Texas — One Will Smith outdid one other Will Smith to maintain the season alive for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
A typical title, a particular end result for the Dodgers catcher.
Smith hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off the Atlanta Braves reliever with the identical title, Corey Seager homered twice and the Dodgers prevented elimination with a 7-3 win in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Friday evening.
“I’ll always bet on our Will Smith,” Dodges supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned.
Smith linked in the sixth in opposition to — of all individuals — Will Smith, the fourth of six Braves pitchers in their bullpen evening that began with a few postseason firsts by A.J. Minter.
“For him to come through for us in that spot. I’m happy to see him expressing himself,” Dodgers proper fielder Mookie Betts mentioned of his teammate who hardly ever reveals emotion however was clearly pumped up by his huge blast.
Betts obtained that decisive sixth began with an infield single, and the first-year Dodger and former AL MVP had a working, shoestring catch in a proper discipline that become an inning-ending double play. His snag took an Atlanta run off the board after a replay problem proper earlier than Seager’s first homer.
“You’re talking about momentum shifts, that’s the play of the year,” Roberts mentioned. “I just thought there was no way he was going to make that play.”
Game 6 is Saturday afternoon, with a pitching rematch from the collection opener: lefty Max Fried for the Braves and right-hander Walker Buehler for the Dodgers. Both gave up one run in Game 1, which Atlanta received 5-1 after a four-run ninth. Atlanta is trying to get into the World Series for the primary time since 1999.
“I knew it was going to be a really hard series, regardless of what situation you’re in,” Braves supervisor Brian Snitker mentioned. “I feel good tomorrow with Max on the mound. I feel really good about him going out there. Hopefully, we can score a few runs and support him and wrap this thing up.”
Blake Treinen, the third of seven Dodgers pitchers and the Game 1 loser in reduction, pitched two excellent winnings for the win. Inconsistent nearer Kenley Jansen struck out the facet in a non-save scenario to finish it, which Roberts referred to as a spotlight for him.
Betts had a stolen base after his sixth-starting single earlier than Justin Turner’s one-out exhausting grounder that obtained Betts caught in a rundown. The Braves then introduced in their lefty named Will Smith to face left-handed batter Max Muncy, who drew a stroll earlier than the Dodgers’ catcher named Will Smith hit a full-count pitch 404 toes to left-center for a 4-2 lead.
“It got the team going. that energy bounces off of each other,” Smith mentioned.
It was the primary time since not less than 1961 batter homered off a pitcher with the identical title in the common season or postseason, based on the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Dodgers prolonged their lead in the seventh when Chris Taylor hit a two-out double and scored on a single by Betts earlier than Seager hit a ball into LA’s bullpen in right-center.
Seager’s 4 homers and 10 RBIs have already tied NLCS data, with not less than yet another sport for the Dodgers to play — two if they need an opportunity to get to the World Series for the third time in 4 years. The 4 homers are already a file for a shortstop in any postseason collection.
“Just kind of putting good swings on pitches and everything is kind of clicking,” Seager mentioned.
Taylor turned an ankle in the left discipline through the eighth inning however remained in the sport. Manager Dave Roberts mentioned Taylor would get therapy and testing previous to Game 6.
Minter struck out seven of the 10 batters he confronted as the primary pitcher in MLB historical past whose first begin got here in a postseason sport. The fourth-year huge leaguer grew to become the primary pitcher — starter or reliever — with seven strikeouts in three innings or fewer in a postseason sport. He had already matched his profession excessive earlier than hanging out the facet — all on referred to as third strikes — in the third earlier than leaving with a 2-0 lead.
After Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnaud had consecutive singles to start out the third for Atlanta, there was one out when Dansby Swanson hit a sinking liner to proper. Betts made a working catch, along with his glove skimming the bottom earlier than his throw house was late. But the Dodgers challenged that Ozuna that left third base early — and it grew to become the Braves third out as a substitute for their third run.
“We were able to get a stop,” Betts mentioned. “Yesterday we couldn’t stop the bleeding. Today, we were able to get a stop right there and put some pressure on them.”
Umpires and the off-site replay crew wanted almost two minutes to make their ruling, however Dodgers fielders — and even Braves runners — had already left the sphere after watching the play on the large video board.
“It’s not always on the offensive side that you get the spark,” Seager mentioned. “A big play in a big moment you get some energy.”
Right after that, Seager’s leadoff homer to straightaway heart in the fourth minimizes the Dodgers deficit to 2-1.
Rookie heart fielder Cristian Pache made a leaping attempt on the wall, however, the ball went simply behind his prolonged glove. But Pache did time issues up in the eighth, robbing Muncy of a homer with an almost an identical play.
The Braves scored in each innings off LA starter Dustin May. Freddie Freeman doubled, went to 3rd, and scored on d’Arnaud’s sacrifice fly in the primary, and Pache had an RBI single in the second. D’Arnaud added an RBI groundout in the eighth.
Smith grew to become solely the third catcher in Dodgers franchise historical past to hit a go-ahead house run in the postseason. The final was Steve Yeager in Game 5 of the 1981 World Series of Ron Guidry of the New York Yankees. The difference was Roy Campanella, who did it twice: in Game 3 of the 1953 World Series and Game 3 of the 1955 World Series.
The 21-year-old Pache, who has performed in solely two common season video games in the large leagues, has an RBI in every of his 4 NLCS begins. He grew to become a starter after outfielder Adam Duvall’s left indirect damage in the collection opener.
A LOT OF RELIEF
Minter hadn’t begun a sport since his junior season at Texas A&M in 2015, the identical yr Atlanta drafted him in the second spherical. He had made 144 reduction appearances (139 common seasons, 5 playoff video games) the previous 4 seasons for the Braves, together with 77 minor league video games, earlier than his first skilled begin.
Smith of Smith, Seager 2 HRs as Dodgers beat Braves in NLCS initially appeared on NBCSports.com