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LEADING OFF: Newcomb subs in for Braves, Rockies head home

October 7, 2018
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Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the third inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

2-0 CHANGEUP

Sean Newcomb will start Game 3 of the Braves’ NL Division Series against the Dodgers instead of Kevin Gausman. With Atlanta trailing 2-0 in the best-of-five series, manager Brian Snitker made the swap Saturday. The 25-year-old Newcomb came within a strike of throwing a no-hitter against the Dodgers at home on July 29, and also threw two scoreless innings in relief in the series opener Thursday.

“We need to win,” Snitker said. “Not that Gausman doesn’t give us that opportunity. We like how Newcomb matches up with them and the success that he’s had against the Dodgers this year.”

Rookie right-hander Walker Buehler is expected to start for Los Angeles. He allowed one hit in 6 2/3 scoreless innings Monday during the 5-2 win over Colorado in the NL West tiebreaker and finished 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA.

COMING TO COORS

The Rockies hope the thin mountain air in Denver might help them solve Milwaukee’s pitchers. Colorado is facing elimination in its NL Division Series against the Brewers. It has scored just six runs in four games on the road since slugging five homers in a 12-0 victory over Washington last Sunday.

The Rockies ranked 20th in runs on the road (335) and 29th in batting average (.225), but as usual, they’re a different club at home with 445 runs and a .287 average.

Game 3 features a matchup of contrasting pitchers. Milwaukee’s Wade Miley gets by more with sneakiness than speed. The left-hander is 3-1 with a 4.76 ERA in five career games at Coors Field. Colorado will hand the ball to German Marquez, a right-hander who throws heat and had a team-record 230 strikeouts.

BREATHER FOR RELIEVERS

Andrew Miller and Cleveland’s bullpen get a day to rest and recover following yet another rocky outing. Miller allowed a go-ahead, two-run double in relief of starter Carlos Carrasco and failed to get an out in a 3-1 loss to Houston on Saturday.

The Astros can sweep their ALDS in Game 3 on Monday. In the meantime, Miller and company get a day to correct a season’s worth of woes. The Indians’ 4.60 bullpen ERA ranked 25th in the majors this season, and Miller was particularly ineffective amid three DL stints. Before Marwin Gonzalez’s two-run double Saturday, Miller had allowed just one inherited runner to score in his postseason career.

BIG APPLE BOUND

After splitting two games at Fenway Park, the Yankees and Red Sox take a day off in New York before resuming their best-of-five Division Series on Monday. Neither team plans to work out at Yankee Stadium, where the Bronx Bombers are 7-0 over the past two postseasons. They can return to the AL Championship Series with two wins at home over their longtime rivals. Road teams are 1-7 in the four Division Series so far, with the Yankees earning the only victory.

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