Braves Blast 4 HRs, Beat Dodgers 9-2 for 3-1 Lead in NLCS

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LOS ANGELES—Behind the red-hot bat of Eddie Rosario, the Atlanta Braves are 1 triumph distant from their archetypal World Series quality since 1999.

All they request to bash is enactment distant the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Easier said than done.

After all, the Braves were successful precisely the aforesaid presumption past twelvemonth and failed to decorativeness the job.

Rosario homered doubly successful his 2nd four-hit crippled of the NL Championship Series and six Atlanta pitchers combined connected a four-hitter, giving the Braves a 9-2 triumph Wednesday for a commanding 3-1 pb successful the best-of-seven playoff.

Game 5 is Thursday successful Los Angeles. Last year, the Dodgers besides trailed 0-2 and 1-3 against Atlanta successful the NLCS earlier roaring backmost to triumph 3 consecutive games astatine a neutral tract successful Arlington, Texas.

“As we saw past year, winning a crippled is hard, particularly a seasoned squad similar this that we’re playing,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “But I consciousness bully astir our nine conscionable from what we experienced past twelvemonth and wherever these guys are.”

Adam Duvall and Freddie Freeman besides homered for the Braves, who bounced close backmost from blowing a precocious pb successful an agonizing nonaccomplishment Tuesday to extremity their 10-game skid astatine Dodger Stadium.

“I consciousness similar everyone has truly hunkered down and dug their heels successful and everyone is truly focused,” Rosario said done a translator. “That’s thing that I’m truly arrogant to beryllium a portion of.”

Rosario became the archetypal subordinate to person 2 four-hit games successful a League Championship Series. He drove successful 4 runs and scored 3 portion continuing his torrid postseason hitting, finishing a treble abbreviated of the cycle. He homered successful the 2nd inning, tripled successful the third, singled successful the 5th and clocked a three-run homer successful the ninth.

“As soon arsenic I deed that archetypal location tally I conscionable thought to myself, ‘Wow, I consciousness astonishing close now,’” Rosario said, “so I benignant of conscionable carried that assurance into my different at-bats going forward.”

Rosario deed for the rhythm past period against San Francisco, achieving the feat connected conscionable 5 full pitches.

“I’ve been utilizing that bat that I deed for the rhythm with and it has not disappointed. I had that treble remaining and I’m like, ‘Man, this bat has not fto maine down yet,'” helium said. “As soon arsenic I deed that 2nd 1 out, I go, `Oh well, determination goes the double.'”

The Dodgers volition request to jump-start their discourtesy to person a changeable astatine different NLCS comeback. Their archetypal 5 hitters—Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, NL batting champion Trea Turner, Will Smith and Gavin Lux—were a combined 0 for 17 successful Game 4.

Los Angeles, which had won 18 of 19 astatine location going backmost to the regular season, has won six consecutive postseason elimination games dating to past year.

“I consciousness bully astir it,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We person a precise resilient team, a precise pugnacious team, and it’s not going to get overmuch tougher than facing Max Fried successful an elimination game, but we’ve done it before.”

Rosario was acquired from Cleveland connected July 30 arsenic the Braves remade their depleted outfield earlier the commercialized deadline.

What a find he’s been.

The near fielder has deed safely successful each crippled this postseason, piling up 14 hits successful 30 at-bats (.467)—including a walk-off azygous successful Game 2 against the Dodgers.

Rosario is 10 for 17 (.588) with 2 homers and six RBIs successful the NLCS.

“He’s been looking truthful bully astatine the plate, hitting balls hard,” Freeman said.

Atlanta’s 4 homers tied a postseason franchise record.

Each of the series’ archetypal 3 games was decided by 1 tally successful the past 2 innings. But erstwhile it got precocious this time, the wild-card Dodgers couldn’t make immoderate comeback magic.

Atlanta opener Jesse Chavez combined with Drew Smyly, Chris Martin, A.J. Minter, Tyler Matzek and Will Smith to clasp down the Dodgers’ offense. Los Angeles didn’t get a deed until the 5th and was constricted to 1 the remainder of the way. Smyly went 3 1/3 innings for the win.

The Braves wasted nary clip jumping each implicit 20-game victor Julio Urías, who gave up 3 homers successful 2 2/3 innings. It was the 2nd clip helium allowed that galore successful his career; the archetypal clip was successful his 2nd large league crippled successful 2016.

Rosario drove an 0-2 transportation into the left-field pavilion starring disconnected the 2nd and Duvall followed with a changeable to center, the archetypal clip the Braves homered back-to-back successful the postseason since Oct. 3, 2002, against San Francisco successful Game 2 of a Division Series.

Freeman went heavy starring disconnected the third. Two outs later, Rosario tripled to heavy close connected a two-strike pitch, sliding headfirst into the bag.

“He benignant of smiled astatine maine aft helium deed it successful determination conscionable due to the fact that it was 1 of those things wherever it just, a blistery hitter and helium benignant of knows wherever he’s going,” Urías said done a translator.

Duvall was intentionally walked and Joc Pederson singled, scoring Rosario for a 4-0 pb against Urías.

The Dodgers, who won 106 games during the regular season, closed to 5-2 successful the 5th connected pinch-hitter AJ Pollock’s two-out, two-run single. Justin Turner singled for their archetypal deed of the crippled and Cody Bellinger followed with a azygous and stolen base.

Freeman’s RBI treble successful the ninth made it 6-2 earlier Rosario went deep.

Urías didn’t grounds a strikeout until the fourth, erstwhile Dansby Swanson and Freeman went down swinging back-to-back to extremity the left-hander’s archetypal cleanable inning. Urías gave up 5 runs and 8 hits successful 5 innings. He struck retired 3 and walked three.

Connect Four

The lone different subordinate with a brace of four-hit games successful a postseason bid was Milwaukee Brewers Hall of Famer Robin Yount successful the 1982 World Series against St. Louis.

Trainer’s Room

Braves: RHP Huascar Ynoa was scratched from his scheduled commencement with enarthrosis inflammation. He was replaced connected the roster by left-hander Dylan Lee. Ynoa is not eligible to instrumentality for the World Series, if the Braves advance.

Dodgers: Justin Turner is done for the play aft injuring his hamstring successful the seventh, Roberts said. Turner screamed arsenic helium was retired connected a double-play ball. He limped disconnected the tract and was replaced successful the eighth.

Up Next

Fried starts Game 5 for the Braves successful his Los Angeles hometown. The Dodgers planned a bullpen game, a strategy they’ve utilized doubly this postseason, going 1-1 successful those games.

By Beth Harris

The Associated Press