LEADING OFF: LA homecoming for Braves’ Fried in NLCS Game 5

National Sports

Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried walks to the dugout during the fourth inning in Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

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ALL EYES ON LA

In the only playoff game of the night, the Atlanta Braves can win their first pennant in 22 years with a victory in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series at Dodger Stadium.

Max Fried is scheduled to start for the Braves in his hometown, while Los Angeles was planning a bullpen game. Atlanta leads 3-1 in the best-of-seven playoff — same as last season.

A year ago, the Dodgers also trailed 0-2 and 1-3 against Atlanta in the NLCS before roaring back to win three straight games at a neutral site in Texas on the way to the World Series title.

Los Angeles has won six consecutive postseason elimination games dating to 2020.

The 27-year-old Fried was born in Santa Monica, California, and attended Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles. So how many tickets had he requested for family and friends?

“It’s a decent amount. I haven’t gotten the exact number, but I’ve been definitely having to try to ask around for some extra tickets,” Fried said.

The left-hander allowed two runs and eight hits over six innings of a no-decision in Game 1. He is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two playoff starts this year and has struck out 14 batters with no walks in 12 innings.

During the regular season, Fried went 14-7 with a 3.04 ERA.

ONE WIN AWAY

Yordan Álvarez and the Houston Astros are heading home with a 3-2 lead over Boston in the AL Championship Series.

After a day off, the Astros can clinch a second trip to the World Series in three years with a victory Friday night in Game 6.

Nathan Eovaldi, who won Game 2 but came on in relief and lost in Game 4, will start for the Red Sox. Houston manager Dusty Baker said he had not decided on a starter.

Boston needs a win to force a deciding seventh game on Saturday.

“We came back to Boston exactly where we wanted to be: We were 1-1,” Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale said. “Not in a good spot going back to Houston. There’s no denying that, but this team has won two games in the playoffs back-to-back before, and we think we can do it again.”

Álvarez had three hits off Sale, including a homer, and three RBIs to power Houston’s 9-1 victory in Game 5 at Fenway Park on Wednesday.

OUT FOR OCTOBER

Atlanta will be without pitcher Huascar Ynoa for the remainder of the postseason.

Ynoa was scratched with shoulder inflammation from his scheduled start for the Braves against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series, then removed from the postseason roster.

Ynoa first experienced discomfort Monday but believed he would be able to pitch, manager Brian Snitker said.

“He came early, got treatment, went out and played a little catch and it was really tight,” Snitker said. “We’re just not going to take a chance.”

MLB approved a roster substitution for Ynoa, with left-hander Dylan Lee being added for the series. Ynoa is not eligible to return for the World Series, should the Braves advance.

Right-hander Jesse Chavez served as the opener Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. Chavez pitched for the Dodgers in 2016.

MAKING CHANGES

Andy Haines is out as the Milwaukee Brewers’ hitting coach after they scored a total of six runs in their four-game NL Division Series loss to the Atlanta Braves.

The Brewers announced Wednesday they wouldn’t be renewing Haines’ contract. Assistant hitting coach Jacob Cruz also has been told he is free to explore other options while the Brewers search for a replacement for Haines, who had been the hitting coach for the last three seasons.

MEDICAL UPDATE

Mets right-hander Carlos Carrasco is recovering from surgery to remove a bone fragment from his pitching elbow and is projected to resume baseball activities this winter.

Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek operated Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Carrasco, 34, was obtained by New York from Cleveland in January along with shortstop Francisco Lindor. His tore his right hamstring during spring training and didn’t make his season debut until July 30.

Carrasco went 1-5 with a 6.04 ERA in 12 starts.

He is signed to a contract that pays $12 million next season and includes a $14 million team option for 2023 with a $3 million buyout. The option would become guaranteed if he pitches 170 innings next season and is found to be healthy for the start of the 2023 season.

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