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Scherzer out, Buehler in for Game 6

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

For a fifth time in two seasons, the Atlanta Braves will take the field knowing that one victory will launch them into their first World Series in over two decades, although on Saturday they finally will have a distinct advantage.

The Braves will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series with the home crowd behind them, giving them hope that they can finally find a nine-inning formula to reach the Fall Classic for the first time since 1999.

A 3-1 lead in the NLCS over the Dodgers last season gave the Braves three chances to advance. But Los Angeles dispatched all of those Atlanta chances, doing it in the neutral-site setting of Arlington, Texas.

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Astros blank BoSox to reach World Series

HOUSTON (AP) Two of the youngest Houston Astros stars helped one of baseball's oldest managers get another shot at a most elusive title.

Rookie Luis Garcia showed the poise of an October ace, MVP Yordan Alvarez did more damage at the plate and the Astros earned yet another trip to the World Series, beating the Boston Red Sox 5-0 Friday night in Game 6 of the AL Championship Series.

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Álvarez wins ALCS MVP after hitting .522

HOUSTON (AP) Two years after winning an AL Rookie of the Year Award, Yordan Alvarez has an AL Championship Series MVP to add to his trophy case.

The 24-year-old Cuban was 4-for-4 with two doubles and a triple for the Houston Astros in Friday night's pennant-winning 5-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox. He drove in the go-ahead run and scored the second.

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Red Sox's season ends as bats stay quiet

HOUSTON (AP) Backs against the wall - occasionally by their own doing - these Boston Red Sox proved hard to pin down.

The Houston Astros finally got them for good Friday night.

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Willits latest to leave Yankees' staff

NEW YORK (AP) Yankees manager Aaron Boone lost a fourth member of his staff when New York announced Thursday that first base coach and outfield instructor Reggie Willits will leave at the end of the year to become a volunteer assistant for Oklahoma's college baseball program.

A native of Chickasha, Oklahoma, Willits played for Oklahoma in 2002-03 and coached Binger-Oney High School to Oklahoma state championships in 2013-14.

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Haines out as Brewers' hitting coach

MILWAUKEE (AP) Andy Haines is out as the Milwaukee Brewers' hitting coach after they scored a total of six runs in their four-game National League Division Series loss to the Atlanta Braves.

The Brewers announced Wednesday they wouldn't be renewing Haines' contract. Assistant hitting coach Jacob Cruz also has been told he is free to explore other options while the Brewers search for a replacement for Haines, who had been the hitting coach for the last three seasons.

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Qualifying offer price drops to $18.4M

NEW YORK (AP) The price of a qualifying offer to Major League Baseball free agents dropped by $500,000 to $18.4 million, a sign of the slide in salaries.

The figure is determined by the average of the top 125 major league contracts this year and marks only the second fall. The price fell by $100,000 to $17.8 million in 2019, then rose to $18.9 million in 2020.

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Giants want Posey back in 2022 for $22M

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The San Francisco Giants plan to exercise Buster Posey's $22 million club option for the 2022 season as long as the veteran catcher wants to keep playing after a stellar year.

Posey, whose contract includes a $3 million buyout, helped lead the Giants to a franchise-record 107 wins and their first NL West title since 2012 by playing regularly down the stretch this year as he demonstrated his health and durability during his 12th major league season. The 34-year-old Posey opted out of the coronavirus-shortened 2020 campaign to care for prematurely born adopted twin girls.

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Nationals hire Coles as hitting coach

WASHINGTON (AP) Darnell Coles was hired by the Washington Nationals as their hitting coach on Monday, returning him to an organization he worked for in the minor leagues and reuniting him with manager Dave Martinez, a former teammate.

Coles was most recently the hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who fired him in June during his third season there.

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