Pederson 3-run HR, Braves blank Brewers for 2-1 NLDS lead

Nlds Braves Brewers Baseball
Atlanta Braves' Jorge Soler celebrates after a double as Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong looks away during the third inning in Game 2 of baseball's National League Divisional Series Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

ATLANTA (AP) — Joc Pederson kept enhancing his “Joctober” nickname with a three-run, pinch-hit homer and the Atlanta Braves shut down Milwaukee once again, beating the Brewers 3-0 on Monday to take a 2-1 edge in the NL Division Series.

In a matchup dominated by pitching, Ian Anderson and the Braves bullpen combined on a five-hitter and won by a 3-0 score for the second straight game.

Boosted by shortstop Dansby Swanson’s athletic defense, Atlanta can try to reach its second straight NL Championship Series when it hosts Game 4 on Tuesday.

Pederson’s homer in the fifth inning was his second of the series. Each drive came as a pinch-hitter against Adrian Houser. Pederson singled as a pinch-hitter in his only other at-bat in this series, and has driven in four of Atlanta’s seven runs.

Pederson has hit 11 postseason home runs overall and helped the Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series last year with his longballs. He then signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs in the winter and was traded to Atlanta in July.

Since winning the opening game of the series, the NL Central champion Brewers have not scored in 19 consecutive innings. They were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position in this loss.