Belt homers, Giants play to tie with Dodgers


Belt homers, Giants play to tie with Dodgers

BOX SCOREGLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brandon Belt lofted a two-run homer and the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers quit after nine innings tied at 3-3 Saturday night.A brisk win helped Belt's homer clear the left-field fence."I hit it pretty good, but I popped it up a little more than I thought," Belt said. "I'd rather get lucky and be 1 for 3 rather than be unlucky and be 0 for 3."Belt drove in all three Giants' runs. He hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game 3-3 in the eighth inning. He drove in Gregor Blanco, who had doubled.

Blanco went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .444 and scored two runs.Luis Cruz belted a homer to left field that broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth for the Dodgers.Los Angeles starter Aaron Harang gave up seven hits and two runs, including Belt's homer, in four innings."It's hard to judge because of the way the wind is blowing," Harang said. "You come out of a 2-1 game in those conditions. ... I felt good."There are a few ballparks in the league where you'll get these kind of conditions. ... Fly balls are carrying or the wind is knocking them down. You get your pitches out of it, try to work on throwing strikes."Fielders such as Belt, a first baseman in the past who is learning left field, had the same sort of intrigue."I'm just learning how to get my routes down and take good angles. You add the wind factor, and it makes it a lot tougher."Starter Brian Burres limited the Dodgers to one run and three hits in three innings.A sellout crowd of 13,655, a Cactus League record, attended in the breezy conditions. A storm approaching from the west threatens Cactus League games on Sunday, including a sellout at Camelback Ranch in which the Dodgers host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim."From what we've heard we'll be able to play," manager Don Mattingly said. "If we don't play, we'll hit in the cages and work out."The Dodgers had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth.Josh Fields singled to open the inning, then Cruz sacrificed him to second. The Giants intentionally walked Jeff Baisley, then Matt Angle grounded out, advancing the runners.Then Matt Yourkin, who pitched three scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 2.25, struck out Justin Sellers to end the game.Dodgers infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. injured his side while swinging. He will undergo tests, Mattingly said."He's been looking great," Mattingly said of DeJesus, who has been stellar in the infield.NOTES: Don Newcombe, the Dodgers' special adviser to the chairman, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Newcombe threw a strike. ... Vin Scully, who hadn't broadcast a game since Sept. 28, worked Saturday night's game for Dodgers' TV. Scully, who is entering his 63rd season as a Dodger broadcaster, said he needed some "batting practice." Scully, 84, is eliminating games in Colorado from his schedule this season "just to cut back a little bit more on the traveling." He will broadcast games in California and Arizona, more than 100 games in all. The first three innings will be simulcast on radio.

Kershaw stands between Cubs and first World Series since 1945

Kershaw stands between Cubs and first World Series since 1945

Clayton Kershaw stands between the Cubs and the World Series, a possibility that left veteran catcher David Ross thinking about Ric Flair inside Dodger Stadium’s visiting clubhouse late Thursday night: To be The Man, you got to beat The Man. 

“Woo!” That’s how the Cubs like to punctuate their postgame celebration routine, channeling the professional wrestling legend in a ritual with so much sensory overload that the fog machine set off fire alarms throughout the underground Wrigley Field lair…after a win in the middle of August. “Woo!” 
The Cubs left Los Angeles one win away from their first National League pennant since 1945, and with two chances to pull it off this weekend at Wrigley Field, beginning on Saturday night in Game 6. So imagine how this crew would trash the Party Room if they beat Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 NL MVP. 

“The guy competes,” manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s pretty much like mechanics be damned, it’s just about me beating you somehow. 

“He’s got a good fastball that he locates. He doesn’t walk people. He’s got a dynamic curve and slider. And he’s got deception. He’s a little bit funky, and that’s got to be hard to pick up. The ball gets on you pretty quickly, and then he commands it. 

“So there’s nothing you could possibly ask for that he doesn’t already have.”

Now we’ll see if something clicked while the Cubs turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 NLCS lead – handling rookie starters Julio Urias and Kenta Maeda and the softer parts of the Los Angeles bullpen – or if those 18 runs combined in Games 4 and 5 were a mirage.

In 16-plus innings so far, the Cubs still haven’t scored a run off Kershaw, if-necessary Game 7 lefty starter Rich Hill or dominating closer Kenley Jansen, who got this review from Maddon: “He’s like a 100-pound heavier version of Mariano Rivera. He’s the bigger man with the same kind of stuff.”


No Indians first pitch for 'Wild Thing' in World Series


No Indians first pitch for 'Wild Thing' in World Series

CLEVELAND -- Wild Thing will have to stay in the bullpen during the World Series.

While actor Charlie Sheen, who played Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn in the movie "Major League" offered to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before one of this year's World Series games, Major League Baseball said the choices have already been made.

A spokesman told the AP on Friday that MLB has worked with the Indians to identify "former franchise greats" to throw out the first pitch for the games in Cleveland. An announcement is expected early next week.

The Indians host Games 1 and 2 on Tuesday and Wednesday. If necessary, Cleveland will host Games 6 and 7 on Nov. 1-2.

There had been a movement by fans on social media for Sheen to throw the first pitch and be part of the pregame festivities.

Sheen got wind of the buzz and responded on Twitter, posting a photo of himself as Vaughn in his Indians uniform and wrote, "Major League continues to be the gift that keeps on giving! if called upon, I'd be honored."

Sheen made an appearance during the playoffs at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday when the Chicago Cubs beat Los Angeles in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

Released in 1989, "Major League" is a fictional account of the Indians finishing in first place with an unconventional group of players including Vaughn, who struggled to find the strike zone and warmed up to "Wild Thing," a No. 1 hit song in 1966 by The Troggs.

The real Cleveland Indians, who overcame injuries to win the AL Central, before knocking off Boston and Toronto in the playoffs, took a page from "Major League" this season.

Slugger Mike Napoli and second baseman Jason Kipnis constructed a shrine in an empty clubhouse stall between their lockers like one in the movie. In the film, character Pedro Cerrano practices Voodoo and prays to an idol named, "Jobu" to help him hit curveballs.

Like Cerrano, Napoli and Kipnis have their own "Jobu" and have left gifts, including small bottles of rum and cigars, to keep them out of hitting slumps.