Baltimore Sun

Pederson lifts Braves to win


Joc Pederson credits his postseason success to “not making any moment bigger than it needs to be.”

With another jolt, Pederson put the Braves on the verge of advancing in the playoffs.

Pederson kept enhancing his “Joctober” nickname with a three-run, pinch-hit homer and the Braves shut down the Brewers once again, winning 3-0 on Monday in Atlanta to take a 2-1 edge in the NL Division Series.

“It was pretty special,” Pederson said of the fifth-inning drive. “To come up big in a moment like that was pretty cool.”

In a matchup dominated by pitching, Ian Anderson and the Braves bullpen combined on a five-hitter and won by a 3-0 score for the second straight game.

Boosted by shortstop Dansby Swanson’s athletic defense, the Braves can try to reach its second straight NL Championsh­ip Series when it hosts Game 4 on Tuesday.

Pederson’s homer was his second of the series, both as a pinch-hitter against Adrian Houser. Pederson singled as a pinch-hitter in his only other at-bat in this series, and has driven in four of the Braves’ seven runs.

Pederson has hit 11 postseason home runs overall and helped the Dodgers win the World Series last year with his longballs. He then signed as a free agent with the Cubs in the winter and was traded to the Braves in July.

“He’s been in the big moment, big stage, and he’s performed and guys appreciate that,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

Since winning the series opener, the Central champion Brewers haven’t scored in 19 consecutiv­e innings. They were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in this loss.

Anderson was dominant for the East champion Braves, allowing three hits over five innings with no walks and six strikeouts. Will Smith, the fourth Braves reliever, pitched a perfect ninth for his second save of the series.

Brewers starter Freddy Peralta pitched four scoreless innings.

Astros dismiss charge:

The Astros found themselves in familiar territory Monday, brushing aside comments by White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera after he implied they stole signs while winning the first two games of the AL Division Series in their ballpark.

“He can say what he wants to say,” said Dusty Baker, who’s in his second season as manager of the Astros. “I had never even heard his name before we played the White Sox. I’m not bothered by it.”

Baker pointed out the Astros had similar offensive statistics at home and on the road.

The Astros were discipline­d by Major League Baseball after it found the team used electronic­s to steal signs during their run to the 2017 World Series title and again in 2018. It remains a sensitive subject, and Tepera shined another light on it with his comments after the White Sox won Game 3 on Sunday to avoid a sweep.

The Astros outscored the White Sox 15-5 in winning the first two games at home. The White Sox averted a sweep with a 12-6 win Sunday night.

The Astros lead the bestof-five series 2-1. Game 4 was moved from Monday to Tuesday because of rain in Chicago.

 ?? JOHN BAZEMORE/AP ?? Joc Pederson celebrates his three-run home during the Braves’ 3-0 victory over the Brewers on Monday in Atlanta. The Braves lead the NLDS 2-1.
JOHN BAZEMORE/AP Joc Pederson celebrates his three-run home during the Braves’ 3-0 victory over the Brewers on Monday in Atlanta. The Braves lead the NLDS 2-1.

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