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Judge, CC help Yanks cut deficit to 2-1

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

NEW YORK (AP) Back in the Bronx, the big guys delivered.

Greeted by an array of "All Rise" signs in a ballpark that fits their style, Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer and made a pair of sparkling catches, leading CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees over the Houston Astros 8-1 Monday night and cutting their deficit to 2-1 in the AL Championship Series.

Todd Frazier hit a go-ahead, three-run homer into the short porch in right field in the second inning against Charlie Morton.

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Cubs' Maddon stands by not using Davis

CHICAGO (AP) Cubs manager Joe Maddon stood by his decision not to use All-Star closer Wade Davis in Chicago's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series and questioned the criticism coming his way.

Maddon insisted Monday that Davis was only available for one inning in a save situation. He dismissed the second guessing, a day after John Lackey gave up a three-run homer to Justin Turner in the ninth to send Los Angeles to a 4-1 win and a 2-0 series lead.

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Astros look uncomfortable in Game 3 loss

NEW YORK (AP) Cameron Maybin sprinted toward the left-field line and suddenly stopped, with plenty of room to spare.

As he wind-milled one arm to halt his momentum, a flummoxed Maybin curiously backed off the ball as if scared by a spider and watched Greg Bird's pop fly land in fair territory just a step or two away. The ball bounded into the stands for a ground-rule double that started a five-run rally .

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Dodgers' dominant 'pen is baffling Cubs

LOS ANGELES (AP) A year ago, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was attempting to get through the late innings of tight playoff games with long appearances by closer Kenley Jansen, a hodgepodge of veteran relievers and one desperate bailout from ace Clayton Kershaw.

One October later, Los Angeles' bullpen is downright dominant as the team steamrolls toward the World Series.

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Puig's 'come a long way' since demotion

LOS ANGELES (AP) When Yasiel Puig licks his bats , Dodger Stadium laughs. When he stands at the plate admiring a base hit , the fans' initial cheers hilariously morph into a group exhortation to "Go! Go!" - which he eventually does.

The Cuban outfielder's entire baseball career has been a quest to learn how to direct his prodigious talent without losing the fundamental joy he derives from the game.

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Turner's walk-off HR puts Dodgers up 2-0

LOS ANGELES (AP) Justin Turner savored every last stride as he followed in Kirk Gibson's famous footsteps at Dodger Stadium.

The red-bearded slugger from Southern California knew all about the history attached to this home run trot.

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Cubs' best hitters struggling in NLCS

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kris Bryant wore a crimson T-shirt that said "Better Days" in the Chicago Cubs' hushed clubhouse Sunday night.

Those better days better come real soon because Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and the rest of the defending World Series champions are heading home in a 2-0 hole against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series.

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Brewers' minor leaguer recovers from HBP

Milwaukee Brewers minor leaguer Julio Mendez has made what the team calls a "remarkable recovery" from a serious injury after being hit in the chest by a pitch.

Mendez was on life support for more than three weeks after getting hit in a Rookie League game on Aug. 26 in Tempe, Arizona.

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Injured Dodger SS Seager off NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES (AP) All-Star shortstop Corey Seager was left off the Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs due to a back injury, and replacement Charlie Culberson made several big plays in Los Angeles' 5-2 win Saturday night.

The team announced Seager's surprise omission several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium. Culberson had only 15 plate appearances in the big leagues this season, but he stepped up with a double, a key sacrifice fly and a hustling run to the plate in the seventh inning to score Los Angeles' final run in the series opener.

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