The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros clinched their respective MLB play-off series on Monday.
The Dodgers completed a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series (NLDS) with a 3-1 win.
The Astros ended the Boston Red Sox's season, claiming a 5-4 win in game four of the American League Division Series (ALDS).
Meanwhile, the New York Yankees stayed alive in their ALDS against the Cleveland Indians, squaring the series at 2-2 with a 7-3 victory.
The Chicago Cubs edged ahead of the Washington Nationals 2-1 in their NLDS, courtesy of a 2-1 win.
DODGERS NEEDED BELLINGER TO REGAIN FORM
Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger was one of the best stories in baseball this season, hitting 39 home runs. But he has been struggling at the plate the past month, with only one home run since September 16. He entered game three only one-for-10 in the postseason, with six strikeouts. In short, Bellinger was overdue.
An RBI groundout in the first inning was nice. But the solo home run to left center off Zack Greinke in the fifth inning was what the Dodgers have been waiting to see.
The Dodgers have power hitters up and down their lineup – six players hit more than 20 home runs this year – but they need Bellinger hitting the way he did earlier this season.
VERLANDER IN RELIEF AS SALE DOMINATES FOR ALL BUT ONE PITCH
The Astros called on Justin Verlander in the fifth inning hoping for great results in his first career relief outing. On the first batter he faced with an inherited runner on first, Verlander allowed a two-run homer to Andrew Benintendi, surrendering the lead and putting the Astros' postseason life at risk.
After the HR, he tossed 2.2 scoreless innings but that one pitch nearly cost the Astros the game.
On the flip side, Chris Sale was called on in relief and was fantastic for all but two batters. Through four innings he allowed just two hits and no runs. He had his best stuff and was cruising.
The Red Sox just took him out two batters too late. Sale surrendered a game-tying home run to Alex Bregman in the eighth and a single to Evan Gattis, whose pinch-runner Cameron Maybin came around to score on Josh Reddick's single.
Hoping for a similar outing as game one, Indians starter Trevor Bauer flopped on three days' rest Monday, lasting just 1.2 innings. Bauer's curveball, which was nearly unhittable in game one, was torched by Todd Frazier and Aaron Hicks for the first two RBI hits of the game.
Cleveland committed the fewest errors in the AL this season but a fielding error and a passed ball were in part to blame for the two-out rally in the second inning which resulted in four straight hits off Bauer and four runs (zero earned). The Indians finished with an uncharacteristic four errors on the night.
Ahh, now we get the Bauer OUTage thing. pic.twitter.com/xrSmZ8v2Nq— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 10, 2017
NATIONALS AT CUBS
Jake Arrieta says the hamstring injury that has bothered him the past month is a non-issue. His ERA is a full run better at Wrigley Field than on the road (2.90 versus 3.87). He will face Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark (13-11, 4.57 ERA) with the Cubs 2-1 up.
|Djokovic on course for Masters 1000 history after Cilic victory|
|It´s on! - Wilder fight confirmed after Fury defeats Pianeta|
|Like Cruyff before him, Guardiola favouring Foden´s style over substance|
|Ronaldo tweets debut delight after Juve win|
|Chelsea are not title contenders yet, claims Sarri|
|Bayern Munich boss Kovac planning for Boateng stay|
|Championship Review: West Brom crush QPR as Leeds stay perfect|
|Allegri pleased with Ronaldo despite goalless Juventus debut|
|Chelsea can produce magic with Sarri in charge - Hazard|
|Emery ´happy without the result´ as Arsenal comeback falls short|
|Gordon confirms Cleveland Browns return|
|Eight shots and only 30 passes - Ronaldo´s Juventus debut in Opta numbers|
|Cristiano Ronaldo´s debuts: Best impressed, scoring a penalty & a blank for Juventus|
|Old boy Escare haunts Catalans in big Wigan win|
|Preston North End 2 Stoke City 2: Super sub Crouch salvages a point|
|Pochettino vows not to discuss Alderweireld future before five-minute answer|
|Waring, Aiken lead the way as Olesen stays in the hunt|
|Linking play, forcing saves and clashing with goalkeeper - Cristiano Ronaldo´s Juventus debut|
|Chelsea 3 Arsenal 2: Alonso snatches win after Gunners comeback|
|West Ham still haunted by last season - Pellegrini|
|Puel defends Vardy after Wolves red card|
|Chievo 2 Juventus 3: Ronaldo´s debut ends in dramatic win|
|Mbappe: Neymar is Paris Saint-Germain´s superstar|
|Pickford should have seen red - Hughes fumes over challenge on Ings|
|Kohli and Rahane star as India edge day one|
|AC Milan´s Strinic sidelined by heart problem|
|Kane happy to banish August goal hoodoo|
|Guingamp 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Mbappe returns to inspire comeback|
|Springboks´ second-half revival punishes Pumas|
|Finally! Kane scores a Premier League goal in August|
|Warnock enjoyed ´poetic justice´ of Kenedy´s penalty woe|
|Holders Eintracht Frankfurt stunned by Ulm in DFB-Pokal|
|West Ham 1 Bournemouth 2: Wilson, Cook condemn Hammers to successive losses|
|Tottenham 3 Fulham 1: Trippier and Kane help Spurs avoid Wembley wobble|
|Leicester City 2 Wolves 0: Lucky Foxes win despite Vardy red card|
|Everton 2 Southampton 1: Richarlison continues fine start|
|Drochtersen/Assel 0 Bayern Munich 1: Lewandowski spares Bayern´s blushes|
|Violent hack, no passes, missed penalty - Kenedy´s Cardiff nightmare|
|Ronaldo handed Juventus debut against Chievo|
|Cheika and Hooper frustrated by second-half slump|
|Hansen issues warning after All Blacks win Wallabies ´prizefight´|
|Stuttgart stay good for Pavard, says Reschke|
|You can´t buy class - United boss Mourinho blasts City documentary|
|Cardiff City 0 Newcastle United 0: Penalty miss rounds off abject day for Kenedy|
|Lopetegui open to rotating Real Madrid goalkeepers|
|´World´s best´ Alisson will be difficult to replace, says Roma boss Di Francesco|
|Dragons and Sharks pounce on Panthers after four get sin-binned|
|AC Milan situation has proved FFP works - UEFA president Ceferin|
|Marseille´s Garcia uninterested in striker despite Balotelli link|
|Goodhue sparkles on debut as All Blacks thump Wallabies|
|I feel like chicken tonight - Saunders game for a laugh after Wilder fowl play|
|Aubameyang-Lacazette partnership possible for Arsenal|
|Pant handed debut as India ring changes at Trent Bridge|
|Pochettino pledges to protect Kane|
|Federer relieved to ´hang tough´ in Cincinnati|
|De Bruyne injury: Can Foden or Diaz replace Man City playmaker?|
|Furyk confident as Team USA takes shape|
|Neymar´s behaviour deserves praise, Tite claims|
|Scherzer, Harper lead Nationals past Marlins|
|Djokovic and Federer join Cilic, Goffin in Cincinnati semis|
|Federer outlasts recovering Wawrinka|
|WATCH: Djokovic wins match, loses car|
|Bolt arrives in Sydney for A-League trial|
|Red-hot Bertens beats Svitolina, Halep marches on|
|Snedeker preserves Wyndham lead|
|Halep hits back to torment Tsurenko|
|Raonic fails to break Djokovic stranglehold|
|Emery seeks more ´demanding´ Ozil|
|CAF Champions League Review: Wydad, Al Ahly & TP Mazembe qualify|
|Stephen Curry wants to finish his career with Warriors|