Hernandez, Kershaw help Dodgers advance to World Series for 1st time since 1988

The Los Angeles Dodgers have made Tommy Lasorda proud.

Backed by a historic three-home-run, seven-RBI performance from outfielder Kike Hernandez, the Dodgers eliminated the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs in five games with a convincing 11-1 win, advancing to the Fall Classic for the first time since 1988.

The Dodgers combined to an incredible 16 hits on the night, chasing Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana (six earned runs) after two innings. On the opposite end, Clayton Kershaw pitched a steady six innings of one-run baseball.

Dating back to Sept. 21, the Dodgers have a 16-3 record including the postseason, and have outscored their opponents 48-19 in the playoffs. Game 1 of the World Series will be played on Tuesday, as the Dodgers await the New York Yankees or Houston Astros.

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MLB | theScore

Dodgers tab Kershaw for World Series opener

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced following Thursday's pennant-clinching victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series that ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw – who tossed six impressive innings in the win – will start Game 1 of the World Series.

The World Series kicks off Tuesday at Chavez Ravine, with the Dodgers playing host to either the Houston Astros or New York Yankees. The Yankees, who grabbed a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series on Wednesday, can punch their ticket to the World Series with a victory Friday at Minute Maid Park.

Though he wasn't especially sharp in his lone division series start, Kershaw, the three-time Cy Young award winner, fared better in the NLCS, limiting the Cubs to two runs over five innings in his Game 1 start at Dodger Stadium and holding them to one run over six solid frames in Thursday's 11-1 win. So far, in three postseason outings, the 29-year-old owns a 3.64 ERA with a 3.20 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

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MLB | theScore

Roberts expects Seager to be in Game 1 lineup for World Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers are on their way to the World Series and it appears they'll have reinforcements when things get underway on Tuesday.

After the Dodgers defeated the Chicago Cubs in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Thursday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters, including MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, that he expects shortstop Corey Seager to be in the lineup for Game 1 of the World Series.

The Dodgers played the entirety of the NLCS without Seager, who was left off the series' roster after he tweaked his back in the NL Division Series against the Washington Nationals.

The 23-year-old had been progressing well prior to Game 5, according to Roberts, and he should give the Dodgers a tremendous weapon against either of the New York Yankees or Houston Astros.

Seager hit .295/.375/.479 with 22 home runs and 77 RBIs throughout the regular season.

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MLB | theScore

Stolen Blue Jays World Series rings recovered after 23 years

A pair of Toronto Blue Jays rings that were stolen more than two decades ago have been found.

Peel Regional Police announced Monday that they recovered a personalized 1992 Blue Jays World Series Championship ring and an anniversary ring that were stolen from a Toronto-area residence in 1994.

Investigators said they were informed the stolen items, which belonged to an unnamed former Blue Jays executive, were being sold online and have since been returned to the rightful owner.

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MLB | theScore

Watch: Turner’s walk-off blast gives Dodgers 2-0 series lead

Twenty-nine years to the day that Kirk Gibson's magical home run gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a victory in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Justin Turner recreated some of that magic.

The Dodgers took a 2-0 series lead over the Cubs in the National League Championship Series thanks to a three-run, walk-off homer courtesy of Turner in the ninth inning off John Lackey.

Turner was responsible for driving in all four runs in the Dodgers' 4-1 victory over the Cubs.

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MLB | theScore

Seager injury is huge blow to Dodgers’ World Series hopes

The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ hopes of reaching the World Series for the first time since 1988 took a serious hit Saturday when it was announced that Corey Seager was left off the NLCS roster due to a lingering back injury.

Seager was one of the key cogs in the Dodgers offense and was relied on heavily throughout the regular season. Los Angeles went 93-42 in games in which the All-Star shortstop started in, and 11-16 in games he didn’t.

With Seager potentially out for the entirety of the NLCS, the Dodgers lost a significant piece need in beating the Cubs, and here’s why:

Lefty, and Cub masher

Despite hitting from the left side of the plate, Seager mashes left-handed pitching. He slashed .325/.389/.527 with eight home runs and 43 strikeouts in 190 plate appearances this season.

Seager’s absence in the lineup will be felt immediately in Game 1 Saturday when the Cubs send southpaw Jose Quintana to the mound. If the series goes the distance, the Dodgers could see Quintana, and fellow lefty starter Jon Lester a combined four times.

Seager has never faced Lester or Quintana, but he did hit .292/.356/.375 with two doubles in six games against the Cubs this year.

Upsets the lineup balance

Manager Dave Roberts was able to stagger his left- and right-handed hitters at the top of the order by alternating Chris Taylor, Seager, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger, creating a perfect balance. Those four combined to go 15-for-51 (.294) with two home runs in three games during the division series.

Roberts had Seager hit second in the order in all 135 of his starts this season. When Seager went down to injuries, Curtis Granderson, Kike Hernandez, Taylor, Joc Pederson, and Bellinger filled in. Those five received at least 10 at-bats hitting second, but combined to go 11-for-88 (.125).

Should Roberts wish to keep his lineup built similarly with a lefty hitting second behind Taylor, he'll likely be forced to move Granderson up in the order, rather than turn to Pederson, who was left off the NLDS roster.

Limited replacements

Charlie Culberson and Pederson were added to the NLCS roster, though both players have hardly had inspiring offensive seasons. Culberson hit .154/.267/.231 with one extra-base in 15 games and won’t likely draw a start, while Pederson regressed significantly, slashing .212/.331/.407 with 11 homers and 68 strikeouts in 102 games.

Adding Pederson to the roster allows Roberts the luxury of moving Taylor to shortstop and Pederson into center. Enrique Hernandez or Logan Forsythe could also shift over to shortstop, should Roberts choose, though none of the replacements can replicate the production they’ll lose from Seager’s absence.

More pressure on Bellinger

Bellinger got off to a slow start this postseason, but did look more like himself in the final game of the NLDS when he hit his first career playoff home run.

The likely NL Rookie of the Year paced the Dodger offense with 39 homers during the regular season, and he'll be relied upon heavily to lead the offense in Seager's absence. Without the threat of Seager's bat in the lineup though, expect Bellinger to get even less to hit.

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)

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MLB | theScore

Report: Jordan Brand ending Carmelo’s signature shoe series

Carmelo Anthony will remain a part of the Jordan Brand, but his signature footwear won’t.

The “Melo” shoe series is no more after 13 models, industry sources told ESPN’s Nick DePaula.

Thus ends the fifth-longest line for an NBA player in league history, with Anthony ranking behind Michael Jordan (32), Kobe Bryant (17), LeBron James (15), and Allen Iverson (14).

The Oklahoma City Thunder star has been wearing his M13’s during the preseason, and is expected to rock a number of different shoes from the Jordan Brand throughout the regular season, which could include a remixed version of the first model in his line in the Air Jordan Melo 1.5.

Anthony remains under contract on a new long-term endorsement deal, while his Thunder teammate, Russell Westbrook, signed a 10-year extension last month to become the highest-paid endorser Jordan Brand has ever had.

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NBA | theScore

Roberts: Dodgers won’t swim in D-Backs’ pool if they win series

There will be no pool parties for the Los Angeles Dodgers if they emerge victorious in the National League Division Series. At least, not in their opponent’s own splash pad.

Back in 2013, the Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks on the road to clinch the NL West with two weeks to spare in the regular season, and they infamously celebrated by hopping into the pool by the right-field wall at Chase Field. That overly festive display wasn't well received by the Diamondbacks, who then called out the Dodgers for a lack of class.

Now, with Los Angeles just one win away from advancing to the National League Championship Series at the expense of the Diamondbacks, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts was firm in stating his side wouldn’t hit up the pool again if they knocked off Arizona at Chase Field.

“Yeah, that won’t happen,” Roberts said Sunday, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “That won’t happen. This is a completely different team and I think we have bigger goals than to jump into a swimming pool.”

In their defense, the Diamondbacks already had a pool party to remember this past season when they clinched their spot in the wild-card game.

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MLB | theScore

WATCH: USA Network’s Tupac & Notorious B.I.G. Series Unsolved Trailer [VIDEO]

The Hip-Hop nation can’t get enough Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. USA Network has dropped the trailer for its forthcoming true crime series about the late Rap icons, UNSOLVED: THE MURDERS OF TUPAC AND THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G.

The series is being touted as the first true crime anthology show to explore the murders of the rappers. From the looks of the trailer, it follows the perspective of LAPD officers trying to solve the murders, which may or may not have been connected. Executive produced and directed by Anthony Hemingway (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), the series will premiere this winter.

The cast includes Josh Duhamel, Jimmi Simpson and Bokeem Woodbine. New jack actors Marcc Rose and Wavvy Jonez will star in the series as Tupac and Biggie, respectively.

Check out the trailer below.


Photo: James Minchin III/USA Network

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