Wed, Oct 10, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Astros sweep Indians, Dodgers eliminate Braves

AFP, NEW YORK

Manny Machado of the Los Angeles Dodgers, left, hits a three-run homer against the Atlanta Braves in Game 4 of their National League Division Series in Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday.

Photo: AFP

Defending champions Houston and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday advanced in the MLB playoffs with lopsided road triumphs.

George Springer smashed two solo home runs in the Houston Astros’ 11-3 romp over the Cleveland Indians, while Manny Machado belted a three-run homer and a run-scoring double to power the Dodgers over the Atlanta Braves 6-2.

Houston completed a sweep of Cleveland in the best-of-five American League Division Series, holding the Tribe to six runs on 13 hits over three games.

“It’s awesome, a great day for us as a team,” Springer said. “I’m happy to be heading home.”

The Astros face either the Red Sox or Yankees in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series with the winner advancing to the World Series.

The Astros outlasted the Dodgers in a seventh-game showdown to win last year’s World Series for their first championship and could yet face a rematch with Los Angeles.

The Dodgers eliminated the Braves in four games and face the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday in the National League Championship Series to decide the other World Series berth.

“Doesn’t get better than this,” Machado said. “Just enjoying everything. I just try to enjoy the moment. Two good ball clubs facing off in the championship. It’s going to be great.”

Springer’s solo homers in the fifth and eighth innings gave him eight homers in nine playoff games in a streak dating to last year’s title run, matching a major league playoff record shared by Reggie Jackson, Jim Thome and Carlos Beltran, who did it most recently in 2004.

“Personal results don’t mean anything now. It’s all about how can I help us win,” Springer said. “It’s about having fun and doing whatever it takes for us to win.”

A two-run double to left field by Marwin Gonzalez in the seventh inning put the Astros ahead 4-2 and Springer’s solo blast began a six-run eighth inning for Houston, which also included a three-run homer by Carlos Correa.

In Atlanta, Georgia, the Dodgers took the lead in the first inning on Machado’s run-scoring double.

The Braves answered in the fourth on a two-run single to left field by pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki, but Los Angeles reclaimed the lead at 3-2 in the sixth when pinch-hitter David Freese smacked a two-run single to center field.

Machado blasted his three-run homer in the seventh for a 6-2 lead and Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen baffled the Atlanta batters for the final outs.

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