LOS ANGELES — Following Tuesday’s Game 3 loss, Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker felt confident that his team would respond.
“We have lost tough games before and bounced back and done really good things,” Snitker said.
The Braves bought into that mentality with a 9-2 win over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.
Eddie Rosario finished a double short of the cycle but had two home runs, including a 3-run shot in the ninth. The Game 2 hero became the first player to have a pair of 4-hit games in a league championship seris.
“I feel like everyone has really hunkered down and dug their heels in and everyone is really focused,” Rosario said. “That’s something that I’m really proud to be a part of.”
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It is Atlanta’s first win at Dodger Stadium since 2018. The team now holds a 3-1 series lead and can advance to the World Series with a win Thursday.
“As we saw last year, winning a game is hard, especially a veteran team like this that we’re playing,” Snitker said. “But I feel good about our club just from what we experienced last year and where these guys are.”
It felt like deja vu for most of Game 4. The Braves jumped out to a 5-0 lead behind home runs from Rosario, Adam Duvall and Freddie Freeman off Julio Urias.
Cody Bellinger sparked another rally attempt and the Dodgers made it a 5-2 ballgame heading into the eighth for the second straight night.
But Atlanta learned from its Game 3 mistakes.
Atlanta opener Jesse Chavez combined with solid outings from Drew Smyly, Chris Martin and A.J. Minter to limit the Dodgers to two runs.
Freeman’s RBI double and Rosario’s 3-run home run added insurance. Tyler Matzek and Will Smith shut down the Dodgers’ in the eighth and ninth.
“I think what Drew did was awesome, just stretching like he did. Honestly, I didn’t expect him to stay in that game that long,” Snitker said. “Honestly, in the beginning I thought three’s great, two would be really good, and the biggest part too was Minter, the two innings he got for us was huge for us.
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For the second year, Atlanta is now one win away from its first World Series appearance since 1999.
Last year, the Braves went up 2-0, lost Game 3 and bounced back in Game 4 for the 3-1 lead. The Dodgers won Game 5, 6 and 7 to advance and send Atlanta home.
So far, this year’s rematch has followed the same formula through four games. The Braves fans hope the similarities end there.
Game 5 is set for Thursday at 8 p.m. Max Fried will start for Atlanta in his hometown while Los Angeles will likely have a bullpen game in an elimination game.
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