MLB: Blue Jays stay alive, Dodgers take 2-1 lead over Cubs
LOS ANGELES, USA - The Toronto Blue Jays kept their hopes of reaching Major League Baseball's World Series alive on Tuesday, October 18 with a 5-1 home victory over the Cleveland Indians.
The Blue Jays denied the Indians a 4-game sweep of the best-of-7 American League Championship Series, which will send the winners into a title showdown with either the Chicago Cubs or Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cubs, trying to end a World Series drought that stretches back to 1908, slipped 2-1 down in the National League Championship Series with a 6-0 Game 3 defeat in Los Angeles.
In Toronto, Josh Donaldson homered, Edwin Encarnacion drove in two runs and Aaron Sanchez pitched 6 strong innings for the Blue Jays, who handed Cleveland their first defeat of the post-season.
Ezequiel Carrera singled in a run in the fourth to put Toronto up 2-0.
Robert Perez doubled in a run for Cleveland to trim the deficit, but with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh Encarnacion smacked a single to center that scored two runs to stretch Toronto's lead to 4-1, and they tacked on another run in the bottom of the eighth.
"They hit better than us, they pitched better than us, they played defense better than us today, so they deserved to win," Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor said. "Their hitters looked a lot better today, a lot more comfortable."
Toronto host Game 5 on Wednesday, with the Indians again aiming to secure their first World Series appearance since 1997, when they were beaten by the Florida Marlins in a seven-game thriller.
Cleveland last won it all back in 1948.
Down 3-1 in the series, the Blue Jays still face a formidable task.
The only baseball team to overcome a 3-0 post-season series deficit was the 2004 Boston Red Sox, who rallied past the New York Yankees in the ALCS.
"We're going out there playing to win every game," said Donaldson, who belted his first homer of the playoffs off Cleveland starter Corey Kluber in the third inning.
"That's what we've gotta do. We believe we have the team to be able to do that.
"It takes one game at a time, one pitch at a time, one at bat at a time, one everything at a time," Donaldson said. "The fact of the matter is we were able to get it done today."
Dodgers rough up Arrieta
In Los Angeles, Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner homered off Cubs ace Jake Arrieta to help the Dodgers to a 2-1 series lead with games four and five coming up in Los Angeles on Wednesday and Thursday.
Arrieta, who pitched a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium in August of last year, gave up six hits in five innings, including Grandal's two-run blast in the fourth and Turner's solo shot in to lead off the sixth that spelled the end of Arrieta's night.
Corey Seager had opened the Dodgers' account with a run-scoring single in the third, and the Dodgers added two more runs in the eighth.
Los Angeles starting pitcher Rich Hill allowed just two hits over 6 scoreless innings as the Cubs were shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since May of 2014. – Rappler.com