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Corey Seager homers again, Dodgers force NLCS Game 7 with 3-1 win over Braves

UPDATED: Sat., Oct. 17, 2020

By Stephen Hawkins Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas – Corey Seager homered again, Walker Buehler pitched six scoreless innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers pushed the NL Championship Series to Game 7 with a 3-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

The Dodgers avoided elimination for the second time in less than 24 hours, and now have a winner-take-all game to try to get to their third World Series in four years. They haven’t won a championship since 1988.

“I’m still sort of recovering from this one, but already thinking about Game 7,” manager Dave Roberts said. “That’s what you live for.”

Max Fried took his first loss all year for the Braves, who were trying to celebrate manager Brian Snitker’s 65th birthday with the franchise’s first World Series since 1999. But the young left-hander worked into the seventh without allowing another run after LA’s three-run first.

“Shoot, we’ll go out there and let ’er fly. A Game 7 is another baseball game,” Snitker said. “It’s not fourth-and-1 and let me get the first down. It’s a baseball game. You have to treat it as such.”

Game 7 is Sunday night, with Roberts staying quiet about his starter and the Braves going with rookie right-hander Ian Anderson, who has thrown 152/3 scoreless innings in his three postseason starts. The Dodgers could go with Tony Gonsolin or give the ball to Clayton Kershaw on short rest.

Justin Turner also homered for the NL West champions, and Kenley Jansen threw a six-pitch ninth for his 18th career postseason save.

It was Jansen’s first save chance in five appearances since closing out the Dodgers’ first playoff win this season in the wild-card round. He struck out the side on 12 pitches in Friday night’s 7-3 win.

“Two huge outings, not only for us, but him personally, you can just see the confidence he has on the mound attacking guys,” Turner said. “That’s the Kenley Jansen I and all of us in there all know and love.”

Fried allowed only two homers in his 11 starts while going 7-0 during the regular season, but the Dodgers went deep twice in three pitches in the first.

Seager pulled a towering shot to right on a 73-mph curveball, and Turner connected on a 93-mph sinker that went 418 feet to straightaway center. Max Muncy walked and scored after back-to-back singles by Will Smith and Cody Bellinger.

Seager, who homered twice in Game 4 on Friday night, has NLCS records with five homers and 11 RBIs, and still a game to play.

His six homers overall are already a Dodgers postseason record.

The last batter Fried faced Saturday was Muncy, who struck out for the second out of the seventh. Fried allowed eight hits while striking out five and walking four.

Mookie Betts, the 2018 AL MVP and first-year Dodger, made a leaping catch against the right field wall to end the fifth. While it wouldn’t have been a homer, it robbed Marcell Ozuna of extra bases, and the Braves a likely run.

Betts let out a emphatic shout while pumping both fists, then celebrated with Bellinger while Buehler held his right arm high in the air.

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