Atlanta’s Joc Pederson celebrates his three-run homer against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth inning Monday at Atlanta. John Bazemore/Associated Press

ATLANTA — 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.

Anderson was dominant for the NL East champion Braves, allowing three hits over five innings with no walks and six strikeouts. Will Smith, the fourth Braves reliever, pitched a perfect ninth for his second save of the series.

Milwaukee starter Freddy Peralta pitched four scoreless innings and was pulled for a pinch hitter when the Brewers threatened in the fifth.

Houser gave up singles to Travis d’Arnaud and Swanson to open the fifth. Pederson, hitting for Anderson, pulled a high fastball deep into the right-field seats for a 3-0 lead.

Adam Duvall made a crucial base-running mistake when he tried to advance from first to second as Austin Riley tried to score from third on d’Arnaud’s flyball in the second. Left fielder Christian Yelich nailed Duvall for the third out before Riley crossed the plate, costing Atlanta a run.

Milwaukee center fielder Lorenzo Cain, running at full speed, crashed into the wire fence as he tried to catch Duvall’s drive in the fourth. Cain held the ball in his glove before hitting the ground and losing control. Cain stayed down as Duvall raced to third with the two-out triple.

Cain remained in the game after a visit from Manager Craig Counsell and a trainer. Peralta struck out Eddie Rosario to end the inning.

The Brewers hit only .183 in the first two games of the series, including a 3-0 loss in Game 2. Counsell made one lineup change, inserting Luis Urias at third base for Eduardo Escobar.

ALDS

WHITE SOX-ASTROS: The Houston Astros found themselves in familiar territory Monday, brushing aside comments by Chicago White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera after he implied they stole signs while winning the first two games of the AL Division Series in their ballpark.

“He can say what he wants to say,” Astros Manager Dusty Baker said. “I had never even heard his name before we played the White Sox. I’m not bothered by it. Most of my life, they’ve been talking stuff on me anyway. Let them talk.”

Baker pointed out the Astros had similar offensive statistics at home and on the road, then offered some advice while mentioning he had listened to Eric Clapton that morning.

“He had a song, `Before You Accuse Me (Take a Look at Yourself),”‘ he said. “That’s all I’ve got to say.”

The Astros were disciplined by Major League Baseball after it found the team used electronics to steal signs during their run to the 2017 World Series title and again in the 2018 season. It remains a sensitive subject, and Tepera shined another light on it with his comments after the White Sox won Game 3 Sunday to avoid a sweep.

Houston outscored the White Sox 15-5 in winning the first two games at home. Chicago averted a sweep with a 12-6 win on Sunday night.

The Astros lead the best-of-five series 2-1. Game 4 got postponed Monday because of forecast rain, and the teams are set to play Tuesday.

Carlos Rodon is scheduled to start for Chicago, with Game 1 starter Lance Lynn available out of the bullpen. Manager Tony La Russa said Lynn or Lucas Giolito would start a potential Game 5 Wednesday at Houston depending on how things go on Tuesday.

The Astros opted to go with Lance McCullers Jr., hoping he can close out the series after delivering a dominant start Thursday in the opener. Jose Urquidy was set to pitch on Monday.

But much of the talk in the wake of Game 3 centered on Tepera’s comments. And Houston third baseman Alex Bregman shrugged them off.

“It’s all good,” he said. “We’re focused on winning games. That’s it.”


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