Marcell Ozuna and the Atlanta Braves turned things around in a hurry, and now are one win from ending a two-decade World Series drought.
Ozuna homered twice, rookie right-hander Bryse Wilson made his postseason debut by outpitching a three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and the Braves bounced back from a lopsided loss with a rout of their own, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-2 on Thursday night.
“Feels good, feels really good,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Still have a lot of work to do, you know how quick things can turn. I was really proud of the guys, how they bounced back.”
The Braves took a 3-1 lead in the NL Championship Series, a night after a 15-3 loss. Atlanta will try to reach its first World Series since 1999 when it plays Game 5 Friday night.
Atlanta became the first team in MLB history to have back-to-back games in a single postseason where they lost by at least eight runs and then won by at least eight runs, according to STATS.
Dustin May, the 23-year-old Texan who has thrown 4 2-3 scoreless innings in three appearances this postseason, will start for the Dodgers with them facing potential elimination. Atlanta will likely go with a bullpen day.
Ozuna had four hits and drove in four runs. It was 1-all in the sixth when the Braves scored six times, with MVP candidate Freddie Freeman hitting a tiebreaking double and Ozuna following with an RBI double that chased Kershaw.
A night after the Dodgers had a record 11-run first, they managed only one hit — a solo homer by Edwin Ríos — over six innings against the 22-year-old Wilson.
“He was in complete control. ... He had a really good look about him. He had good tempo, and the stuff was live,” Snitker said. “It was huge, a huge effort by him.”
Ronald Acuña Jr. led off the decisive six-run sixth with an infield single on a play that ended with him, Kershaw and second baseman Kiké Hernández all on the ground. They all took tumbles because of their effort, and weren’t knocked down by the sometimes bothersome breezy conditions in the new Texas ballpark with the roof open.
Today on AirTalk, the Triple Play is commiserating over last night’s game. Questions or comments? Give us a call at 866-893-5722.
With files from the Associated Press