Ozzie Albies blooped a one-out single into center, stole second base, and scored the game’s winning run after Austin Riley’s single to left field on Saturday, providing the Atlanta Braves with a 3-2 victory and an early 1-0 NLCS lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
While the game seemingly didn’t have the do-or-die ferocity of Thursday evening’s NLCS final game early, the excitement increased as the game progressed. It wasn’t difficult to see the intensity with which both teams were playing throughout the affair.
The Braves got on the board in the first inning after Eddie Rosario singled to right, stole second base, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a Corey Knebel wild pitch, which could have conceivably been ruled as a passed ball.
The Dodgers struck back in the top of the second when AJ Pollock hit a two-out double to left field and later scored on a Chris Taylor single. In the top of the fourth, Los Angeles extended its lead to 3-1 when Will Smith hit a 416-foot solo shot to left field, his third of the postseason.
At that point, many fans of the Dodgers felt the momentum shifting towards their team, but Riley tied the game with one swing in the bottom of the fourth with a 381-foot blast over the left field wall.
Riley’s blast came off Tony Gonsolin, who was the Dodgers’ fourth pitcher of the evening in as many innings.
Besides Knebel’s wild pitch, or passed ball if you prefer, another huge error for the Dodgers came in the ninth after Taylor walked with two out. Cody Bellinger followed with a single to right, but Taylor overran second base, apparently unsure if he wanted to advance. It resulted in him getting tagged out and ending the Los Angeles threat.
Mookie Betts would have been the next batter.
Gonsolin threw 1-1/3 innings.
The Braves used four pitchers. Lefty starter Max Fried went six full innings.
The “other” Will Smith was credited with the win. Treinen, the final Los Angeles pitcher of the night, took the loss.
The Dodgers were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.