Share This Page
MLB

MLB roundup: Braves even NLDS against Dodgers

| Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 10:42 p.m.
Getty Images
The Braves' Chris Johnson (23) and B.J. Upton celebrate after scoring on a two-run single by Jason Heyward in the seventh inning against the Dodgers during Game 2 of the National League Division Series on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, in Atlanta.

ATLANTA — Mike Minor slammed his fist into his glove after getting out of a jam with a strikeout. Luis Avilan pumped his arm wildly after escaping another mess with a huge double play.

The Braves were fired up for this one, and with good reason.

Atlanta got the win it had to have before heading to Los Angeles.

Minor pitched six strong innings, Jason Heyward had a two-run single and the Braves pulled off some nifty plays in the field, holding off the Dodgers, 4-3, on Friday night to even the NL Division Series at one game apiece.

In a playoffs already marked by defensive miscues all over the place, including some shaky plays by the Braves in Game 1, Atlanta's defense came through by turning three double plays — none more crucial than the one Avilan started in the seventh to escape the inning with a 2-1 lead intact.

Heyward came through in the bottom half with a two-run single.

Good thing for the Braves, too.

Hanley Ramirez drove in all three runs for the Dodgers, including an impressive show of strength in the eighth for a two-run homer. He cleared the wall down the left-field line with a one-handed swing off David Carpenter.

Not taking any chances, the Braves went to closer Craig Kimbrel for a rare four-out save. He ended the eighth by retiring Juan Uribe on a groundout, then pitched around two walks in the ninth — again getting a hand from the defense.

Pinch-runner Dee Gordon attempted to steal, but catcher Gerald Laird unleashed a strong throw that Andrelton Simmons scooped on the short hop while making the tag in one motion, all while blocking Gordon's left hand from bag with his knee.

Laird pumped his fist twice and let out a scream; Gordon was wide-eyed in disbelief at the call. Kimbrel finished it off by striking out Carl Crawford with a 98 mph fastball.

American League Division Series

Red Sox 12, Rays 2 — In Boston, Jon Lester allowed three hits in 7 23 innings, and Boston took advantage of poor Tampa Bay defense in a five-run fourth to beat the Rays in Game 1 of the AL Division Series.

Lester gave up a pair of solo homers into the Monster Seats, but he got the lead back when the Rays fell apart in the fourth. One ball fell between two outfielders, another took a bad hop off the Green Monster standings, one batter reached safely on a dropped third strike and another when pitcher Matt Moore was slow to cover first.

By the time it was over, the Red Sox were ahead, 5-2, and on their way to the early lead in the series. Game 2 is on Saturday at Fenway Park.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.