Tuesday’s slate of MLB postseason action saw eight teams battling it out across the divisional round in the National League and American League.
Here are the key takeaways from Tuesday’s NLDS and ALDS series:
Braves-Marlins get frisky
After Atlanta’s offense sleep-walked its way through the majority of the Braves’ Wild Card series against the Cincinnati Reds, the bats came alive against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.
Atlanta took Game 1 in 9-5 slugfest that saw four players hit home runs, three of them sporting Braves uniforms.
Ronald Acuña Jr. put the Braves on the board in the first inning with a shot to deep right-center field, becoming the youngest player with a leadoff home run in postseason history at 22 years, 293 days old.
Acuña gave the ball a long look after depositing it in the seats, perhaps to the chagrin of the Marlins, but more on that in a moment.
The Braves dropped the hammer in the 7th, and catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who finished the day 3-for-3 with a pair of walks, did the bulk of the damage with a three-run pop to center field.
Dansby Swanson followed that up with a two-run home run of his own to give the Braves a 9-4 lead, while the Marlins picked up a consolation run in the top of the 8th before the game wrapped up, 9-5.
On the Acuña front, though, tempers flared when the Marlins plunked the young outfielder in the bottom of the 3rd inning, following his leadoff home run.
Acuña’s been hit 21 times in his young career, including the postseason, and the Marlins are responsible for five of them.
Only a warning for both teams emerged from today’s exchange, but it’s certainly a subplot worth keeping an eye on as this series progresses.
Springer, Astros pushes Athletics to the brink
The reigning AL pennant-winning Astros might be in the middle of an improbable run back to the ALCS, now holding a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Athletics after a 5- 2 win in Game 2 of the ALDS.
And if the Astros do advance, it will have a lot to do with the play of centerfielder George Springer.
Springer made himself at home at Dodger Stadium during the 2017 World Series, and the 2020 ALDS hasn’t been much different.
Springer is batting 6-for-9 through two games, serving as the catalyst for the Astros’ Game 2 win, hitting two home runs and knocking in three runs.
His two home runs on Tuesday marked 17 home runs in his postseason career, placing him first all-time in Astros history.
The Astros are now one win away from advancing to their fourth consecutive ALCS.
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