AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Eddie Rosario, Braves Take 3-1 NLCS Lead with Game 4 Win vs. Dodgers

Timothy Rapp

There is an old cliche in sports that a series doesn't truly begin until an away team steals a game on the road. Consider the National League Championship Series underway. 

The Atlanta Braves shook off any potential emotional hangover from Game 3's late blown lead, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-2 on Wednesday night behind a huge night from Eddie Rosario. The Braves are now just one win away from their World Series berth since 1999 and hold a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

It didn't take the Braves long to get the offense going in Game 4, as a trio of solo shots helped stake them to a 5-0 lead by the top of the fifth inning. 

Adam Duvall, who had two RBI on the night, also flashed some impressive leather to save a run: 

The Dodgers made a small push in the bottom of the fifth, getting two runs back on AJ Pollock's two-run single:

The Dodgers wouldn't get any closer, however, with the Braves putting up a four-spot in the top of the ninth, which included Rosario's second dinger on the evening:

But unlike Tuesday, when Cody Bellinger's three-run homer and Mookie Betts' RBI double helped steal the win in the eighth inning, the Dodgers didn't have any late magic. And now the defending champs are one loss away from going on vacation. 

Key Stats

Eddie Rosario, ATL: 4-for-5, two homers, four RBI, three runs

Adam Duvall, ATL: 1-for-3, one homer, two RBI, one run

Freddie Freeman, ATL: 2-for-4, two RBI, one homer, two runs

A.J. Pollock, LAD: 1-for-2, two RBI

Julio Urias, LAD: Five innings, five runs allowed, eight hits, two walks, three strikeouts

Mookie Betts, LAD: 0-for-4

Atlanta's Bullpen Game Worked Out Just Fine

Who needs starting pitchers when you can just throw six different arms at one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball? 

That group combined to give up just four hits, one walks and two runs in nine innings of work. Drew Smyly gave them 3.1 quality innings. A.J. Minter let just one Dodger reach base in two innings of work. 

Granted, Atlanta's offense did more than enough to earn the win, but that was the cherry on top of the bullpen sundae. Six of the nine innings they pitched were perfect. Hard to imagine a bullpen game going any better than that. 

The Dodgers' Bats Went Cold Yet Again

It's never a great sign when two of your four hits—and both of your RBI—come from pinch-hitters. Or when the top of your order—Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Trea Turner and Will Smith—combines to go 0-for-15 with a walk. 

The only bigger no-show than the top of L.A.'s order on Wednesday night was their fans in the last few innings:

Outside of Tuesday's electrifying eighth inning, the Dodgers have truly struggled to consistently get the bats going. On Wednesday they barely even threatened to get runners in scoring position, with just two for the entire game. 

You could blame the Dodgers pitching for this loss, and fair enough. Giving up nine runs is a recipe for disaster. But the lineup didn't do much, either, and that has been the theme of this entire series, save for one inning. 

What's Next?

Potentially the final game at Dodger Stadium this season. The Dodgers host Game 5 Thursday at 8:08 p.m. ET on TBS. 


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