MLB Divisional Series top plays: Alvarez’s walk-off HR leads Astros to win

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The American and National League Divisional Series kicked off Tuesday with four outstanding matchups, highlighted by the Houston Astros’ improbable comeback victory over the Seattle Mariners on a walk-off home run from Yordan Alvarez. 

Earlier in the day, Nick Castellanos had three hits and three RBI, plus a ninth-inning, diving catch to help seal the win for the Philadelphia Phillies over the Atlanta Braves.

In the evening, the New York Yankees took care of business against the Cleveland Guardians behind a beautiful outing from starter Gerrit Cole, while the Los Angeles Dodgers scored five runs in the first three innings and didn’t look back, taking down the San Diego Padres.

Here are the top plays from Tuesday’s matchups:

Los Angeles Dodgers 5, San Diego Padres 3

Already up 1-0

Trea Turner gave the Dodgers an early lead, hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning.

Trea Turner’s solo home run puts the Dodgers on top, 1-0

Trea Turner launches a solo home run to give the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead over the Padres.

Make it two!

Following a double from Dodgers catcher Will Smith, Max Muncy slapped a single up the middle to score Smith and give Los Angeles an early 2-0 lead.

Dodgers add to the lead again

Turner and Smith teamed up to help the Dodgers score their third run of the evening. After a Turner double, Smith followed it up with his second double of the evening to score Turner and make it 3-0 in the third. 

Dodgers knock Clevinger out

Gavin Lux got into the RBI-double mix himself in the third inning, roping one down the right field line that scored Smith to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead, ending Padres starter Mike Clevinger’s night. 

The Dodgers went up 5-0 later in the inning when Cody Bellinger’s groundball wasn’t fielded cleanly by Wil Myers, allowing a runner to score and the bases to remain loaded. 

Padres get on the board

Myers got the Padres on the board in the top of the fifth inning with a solo shot to left field.

We’ve got a ballgame

After Jake Cronenworth singled to right and Ha-Seong Kim followed that with a double to deep left center, Trent Grisham grounded out, brining in Cronenworth to make it 5-2.

Austin Nola then hit a shallow fly to left. Kim tagged up on the play and beat the throw to the plate, cutting the deficit to 5-3.

New York Yankees 4, Cleveland Guardians 1

Cleveland breaks the ice

Cleveland jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Steven Kwan blasted a home run to right field off Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole.

Immediate response

Harrison Bader returned the favor for the Yankees in the bottom half of the third, hitting a home run to left off Guardians starting pitcher Cal Quantrill. The homer tied the game at one apiece.

Home run or not?

Josh Donaldson thought he hit a home run to right field. However, the deep fly ball hit the wall and bounced back onto the field, allowing the Guardians to tag a confused Donaldson out as he was jogging the bases.

Error helped Yankees score

Isiah Kiner-Falefa made up for Donaldson’s baserunning mistake in the ensuing at-bat, hitting a single down the right field line. Guardians right fielder Oscar Gonzalez misplayed the ball, allowing it to roll to the wall and Kiner-Falefa to advance to third. 

Jose Trevino hit a sac fly later in the fifth to score Kiner-Falefa and give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.

Extending the lead

Anthony Rizzo added to the Yankees’ lead when he crushed Quantrill’s cutter roughly 378 feet to right field for a two-run homer that extended their lead to 4-1 and ended Quantrill’s day in the sixth.

Yanks bullpen took care of business

The Guardians were able to get the tying run up at the plate in the seventh, but Jonathan Loaisiga got Amed Rosario to ground into an inning-ending double play. Josh Naylor grounded into a double play in the eighth and Clay Holmes closed it out for the Yankees in the ninth. 

Houston Astros 8, Seattle Mariners 7

Mariners start fast

The Mariners’ first two batters reached base to begin the game. Two batters later, Cal Raleigh drew first blood for Seattle with an RBI single to right field off Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander. The Mariners, however, were unable to push another run across the plate despite having runners on the corners with one out.

J-Rod meeting the moment

After walking to lead off the game, Julio Rodriguez hit a two-run double to right-center field in the top of the second inning, giving Seattle a 3-0 lead.

More damage

After singling in his first at-bat, Ty France singled to center field in the second, driving in Rodriguez for Seattle’s fourth run.

Lead cut in half

Down 4-0 and with two outs in the bottom of the third, Alvarez provided some juice for the defending AL champions. The Astros left fielder doubled off the left field wall, driving in two runs. Houston cut the lead to 4-2.

Mariners get one back

J.P. Crawford blasted a solo home run to right in the top of the fourth, giving Seattle a 5-2 lead.

More offense

After Rodriguez reached base for a third time, France ripped an RBI double off the left field wall to make it 6-2. 

It would be Verlander’s last inning. The right-hander surrendered six runs, 11 baserunners (10 hits, one walk) and threw 81 pitches (54 strikes) across four innings.

Houston answers

After Seattle plated two runs in the top half of the fourth, Yuli Gurriel led off the bottom of the inning with a solo homer to left. 

Logan Gilbert goes 5.1 innings

Seattle pulled its starting pitcher in the sixth inning. In what was his first MLB postseason start, Gilbert surrendered three runs, seven baserunners (five hits, two walks), threw 84 pitches (53 strikes) and struck out five batters.

Lead back to four

Eugenio Suarez got his second hit of the day in emphatic fashion, launching a solo home run to left in the top of the seventh. The homer put Seattle up 7-3.

Astros back in it

Alex Bregman took Mariners reliever Andres Munoz deep to left field in the bottom of the eighth. The two-run home run cut Seattle’s lead in half.


Houston got two runners on base in the ninth, which led to Seattle bringing in Robbie Ray to face Alvarez with two outs. Alvarez unloaded on a walk-off, three-run home run to win it for the Astros.

Philadelphia Phillies 7, Atlanta Braves 6 (Game 1)

Phillies strike first

After a pair of singles, Nick Castellanos hit an RBI single to right field off Braves starting pitcher Max Fried, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.

There’s another one

One at-bat after Castellanos got the Phillies on the board, Alec Bohm hit an RBI single of his own to right, extending the lead to 2-0.

Huge play

Atlanta loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, but Philadelphia turned a double-play on William Contreras to get out of the jam.


On the second pitch of the bottom of the second, Travis d’Arnaud took Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suarez deep to left field. The home run cut the lead to 2-1.

Another 2-run inning

Bohm hit a sacrifice fly to center field. The next batter, Jean Segura, then punched a single out to center, which scored Castellanos from second.

Phillies chase Fried

After two batters reached base in the top of the fourth, manager Brian Snitker removed Fried from the game in favor of Jesse Chavez. Fried surrendered six runs (four earned), nine baserunners (eight hits, one walk) and threw 61 pitches (45 strikes) across 3.1 innings.

Timely hit

After Chavez retired the first batter he faced and intentionally walked Bryce Harper, Castellanos came through with a clutch, two-out hit. The Phillies right fielder smacked a single through the left side of the infield, scoring two runs and giving the Phillies a 6-1 lead.

Pitching change for Philly

Manager Rob Thomson removed Suarez from the game in the bottom of the fourth in favor of Andrew Bellatti. Suarez surrendered one run, eight baserunners (five walks, three hits) and threw 86 pitches (46 strikes) across 3.1 innings.

Another run

Edmundo Sosa hit a sacrifice fly to right-center field, scoring Segura from third and knocking Chavez out of the game, as Philadelphia took a 7-1 lead.

d’Arnaud’s doing it all

The Braves catcher cut into the six-run deficit with a two-run double to left in the bottom of the fifth.

Well, that was interesting

Matt Olson hit a three-run home run to center off Zach Eflin in the bottom of the ninth, trimming a once six-run Phillies lead to one. Castellanos then made a diving grab in right, and Eflin induced a groundout to secure a Phillies victory.

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