ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves survived a 9th inning rally by the Los Angeles Dodgers to win Game 2 of the National League Championship.
The Dodgers come up one hit short after scoring four runs in the ninth inning, finishing the game with the Braves winning 8-7.
Freddie Freeman put the Braves ahead to stay with a two-run homer in the fourth off rookie Tony Gonsolin, who filled in after three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw was scratched because of back spasms. Freeman added an RBI single as part of a four-run outburst an inning later.
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Ozzie Albies homered in the ninth for the second night in a row, and for the second time in a row the ball was caught in the bullpen by closer Mark Melancon. That solo shot proved huge for the Braves, who led 7-0 but near squandered the lead as the Dodgers scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth.
Melacon came on with two outs after Corey Seager’s RBI double and Max Muncy’s two-run homer. Albies made a fielding error on Will Smith’s grounder to second, and reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger hit an RBI triple. AJ Pollock then hit a game-ending groundout to end a 4-hour, 12-minute game.
Atlanta became just the fourth team in major league history to begin a postseason 7-0. The Braves have outscored opponents 37-12.
Game 3 is Wednesday night, with 24-year-old playoff veteran Julio Urías pitching for the Dodgers against Kyle Wright, another rookie right-hander for the Braves. There have been 14 teams take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven NLCS, and all have gone on to win the pennant.
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