MLB playoffs top plays: Dodgers rally against Braves, Astros even series vs. Red Sox
Tuesday's MLB playoff slate featured two teams trying to avoid falling to the brink of elimination — and succeeding in a big way.
The Atlanta Braves entered Game 3 up 2-0 on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS after walk-off wins in both Game 1 and Game 2. Game 3 provided another dose of late-inning drama, this time in Los Angeles.
The Braves chased Walker Buehler in the fourth inning and built a 5-2 lead early. But in the eighth, the Dodgers showed life, tying the game on a three-run home run from Cody Bellinger and taking the lead three batters later. That proved to be enough, as the Dodgers held on for a 6-5 win and their first victory in the 2021 NLCS.
In the ALCS, the Boston Red Sox led the series 2-1 after a 12-3 rout of the Houston Astros in Game 3 on Monday. This time, though, after getting on the board first and dueling through a tight eight innings, the Astros evened the series with a monster ninth inning in which they scored seven runs to win 9-2.
Here are the top plays from Tuesday:
The Astros entered Game 4 with their backs against the wall, so naturally, they came out swinging. Alex Bregman's first-inning home run got them on the board first.
Not so fast
For anyone who thought the Red Sox would make it easy on the Astros, think again. Xander Bogaerts responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-run homer to steal the lead right back for Boston.
Jose Altuve has been the definition of clutch during the Astros' run of dominance, and he continued to be just that in the top of the eighth inning, when his solo home run tied the game. It was Altuve's 21st career playoff home run, good for third in MLB history.
The Astros stole the momentum in the eighth, and it carried into the ninth, when they regained the lead thanks to this hit from Jason Castro.
That opened the floodgates for the Astros, who scored three more runs on a Michael Brantley double and didn't stop there.
By the end of the inning, the Astros had added seven runs to their total to take a 9-2 lead, which held as they tied the ALCS at two games apiece.
There's no place like home, and Corey Seager looked very comfortable in his first at-bat Tuesday, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run.
The Braves were in hostile territory and trailing 2-0, but that didn't deter them in the top of the fourth.
Dodgers pitcher Buehler walked in another run before being pulled, and the Braves finished their half of the inning with a 4-2 lead.
The Braves weren't finished scoring yet, as they added another run in the top of the fifth inning, thanks to another RBI from Duvall.
Answering the bell
Down 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth, the Dodgers needed to make something happen late. Enter Cody Bellinger, who delivered a three-run blast to tie the game and keep the Dodgers alive.
That was quickly followed by an RBI double from Mookie Betts to give the Dodgers a late lead, one they did not relinquish in a 6-5 win.