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Wednesday October 20th, 2021 3:57AM

LEADING OFF: Dodgers, Giants prep for deciding NLDS Game 5

By The Associated Press
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A look at what's happening around the majors today:

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ONE FOR THE MONEY

After a season of piling up whopping win totals, the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers get a day to prep for their all-or-nothing matchup in Game 5 of the NL Division Series.

Mookie Betts and the World Series champion Dodgers will play Buster Posey and the rival Giants on Thursday night in San Francisco for a spot in the NL Championship Series. Each team has already won 109 games this year.

The wild-card Dodgers pushed the best-of-five playoff to the limit with a 7-2 victory Tuesday night in LA. San Francisco is 12-11 overall against the Dodgers this year, and earned home-field advantage by winning the NL West by one game over Los Angeles and finishing with the majors' best record.

"This is what baseball wants. All the other series are done and we’re going to be the only show in town. If you are a sports fan and have a pulse, you better be watching Giants-Dodgers,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said.

Logan Webb, who pitched a gem in winning the opener, starts for San Francisco against Julio Urías, who led the majors with 20 victories.

ANOTHER GO?

White Sox manager Tony La Russa is waiting to find out if Chicago wants him back after the club was eliminated by the Astros in their AL Division Series that ended Tuesday night.

The 77-year-old Hall of Famer was lured out of retirement to help the star-studded White Sox make a deep postseason run. Instead, they never got the pitching and only occasionally got the hitting that carried them to their first division championship in 13 years.

There were big questions about how the old-school, three-time World Series champion would relate to Chicago’s fun-loving young stars like Tim Anderson after a decade away from the dugout.

It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. And it’s not clear if La Russa will return next season.

“I’m not gonna talk about myself,” he said Tuesday. “The process I’ve used once I had a little security — probably about the fifth or sixth year — is ‘do they want you back?’ I just leave if they don’t want you back. They say yes, then you ask the players. They should choose who they want to manage. If you get both of those, then you check yourself.”

Game 4 starter Carlos Rodón called La Russa a “very special manager.”

“It was just a pleasure to play for him. Not many guys can say they’ve played for a Hall of Fame manager,” he said.

SOLER OUTAGE

The Atlanta Braves are off to the NL Championship Series but will be without slugging outfielder Jorge Soler for at least several more days after he tested positive for COVID-19. He was replaced on the roster for Tuesday’s NL Division Series Game 4 victory over Milwaukee by rookie Cristian Pache.

Soler batted .091 with no homers and no RBIs through the first three games against Milwaukee. He hit a combined .223 with 27 homers and 70 RBIs with Kansas City and Atlanta during the regular season.

JAKE BREAK

The Astros are hoping for a quick recovery for center fielder Jake Meyers after he left Game 4 of the AL Division Series against the White Sox after he crashed into the wall chasing a home run.

The Astros said Meyers exited with discomfort in his left shoulder after he was hurt in the second inning Tuesday when he tried to make a leaping catch on Gavin Sheets’ solo drive. Meyers was examined for several minutes, took a few throws and talked with manager Dusty Baker before walking off the field. He was replaced by Chas McCormick.

The 25-year-old rookie hit .260 with six homers and a .761 OPS.

After finishing off a blowout win over the White Sox, Houston will open the AL Championship Series by hosting the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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