Braves walk off again to edge Dodgers in Game 2 of NLCS

Eddie Rosario hit a line drive up the middle to score Dansby Swanson and give the Atlanta Braves their second straight walk-off win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday.

The Braves, who had to rally from two-runs down twice to earn a 5-4 win, took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The reigning World Series champion Dodgers will try to regroup when they host Game 3 on Tuesday.

This is the second straight year the Braves will take a 2-0 lead against the Dodgers into Game 3 of the NLCS.

“That’s absolutely huge,” Atlanta’s Austin Riley said of earning a pair of wins at home before heading to Dodger Stadium.

“That’s a tough atmosphere, but I feel like it’s going to be a fun challenge.”

The Braves have lost seven straight games and 10 of their last 11 at Dodger Stadium. They were swept in a three-game regular-season series there in August and September.

The Dodgers won 15 straight home games at the end of the regular season and have won two of three at home this postseason.

“I don’t have to remind them of anything,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said when asked what he will tell his team about the task that awaits.

“I think that they’re going to realize, and we all do, last year when we were up 3-1, how hard it is to win a baseball game.”

Atlanta began the bottom of the eighth on Sunday trailing 4-2.

Rosario led off the frame with a single against Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias, a starter who was pitching in relief. He advanced to second on Freddie Freeman’s fly out and scored on a single by Ozzie Albies, sliding home while avoiding the tag from Dodgers catcher Will Smith to make the score 4-3.

Riley, who delivered a walk-off hit in Game 1 on Saturday, belted a double over the head of Mookie Betts and off the wall in center field that allowed Albies to come home as the tying run.

After Braves pitcher Will Smith retired three straight batters in the top of the ninth, the Dodgers sent Brusdar Graterol to the mound.

Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud greeted him with a single but was out at second after a bunt by Swanson. After another groundout, Rosario came to the plate to face Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen with two outs and sent a ball screaming up the middle. Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager couldn’t corral it, and Swanson scored the winning run as the ball rolled away from the Los Angeles infielder.

The ninth-inning drama ended a close game in which the Dodgers took the lead in the first inning on Seager’s two-run home run against Braves starter Ian Anderson before an out had been recorded.

Former Dodger Joc Pederson answered with a two-run blast off a curveball from Los Angeles starter Max Scherzer to tie the game in the fourth inning.

Chris Taylor put the Dodgers up again in the seventh with a double that scored two runs before the Braves rallied in the final frame.

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Source : Baseball – The Japan Times

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