MLB playoffs roundup

Matt Holliday of the Cardinals (7) reacts after striking out to end Sunday's NLDS game against the Nationals at St. Louis. Nationals Catcher Kurt Suzuki, left, celebrates.
Matt Holliday of the Cardinals (7) reacts after striking out to end Sunday's NLDS game against the Nationals at St. Louis. Nationals Catcher Kurt Suzuki, left, celebrates. Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP Photo

Nationals 3, Cardinals 2

Rookies in the postseason, the Washington Nationals played like poised veterans.

The Nationals escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning, pinch hitter Tyler Moore blooped a two-out, two-run single in the eighth and Washington beat the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals Sunday in a National League playoff opener.

The Nationals, who had never come close to making the playoffs since moving from Montreal for the 2005 season, overcame a wild start by 21-game winner Gio Gonzalez.

Reliever Ryan Mattheus needed just two pitches to bail out the Nationals in the seventh with St. Louis ahead 2-1. Tyler Clippard worked around an error in the eighth and Drew Storen saved it with a 1-2-3 ninth.

The NL East champion Nationals led the majors with 98 wins this season, and brought postseason baseball to Washington for the first time since 1933. The Nats go for a 2-0 series lead today when Jordan Zimmermann opposes Jaime Garcia.

Tigers 5, Athletics 4

A dropped fly, two wild pitches and a little smooch for the baseball by a relieved reliever.

Then Don Kelly brought it all to an end with a simple fly ball.

Kelly scored the tying run on a wild pitch in the eighth inning, then hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth that lifted Detroit over Oakland Athletics for a 2-0 lead in their American League playoff series.

Detroit will go for a sweep of the division series matchup in Game 3 on Tuesday at Oakland.

Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera doubled twice for the Tigers, hit a fly ball that resulted in a two-run error and later singled in the ninth.

The Tigers overcame three A's leads and seesawed to victory. It was 1-all before a wild final three innings that included a big Oakland misplay, two game-tying wild pitches and several momentum changes.

It was the sixth straight postseason loss for the A's, all to Detroit. The Tigers swept Oakland in the 2006 AL championship series, winning the series on Magglio Ordonez's homer in Game 4 - which was Detroit's last sudden-death postseason win before Sunday.

It was tied at 4 after both teams made their share of mistakes in the seventh and eighth. Cliff Pennington gave the A's the lead with an RBI single in the seventh, but center fielder Coco Crisp dropped Cabrera's two-out flyball in the bottom half, allowing two runs to score.

Oakland tied it in the eighth on a wild pitch by Joaquin Benoit, and Josh Reddick followed with a solo homer to give the A's a 4-3 lead. Then it was Ryan Cook's turn to throw a tying wild pitch, allowing Kelly to score as a pinch runner.

Late Saturday

Reds 5, Giants 2

The Cincinnati Reds rode a patchwork pitching staff to their first postseason win in 17 years - after losing their ace, no less.

Sam LeCure, Mat Latos and three other pitchers shut down San Francisco after Johnny Cueto went out in the first inning with a back injury, and the Cincinnati Reds were powered by home runs from Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce to beat the Giants in Game 1 of the National League division series.

Phillips hit a two-run homer in the third, and Bruce added a solo drive leading off the fourth as the Reds overcame the departure of their 19-game winner after just eight pitches.

Aroldis Chapman gave up a run in the ninth on a wild pitch but struck out Buster Posey with a 100 mph fastball to end it with runners on second and third.

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