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Braves Get Second Straight Walk-Off Win, Take 2-0 NLCS Lead

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
 2021-10-18

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Eddie Rosario delivered a two-out, walk-off RBI single to spur Atlanta to a 5-4 win over the Dodgers and take a 2-0 lead in the NLCS.

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For the second straight night, the Braves and Dodgers appeared destined to head into extra innings. And for the second straight night, Atlanta delivered a clutch hit when it mattered most.

Eddie Rosario drove a two-out single off of Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen that scored Dansby Swanson, as the Braves notched a walk-off win for the second consecutive game to take a 2-0 NLCS lead over the defending champs. While Game 1's victory was a stalemate all game long, Sunday's victory required a heavier lift to overcome a late deficit.

The Dodgers jumped to a 2-0 lead two batters into the game thanks to a two-run homer by shortstop Corey Seager. The score remained that way until the fourth, when Joc Pederson crushed a game-tying, two-run blast off of Max Scherzer to even the score. Scherzer would last just four more batters, giving up two runs on four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in 4.1 innings.

The Dodgers jumped back in front on a two-run double by Chris Taylor that was aided by a misplay from center fielder Guillermo Heredia. Atlanta came back with two runs in the eighth off of Julio Urías, the first of which came thanks to a creative slide by Rosario to avoid a tag at the plate.

The Braves are the fourth team to win the first two games of a series via walk-off hits, according to MLB.com's Sarah Langs , and the first since the Marlins in the 1997 NLDS. Two of the three previous teams to pull off such a feat ended up winning their series in a sweep. The other—the 1981 Astros—ended up losing the NLDS to the Dodgers.

The Braves had a 2-0 series lead over Los Angeles in last year's NLCS and eventually held a 3-1 series lead before the Dodgers rattled off three wins in a row to advance to the World Series. Atlanta has not won a National League pennant since 1999.

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