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Nationals break it open with four-run third inning vs. Cardinals in NLCS Game 3

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The Nationals lead the Cardinals once again as they plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning against Jack Flaherty.

Victor Robles led off with a single and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Trea Turner struck out on a foul tip, but Eaton salvaged the effort, grounding a single up the middle to bring Robles home to break the scoreless tie. Eaton then scored when Anthony Rendon poked a double to shallow left field which a sliding Marcell Ozuna was unable to secure.

Juan Soto followed up with a walk. During Howie Kendrick‘s at-bat, catcher Yadier Molina wasn’t able to corral a fastball in the dirt, allowing both Rendon and Soto to advance. They were promptly brought home when Howie Kendrick — the hero of NLDS Game 5 — lined a two-run double to right-center to make it 4-0.

It’s been a low-scoring NLCS thus far. The Nationals won Game 1 by a 2-0 score and Game 2 by a 3-1 margin. A 4-0 lead in Game 3 feels huge.

Through three innings, Strasburg has limited the Cardinals to one hit with no walks and four strikeouts. Flaherty has allowed the four runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts across three innings.

Apparent roster snafu changes Blue Jays pitching plans

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ATLANTA — An apparent roster snafu forced the Toronto Blue Jays to change their pitching plans for Thursday night’s game at the Atlanta Braves.

After Nate Pearson gave up three runs in five innings, manager Charlie Montoyo brought in right-hander Jacob Waguespack to open the sixth.

As Waguespack walked to the mound, he was greeted by home plate umpire Alan Porter, who apparently delivered some bad news: The right-hander wasn’t on the 28-man active roster for the game.

The Blue Jays optioned Waguespack and infielder Santiago Espinal to the team’s alternate training site on Thursday to reach the 28-man roster limit.

Montoyo told reporters before the game Waguespack had been recalled when right-hander Trent Thornton was placed on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation. That move apparently was not processed, leaving Waguespack off the active roster.

Waguespack walked to the dugout and Montoyo brought in Rafael Dolis as the official replacement for Pearson.