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Braves avoid elimination, defeat Dodgers 6-5 in NLDS Game 3

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Unlike the Rockies, the Braves were able to stave off the opposition to avoid being swept in the NLDS, hanging on to defeat the Dodgers 6-5 in Game 3 at SunTrust Park on Sunday night.

Ronald Acuña gave the Braves an early jolt, swatting a grand slam to left field in the second inning against Walker Buehler, who had been living up to his first name. That put the Braves up 5-0 early.

The Dodgers chipped away at their five-run deficit, scoring a pair of runs in the third inning that was aided in part by a misplay by Acuña in left field when Justin Turner grounded a single. In the fifth, Chris Taylor drilled a two-run homer to left field off of Kevin Gausman to cut the deficit to 5-4. Later in the inning, in a battle of Maxes, pinch-hitter Muncy bested reliever Fried as Muncy lifted a game-tying solo homer to center field to knot the game at five each.

In the bottom of the sixth, Freddie Freeman took matters into his own hands. Alex Wood took the mound to start the frame, tossing a first-pitch, 83 MPH change-up that Freeman promptly deposited into the stands in right field for a solo homer.

Chad Sobotka tossed a scoreless seventh and A.J. Minter did the same in the eighth. The Braves handed the ball to Arodys Vizcaíno in the top of the ninth to preserve the 6-5 lead. He got into a sticky situation, giving up a leadoff single to Joc Pederson, then walking Turner. Vizcaíno rebounded in a big way, striking out Muncy, Manny Machado, and Brian Dozier consecutively to end the game.

The Braves won their first postseason game since Game 2 of the 2013 NLDS when they beat the Dodgers 4-3. They are hoping to win two more games in a row to advance out of the Division Series for the first time since 2001.

The Dodgers will get another opportunity to eliminate the Braves on Monday. Game 4 will start at 4:30 PM ET and will be broadcast on FS1. If the Dodgers advance, they will return to the LCS for a third consecutive year.

Nationals, Astros lineups for World Series Game 2

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The Nationals, believed by oddsmakers to be big underdogs in the World Series against the Astros, won arguably their toughest matchup last night by plating five runs against Gerrit Cole in a 5-4 win in Houston. They’ll take a 1-0 series lead into Wednesday night’s action featuring a duel between Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander. Here are the lineups for the two sides.

Nationals

SS Trea Turner
RF Adam Eaton
3B Anthony Rendon
LF Juan Soto
DH Howie Kendrick
2B Asdrúbal Cabrera
1B Ryan Zimmerman
C Kurt Suzuki
CF Victor Robles

SP Stephen Strasburg

No changes here. Manager Dave Martinez is rolling out the same exact lineup as he had in Game 1.

Astros

CF George Springer
2B José Altuve
LF Michael Brantley
3B Alex Bregman
1B Yuli Gurriel
DH Yordan Álvarez
SS Carlos Correa
C Robinson Chirinos
RF Josh Reddick

SP Justin Verlander

Likewise, Astros skipper A.J. Hinch has hardly changed his lineup. The only difference is Chirinos is doing the catching tonight as opposed to Martín Maldonado.

Springer notably did not give maximum effort on an RBI double he hit off of the wall in right-center field, thinking it was a home run. He could’ve had a triple. Springer and Hinch discussed it over the phone late last night, Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller reports. Hinch didn’t seem too concerned about it.