Powered by a three-run homer by Eddie Rosario in the fourth inning, the Atlanta Braves’ offense did just enough to defeat the Dodgers in NLCS Game 6 on Saturday and advance to the 2021 World Series.
The 4-2 win propelled the Braves to their first National League pennant since 1999.
The Braves got on the board in the first inning when Rosario singled and later scored on an Austin Riley ground-rule double. Walker Buehler, starting once again on short rest for Los Angeles, didn’t have his best stuff, but he was able to settle down and hold the Braves at bay for the next few innings.
Early on, the game had the typical feel of a late-series playoff game, as each side was positioning themselves for their kill shot. However, the bottom of the fourth inning contained all the offense that Atlanta needed to advance.
Dansby Swanson flied out to center to lead off the inning, and Travis d’Arnaud followed with a walk. At that point, the Braves decided to pinch hit for their starting pitcher Ian Anderson — which paid huge dividends — as Ehire Adrianza followed with a double to right, setting the stage for Rosario’s blast and giving the Braves a 4-1 lead after four innings.
The Dodgers put together their biggest threat of the game in the seventh inning, but they only managed to plate one run after lefty Tyler Matzek shut down the Los Angeles offense.
Chris Taylor led off the seventh with a double to left, and Cody Bellinger followed with a walk. Next, AJ Pollock doubled down the left field line to plate Taylor and push reliever Luke Jackson out of the game. From there, Matzek entered with runners on second and third and nobody out, only to punch out all three of Albert Pujols, Steven Souza Jr. and Mookie Betts consecutively.
Buehler took the loss for Los Angeles. The Dodgers used a total of six pitchers.
Matzek collected the official win for the Braves. The other Will Smith, who has been virtually untouchable in the series, registered the save.
The Dodgers go home after making their ninth consecutive postseason run.