LOS ANGELES — Eddie Rosario had two home runs among his four hits and the Atlanta Braves moved one game from their first World Series berth since 1999 with a 9-2 victory on Wednesday over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Rosario finished a double shy of the cycle while Adam Duvall and Freddie Freeman added home runs as the Braves took a 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series (NLCS). Atlanta would wrap up the best-of-seven series with a victory in Game 5 on Thursday at Dodger Stadium.
The Braves also had a 3-1 NLCS lead on the Dodgers last season, but were unable to get one last victory as Los Angeles moved on and eventually won the World Series.
AJ Pollock had a two-run single for the Dodgers, who were held without a hit until the fifth inning.
Los Angeles starter Julio Urias (0-1) gave up three home runs in five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out three. Urias also coughed up a two-run Dodgers lead in the eighth inning of Game 2 during a relief assignment.
Braves right-hander Huascar Ynoa was scheduled to start on Wednesday’s bullpen game, but was removed from the roster because of shoulder inflammation. Jesse Chavez started instead and pitched a scoreless first inning.
Drew Smyly (1-0) gave up two runs in 3 1/3 innings and was credited with the win. He was the second of six Braves pitchers who shut down Los Angeles.
Rosario and Duvall got the offense started, hitting consecutive home runs to open the second inning. It was the first time Atlanta hit back-to-back long balls in a playoff game since Javy Lopez and Vinny Castilla in the 2002 NL Division Series.
Freeman made it 3-0 in the third inning with his home run to right-center field. Joc Pederson haunted his former team again with an RBI single in the third, and Duvall gave Atlanta a 5-0 lead in the fifth on a sacrifice fly.
Pederson, who helped the Dodgers earn the title last season, has five hits and four RBIs in the series.
Pollock’s two-run single in the fifth got the Dodgers within 5-2, but unlike Game 3, Los Angeles was not able to rally from the same deficit. Freeman’s RBI double in the ninth was followed by Rosario’s second home run to give him four RBIs.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner departed after the seventh inning with an apparent left leg injury. — Reuters