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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.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.