Former Royals in the postseason: Indians clinch LCS spot

In the first game of the day, Washington took a 2-1 series lead in their National League Division Series against the LA Dodgers.

2016-mlb-postseason-logoThe Nationals only scored in two innings: the third and the ninth (four runs in each). Anthony Rendon hit a two-run home run in the third and Jayson Werth hit a solo homer in the ninth. Ryan Zimmerman drove in two runs with a double in the ninth.

Former KC Royal Joe Blanton gave the Dodgers 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. He entered in the seventh with one out and recorded two outs around a Zimmerman single. Blanton struck out the side in the 8th inning.

Former Royal Clint Robinson pinch-hit for the Nats in the seventh and flied out against Blanton.

The series continues on Tuesday in LA, with either Joe Ross or Reynaldo Lopez getting the start for the Nats against either Clayton Kershaw or Julio Urias for the Dodgers.

The American League Championship Series is all set, as Cleveland swept Boston in the American League Division Series, holding on for the Game 3 win (4-3). Toronto swept Texas last night.

Former Royal Coco Crisp was the deciding factor against his former team. His sac bunt in the fourth put two runners in scoring position for rookie outfielder Tyler Naquin, who picked up his first postseason hit with a two-run single to left. In the top of the sixth, Crisp hit a two-run home run over the Green Monster in left field.

For the third straight game, the Red Sox could not get five innings out of their starter (this time it was Clay Buchholz).

The Indians got five-plus innings out of Josh Tomlin (68 pitches, 48 strikes). Lefty Andrew Miller struck out three over two scoreless innings of relief. Bryan Shaw allowed a run in the eighth before closer Cody Allen escaped trouble in both the eighth and ninth to close out the sweep.

The ALCS begins on Friday night in Cleveland. Expect Corey Kluber to get the start for the Indians against either Marco Estrada or Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays.

 

The last game of the night was out in San Francisco, as the Giants hosted Game 3 of their NLDS down 0-2 to the Chicago Cubs. It was expected to be a stellar pitching matchup between Madison Bumgarner and Jake Arrieta.

Arrieta hit a three-run home run in the 2nd inning against Bumgarner to give the Cubs an early 3-0 lead.

The Giants chipped away, getting single runs in the third and fifth on a Buster Posey RBI single and a Brandon Belt sac fly. The Giants had not scored off the Cubs bullpen all season…until tonight.

With two on and two out in the bottom of the eighth, Wild Card hero Conor Gillaspie hit a two-run triple to right field off Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman to take their first lead. Brandon Crawford followed with an RBI single. Chapman was pulled with one out and runners on the corners to a roar of cheers from the Giants fans, but they could not score any more.

Giants closer Sergio Romo faced the top (and heart) of the Cubs lineup, walking Dexter Fowler and allowing a two-run homer to Kris Bryant to tie the game at 5-5. Romo then retired the next three hitters. Romo went back out for the tenth and retired the side in order.

Bumgarner lasted just five innings. Meanwhile, Arrieta was pulled after six innings. The Cubs went to Pedro Strop (2/3 of a perfect inning), lefty Travis Wood (1/3 of an inning with a hit allowed), Hector Rondon (walked the only batter he faced), Chapman (who entered in the 8th inning for the six out save), and Justin Grimm.

Former Royal Mike Montgomery, who was throwing in the bullpen earlier in the game, entered in the bottom of the ninth with the game tied. He induced a ground out, but walked the next hitter. Posey hit a shot to right, but Albert Almora made a great diving catch and then doubled off the base runner at first to send the game to extras.

UPDATE: The game would go to the 13th inning, still tied at 5-5 with Montgomery still pitching for the Cubs. He allowed back-to-back doubles to Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik for the Giants walk off victory.

Former Royal Ben Zobrist started in right field for the Cubs and moved to left field, going 1-for-5. Fellow outfielder Gregor Blanco got the start in left field for the Giants, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Another former Royal, Gorkys Hernandez, pinch-hit in the bottom of the eighth with two outs and two men in scoring position, but he grounded out to end the inning.

Lefty (and former Royal) Will Smith made his first postseason appearance for the Giants and pitched a perfect 11th inning. He threw just nine pitches, striking out one batter (Bryant).

The Giants will be looking to force a Game 5 in Chicago tonight with lefty Matt Moore on the mound. Veteran John Lackey gets the start for the Cubs.

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About Jen Nevius

I first became a KC Royals fan way back in 1995 when I attended my first Wilmington Blue Rocks game. I fell in love with minor league baseball then and began following the Royals as former Blue Rocks clawed their way to the big leagues. 3+ years ago I started covering the Royals for Aerys Sports, but since the site has been shut down, I am going out on my own.
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