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National League wild-card roundup: Braves shut out Reds for series sweep

Atlanta Braves starter Ian Anderson pitches against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 2 of a National League wild-card series.
Atlanta Braves starter Ian Anderson pitches against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 2 of a National League wild-card series Oct. 1.
(John Bazemore / Associated Press)

Ian Anderson dazzled in another shutout performance for Atlanta, and the Braves won a playoff series for the first time in almost two decades by sweeping the light-hitting Cincinnati Reds with a 5-0 victory Thursday.

Ronald Acuna Jr. had three hits for the NL East champions, including a run-scoring double in the fifth. After winning Wednesday’s series opener 1-0 in 13 innings, Atlanta broke open Game 2 on two-run homers by Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall off Raisel Iglesias in the eighth.

Anderson struck out nine in six innings as the Braves snapped their record-tying string of losses in 10 consecutive postseason rounds since their last playoff series win in 2001. Atlanta will face Miami or the Chicago Cubs in the NL Division Series in Houston.

Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers in Game 2 of their wild-card series against the Brewers, but will we see 2020 Kershaw or 2019 playoffs Kershaw?

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Just like in 2001, when Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz helped lead the way, Atlanta’s pitching staff delivered.

The 22-year-old Anderson allowed two hits and walked two in his playoff debut after six regular-season starts. Will Smith, Chris Martin and Mark Melancon each threw one perfect inning.


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