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Yanks look to level, while Dodgers eye 3-0 lead

MLB features LCS doubleheader Tuesday in the Bronx, Chicago
MLB.com

And just like that, the MLB postseason got a lot more interesting.

On Monday night, the Yankees found the offense that had eluded them in the first two games of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World against the Astros, taking Game 3 in the Bronx, 8-1, to cut Houston's lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven set.

And just like that, the MLB postseason got a lot more interesting.

On Monday night, the Yankees found the offense that had eluded them in the first two games of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World against the Astros, taking Game 3 in the Bronx, 8-1, to cut Houston's lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven set.

• Postseason schedule

The series continues today at Yankee Stadium with Game 4 at 5 p.m. ET/4 CT on FS1. It's part of an exciting LCS doubleheader with the Cubs and Dodgers clashing at Wrigley Field for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT/6 PT on TBS.

The Yanks, who led the AL with 51 home wins in the regular season, remained unbeaten at Yankee Stadium this postseason thanks to home runs from Todd Frazier and Aaron Judge and a stellar CC Sabathia start, which led them to victory on Monday night. New York will look to maintain its home dominance and even the series with Trade Deadline acquisition Sonny Gray on the hill.

"[The fans] bring it every night to the playoffs, and you can feed off that," Sabathia said after throwing six scoreless innings in Game 3. "It's been a lot of fun to watch what they've been doing and the way we can kind of feed off their energy."

Video: ALCS Gm4: Gray discusses Yankee Stadium's atmosphere

Lance McCullers Jr. will start for the Astros after making the first relief appearance of his Major League career in Game 3 of the AL Division Series against the Red Sox on Oct. 8, during which he allowed two runs over three innings. Brad Peacock will be available for long relief should McCullers get into trouble early.

"We'll have a couple other guys available in the 'pen, so we can piece it together," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "But it starts with setting the tone with Lance McCullers. I don't have to remind all you guys, he was an All-Star to start the year. He has some of the best stuff in the big leagues, and we believe in him."

Video: ALCS Gm4: Hinch announces McCullers as Game 4 starter

The Yankees are looking to become the fourth team in 29 tries to come back from a 2-0 deficit in the LCS since it moved to the best-of-seven format in 1985.

Over in the NL, the Cubs will look to follow the Yanks' example as the NLCS shifts to Wrigley Field for Game 3 with the Dodgers leading the series 2-0. The North Siders face a tall order, though, in an L.A. club that won a Major League-best 104 games in the regular season and is undefeated in the postseason.

"Of course we wanted to win one of those two," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "But we're coming back [home], and we won't be fazed in the sense that ... this is a dire situation, [that] we can't do this kind of thing."

Kyle Hendricks starts for Chicago and hopes for a repeat of last year's NLCS performance when he held the Dodgers to one run on five hits over two starts and a combined 12 2/3 innings, including 7 1/3 scoreless in the Game 6 clincher that sent the Cubs to their first World Series since 1945.

Video: NLCS Gm3: Hendricks on Cubs' game-by-game approach

The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Yu Darvish, whom they acquired at the Trade Deadline for big October starts just like this. Darvish beat the D-backs in Game 3 of the NLDS, allowing one run on two hits and a walk while striking out seven over five-plus innings.

Video: NLCS Gm3: Darvish on challenges of Wrigley Field

Los Angeles heads to Chicago with a 2-0 edge, but it can't feel too comfortable facing a team that's shown a penchant for October comebacks. The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers in last year's NLCS and famously erased Cleveland's 3-1 lead in the World Series en route to their first World Series championship since 1908.

"I think up to this point, we've done everything we can to put ourselves in a good position, but there is a long way to go," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "And this team, the Cubs, [they] are not going to quit fighting and competing. ... It's definitely noted how resilient that club is over there.

"They're going to do everything they can to win a game, and we're going to do the same."

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.