MLB Postseason Wrap: Walk-off keeps Rays alive

MLB Postseason Wrap: Walk-off keeps Rays alive
October 7, 2013, 11:45 pm
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Jose Lobaton celebrates his walk-off home run as he rounds the bases in the Rays' 5-4 win over the Red Sox. (AP)

Updated: Tuesday, 1:28 a.m.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays are still afloat in the AL division series.

Jose Lobaton hit a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning into the giant fish tank beyond the center-field wall, and Tampa Bay staved off elimination once again by beating the Boston Red Sox 5-4 Monday night.

Evan Longoria had a three-run homer and the Rays averted a playoff sweep, cutting Boston's lead to 2-1 in the best-of-five series. Game 4 is Tuesday night at Tropicana Field, with Jake Peavy starting for the Red Sox against Jeremy Hellickson.

"Look at this whole week working up to today, and then this game is even more dramatic than the other games we had already won," manager Joe Maddon said. "It's really an incredible day for the Rays," (see full recap).

Dodgers rally to top Braves, advance to NLCS
LOS ANGELES -- Juan Uribe hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning after Clayton Kershaw started on short rest for the Dodgers in a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night, sending Los Angeles into the National League championship series for the first time since 2009.

Yasiel Puig doubled down the right-field line leading off the eighth against losing pitcher David Carpenter. The rookie charged into second base and pumped his right fist in the air in celebration. Fans were on their feet chanting "Let's go Dodgers!" when Uribe fouled off two bunt attempts, then sent a 2-2 pitch into the Dodgers' bullpen in left field to put them in front for the second time.

Brian Wilson pitched the eighth to get the victory. Kenley Jansen came on in the ninth to earn the save.

Carl Crawford homered his first two times up for the Dodgers, who lost in five games to Philadelphia four years ago in the NLCS (see full recap).

Cardinals one-hit Pirates to force Game 5
PITTSBURGH -- Michael Wacha heard the chants. Then again, when 40,000 people clad in black scream your name relentlessly for the better part of three hours, it's kind of hard to miss.

The goal was to rattle the St. Louis rookie, remind him that 22-year-old pitchers aren't built to withstand the pressure of an elimination game.

One problem. Wacha doesn't really do rattled. He doesn't do pressure, either. The louder PNC Park grew, the more unhittable Wacha became.

"I kind of like it," Wacha said. "It kind of gives me adrenaline. I kind of use it in my favor," (see full recap).

Benches clear as A's take 2-1 series lead
DETROIT -- The Oakland Athletics have beaten Detroit with both pitching and power. And that's left the Tigers on the brink of elimination - and simmering with frustration.

Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Seth Smith homered for the Athletics, who chased Anibal Sanchez in the fifth inning Monday and defeated the Tigers 6-3 for a 2-1 AL division series lead.

Moss broke a 3-all tie in the fifth with a solo shot, and Smith's two-run drive later in the inning ended Sanchez's day. It was an impressive offensive show after the teams split two taut, low-scoring games in Oakland.

This one got a little tense in the ninth, too, when A's closer Grant Balfour and Detroit hitter Victor Martinez started shouting at each other after a foul ball, causing benches and bullpens to empty (see full recap).

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