MLB Postseason Wrap: Dodgers roll in Game 1

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MLB Postseason Wrap: Dodgers roll in Game 1

ATLANTA -- Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers opened the playoffs looking intent on ending that quarter-century drought since their last World Series championship.

For the Atlanta Braves, another dose of October misery.

Kershaw struck out 12 during seven dominant innings, Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and the Dodgers beat the bumbling Braves 6-1 in Game 1 of the NL division series Thursday night.

The big-money Dodgers haven't won a Series title since 1988 - by far their longest dry spell since the franchise moved from Brooklyn to Southern California in 1958.

In an interesting twist, Kershaw was born just a few months before that most recent title. If the left-hander keeps pitching the way he did against Atlanta, the Dodgers might have a chance to go all the way again.

"He's the best pitcher in baseball," Gonzalez said, "and he showed it tonight."

Kershaw, who had a 1.83 ERA during the regular season, limited the Braves to Chris Johnson's run-scoring single with two outs in the fourth. That just seemed to make the pitcher mad - he struck out Andrelton Simmons to end Atlanta's only serious threat, and the next five Braves hitters for good measure (see full recap).

Cardinals easily take Game 1 vs. Pirates
ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Beltran, Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals gave Pittsburgh a quick reality jolt.

Beltran's three-run homer sparked a seven-run third inning Thursday and the Cardinals got seven stingy innings from Wainwright to open their NL division series with a 9-1 rout of the Pirates.

"To be able to get out on a good first step and play well today I think is big for our guys confidence-wise," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "Gives us an opportunity to just take some momentum, and momentum is big right now when you talk about a five-game series."

The first eight Cardinals reached safely in the third to chase A.J. Burnett, saddling the right-hander with the second-shortest outing of his career and putting Game 1 out of reach early.

A sellout crowd roared and then settled in for an easy victory by the NL Central champions, making their third consecutive trip to the postseason.

"Game 164 was rough," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "One of the things we've been good at is we don't overcook things."

Lance Lynn (15-10) faces Pittsburgh rookie Gerrit Cole (10-7) in Game 2 on Friday (see full recap).

Odubel Herrera appears to be headed to the disabled list

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Odubel Herrera appears to be headed to the disabled list

SAN FRANCISCO — Odubel Herrera missed his third straight game because of a sore left hamstring Thursday night and it sounds as if he's headed to the disabled list.
 
"It's a day-to-day thing," manager Pete Mackanin said before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. "He might be going on the DL. We're thinking about it."
 
Herrera, riding a 17-game hitting streak, injured the hamstring late in Monday night's game in San Diego and did not play Tuesday or Wednesday. The Phillies filled out their bench for Thursday night's game by bringing versatile utility man Pedro Florimon up from Triple A. To make room for Florimon on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated reliever Pedro Beato for assignment.
 
The Phillies created room for Florimon on the active roster by sending starting pitcher Nick Pivetta to Triple A. That assignment should be brief as he is expected to come back and pitch in Tuesday's doubleheader against Miami (see story).
 
With Herrera out, Mackanin used rookie Nick Williams in center field. Another rookie, Rhys Hoskins, started in left and Hyun Soo Kim was in right field.
 
Mackanin said Herrera "still has some tenderness" in the hamstring and he was waiting for an update from the team's medical staff on whether to place the outfielder on the DL.
 
It sure sounds like that's coming. Stay tuned.