THE Atlanta Braves rode Eddie Rosario’s heroics all the way to the World Series, finishing off the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 4-2 victory at home on Saturday in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS).
Rosario’s three-run home run in the fourth inning was the difference as the Braves advanced to the World Series for the first time since 1999. Atlanta will travel to Houston for Game 1 of the Fall Classic on Tuesday.
Austin Riley had an RBI double, starter Ian Anderson gave up one run on three hits over four innings and left-hander Tyler Matzek (1-0) recorded six key outs as the Braves avenged their defeat to the Dodgers in the NLCS last season.
Rosario had two hits and 14 total in the NLCS to tie a major league record for hits in a playoff series. He had four hits in Game 2, including a game-ending single, and four in Game 4.
Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock drove in runs for the Dodgers, while starter Walker Buehler (0-2) gave up four runs on seven hits over four innings on just three days of rest. Right-hander Max Scherzer did not start Game 6 for Los Angeles as scheduled because of arm fatigue.
The loss ended the seven-game winning streak in elimination games for the defending-champion Dodgers, going back to last year’s NLCS. Los Angeles now heads into an offseason when players like Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Corey Seager, Kenley Jansen and Chris Taylor all are free agents.
The Braves jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on back-to-back two-out doubles by Ozzie Albies and Riley.
Anderson held the Dodgers in check until the fourth, when Los Angeles had runners on second and first with one out. Bellinger rolled a two-out RBI single to left-center field to tie the game.
The Braves used another two-out rally to regain the lead in the fourth. Travis d’Arnaud walked, Ehire Adrianza doubled and Rosario sent the seventh pitch of his at-bat against Buehler over the wall and just inside the right-field foul pole for a 4-1 lead.
The Dodgers pulled within 4-2 in the seventh on an RBI double from Pollock. With runners on second and third with nobody out, Matzek came on to strike out Albert Pujols, Steven Souza, Jr. and Mookie Betts to end the threat. Matzek added a perfect eighth inning.
Closer Will Smith finished off the victory with a perfect ninth inning for his fourth save of the postseason, getting Pollock to ground out to shortstop to end it. — Reuters