SAN DIEGO — Randy Arozarena homered for the third straight game and Kevin Kiermaier and Michael Perez also went deep for the Tampa Bay Rays, who beat the New York Yankees 8-4 Wednesday night to move within one victory of reaching the AL Championship Series for the first time in 12 years.
New York slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run shot in the eighth inning to become the first player with a homer in each of his team’s first five games of a single post-season . Stanton has six homers and 13 RBIs in those five games.
The Rays took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Division Series. Game 4 is Thursday night at Petco Park, which has yielded 16 home runs in three games — nine by Tampa Bay.
The Rays are looking to advance out of the ALDS for just the second time. They reached the 2008 World Series before losing to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Arozarena, a 25-year-old rookie from Havana who’s nicknamed “The Cuban Rocket,” is having a breakout post-season . He homered leading off the fifth to chase loser Masahiro Tanaka and give the Rays a 5-1 lead.
Arozarena went 3 for 4 with a walk. He leads all players in the post-season with 12 hits in five games.
Kiermaier hit a three-run shot off Tanaka in the fourth to make it 4-1.
Charlie Morton held the Yankees to two runs, one earned, in five innings. He struck out six in winning his fifth straight post-season decision.
DODGERS 6, PADRES 5
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Cody Bellinger homered and robbed Fernando Tatis Jr. of a go-ahead shot, and Joe Kelly got the final out with the bases loaded in a tension-filled ninth inning as Los Angeles barely held off San Diego for a 2-0 lead in their NL Division Series.
Kelly retired Eric Hosmer on a routine grounder to earn the save after Dodgers All-Star closer Kenley Jansen wobbled in the ninth. Los Angeles can sweep the best-of-five set from its NL West rival Thursday night and reach the NL Championship Series for the fourth time in five seasons.
Bellinger nearly went to a knee to hit a long home run and then kept the Dodgers ahead in the seventh with a spectacular, leaping catch at the centre -field fence.
Clayton Kershaw allowed three runs over six innings for the win. He gave up consecutive solo homers to Machado and Hosmer in the sixth while making his first start near his Texas home in a 13-season career.
Zach Davies yielded four runs in five innings and took the loss. It was the longest outing by a Padres pitcher in their five games this post-season .
ATHLETICS 9, ASTROS 7
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chad Pinder tied the score with a three-run homer in the seventh inning, Sean Murphy hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth and Oakland rallied past Houston to avoid elimination in their AL Division Series.
Houston leads the best-of-five set 2-1 and can advance to its fourth straight AL Championship Series with a victory in Game 4 on Thursday.
The Astros wasted leads of 2-1 and 7-4, and the Athletics bounced back after giving up advantages of 1-0 and 4-2.
Houston’s bullpen had stifled Oakland in the first two games with seven shutout innings of one-hit relief, but Pinder ended that dominance.
Marcus Semien, Tommy La Stella, Mark Canha and Matt Olson also homered for the A’s, whose entire infield went deep.
The teams have combined for 18 homers — including seven in Game 3 — in the neutral-site series at Dodger Stadium featuring all day games. After two straight days in the 90s, the temperature cooled to 81 degrees.
Liam Hendriks pitched three innings of scoreless relief for the win. Brooks Raley took the loss.
BRAVES 2, MARLINS 0
HOUSTON (AP) — Rookie right-hander Ian Anderson pitched like a poised veteran, right fielder Nick Markakis made a nifty defensive play late and Atlanta threw another playoff shutout in beating Miami for a 2-0 lead in their NL Division Series.
The Braves have tossed three shutouts in four games this post-season . Travis d’Arnaud and Dansby Swanson both homered for the second straight day, putting Atlanta one win from a sweep in the best-of-five matchup.
The 22-year-old Anderson, who made his major league debut in late August, scattered three hits and struck out eight over 5 2/3 innings. He added to his impressive outing last week in the first round when he fanned nine in six scoreless innings against Cincinnati
Mark Melancon, the fifth Atlanta pitcher, finished the three-hitter for a save.
Marlins starter Pablo Lopez allowed three hits and struck out seven over five innings in his post-season debut. It was his first outing since Sept. 24.
Game 3 is Thursday in Houston.
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The Associated Press