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Houston knocks Trevor Bauer around in seventh to take lead

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Trevor Bauer came into the game in the sixth inning, pitching in his third straight game in relief. The idea with Bauer this postseason, by the way, is to use him like Andrew Miller: a multi-inning relief ace. It’s a great theory, as he has electric stuff and can strike out guys by the boatload, theoretically putting out fires. He did well enough in the sixth inning with that, but it didn’t go so well in the seventh.

The inning led off with a Tony Kemp single. An errant pickoff throw by Bauer allowed Kemp to reach second, after which George Springer reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners. Kemp came home on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jose Altuve that saw Springer forced out but which put Altuve on first. The game was tied at two.

The next batter up was Alex Bregman who grounded back to Bauer, who sought to turn a double play. His throw to Francisco Lindor at second was wide of the bag, preventing Lindor from getting the out at second. Lindor’s relay throw to first was late too, so two runners were on with only one out. Then Bauer walked Yuli Gurriel to load the bases. Bauer, by this point, was visibly angry and rattled. As you might be too if you had two throwing errors in the inning.

Marwin Gonzalez came up next. After Bauer fell behind him 3-0, Gonzalez hit a 3-1 pitch down the left field line which fell in for a two-run double to make it 4-2 Houston. The pitch, by the way, was way high and outside. I have no idea how Gonzalez did anything with it, frankly, but rather than a bases-loaded walk, Houston scored two. That knocked Bauer out of the game.

Andrew Miller came into the game with runners on second and third and one out to face Josh Reddick, who flied out to shallow left, failing to advance the runner at third home. Then it was Carlos Correa‘s turn: he walked to load the bases for Houston once again.

That brought up Tyler White, pinch hitting for Brian McCann, which in turn caused Terry Francona to go to the pen to call in Cody Allen. Allen struck out White, leaving the bases loaded.

We enter the seventh inning stretch with Houston up 4-2, nine outs away from moving on to the ALCS.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.