Joc Pederson belted a three-run homer in the fifth inning to lift the host Atlanta Braves to a 3-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday afternoon in Game 3 of their National League Division Series.
Pederson's pinch-hit homer was his second of the series. He also launched a solo shot off Adrian Houser (1-1) in Atlanta's 2-1 series-opening loss on Friday in Milwaukee.
Right-hander Ian Anderson (1-0) scattered three hits and struck out six over five innings for the Braves, who hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. Atlanta will look to punch its ticket to the NL Championship Series for the second straight season in Game 4 on Tuesday.
The Brewers finished with five hits en route to dropping their second straight 3-0 decision.
The right-handed Houser relieved starter Freddy Peralta to begin the fifth inning and promptly surrendered singles to Travis d'Arnaud and Dansby Swanson. Pederson, who pinch-hit for Anderson, stepped up and deposited a 1-2 fastball from Houser over the wall in right field to stake the Braves to a 3-0 lead.
Three relievers bridged the gap to Will Smith, who retired the side in order in the ninth inning to secure his second save of the series.
A base-running blunder prevented Atlanta from opening the scoring in the second inning.
Austin Riley and Adam Duvall singled to lead off the inning before the former advanced to third on Eddie Rosario's flyout. Riley appeared poised to score on a flyout to left field by d'Arnaud, however Milwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich threw out Duvall at second base before Riley crossed the plate to negate the run.
The Brewers' bid to open the scoring in the fifth fell short despite putting runners on second and third base with no outs. A groundout, a fielder's choice with Luis Urias being caught in a rundown at home and a lineout ended the threat.
Swanson, a shortstop, started an inning-ending double play in the eighth to thwart another threat by Milwaukee.
In the second inning, long-time Braves player and Hall of Famer Chipper Jones failed to catch a foul ball in the stands. The eight-time All-Star and former NL MVP, ironically enough, does not have a Gold Glove on his impressive resume.
San Francisco 1, Los Angeles 0
Evan Longoria's fifth-inning home run was all the offense the San Francisco Giants needed as they moved one victory away from a spot in the National League Championship Series with a 1-0 victory Monday over the host Los Angeles Dodgers.
Giants starter Alex Wood, a member of the Dodgers' World Series-winning team last season, opened with 4 2/3 scoreless innings and three relievers finished off the Los Angeles offense in San Francisco's second shutout during the best-of-five NL Division Series.
Los Angeles starter Max Scherzer (0-1) gave up three hits and one walk while striking out 10 over seven innings, but an 0-2 fastball to Longoria was his undoing. Longoria's homer into the left field seats cut through a cross wind.
The Dodgers lost for the first time with Scherzer on the mound, a total of 13 starts in the regular season and playoffs since he was acquired July 30 from the Washington Nationals.
Albert Pujols had two hits in two-at bats in his first start of the series for the Dodgers and his first start in a playoff game since 2014 as a member of the Los Angeles Angels. Pujols' hits were the only two allowed by Wood, who walked two and struck out four.
Wood was followed by right-hander Tyler Rogers (1-0), who gave up one hit over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Jake McGee retired both batters he faced and Camilo Doval tossed two perfect innings for the Giants in the first playoff series between the longtime NL rivals.
Doval earned the save, ending the game by getting pinch hitter Gavin Lux to fly out to the warning track in left-center.
The Dodgers had their best opportunity to score in the seventh with runners on first and second and one out. However, McGee entered and struck out pinch hitter Austin Barnes before Mookie Betts lined out to leaping Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford.
The Giants have two chances to advance to their first NLCS since 2014, the year they earned their third World Series title in five seasons. The Dodgers need two consecutive victories to advance to their fifth NLCS in six seasons.
Game 4 is scheduled for Tuesday in Los Angeles. Game 5, if necessary, would be played Thursday in San Francisco.