10/20 23:11 CDT Braves blast 4 HRs, beat Dodgers 9-2 for 3-1 lead in NLCS
Braves blast 4 HRs, beat Dodgers 9-2 for 3-1 lead in NLCS
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) --- Eddie Rosario homered twice in his second four-hit game of
the NL Championship Series and six pitchers combined on a four-hitter, giving
the Atlanta Braves a 9-2 victory Wednesday over the Los Angeles Dodgers and a
commanding 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven playoff.
Adam Duvall and Freddie Freeman also homered for Atlanta, which bounced right
back from blowing a late lead in an agonizing loss Tuesday and ended its
10-game losing streak at Dodger Stadium.
Game 5 is Thursday at Dodger Stadium, with the Braves one win from their first
pennant in 22 years and the defending World Series champions facing
elimination. Last year, the Dodgers trailed 0-2 and 1-3 against the Braves in
the NLCS before roaring back to win three straight games at a neutral site in
They'll need to jump-start their offense to have a shot. Their first five
hitters --- Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, NL batting champion Trea Turner, Will
Smith and Gavin Lux --- were a combined 0 for 17.
Los Angeles, which had won 18 of 19 at home going back to the regular season,
has won six straight postseason elimination games dating to last year.
Rosario became the first player to have two four-hit games in a League
Championship Series. He drove in four runs and scored three while continuing
his torrid postseason hitting, finishing a double short of the cycle. He
homered in the second inning, tripled in the third, singled in the fifth and
clocked a three-run homer in the ninth.
"As soon as I hit that second one out, I go, `Oh well, there goes the double,'"
Rosario said through a translator.
Rosario was acquired from Cleveland on July 30 as the Braves remade their
depleted outfield before the trade deadline.
What a find he's been.
The left fielder has hit safely in every game of this postseason, piling up 14
hits so far --- including a walk-off single in Game 2 against the Dodgers. He
has struck out once.
Rosario is 10 for 17 (.588) with two homers and six RBIs in the NLCS.
The Braves' four homers tied a postseason franchise record.
Each of the series' first three games was decided by one run in the last two
But when it got late, the Dodgers couldn't generate any comeback magic this
Atlanta opener Jesse Chavez combined with Drew Smyly, Chris Martin, A.J. Minter
and Tyler Matzek and Will Smith to hold down the Dodgers' offense. Los Angeles
didn't get a hit until the fifth and was limited to one the rest of the way.
Smyly went 3 1/3 innings for the win.
The Braves wasted no time in jumping all over 20-game winner Julio Uras, who
gave up three homers in just 2 2/3 innings. It was the second time he gave up
that many in his career; the first time was in his second major league game in
Rosario drove an 0-2 pitch into the left-field pavilion leading off the second
and Duvall followed with a shot to center, the first time the Braves homered
back-to-back in the postseason since Oct. 3, 2002, against San Francisco in
Game 2 of the NL Division Series.
Freeman went deep leading off the third. Two outs later, Rosario tripled to
deep right on a two-strike pitch, sliding headfirst into the bag.
"He kind of smiled at me after he hit it in there just because it was one of
those things where it just, a hot hitter and he kind of knows where he's
going," Uras said through a translator.
Duvall was intentionally walked and Joc Pederson singled to center, scoring
Rosario for a 4-0 lead against Uras.
"The plan was to try to get to him early, try to get some runs on the board,
get pitches that we can handle, keep him in the zone, and let the barrel fly,"
The Dodgers closed to 5-2 in the fifth on pinch-hitter AJ Pollock's two-out,
two-run single. Justin Turner singled for their first hit of the game and Cody
Bellinger followed with a single and stolen base.
Freeman's RBI double in the ninth made it 6-2 before Rosario went deep.
Uras didn't record a strikeout until the fourth, when Dansby Swanson and
Freeman went down swinging back-to-back to end the left-hander's first clean
inning. Uras gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out
three and walked three.
Uras started on two days' rest, having thrown an inning of relief in Game 2 at
Atlanta. He gave up two runs on three hits, including a tying double to Austin
Riley in the eighth.
Duvall robbed Lux of a home run with a leaping catch at the wall in center in
the second. Duvall went to the warning track in the seventh to catch a ball hit
by Bellinger, who launched a tying, three-run homer in the Dodgers'
eighth-inning rally that helped win Game 3 on Tuesday.
The only other player with a pair of four-hit games in a postseason series was
Milwaukee Brewers Hall of Famer Robin Yount in the 1982 World Series against
Braves: Huascar Ynoa was scratched with shoulder inflammation from his
scheduled start. He was replaced on the roster by left-hander Dylan Lee. Ynoa
is not eligible to return for the World Series, if the Braves advance.
Dodgers: Justin Turner appeared to injure his hamstring in the seventh,
screaming out as he was retired on a double-play ball. He limped off the field
and was replaced in the eighth.
LHP Max Fried starts Game 5 for the Braves. The Dodgers planned a bullpen game,
a strategy they've used twice this postseason, going 1-1 in those games.
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