Darvish earns 1st playoff win in majors as Dodgers advance

2017 MLB playoffs: Dodgers beat Robbie Ray, put D'backs on brink of elimination

First #postseason homer for @Cody_Bellinger?

With the victory, Darvish became just the fourth Japanese born pitcher to win a playoff game as a starter, joining Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hiroki Kuroda, and Masahiro Tanaka.

It was about reverting to the style of play that helped them win 52 out of 61 games at one point this summer.

The Dodgers would take a 2-0 lead add a run in the fifth inning on a Bellinger solo shot to left center. The Dodgers did not score but quality at-bats and a 8 pitch at-bat by Chase Utley forced Greinke to throw 25 pitches in the second which put his pitch count after two innings to 54.

Kenley Jansen pitched around a one-out single to David Peralta in the ninth inning for his second save of the series.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros clinched their respective Major League Baseball play-off series on Monday.

Darvish was good, lasting five innings and giving up just the one run. He was also was tremendously efficient with his slider (27 pitches, 21 strikes, five swings and misses), and his cutter (21 pitches, 15 strikes, four swings and misses); the latter was a pitch the Dodgers encouraged him to emphasize. Curtis Granderson entered as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers and went 1-for-2 with a run scored.

"At the end of the day we won 104 games, the most of any Dodgers team in L.A.", Wood said.

The Cubs won 2-1 at home to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

Darvish's fastball averaged about 94 miles per hour this season, the highest of his career, but whether because of the dialed-up October adrenaline or the 14-day layoff he had had between starts, Darvish's heater had some extra giddy-up to it Monday night, sitting at 96 and touching 98. But the four-time all-star went more than a month without a win around the same time the entire team went almost three weeks with just one.

Los Angeles' Chris Taylor doubled to lead off the first inning before Corey Seager walked. His ERA is a full run better at Wrigley Field than on the road (2.90 versus 3.87). All followed by a 10 pitch at-bat to Yasiel Puig forced Greinke to throw 29 pitches in the first inning.

PHOENIX (AP) - Zack Greinke left Los Angeles for a big payday in the desert.

From there Greinke walked a batter in the following three innings.

Finally, in his sixth big-league season, Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin will make his postseason debut. Poor Fernando Rodney, the Diamondbacks closer, not only never got to fire a single arrow, he never even got to pitch in the series. Acquired at the July 31 trade deadline from the Texas Rangers - precisely for moments such as these - Darvish, a four-time all-star, delivered a gem in Monday night's clincher, reduced to a five-inning stint only because the Dodgers' bullpen is so deep and functional these days.

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