Around the MLB Playoffs: October 5 Edition

News and notes from around the playoffs:

Yesterday's action:

  • Texas became the first team to win its LDS series by nipping Tampa at Tropicana Field, 4-3, yesterday afternoon. Adrian Beltre was the man of the hour for the Rangers, as the third baseman clubbed three homers -- all solo shots, in the second, fourth, and seventh innings, respectively) -- to account for three-quarters of Texas' offense. Lefty Matt Harrison worked five effective innings, striking out nine while ceding five hits and two runs, and four Ranger relievers picked up the slack from there, holding the Rays to two hits and one run the rest of the way. Neftali Feliz gave up a run in the ninth to make things interesting, but he got Matt Joyce to pop out and Desmond Jennings to ground out to notch his third save of the postseason.
  • New York made it a one-game series in its ALDS matchup with Detroit, bludgeoning the Tigers 10-1 behind a six-run eighth inning and 5.2 solid innings from the mercurial A.J. Burnett. Burnett escaped major damage in the first inning when Curtis Granderson robbed Don Kelly of an extra-base hit with the bases loaded, and Burnett settled down after that: he gave up just four hits and four walks in his outing while striking out three and giving up one run. The Yankee bullpen manhandled the Tigers after that: the Yanks didn't allow a baserunner over the last 3.1 innings while striking out six Tigers. Meanwhile, what was a 4-1 game became a 10-1 laugher when the Yankees got six runs in the eighth. Jesus Montero drove in a run with a pinch-hit single, Brett Gardner had an RBI single, and Robbie Cano singled in two more with a bloop-job single to left.
  • Philadelphia and St. Louis were locked in a scoreless tie until the seventh inning yesterday, as Cole Hamels and Jaime Garcia traded zeroes for the first six innings of the game. But Philly drew first blood with Ben Francisco's backbreaking, pinch-hit three-run homer in the top of the seventh, and the Phils hung on for dear life from there, winning 3-2 at Busch Stadium. The Cards got a run back in the seventh on David Freese's two-out RBI single but wasted a golden opportunity to creep even closer in the bottom of the eighth, when Ryan Madson got Allen Craig to ground into a 4-3 double play with the bases loaded and one out. Madson gave up a double and a run in the ninth inning but finished off the 5-out save when Ryan Theriot grounded out to Chase Utley to end it.
  • Shaun Marcum was an abject disaster, and the rest of the Brewers weren't much better, as Arizona staved off elimination with an 8-1 drubbing of Milwaukee at Chase Field. Our recap is here.

The division series standings:

  • Detroit 2, New York 2.
  • Texas 3, Tampa 1.
  • Milwaukee 2, Arizona 1.
  • Philadelphia 2, St. Louis 1.

On tap for today:

Phillies @ Cardinals: Oswalt (9-10, 3.69) vs. Jackson (12-9, 3.79) at 5:00 p.m. CDT (TBS)

Brewers @ Diamondbacks: Wolf (13-10, 3.69) vs. Saunders (12-13, 3.69) at 8:30 p.m. CDT (TBS)

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