Buckle up, Braves fans—this should sound familiar.
For the second straight season, Atlanta has taken a 3–1 lead over the Dodgers in the NLCS, inching ever closer to reaching the franchise's first World Series since 1999. Behind a stellar bullpen showing and two home runs from Eddie Rosario, Atlanta pushed the defending champs to the brink of elimination in a 9–2 win.
The Braves had planned to use Huascar Ynoa as an opener on Wednesday but had to alter plans when Ynoa was scratched with shoulder discomfort. Jesse Chavez got the call instead, and after a scoreless first inning handed the ball to left-hander Drew Smyly, who tossed three no-hit innings.
In between, the Braves offense went to work. Rosario and center fielder Adam Duvall hit back-to-back solo homers to lead off the second inning, then Freddie Freeman did the same to start the third. Joc Pederson delivered a two-out RBI single after Rosario tripled to right field, and Atlanta held a 4–0 lead through three innings.
The bullpen continued to dominate, with Los Angeles's only runs coming on a two-out single by A.J. Pollock in the fifth inning. From that point on, the Braves retired 12 of the last 13 batters they faced, with the only base runner allowed getting erased on a double play. Atlanta blew the game open in the ninth on an RBI double from Freeman and a three-run homer by Rosario, his second of the game.
Rosario's offensive performance made him the first player in playoff history with two home runs, a triple and a single in the same game, per MLB.com's Sarah Langs. Wednesday also marked his second four-hit game this postseason, tying for second-most all-time.
The two sides will square off in Game 5 on Thursday at Dodger Stadium. Dating back to last year, when Atlanta also held a 3–1 lead in the NLCS, Los Angeles has won six consecutive elimination games.
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