Manny Machado wasted no time helping the club to an early lead on Friday night. With the Dodgers angling for a 2-0 advantage in the NLDS, the four-time All-Star worked a 3-0 count against Atlanta right-hander Aníbal Sánchez in the bottom of the first, then drove a 386-footer into the left field stands for a two-run lead.

The first-inning blast gave southpaw Clayton Kershaw some much-needed run support as he plowed through the Braves’ lineup, setting down four straight innings of one-hit, one-strikeout ball. Any thought of a perfect game or no-hitter was erased on Ronald Acuña Jr.’s leadoff double in the first inning (making him the youngest player to record a postseason hit for the Braves in over 20 years), but not a single Braves’ batter has managed to reach base since.

The Dodgers currently lead Atlanta 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.