Dodgers stave off elimination, cut NLCS deficit to 3-2 vs. Braves
Utility man Chris Taylor was the hero, becoming the first player in postseason history with three homers in an elimination game. He filled in for the injured Justin Turner at third base, collecting six RBIs. He's the second Dodgers player to ever have three dingers in a postseason game, joining Enrique Hernandez in 2017.
With four hits and three homers in a postseason game, Taylor joined another exclusive club along with Pablo Sandoval (2012), Albert Pujols (2011), Adam Kennedy (2002), and Bob Robertson (1971), according to MLB Stats.
"First time I've ever done it," Taylor said following the game, according to the Associated Press. "It's kind of surreal."
AJ Pollock also played a crucial role, going 3-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs.
The must-win contest for the Dodgers dropped their NLCS deficit to 3-2. Game 6 will get underway in Atlanta on Saturday. If necessary, Game 7 will be on Sunday, also at Truist Park.
Braves left-hander Max Fried was hit with the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three over 4 2/3 innings.
Evan Phillips earned the win as the Dodgers opted to go with an opener. The first reliever out of the bullpen after Joe Kelly's abbreviated start, the righty struck out three over 1 1/3 perfect innings of work. Seven pitchers in total combined for the winning effort, allowing five total hits while striking out nine. Kelly was the only pitcher to allow runs - coughing up a two-run homer to Freddie Freeman in the first.
The reigning champs will have to win the next two straight to return to the World Series or the Braves will clinch their first Fall Classic visit since 1999.