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Tuesday, 08 October 2013 09:53

MLB: Rays rally, Cards stay alive

UNDATED (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers are the first team to reach this year's League Championship Series, thanks to a dramatic home run. Juan Uribe belted a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth to give the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over Atlanta in Game 4 of the division series. Uribe's blast came one inning after Jose Constanza hit an RBI single to put the Braves ahead 3-2. Carl Crawford hit solo homers in the first and third innings to give LA an early 2-0 lead. Clayton Kershaw blanked the Braves over the first three innings while pitching on three days' rest for the first time in his career. But he began to wilt in the fourth as Chris Johnson and Andrelton Simmons nicked him for RBI singles to knot the score. Yasiel Puig had two of the Dodgers' 11 hits and ignited the game-winning rally with a leadoff double. The Dodgers now await the winner of the St. Louis-Pittsburgh series. Los Angeles will host the first two games if the Pirates beat the Cardinals.
 
The Redbirds managed to stretch their series to a deciding fifth game. Michael Wacha carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and Matt Holliday hit a two-run homer as the Redbirds beat the Pirates 2-1. Wacha was masterful until Pedro Alvarez homered with one out in the eighth, the Bucs' lone hit. Wacha struck out nine over 7 1/3 innings before the St. Louis bullpen tossed hitless ball the rest of the way. Losing pitcher Charlie Morton allowed just three hits over 5 2/3 innings, but the big blow was Holliday's blast in the sixth. The two clubs combined for just four hits, tying a postseason record set by the Astros and Cardinals in the 2004 NLCS. Game 5 is Wednesday in St. Louis, where Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright will take the mound against rookie Gerrit Cole. 

The Tampa Bay Rays have extended their season by at least one game. Jose Lobaton belted a two-out, walkoff solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to complete the Rays' comeback in a 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox. The blast allowed Tampa Bay to pull within two games to one in the American League Division Series and force a Game 4 on Tuesday in St. Petersburg. The Red Sox scored runs on an error, a wild pitch and an RBI single by David Ortiz to go ahead 3-0 by the fifth inning. But the lead vanished on one swing as Evan Longoria launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. Pinch-hitter Delmon Young poked an RBI grounder in the bottom of the eighth to give the Rays a brief 4-3 lead. Dustin Pedroia (peh-DROH'-uh) extended the game with his own RBI grounder in the ninth before Lobaton went deep off Koji Uehara. James Loney went 3-for-3 for the Rays, who limited the Red Sox to seven hits after surrendering 19 runs in the first two games of the series. Jeremy Hellickson will start for Tampa Bay on Tuesday against Jake Peavy.