Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Late-night magic: Braves beat Dodgers 5-4, lead NLCS 2-0

ATLANTA (AP) – The Atlanta Braves have more night magic just two wins from the World Series.

Eddie Rosario landed a second straight shot in Atlanta’s ninth inning, giving the Braves a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday and a 2-0 lead in the NL championship series.

Rosario’s fourth hit in the game was Corey Seeger’s double shortstop glove, after the Braves rallied twice over a two-round deficit.

“These guys have always been like this,” said Atlanta manager Brian Snitker. “They never come out.”

Rosario delivered a speed jump at 105 mph up center on the first serve after Kenley Jansen approached in relief. Seeger tried to catch a backhand but the ball slipped off his glove into midfield.

There was no chance of causing Dansby Swanson, who was racing from second place with a winning streak, to drop his helmet as he crossed the plate – a virtual replay of Game 1 as Austin Riley came out with a winning ninth hit in 3-2 wins.

The series resumes in Los Angeles, where the 3rd best of seven game is set for Tuesday night.

“We all have this dream, this desire to be in the World Series,” said Rosario. “This is exactly what we are striving for.”

The Braves are halfway to their first World Series appearance since 1999, but can’t celebrate yet.

Atlanta had a 2-0 and 3-1 lead over the Dodgers in the NLCS a year ago, but lost the last three games in the series, played in Arlington, Texas, due to the pandemic. Los Angeles beat Tampa Bay in the World Series as the Braves prepared for another shot.

They rallied in eighth behind Julio Urias, who pitched three unsuccessful innings to finish Game 7 against the Braves last October.

Seventy-three of the 87 teams leading 2-0 in the postseason streak to the best of seven baseball games have gone on to win.

“We beat them 2-0 last year, so it’s like one of those things where you can’t stop now, you have to keep putting pressure, going out every day and pushing for it,” Riley said.

Seeger and Jock Pederson of Atlanta traded two homers – Pederson added his third homer this postseason to his Jokober lore, first with his longtime team – before Chris Taylor took the Dodgers ahead again with two rounds loaded with bases. got into the seventh.

But it was another night of missed chances for Los Angeles, who went 1 in 10 with runners in the scoring position and dropped to 2 in 18 in the series.

With six outs from a draw, the Dodgers brought in expected game 4 starter Urias to defend the lead before handing it over to Brusdar Graterol in ninth.

Rosario started with a single and climbed to second place on Freddie Freeman’s pop-up list.

Ozzy Albis lined up to the right for another blow from Urias. Rosario raced in about third when third base coach Ron Washington sent him home with a brilliant glide to save the hit from Seeker Will Smith.

Then Riley reappeared. He ripped a double against the wall in the center right, causing Albis to turn from the start with a draw as Washington fired another aggressive punch.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts did not regret contacting Urias.

“At the time, he was the best option,” said Robert.

Travis d’Arnot finished ninth with a broken bat single to center at 101 mph from Graterola and was replaced by runner Christian Pasch. Swanson tried to move Pasha along with the head, only to force the victim into a force-out attempt in the second when Seeger stopped the backhand on Graterol’s bounced throw.

Swanson managed to finish second when Guillermo Heredia landed at third base. The Dodgers turned to Rosario, who hooked up to the ball on the first pitch in his fifth retirement in 23 games this year.

Breaking Out Closer Will Smith took a 1-2-3 win in the ninth, sighing in relief when Trea Turner came to a stop at the base of the wall on the left.

The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in just six assists against Ian Anderson, who only lasted three innings. Mookie Betts started with a single, and Seeger launched one over the fence in the center right to deafen the noisy crowd.

Pederson brought them back to life by releasing another part of Jocober in the fourth part.

With a jogger on board Pederson connected in a hanging curve from Max Scherzer for his third homer this postseason, a 454-foot shot at the Chop House restaurant above the right-hand side of the stand.

It was the longest homer this postseason and 12th in Pederson’s career in games that really matter.

Scherzer, who earned his first career save in the decisive Division game against San Francisco, returned to the more familiar starter role of the second game.

But with just two days off between gigs, he left after just 4 1/3 innings, shooting 79 assists. He gave four hits, two runs, one walk and knocked out seven.

“My hand was dead,” Scherzer said. “When I was warming up, I could tell that he was still tired.”

COACH ROOM

A Painful Neck ended Justin Turner’s streak of 77 straight postseason starts.

FIRST DRINK

Dale Murphy, one of the greatest Atlanta Braves players, threw away ceremonial first step. Murphy walked up to the hill wearing the # 3 jersey he’d known so much throughout his career, took it off to reveal Hank Aaron’s # 44 jersey, then pulled the jersey off the Hammer and donned Riley’s # 27. Murphy pulled out a pair of pearls as well, paying tribute to Pederson’s fashion statement.

NEXT

RH Walker Buehler (0-1, 3.38 ERA in the postseason) gets a start for the Dodgers in Game 3 against Braves RH Charlie Morton (0-1, 3.86).

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and find his work at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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