In the first five games of the American and National League Championship Series, there were three shutouts, and two no-hit bids that went more than five innings

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For the first time in history, two games ended with 1-0 scores on the same day.

“That tells you the quality of pitching in the postseason,” Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Pitching has been a key early on, and will play a big part in determining which teams advance to the World Series.

St. Louis beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 in 13 innings in Game 1 of the NLCS as Cardinals starter Joe Kelly allowed both runs through six innings, followed by a scoreless performance by the bullpen. Lance Lynn got the win, allowing one hit in two innings.

The Dodgers’ Zack Greinke gave up four hits while striking out 10 batters.

In Game 2, Michael Wacha allowed five hits and no runs while fanning eight in 6.2 innings pitched for the Cardinals, while Clayton Kershaw gave up 2 hits and a run in six innings. Rookie Trevor Rosenthalt struck out the side in the ninth to preserve the 1-0 victory for St. Louis.

“He’s becoming a guy a lot of teams wish they drafted,” Cardinals third baseman David Freese said of Wacha. “What he’s done is remarkable, especially on this stage.”

The Dodgers got some payback in Game 3 on Monday night when Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed three hits in seven innings of work in a 3-0 win over the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium.

Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez and four relief pitchers no-hit Boston into the ninth inning in Game 1 of the ALCS, until Daniel Nava singled to center field with one out. The Tigers went on to win 1-0. Their pitching staff had 17 strikeouts.

Jon Lester went 6.1 innings for the Red Sox, giving up six hits and one run.

“At this point, especially in this series, it’s not about throwing a no-hitter,” Sanchez said. “As soon as you get some zeroes, it’s more important.”

In Game 2, Max Scherzer took his bid for a no-hitter into the fifth inning, until Shane Victorino broke it up on a single to left with two outs. Scherzer pitched seven innings, allowing one run on two hits with 13 strikeouts and two walks.

This time though, Detroit’s bullpen wasn’t as sharp. David Ortiz hit a game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a walk-off single to left in the ninth to give the Red Sox a 6-5 win.

“We need it, man,” Ortiz said. “We need to start some momentum going on. The whole regular season, you haven’t seen a team shutting us down for 14, 15 straight innings like they have the past couple of days. If you look at the way they’ve been pitching, (it’s) unbelievable. It’s up to us make an adjustment.”

Beltran does it again: Carlos Beltran hit a tying, two-run double in the third inning of the Cardinals 3-2 win in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Dodgers. He threw a runner out at the plate from right field in the 10th inning. Then he singled off Kenley Jansen into the right-field corner with one out in the bottom of the 13th to drive in the winning run.

“I tip my hat to Carlos Beltran; he’s a pro,” Jansen said.

Beltran has 16 home runs, 12 doubles and 34 RBIs while hitting .345 in his first 40 postseason games.

“Just fun to watch him do his thing, whether it’s offensively, the big throw he made defensively, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

StatsWatch: Here are the best ERA’s and most runs scored during the regular season by the teams playing in the League Championship Series –

ERA:

  • Dodgers, 3.25 (2nd)
  • Cardinals, 3.42 (5th)
  • Tigers, 3.61 (9th)
  • Red Sox, 3.79 (14th)

RUNS SCORED:

  • Red Sox, 853 (1st)
  • Tigers, 796 (2nd)
  • Cardinals, 783 (3rd)
  • Dodgers, 649 (17th)

Diamond Notes: Baltimore Orioles All-Star third baseman Manny Machado will have surgery on his left knee to repair a torn medial patellofemoral ligament. Machado suffered the injury in a game on Sept. 23 against Tampa Bay when he stepped awkwardly on first base. He’ll have four to six months of rehab following surgery. Machado, 21, hit .283 with 14 homers and 71 RBIs this season…Texas signed right-handed reliever Jason Frasor to a one-year deal worth $1.75 million. Frasor went 4-3 with a 2.57 ERA in 61 games this year…Rays pitcher David Price thinks that he might be traded in the offseason. Price, who was 10-8 with a 3.33 ERA this season, is eligible for arbitration going into next season. His salary could escalate from $10 million to $13 million. Carl Crawford and James Shields are former Rays players who became too expensive for the club. “If you go with what’s been done in the past, I guess you’re going to have to think you’re going to get traded,” Price told Tampa writers during a conference call last week.”

Copyright ã 2013 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.

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