Braves unable to close out Dodgers, NLCS shifts back to Atlanta

LOS ANGELES — For the second year in a row, the Atlanta Braves had a chance to close out the National League Championship Series up 3-1.

But like last year, it wasn’t the Braves night as they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 11-2, in Game 5.

The NLCS shifts back to Atlanta for Game 6 on Saturday.

“It’s going to be the narrative it seems because every day it’s brought up the last couple days. So I don’t think we have a choice until we kill that narrative,” Freddie Freeman said. “We’re up 3-2 and we’re going home. That’s a great position to be in.”

The Braves quickly jumped out to 2-0 lead behind Freeman’s home run. It would turn out to be the only offense of the night.

The Dodgers in return jumped on Max Fried, who was pitching in his hometown, and never looked back.

Fried gave up five runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.

“At the end of the day, it’s playoff baseball. It’s a really good team, won a lot of games, and you got to be on top of your game and bring your best to give your team a chance to win and unfortunately tonight I wasn’t as sharp as I needed to be,” Fried said.

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Chris Taylor became the first player in postseason history with three home runs in an elimination game, according to MLB stats.

A.J. Pollock also had a pair of home runs. Albert Pujols reached base three times with a pair of singles. Overall, the Dodgers outhit the Braves 17-5.

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During the 2020 NLCS, the Braves went up 2-0, lost Game 3 and bounced back in Game 4 for the 3-1 lead. The Dodgers won Game 5, 6 and 7 to advance to the World Series.

So far, this year’s series has followed the same formula through five games. Unlike last year’s neutral site, the Braves will get a chance to break that streak in front of the Truist Park home crowd.

“We got two starting pitchers that are well rested and so this is what this NLCS is about. I mean, there’s two really good ball clubs and you got to play, you got to execute and everything in order to get out of this. So I like where we’re at,” Snitker said.

Game 6 is set to begin at 5:08 p.m. If the American League Championship Series ends Friday, the game will move to 8:08 p.m. start time.

Ian Anderson is the next pitcher in the Braves rotation while Max Scherzer will likely get the start for the Dodgers.