Oct. 17 (UPI) — The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 Saturday in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, forcing a deciding game Sunday night at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.
For the Dodgers, who have won two games in a row to tie the series at 3-3, the game Saturday was pretty much over after the first inning, when Los Angeles scored all of its runs — two of them on back-to-back homers by Corey Seager and Justin Turner.
The Dodgers picked up a third run in the inning on a walk by Max Muncy, a single by Will Smith and an RBI single by Cody Bellinger.
Los Angeles pitcher Walker Buehler, who throws a 100-mph fastball, held the Braves at bay through scoreless six innings, allowing seven hits, striking out six and not allowing a walk.
But he was in shaky territory in the second inning, when three Braves hit consecutive singles to load the bases with no one out. But the bottom of the Atlanta lineup proved a savior for the right-hander.
He threw three fastballs past Austin Riley for a strikeout, and then struck out Nick Markakis on six pitches. Christian Pache, a 21-year-old rookie, then grounded out to end the inning.
“We’re feeling very comfortable right now,” Buehler said after the victory. The Dodgers will be seeking their third pennant in four years. On Sunday, the Braves will be trying to reach the World Series for the first time in 21 years.
Seager set two NLCS records with his fifth home run and 11th RBI of the series, and with a game to go, he could reach the ALCS record of six Nelson Cruz set with the Rangers in 2011. He has 11 RBIs in the series, two fewer than Cruz’s total in that ALCS series.
Braves pitcher Max Fried was unsteady in the first frame, allowing Seager’s 359-foot homer, followed by Turner’s 418-foot blast. But he regained his composure and held the Dodgers scoreless for the next 5 2/3 innings.