The Los Angeles Dodgers kept their season alive last night, beating the Atlanta Braves 6-2 and moving on to the National League Championship Series.
The Dodgers’ newest addition, Manny Machado, drove in four runs last night, three of them coming on a homerun he hit in the 7th inning. Machado entered the game just 1-for-12 in the series, his only hit a two-run homer in Game 2. He doubled his hit total with an RBI double in the first inning of Game 4, kicking off his biggest performance since moving to the Dodgers.
Atlanta and Los Angeles exchanged the lead, each getting two-run, pinch-hit singles. The Braves went up 2-1 in the fourth on Kurt Suzuki’s hit, but the Dodgers regained the advantage on David Freese’s two-out single in the sixth. It was just the latest big October at-bat for Freese, who was MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series when he was with St. Louis in 2011.
The young Braves battled, loading the bases with one out in the fifth, but Dodgers reliever Ryan Madson got out of the jam by forcing a pair of popouts. That turned out to be the last gasp for a team that emerged as a young powerhouse and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Clayton Kershaw will start game one for the Dodgers, looking to build on his strong performance from game two. The Dodgers opted to start Hyun-Jin Ryu in game one. Roberts justified the move by explaining having both pitchers go on an extra day of rest, as opposed to Kershaw on regular rest and Ryu on two extra days, put the club in a better position.