Baseball / MLB

Mike Foltynewicz, Adam Duvall lead Braves to victory over Cardinals, even series

AP, Reuters

Mike Foltynewicz threw seven dominating innings, Adam Duvall hit a pinch-hit homer and the Braves evened the National League Division Series with a 3-0 victory on Friday over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2.

After spending a good chunk of his summer at Triple-A Gwinnett, Foltynewicz has been a different pitcher since returning from the minors. He went 6-1 with a 2.65 ERA over his last 10 starts — a brilliant run that carried right into the postseason.

“Pretty special,” Foltynewicz said. “I really made sure to slow things down, to stay in my mechanics and make sure all my pitches were working like they were tonight. It was smooth sailing, so it was a lot of fun.”

Foltynewicz allowed three hits, struck out seven and walked none.

After Kolten Wong hit into a double play to wrap up the seventh, Duvall emerged from the dugout to hit for Foltynewicz in the bottom half.

Duvall drove a 3-2 pitch from Flaherty into the center-field seats for a two-run homer, giving the Braves a bit of breathing room.

Nationals 4, Dodgers 2

In Los Angeles, Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer led the charge on just two days of rest as Washington got even in the NLDS.

Strasburg (1-0) gave up one run over six strong innings, and Scherzer struck out all three batters he faced in the eighth as the Nationals leveled the best-of-five series 1-1.

Washington jumped on Dodgers veteran Clayton Kershaw for three runs in the first two innings, getting an RBI single from Howie Kendrick in the first, a run-scoring single from Adam Eaton in the second and an RBI double by Anthony Rendon in the second.

“Whenever you face a guy like (Kershaw), the runs are going to be at a premium, so … for the guys to go out there and give me a little cushion to work with was great,” Strasburg said. “At the same time, you can’t really pitch to the scoreboard. I’ve done that before in the past, and it hasn’t really worked out well for me, so that was just another thing that I learned along the way.”

Although Kershaw (0-1) didn’t give up another run in his six-inning outing, his career postseason ERA rose from 4.32 to 4.33. He is just 9-11 in 31 career postseason appearances (25 starts). The left-hander yielded six hits and one walk while striking out four.

“I think I was able to get out of that first inning with limited damage,” Kershaw said. “It could have gotten bigger, so thankful we got out of that with one. But that’s not what killed us. The second inning tonight was not good. That was what decided the game really.”

Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday in Washington.