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Seager homers once more, Dodgers pressure NLCS Sport 7 with 3-1 win

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Corey Seager’s candy swing. Walker Buehler’s calm. Kenley Jansen’s resurgence.

The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired what they wanted — once more.

“We did what we needed to do to pressure a Sport 7,” Justin Turner stated.

They certain did.

Seager homered once more, Buehler pitched six scoreless innings and the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Saturday to ship the NL Championship Sequence to a winner-take-all finale.

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Los Angeles averted elimination for the second time in lower than 24 hours, staying alive in its pursuit of a 3rd pennant in 4 years. It hasn’t received a championship since 1988.

“I’m nonetheless type of recovering from this one, however already occupied with Sport 7,” Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts stated. “That’s what you reside for.”

Turner additionally homered for Los Angeles, and Jansen threw a six-pitch ninth for his 18th profession postseason save.

The NL West and East champions play once more Sunday evening, with the potential for 2 rookie starters in a Sport 7 for the primary time in large league historical past.

Roberts was retaining his choices open for his beginning pitcher whereas the Braves plan to go together with rookie right-hander Ian Anderson, who has thrown 15 2/Three scoreless innings in his three postseason begins. Tony Gonsolin and three-time NL Cy Younger Award winner Clayton Kershaw are among the many potentialities for Los Angeles.

“Shoot, we’ll go on the market and let ’er fly. A Sport 7 is one other baseball recreation,” Atlanta supervisor Brian Snitker stated. “You need to deal with it as such.”

The Braves had been hoping to rejoice Snitker’s 65th birthday Saturday with the franchise’s first World Sequence berth since 1999. However Max Fried took his first loss all 12 months, working into the seventh inning after surrendering three runs throughout a rocky first.

Buehler, utilizing Stan’s Rodeo Ointment to take care of bothersome blisters, threw 65 of his 89 pitches for strikes. He allowed seven hits whereas hanging out six with out a stroll.

After Atlanta loaded the bases with three singles in a row to begin the highest of second — the final hit by his Vanderbilt roommate Dansby Swanson — the right-hander actually introduced the warmth, with 10 consecutive fastballs to get out of the jam.

Austin Riley struck out on a 98.7 mph pitch earlier than Nick Markakis took a known as third strike on 99.7 mph. Cristian Pache, the 21-year-old rookie who had an RBI in every of his first 4 NLCS begins, was retired on an inning-ending groundout.

“His mound presence is simply unbelievable,” Turner stated.

Buehler stated he has by no means felt that calm in a recreation, particularly a scenario like that. He credited catcher Austin Barnes — and previous experiences.

“I’ve failed in these moments. I have been via it and I’ve been good after it, however that failure doesn’t actually scare me anymore,” Buehler stated. “The extra instances you undergo issues like that, your heartbeat sort of modifications and may decelerate.”

It was a a lot completely different consequence than Buehler’s postseason debut two years in the past in Sport Three of the NL Division Sequence, when the Braves additionally loaded the bases in opposition to him within the second inning. After a stroll drove in a run, Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a grand slam on the subsequent pitch.

Fried, who struck out 5 and walked 4 in 6 2/Three innings, allowed solely two homers in his 11 begins whereas going 7-Zero in the course of the common season. However the Dodgers went deep twice in three pitches within the first.

Seager pulled a towering shot to proper on a 73-mph curveball, and Turner related on a 93-mph sinker that went 418 toes to straightaway heart. Max Muncy walked and scored after back-to-back singles by Will Smith and Cody Bellinger that made it 3-0.

“I got here out in a recreation like this and sort of put us behind the eight-ball actual fast.” Fried stated. “To me, that’s unacceptable.”

Seager, who homered twice in Sport 5 on Friday evening, has NLCS information with 5 homers and 11 RBIs, and nonetheless a recreation to play. His six homers total are already a Dodgers postseason document.

Mookie Betts, the 2018 AL MVP and first-year Dodger, made a l eaping catch in opposition to the best subject wall to finish the fifth. Whereas it wouldn’t have been a homer, it robbed Marcell Ozuna of additional bases, and the Braves a possible run.

Betts set free a emphatic shout whereas pumping each fists, then celebrated with Bellinger whereas Buehler held his proper arm excessive within the air.

With Buehler out of the sport, Nick Markakis greeted Blake Treinen with triple to proper main off off the seventh and got here house on a one-out double by Ronald Acuña Jr.

However the Dodgers’ bullpen closed it out from there, with Jansen ending the victory in an encouraging efficiency heading into Sport 7.

It was Jansen’s first save likelihood in 5 appearances since closing out the Dodgers’ first playoff win this season within the wild-card spherical. He struck out the facet on 12 pitches in Friday evening’s 7-Three win.

“Two enormous outings, not just for us, however him personally, you’ll be able to simply see the arrogance he has on the mound attacking guys,” Turner stated. “That’s the Kenley Jansen I and all of us in there all know and love.”

STRANGE PLAY

Ozzie Albies hit a gradual chopper down the first-base line within the Braves sixth that was fielded by Muncy, who then made the tag earlier than the ball popped out. Albies thought he was out and by no means touched first base. Muncy tossed the ball to Buehler, who tagged the runner already heading again to the Atlanta dugout.

GAME 7s

The Dodgers are taking part in in a Sport 7 for the third time in 4 years. They received 5-1 at Milwaukee within the deciding recreation of the 2018 NLCS, after shedding 5-1 at house to the Houston Astros in Sport 7 of the 2017 World Sequence. Atlanta hasn’t performed in a Sport 7 since its 15-Zero win over St. Louis within the 1996 NLCS.

SHORT HOPS

The 14 homers by Los Angeles are tied for essentially the most in an NLCS, and two behind the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays for essentially the most in any LCS. … Solely as soon as earlier than have the Dodgers received three consecutive potential elimination video games to take a collection. That was within the best-of-five NL Division Sequence in 1981. They received the World Sequence that 12 months.

UP NEXT

Braves: Anderson wanted 85 pitches to get via 4 innings in Sport 2, when he allowed just one hit with 5 strikeouts. However he walked 5 batters in a recreation Atlanta held on to win 8-7.

Dodgers: Gonsolin’s postseason debut beginning Sport 2 got here after Kershaw was scratched due to again spasms. Gonsolin struck out seven however allowed 5 runs in four 1/Three innings. Kershaw pitched Sport four on Thursday.

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