|Fielder: Heroic Homer|
Prince Fielder helped the Rangers take game one of their four-game series with the first-place Astros Monday night by scoring three runs and belting a two-run homer in the eighth inning that broke a 3-3 tie and sent the Rangers on to the 5-3 triumph.
Fielder's homer was his 19th of the season and the win put the Rangers a mere 1/2 game behind the Astros. Fielder was 2-for-4, with a single and the decisive blast. He's batting .309 (7th in the AL) with 77 RBI.
Starters Cole Hamels for the Rangers and the Astros' Scott Kasmir each went seven innings and allowed three runs (one of Kasmir's was unearned), but neither received a decision. Relievers Keone Kela took the win and Houston's Will Harris was saddled with the loss.
Game two of the crucial four-game series is Tuesday at 8:00 pm EDT.
It's pretty much over in the NL West, the few questions remaining are by how much the Dodgers are going to take the division and whether they will beat the Mets and Cardinals for the league's best record, and thus, home field advantage at some point in the playoffs.
|Kershaw: Absurd Stats|
The Rockies scored their only run on a walk a hit and a groundout in the opening frame, but after that, Kershaw was nearly unhittable, striking out the side in the second and allowing just two hits and a walk over the next six innings.
Luis Avilan worked the eighth for the Dodgers and Chris Hatcher picked up the save - his third - holding the Rockies scoreless in the ninth.
The win was the Dodgers' third straight, keeping them 7 1/2 games in front of San Francisco, with 19 remaining. Their magic number to clinch the division is down to 12.
Kershaw (14-6) has won nine straight, with four no-decisions during the span that stretches back to July 3rd. His last loss was June 27th, and in the four no-decision games, he's allowed one earned run in two and no earned runs in the other two. He's allowed just four earned runs in his last 14 starts (108 innings) for an almost impossible ERA of 0.33 over that span.
On the year, he has three complete games, two shutouts and 264 strikeouts, a number that leads the majors. Washington's Max Scherzer is second in the NL with 231.
The Rockies will try to even the series Tuesday night. 7:10 pm PDT is the scheduled start time.