Mike Minor pitched six strong innings in his first postseason start, Jason Heyward had a two-run single and the Atlanta Braves made one slick play after another in the field, holding off the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 on Friday night to even the best-of-five N.L. division series at one game apiece.
Just what the Braves needed after an ugly 6-1 loss in the opener -- their first postseason win at Turner Field since the 2005 NLDS.
"We definitely didn't want to lose two games in front of our home crowd," Chris Johnson said.
The Braves' defense came through by turning three double plays -- none more crucial than the one reliever Luis Avilan started in the seventh to escape the inning with a 2-1 lead intact.
Gerald Laird and Andrelton Simmons combined for another huge stop in the ninth when pinch-runner Dee Gordon tried to use his speed to get into scoring position against Braves closer Craig Kimbrel.
Taking off for second, Gordon thought he had it stolen. But Laird unleashed a strong throw from behind the plate that Simmons scooped on the short hop while making the tag in one motion, all while blocking Gordon's left hand from the bag with his knee.
Red Sox 12, Rays 2: Host Boston scored five runs in the fourth inning, taking advantage of Tampa Bay's bad luck and bad defense to overcome an early deficit in Game 1 of the A.L. division series.
Jon Lester allowed three hits in 72/3 innings for the A.L. East champions, giving up solo homers to Sean Rodriguez and Ben Zobrist to spot the Rays a 2-0 lead through the top of the fourth. Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore had still not given up a hit.
But Dustin Pedroia led off the bottom half with a single up the middle, and then David Ortiz hit a high fly ball that center fielder Desmond Jennings and right fielder Wil Myers converged on. The Rays rookie raised his right hand to call off Jennings but let it fall behind him and bounce off the warning track and into the bullpen for a double.
"I was under the ball and I saw Des out of the corner of my eye and backed off," Myers said. "I messed it up, and it won't happen again. ... That play kind of gave them a spark."
Pirates 7, Cardinals 1: Hard-throwing rookie Gerrit Cole gave up two hits in six dominant innings and also had an RBI in his postseason debut, Pedro Alvarez homered for the second straight day, and Pittsburgh evened the N.L. division series with host St. Louis at one game apiece.
The Pirates showed poise for their first playoff win since 1992 while the Cardinals looked tentative in the field.
Relying on a fastball that peaked at 99 mph on the stadium radar gun and one that TBS had at 100, Cole had hitters helpless at times. "I just trusted myself and tried to keep it as simple as I could," Cole said.
Pujols sues Clark: Albert Pujols sued Jack Clark over comments on a local radio show accusing the three-time N.L. MVP of using steroids. The lawsuit between former Cardinals stars was filed in Circuit Court in St. Louis County, where Pujols lives. It seeks unspecified damages that would be donated to charity and asks for a determination and declaration that Clark's statements are false.
Yankees: A person familiar with the negotiations says New York has made a contract offer to manager Joe Girardi. Girardi's contract expires at the end of the month.
Royals: Former Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum agreed to fill an unnamed coaching vacancy with Kansas City.
The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.