Eddie Rosario delivered Atlanta’s second straight hit in the ninth inning, giving the Braves a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday and a 2-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.
Rosario’s fourth hit of the game was shortstop Corey Seager’s glove to two single strikeouts after the Braves rallied twice following two-point deficits.
“These guys have always been like that,” said Atlanta manager Brian Snitker. “They never went out. “
Rosario delivered a 105 mph scorcher down the middle on the first pitch after closer Kenley Jansen was relieved. Seager attempted a backhand snag, but the ball slipped from his glove into center field.
There was no way of getting Dansby Swanson, who ran from second place with the winning run, dropping his helmet as he crossed the plate – a virtual repeat of Game 1 when Austin Riley landed a shot winner in the ninth for a 3 -2 victory.
The series resumes in Los Angeles, where the third best-of-seven game of the series is scheduled for Tuesday night.
“We all have this dream, this desire to participate in the World Series,” said Rosario. “This is exactly what we are looking for. “
The Braves are halfway through their first World Series appearance since 1999, but they can’t celebrate yet.
A year ago, Atlanta held a 2-0, 3-1 lead over the Dodgers in the NLCS, only to lose the last three games of a series played in Arlington, TX to the pandemic. Los Angeles beat Tampa Bay in the World Series, while the Braves simmered for another shot.
They joined forces with Julio Urias, who pitched three clean innings to complete the seventh game against the Braves last October.
Seventy-three of the 87 teams that led 2-0 in the best-of-seven baseball playoffs were victorious.
“We were ahead of them 2-0 last year so it’s like one of those things where you can’t stop now, you have to keep applying pressure and going out every day and coming through. Riley said.
Atlanta’s Seager and Joc Pederson traded two-run homers – Pederson adding to his ‘Joctober’ tradition with his third homerun of this playoffs and his longtime team’s first – before Chris Taylor put the Dodgers back on track. head with a base of two points. -Charged shot in the seventh.
But it was another night of lost chances for Los Angeles, which rose to 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and fell to 2-for-18 in the series.
With six strikeouts in the series, the Dodgers brought in expected Game 4 starter Urias to protect the lead before handing it to Brusdar Graterol in the ninth.
Rosario started off with a single and scored to move up to second on Freddie Freeman’s flyout.
Ozzie Albies lined up on the right for another Urias hit. Rosario completed the third base as third base coach Ron Washington sent it home, just beating the pitch with a brilliant slide that dodged wide receiver Will Smith.
Then it was Riley coming back. He scored a brace on the wall in the center-right, bringing Albies all around the first with the tying point as Washington made another aggressive kickoff.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hasn’t regretted turning to Urias.
“He was the best option at the time,” said Robert.
Travis d’Arnaud started the ninth with a broken bat single to cross over 101 mph ground from Graterol and was replaced by pinch runner Cristian Pache. Swanson tried to move Pache with a decay, only for the sacrifice attempt to result in a forced out-second when Seager made a backhand save on Graterol’s rebounded, off-line pitch.
Swanson managed to climb to second place when Guillermo Heredia landed on third base. The Dodgers looked to their closest to face Rosario, who connected on the very first field for the fifth outing in 23 playoff games this year.
Closest to the Braves, Will Smith, took the win with a ninth 1-2-3, heaving a big sigh of relief when Trea Turner’s drive was taken at the base of the left wall.
The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in just six shots against Ian Anderson, who lasted just three innings. Mookie Betts started off with a single, and Seager threw one over the fence to the center-right to stun the boisterous crowd.
Pederson brought them back to life with another episode of Joctober in the fourth.
With a runner on board, Pederson connected on a Max Scherzer’s suspended curve for his third homerun of this playoffs, a 454-foot shot in the Chop House restaurant above the right-field stands.
It was the longest homerun of any player in this playoff – and the 12th of Pederson’s career in games that really matter.
Scherzer, who won his first career save in the deciding Division Series game against San Francisco, returned to a more familiar role as a Game 2 starter.
But, with just two days off between appearances, he left after just 4 1/3 innings, having thrown 79 shots. He allowed four hits, two runs, one walk and seven strikeouts.
“My arm was dead,” Scherzer said. “I could tell when I was warming up that he was still tired. “
A sore neck ended Justin Turner’s 77-straight playoff streak.
Dale Murphy, one of the Atlanta Braves’ greatest players, threw the ceremonial first pitch. Murphy walked over to the mound wearing a No.3 jersey that was so familiar during his career, removed the jersey to reveal Hank Aaron’s No.44 uniform. then took off Hammer’s jersey and put on Riley’s No.27. Murphy also released a pair of pearls, a tribute to Pederson’s fashion statement.
RH Walker Buehler (0-1, 3.38 playoff ERA) gets the start for the Dodgers in Game 3 against Braves RH Charlie Morton (0-1, 3.86).