Braves hope to stave off elimination vs. Dodgers

Tanya Simon
October 13, 2018

Freddie Freeman put the Atlanta Braves ahead, then watched from first base as they nearly give away the lead - and possibly their whole season.

"There are so many expectations put on him", Roberts said.

Game 5, if needed, would be Wednesday at Los Angeles. Then you get to be around these beasts and an organization that wants to go for it and everything.

Machado had only three hits in a 3-1 division series victory over the Braves, but two of them were homers.

"We took a hard path to get to this point, but I do think it made us stronger and kind of galvanized our team", Roberts said.

Manny Machado, who was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles at the MLB trade deadline for moments just like this, and David Freese, the veteran infielder who won MVP honors in the 2011 NLCS and 2011 World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals, fueled an offensive outburst that pushed the Dodgers to the National League Championship Series.

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Hill was pulled after the Braves loaded the bases in the fifth with one out on an infield single, a walk and an error, but Ryan Madson (1-0) got out of the jam and ended up as the winning pitcher. Sometimes you just lose it.

Getting back to the playoffs ahead of schedule after a massive rebuild, Atlanta simply didn't have the experience, depth or power to stick with the power-packed Dodgers. When he left the game, Cleveland was in front 2-1 after tagging Keuchel for two runs on a sacrifice fly by Michael Brantley and Francisco Lindor's second home run of the series. "That's just a workout", Braves manager Brian Snitker said. Freddie Freeman is hitting.310 with 191 hits and 23 home runs in 161 games this year for the Braves.

Los Angeles also benefited from some shaky Atlanta defence during its go-ahead inning. Puig kept the sixth going with a popup down the line off Jonny Venters (0-1) that fell between second baseman Ozzie Albies and right fielder Nick Markakis. A super sub during the regular season, Culberson had to start in the playoffs because of an injury to regular Dansby Swanson. Their pitching held the Indians to three runs or fewer in each of the three games they played and outscored them 21-6 in the series. "He went two innings, 50 pitches [in Game 1]".

Former Atlanta manager Bobby Cox one-hopped his toss to the plate but still received a big ovation from the Atlanta crowd.

Game 2 was more of the same for Houston, dominant pitching and offensive production led them to victory.

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