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09.01.2019 04:12
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Michael Brantley knew what was coming after giving the Cleveland Indians their second straight walk-off victory over the Minnesota Twins.Brantley was mobbed by his teammates as he rounded first base following his ninth-inning single that gave Cleveland a 5-4 win Thursday.Cleveland’s All-Star left fielder did his best to avoid the various items poured over his head.“It’s tough ,” Brantley said. “You’ve got some Gatorade. Some (baby) powder. You name it. It’s coming at you.”The latest celebration took place about 18 hours after Francisco Lindor hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning Wednesday night for a 5-2 victory.While Thursday’s party was a bit more subdued, the Indians persevered after Minnesota rallied from a 4-0 deficit against reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber.Brantley grounded a 2-1 pitch off Addison Reed (1-6) past a diving Miguel Sano at first base to score Greg Allen. Brantley avoided over-analyzing the moment.“I try to clear my mind,” he said. “It’s really too hard to think and hit. Just keep it simple and try to get that run the best you can.”“It’s nice to have him up in that situation,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “You know the at-bat’s not going to get ahead of him or be too big.”The Indians lead Minnesota by 11 games in the AL Central and are 35-16 against division foes this season. Sano’s ninth-inning home run off closer Cody Allen tied Wednesday’s game, but the Twins lost on Lindor’s blast.“Walk-offs are obviously not satisfying,” Twins manager Paul Molitor. “But this was a little different from last night in that we got behind against a really good pitcher.”Allen, called up from Triple-A Columbus before the game, started the rally with a single off Reed and stole second with Lindor batting. Lindor’s groundout to first moved Allen to third.Andrew Miller (2-3) struck out a batter in the ninth. The left-hander made his fourth appearance since missing two months because of an inflamed right knee.Jake Cave’s fifth-inning sacrifice fly scored a run for Minnesota. Jorge Polanco hit his first home run of the season — a three-run shot in the sixth — to tie the game.Polanco missed the first 80 games of the season because of a suspension for violating baseball’s drug program.Kluber appeared to be closing in on his 15th win, which would have tied him for the AL lead with New York’s Luis Severino.Bobby Wilson singled to lead off the sixth. Eddie Rosario hit a towering fly to right with one out. Melky Cabrera drifted to the wall and attempted a leaping catch, but the ball popped out his glove as he fell to the ground and Roasrio was credited with a single.Polanco followed with his home run to right on a 1-0 pitch. Kluber struck out the next two hitters and stranded a runner in the seventh, but was done for the day after 117 pitches.“I could care less about if I get a win or the bullpen gets a win,” Kluber said. “The bottom line is, we won the game.”Lindor had three RBIs. Yonder Alonso, who started the game in a 3-for-36 slump, hit a leadoff homer in the second.Twins starter Jose Berrios allowed four runs and walked a career-high six batters in four innings.Cleveland outfielder Leyons Martin was placed on the 10-day disabled list. He has an unspecified illness, and Indians President Chris Antonetti said Martin could be out for longer than 10 days.GET TO TOWN FASTAllen was waiting out a rain delay in Durham, North Carolina Masahiro Tanaka Jersey , on Wednesday when he was told he would replace Martin.“I found out about 7:15-7:20,” Allen said. “They told me I had to be on a flight like an hour and a half later. So I had to quickly pack up everything, get to the hotel and pack that stuff up, and get to the airport. It was a pretty quick turn of events.”KEY MOMENTPolanco is batting .280 with 13 RBIs in 33 games since being reinstated on July 2. His first home run couldn’t have come at a better time.“It gives me great confidence because Kluber is one of the best pitchers in the league,” Polanco said. “I’ve just been trying to put good contact on the ball since I came back from the suspension.”TRAINER’S ROOMTwins: OF Robbie Grossman (strained right hamstring), who was placed on the disabled list Aug. 6, will join the team in Detroit to continue his rehab.Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin (strained right hamstring) threw three scoreless innings on a rehab assignment at Double-A Akron on Wednesday.UP NEXTTwins: RHP Ervin Santana (0-0, 6.14 ERA) makes his fourth start of the season in the series opener at Detroit, facing Tigers RHP Jordan Zimmermann (4-4, 4.31 ERA).Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (6-2, 4.58 ERA) takes on White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (3-3, 2.94 ERA) as Cleveland begins a six-game trip. The Boston Red Sox struck first in the 2018 World Series.The Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 in Tuesday's Game 1 at Fenway Park and moved a step closer to their fourth championship in 15 seasons. In a showdown of aces and generational talents, Chris Sale allowed three earned runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in four innings for Boston.Counterpart Clayton Kershaw allowed five earned runs on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts in four innings. Eduardo Nunez provided the offensive fireworks for the Red Sox with a pinch-hit three-run homer in the seventh to push a one-run advantage to four, while J.D. Martinez went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run, and Andrew Benintendi went 4-for-5 with one RBI and three runs.MLB MLBNOON TIME.#WorldSeries IFWyZwsix1 Kershaw's Struggles Will Doom Dodgers' World Series HopesKershaw is a surefire Hall of Famer, but his postseason struggles are a defining chapter of his resume and may leave him ringless. The southpaw has an MVP, three Cy Young Awards and seven All-Star appearances to go with a 2.39 career regular-season ERA Miguel Andujar Jersey , but his playoff ERA was 4.09 before Boston lit him up Tuesday.It isn't incompetence but rather inconsistency that has derailed his Octobers.According to Baseball Reference, his nine playoff starts of six or more innings with zero or one earned run are the most in the game from 2013 through 2018. However, he was also tied for the most starts with five or more runs (seven) in playoff history coming into Game 1, and he added to that tally with another disappointing showing.FOX Sports: MLB MLBONFOXAnother tough World Series start for Clayton Kershaw. 1psC1Sxk04Buster Olney Buster_ESPNKershaw first 17 pitches: No swings-and-missesJeff Passan JeffPassanClayton Kershaws fastball is sitting at 90 mph, and the Red Sox are teeing off on it. Its now 2-0. More troublesome is that his slider is 88-89. The lack of separation between the pitches could be awfully problematic.It is not fair to label him a playoff choker with so many dazzling starts, but he has not put forth the consistent production the Dodgers are looking for from the best pitcher of this era.Tuesday's start would have been even worse if a blistered ball by Jackie Bradley Jr. with runners on the corners in the second didn't deflect off the mound to a waiting Manny Machado for a double play.The only way the Dodgers will win the World Series is if they counter a Red Sox lineup that led MLB in runs (876), hits (1,509), doubles (355), batting average (.268), on-base percentage (.339) and slugging percentage (.453). The best way to do that is with a shutdown ace who can take the mound three times in a series, but Kershaw wasn't up for the challenge.His failure exacerbated the pressure on the other options in the rotation.Walker Buehler was brilliant this season but is just a rookie with a 5.40 ERA in three playoff games this year. Hyun-Jin Ryu has a 4.40 ERA in three playoff appearances this year.That is not exactly what Los Angeles wants on the mound in must-win scenarios against mighty Boston, but Kershaw is unreliable at this point. The National League champions just don't know which version of him they will get on a given night in October.J.D. Martinez Primed to Win World Series MVPThe Boston lineup is full of threats and got the big blow from Nunez, but Martinez is already positioned to win the World Series MVP Award.Dan Mullenof ESPN noted the slugger entered Game 1 with a head-turning .455/.500/1.091 slash line in 13 at-bats versus Kershaw, and he delivered with two hits and two RBI against the Dodgers ace. One of the hits was a long double into center field that would have found the seats in many ballparks.Daren Willman darenwJD Martinez vs Clayton Kershaw tonight has hit a single 105.9 MPHand a double 109.1 MPH. 馃敟馃敟馃敟Bob Nightengale BNightengaleJD Martinez is underpaid. Even teammates joke hes worth $100 million more than the production hes provided this seasonMartinez figures to face Kershaw in at least one more game, if not more, which will give him the opportunity to continue smashing his pitches. He will be no slouch against the rest of the Los Angeles rotation either; he challenged for a triple crown with a .330/.402/.629 slash line to go with 43 home runs and 130 RBI during the regular season.While he will have challengers鈥攕uch as Benintendi鈥擬artinez's power and prowess against the Los Angeles ace put him in pole position to win MVP. Also , Nunez isn't consistently in the lineup, so his homer will be a memorable moment instead of a launching point to MVP.Martinez will also benefit from the fact Sale was uninspiring. The Boston ace was the MVP favorite coming into the series at +550 (bet $100 to win $550), per Bovada (h/tOddsShark). Martinez was not far behind at +700 and looks like a great bet after one game. Alex Cora's Brilliant Moves Make Red Sox Heavy FavoritesThe most important moment of Game 1 featured a back-and-forth battle between the two managers.After Benintendi started the bottom of the seventh with a double, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts turned to the flame-throwing Pedro Baez. Baez proceeded to strike out Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts with an intentional walk to Martinez thrown in, but Roberts chose left-hander Alex Wood to face Rafael Devers.Alex Cora countered by pinch-hitting Nunez, who hit just 10 home runs this season.Chalk one up for Cora because Nunez blasted Wood's second offering over the Green Monster in left field to all but clinch Game 1.Jon Tayler, Smiling Politely JATaylerAlex Cora turned a baffling Eduardo Nu帽ez pinch-hitting appearance into a three-run home run, just make Cora the president of the universe now.Christopher Smith SmittyOnMLBEduardo Nunez pinch hits for Rafael Devers, the Red Soxs hottest hitter. Nunez hits a home run. Alex Cora wins again.Paul Flannery PflannsAlex Cora is always right. Its really amazing.The Red Sox have the best offense in the majors, a dominant ace in Sale and home-field advantage following 108 regular-season wins. It seems unfair to throw in a manager who is pushing all the right buttons, but that is exactly what Boston has in Cora.The Red Sox are in full control, and they have just the man to lead them to three more victories. What's Next?Boston will turn to David Price for Wednesday's Game 2 at Fenway Park, while Los Angeles will go with Ryu.

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