Joc Pederson continued to enhance his nickname “Joctober”, with a three-run pinch-hit homer. The Atlanta Braves beat Milwaukee 3-0 on Monday, taking a 2-1 lead in the NL Division Series.
Ian Anderson and the Braves’ bullpen combined to pitch a five-hitter, winning by a score of 3-0 for the second consecutive game.
Atlanta, aided by Dansby Swanson’s athletic defense and shortstop, can attempt to reach the NL Championship Series for the second consecutive year when it hosts Game 4 Tuesday.
Pederson’s fifth-inning homer was his second in the series. Adrian Houser was the pinch-hitter for each drive. Pederson was a pinch-hitter against Adrian Houser in his only at-bat in the series. He has also driven in four of Atlanta’s seven runs.
Pederson has been a home run hitter in 11 postseason games and was instrumental in the Los Angeles Dodgers winning the World Series with his longballs. In the winter, he signed as a free agent for the Chicago Cubs and was traded to Atlanta the following July.
Anderson was the dominant pitcher for the NL East champion Braves. He allowed three hits in five innings and struck out six. Will Smith was the fourth Braves relief pitcher and pitched a perfect ninth to secure his second save of this series.
Milwaukee’s Freddy Peralta, a starter, pitched four scoreless innings. He was then pulled as a pinch-hitter by the Brewers in the fifth.
To open the fifth, Houser gave up singles for Travis d’Arnaud (Swanson) Anderson’s hitter, Pederson, hit a fastball that was deep into the right-field seats to take a 3-0 lead.
Adam Duvall committed a critical baserunning error when he attempted to move from first to second while Austin Riley tried to score at third on d’Arnaud’s second-inning flyball. Christian Yelich, left fielder, nailed Duvall to the plate for the third out. This cost Atlanta a run.
Lorenzo Cain from Milwaukee, a center fielder, ran at top speed and crashed into the wire fence while trying to catch Duvall’s fourth-inning drive. Cain kept the ball in his glove, but he lost control and fell to the ground. Cain did not move as Duvall raced to the third position with the two-out triple.
After a visit by Craig Counsell, a manager, and a trainer, Cain was able to remain in the game. Peralta struck out Eddie Rosario in the final inning.
In the first two games, the Brewers were unable to hit.183, with a 3-0 loss in Game 2. Counsell made one roster change and placed Luis Urias at third for Eduardo Escobar.
After putting runners on second base and third, the Brewers failed to score in the fifth. Urias was hit by a pitch and moved to third after Omar Narvaez’s double.