LA Dodgers, New York Yankees ease to MLB playoff wins


After winning a regular-season best 111 games, the Los Angeles Dodgers have got their Major League Baseball playoffs under way with victory against San Diego.

Trea Turner homered and doubled as the hosts started fast and held off the Padres 5-3 in their Division Series opener.

LA claimed the NL West and San Diego finished second, 22 games back, but were coming off a win in the decisive game three of the wildcard series on Sunday over the Mets in New York.

The Dodgers dominated in the regular season owning a 14-5 advantage and outscoring the Padres 109-47.

And behind 17-game winner Julio Urias, who retired the first eight batters, Los Angeles raced to an early 5-0 lead after just three innings and did just enough after a five-day break.

“No moral victories, but the latter part of the game was better than the first part for us,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, pitcher Gerrit Cole cruised for most of the night, Harrison Bader and Anthony Rizzo homered and New York beat Cleveland 4-1 in their AL Division Series opener.

The Yankees have won six straight postseason games against the Guardians, dating back to 2017.

Coming off a two-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays in the wildcard round, Cleveland struck out nine times, after having the fewest in the major leagues during the regular season.

Earlier in the day, Yordan Alvarez hit a game-ending, three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to vault the hosting Houston Astros over the Seattle Mariners 8-7.

“I think it’s one of the most special moments that I’ve had in my career, having them there, and even for just the city of Houston,” Alvarez said through a translator about having his Cuban parents in the stands.

Trailing all game after a poor start, the AL West champion Astros overtook rookie star Julio Rodriguez and the wildcard Mariners at the end to begin their best-of-five Division Series.

A two-run homer by Alex Bregman off Andres Munoz cut the lead to 7-5 in the eighth inning to set up the dramatic finish.

And in Atlanta, Nick Castellanos drove in three runs and made a potentially game-saving catch in the ninth inning, lifting Philadelphia to a 7-6 win at the home of the reigning World Series champion Braves in the opener of their NL Division Series.

“Baseball is really, really fun right now,” Castellanos said.

The Phillies, who built a 7-1 lead by the top of the fifth, have won three straight games to begin these playoffs.

It follows up their wildcard sweep of the St Louis Cardinals with a victory over the team that finished 14 games ahead of them in the NL East.

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