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« on: January 12, 2019, 03:45:18 »
HOUSTON (AP) — Ask any Houston Astro and they’ll say the same thing: Alex Bregman was made for these moments.The young third baseman was great for the defending champions all season and now that the calendar has flipped to October he’s taken his play to another level http://www.redsfanproshop.com/authentic-tom-seaver-jersey , slugging two home runs to help Houston to a 2-0 lead in the AL Division Series against the Cleveland Indians.“He loves the bright lights,” praised George Springer, MVP of the World Series last year. “He loves the big stage … he believes he should get a hit every time or make the big play or score the big run. That’s just who he is and when you have a guy like that it makes you want to do the same thing.”Game 3 is Monday in Cleveland.The 24-year-old Bregman had the best year of his career this season, leading the AL with a career-high 51 doubles, and setting career marks by hitting .286 with 31 homers and 103 RBIs. His breakout season helped carry the offense in a year where last year’s MVP Jose Altuve and star shortstop Carlos Correa struggled with injuries.“He brings joy to the team,” Altuve said. “He shows up here and lets everybody know he’s ready to play and … you see how he plays and you’re like: ‘OK. I want to join him, and I want to play at the same level he’s playing.'”Bregman gave Houston its first run of the playoffs this season when he hit a solo homer off Corey Kluber in the fourth inning of Game 1 on Friday. It was the first of four homers hit by the Astros in a 7-2 win. The Astros were up by 1 in Game 2 on Saturday when Bregman connected off Trevor Bauer with two outs and none on in the seventh to add some insurance in the 3-1 victory.“This is what it’s all about,” Bregman said. “This type of baseball is a blast. Everybody in that clubhouse is living and dying on every pitch. It’s fun to play these types of games.”Bregman, the second overall pick in the 2015 draft, hit four homers and drove in 10 runs in his postseason debut last season to help the Astros to their first World Series title. He homered twice against the Dodgers in the World Series, and his two-out single in the 10th ended Houston’s thrilling 13-12 win in Game 5.Selected as an All-Star for the first time, he hit a tiebreaking home run in the 10th inning at Nationals Park in July that sent the AL to victory.Bregman never seems daunted by important moments despite having played just two full seasons in the majors.Manager AJ Hinch said Bregman has a “calm heartbeat” and he knows the Astros can always count on him when they need a big play whether it be on offense or defense.“I love how he describes pressure. He describes pressure as a privilege,” Hinch said. “That, to me, shows someone that gets it, someone that is going to be able to handle the moment.”Though Hinch and the Astros have come to expect this level of play from the former LSU standout http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-b.j.-upton-jersey , the manager sometimes takes a step back simply to appreciate his greatness.“It’s amazing to watch him do it time after time after time,” Hinch said. “We’re getting spoiled. Guys aren’t supposed to do it at this level at that rate he’s been doing.”Altuve, who became the first Astro to win MVP since Jeff Bagwell collected the National League award in 1994, has been wowed by Bregman’s development this season. In a stacked MVP race led by Boston’s Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez and Angels star Mike Trout, Altuve believes that his teammate’s season was the most impressive.“Bregman does something big for us every single game,” Altuve said. “He’s the kind of player that you really want to have on your team. He had an MVP season. He’s my MVP.”Bregman isn’t interested in discussing individual awards and accolades and says his only focus is helping the Astros repeat as champions. And as much as he’s done so far, he’s constantly working to do more and get better.“This was definitely, definitely something I envisioned doing, (but) I think there’s so much room to improve on both sides of the ball, and I look forward to working on it,” he said. BALTIMORE (AP) — Despite all the injuries, and regardless of the deficit they face in the AL East, the New York Yankees won’t let up in their quest to put a strong finish on a heck of a season.Luke Voit went 3 for 3 with a two-run homer to help Luis Severino earn his major league-leading 17th victory, and New York beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3 Sunday night to complete a four-game sweep.The Yankees have won eight of nine to move within six games of first-place Boston in the AL East, the closest they’ve been since Aug. 1. Boston owns the best record in the majors, and New York is a close second .“We’re not thinking about Red Sox http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-omar-vizquel-jersey ,” Severino said. “We’re thinking about our game, and thinking about winning every day. At the end of next month, if it’s going to be close or not, we don’t know. But we’re going to play hard every day.”Rookie Miguel Andujar also had three hits and two RBIs for New York, which outscored the Orioles 27-12 during its first four-game sweep in Baltimore since August 2003.Severino (17-6) allowed four hits and two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, striking out eight. The right-hander was 2-4 with a 7.26 ERA over his previous six starts before returning to form against the Orioles, who own the worst record in the big leagues (37-94) and rank last in the AL in batting average.“That’s first-half-of-the-year dominant fastball,” manager Aaron Boone said. “The slider was still a little inconsistent for him. But I thought stuff-wise and being able to pitch with his fastball, he was electric. So hopefully another step forward for him.”David Robertson worked the ninth for his fourth save.Even though the Yankees are without slugger Aaron Judge, catcher Gary Sanchez and closer Aroldis Chapman, they found a way to dispose of the Orioles.“Look, this was really nice,” Boone said. “I tonight, honestly, we were dragging a little bit, just with the road trip and the doubleheader yesterday. So for us to be able to grind that win out…”The Orioles have lost eight straight Jason Kipnis Jersey , one shy of their season high. Baltimore has endured five losing streaks of at least seven games this year.Dylan Bundy (7-13) pitched five innings, giving up four runs and six hits — including his major league-leading 34th home run.“Everybody is frustrated with the way their season is going personally, so it’s affecting us as a team,” Bundy said. “But I think we’re all trying to get better.”Voit got New York started with a two-run drive in the second inning, his third homer with New York since being traded from the Cardinals on July 28. All three long balls have come within the last three games.Andujar doubled in two runs in the third to make it 4-0, and Voit singled and scored on a wild pitch in the sixth for a 5-1 lead.In the Baltimore half, after Trey Mancini hit a leadoff homer , a throwing error by shortstop Gleyber Torres led to Severino’s exit and an unearned run.300 ON HOLDNew York slugger Giancarlo Stanton went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts and remains one homer shy of 300 for his career. He was 1 for 15 with eight strikeouts in the series.TRAINER’S ROOMYankees: Sanchez (groin) will begin a rehab assignment Monday with Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. “He’ll be there playing several games this week getting ready to go,” Boone said. … SS Didi Gregorius (left heel) will be evaluated by a doctor Monday. Boone hopes Gregorius and Sanchez will return for a road trip that begins Sept. 3 in Oakland. … Judge is still “waiting for that pain to get out” of his fractured right wrist, Boone said. “Once that fracture is healed, then we go.”Orioles: Rookie CF Cedric Mullins was bothered by a sore hip and missed his first game since being recalled from the minors on Aug. 10. “I’m hoping it’s a short-term thing,” manager Buck Showalter said. Mullins was batting .309 with five doubles and two homers in 15 starts.UP NEXTYankees: Masahiro Tanaka (9-4, 3.90 ERA) starts Monday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA in five career starts against the Sox.Orioles: Baltimore concludes the homestand with a three-game set against Toronto beginning Monday. Rookie David Hess (2-8, 5.50 ERA) pitches the opener for the Orioles.