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MacLeod: Puig and Ortiz inject life into MLB playoffs

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig reacts after hitting an RBI-triple in the fourth inning during Game 3 of the National League Championship Series

Chris Lee/Associated Press

The championships in the National and American League were both teetering on becoming ho-hum affairs.

And then the big bats of Yasiel Puig and David Ortiz roared to life.

In the case of Puig, the excitable rookie with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he stroked a key run-scoring triple in the fourth inning that helped lift the Dodgers to a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

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With the win, the Cardinals lead in the best-of-seven N.L. Championship series has been cut to 2-1.

Jayson Stark writes for that it was Puig's incredible talent that leaped off the field at you.

But the 21-year-old's celebratory antics as he headed out of the batter's box – Puig obviously thought he had stroked a home run – that chaffed at some of the Cardinals.

"He must think that he's still playing somewhere else," groused Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran about the Cuban.

Certainly on Monday night the Cardinals were wishing that were true.

The Dodgers playoff run has obviously excited the home-town fans, some of whom have taken to dressing up for the occasion.

Mike Oz writes in Big League Stew that a Dodgers fan in a bear costume, who dared dance on the Cardinals dugout, was quickly ushered away from the ballpark.

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At Fenway Park in Boston on Sunday, Ortiz took things into his big hands, belting a grand slam home run in the bottom of the eighth inning for the Boston Red Sox that tied their game against the Detroit Tigers at 5-5.

And the Red Sox completed their remarkable comeback with a walk-off victory in the bottom of the ninth that tied their American League Championship Series at one game apiece.

With the series now shifting to Detroit for the next three games, Drew Sharp writes in the Detroit Free Press that the Tigers epic Fenway fall is not the disaster that some might think.

Ken Rosenthal writes on that only in baseball can a team like the Red Sox open a championship by going 1-for-45 with 27 strikeouts in the first two games – and still earn a split.

While the league championships are compelling, life still goes on for the remaining teams watching from the sidelines.

In a development that has the feel of a professional wrestling sub-plot, former St. Louis slugger Jack Clark has challenged Albert Pujols to dueling polygraphs over steroids claims.

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The Tampa Bay Rays have been getting it done over the years, making the playoffs despite the constraints of their low-cost roster.

But the team still has not won a World Series and it now appears likely that another big piece is soon to be gone.

Nick Cafardo writes in the Boston Globe that star pitcher David Price, who is eligible for arbitration next season, will likely be traded over the winter and that the Toronto Blue Jays are one of the interested suitors.

Edmonton Oilers continue to struggle

This was supposed to be a rebound season for the Edmonton Oilers. So far it has been anything but.

Robert Tychkowski writes in the Edmonton Sun that very little has gone right for the snake-bitten Oilers who lost 4-2 to the Washington Capitals.

In an open letter to Oilers rookie coach Dallas Eakins, Oilers blogger Ryan Garner writes that Edmonton's Devan Dubnyk has not exactly solidified his standing as a legitimate starting goaltender.

Chargers upend Andrew Luck and the Colts

The San Diego Chargers defeated the Indianapolis Colts 19-9 in a game where Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers managed the game with due diligence writes Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Times.

In the Indianapolis Star Bob Kravits writes that the Monday Night Football debut of Andrew Luck was a Monday night dud.

The Globe's Robert MacLeod curates the best of sports on the web most weekday mornings.

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