Carlos Correa, left, George Springer and Josh Reddick of the Astros celebrate a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Twins that sent Houston to the second round of the playoffs. Jim Mone/Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Carlos Correa hit a two-out, tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning for the Houston Astros, who produced another stifling pitching performance and swept Minnesota with a 3-1 victory Wednesday that sent the Twins to a record 18th straight postseason loss.

Nine months after Houston’s rules-breaking, sign-stealing system was revealed, the Astros advanced to the Division Series in Los Angeles. As the sixth seed, they’ll face the Oakland Athletics or Chicago White Sox in a best-of-five matchup starting Monday at Dodger Stadium.

The Twins are 0-18 in the playoffs since winning Game 1 of their Division Series at the New York Yankees on Oct. 5, 2004, a total of seven rounds lost. Since that date, the Astros are 43-35 in postseason play, winning 10 of 15 rounds with three trips to the World Series.

Kyle Tucker hit two RBI singles for the Astros and made a key throw from left field for the inning-ending out in the fifth.

Rookie Cristian Javier worked three hitless innings in relief for the victory in his postseason debut and Ryan Pressly pitched a perfect ninth against his former team, giving the Houston bullpen a total of 9 2/3 scoreless innings in the series.

BRAVES 1, REDS 0: Freddie Freeman singled home the winning run in the 13th inning, finally ending the longest scoreless duel in postseason history as Atlanta won at home in the opener of their NL wild-card series on Wednesday.

The East champion Braves won the first game of a postseason series for the first time since the 2001 NL Division Series and can wrap up the best-of-three series on Thursday. If they do, it will snap a record-tying streak of 10 straight playoff round losses.

What began as a pitching showdown between Cy Young contenders Trevor Bauer of the Reds and Atlanta’s Max Fried devolved into a strikeout contest.

The teams combined for a postseason record 37 strikeouts – 21 by the Braves. After a couple hits in the 13th against Archie Bradley, Freeman drove one into center field off Amir Garrett with one out to end a game that dragged on for more than 4 1/2 hours.

ATHLETICS 5, WHITE SOX 3: Marcus Semien and Khris Davis homered early, and Oakland held off visiting Chicago to send their AL series to a deciding Game 3.

A’s reliever Jake Diekman walked home a run in the ninth, then retired slugger Jose Abreu on a sharp grounder to end it and even the series at 1-all.

Chris Bassitt allowed one run on six hits in seven-plus innings during an impressive postseason debut as the AL West champions snapped a six-game postseason losing streak dating to 2013.

RAYS 8, BLUE JAYS 2: Hunter Renfroe hit a grand slam and top-seeded Tampa Bay won a postseason series for the first time in 12 years, overpowering Toronto for a two-game sweep.

Renfroe launched the first playoff grand slam in franchise history during a six-run second inning. Tyler Glasnow kept Tampa Bay ahead from there, allowing two runs – on a pair of homers by Danny Jansen – in six innings.

MARLINS 5, CUBS 1: Corey Dickerson hit a three-run homer off a fading Kyle Hendricks in the seventh inning, and visiting Miami won Game 1 of their NL series.

Jesús Aguilar also homered and Sandy Alcantara pitched three-hit ball into the seventh.

The Marlins may be without center fielder Starling Marte for Game 2 on Thursday after he was hit on the left hand by a fastball in the ninth inning.

CARDINALS 7, PADRES 4: Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run home run during a four-run first inning, St. Louis’ bullpen held strong after starter Kwang Hyun Kim stumbled in his playoff debut, and the Cardinals ruined host San Diego’s long-awaited return to the playoffs.


FANS CAN take themselves out to the ball game for the first time this season during the NL Championship Series and World Series at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Major League Baseball said about 11,500 tickets will be available for each game. That’s about 28% of the 40,518 capacity at the retractable-roof stadium, which opened this year.

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