Taylor hits 3 homers as Dodgers stay alive

Chris Taylor has unloaded with three home runs and six RBIs, allowing the Los Angeles Dodgers to survive another day with a decisive 11-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

AJ Pollock added two home runs and drove in four at Dodgers Stadium on Thursday night while seven Dodgers pitchers shut down the Braves, who still lead their best-of-seven series 3-2.

The Dodgers are 4-0 in elimination games this postseason and have won seven consecutive going back to 2020.

Taylor became the 12th player to hit three home runs in a postseason game.

Freddie Freeman hit a two-run home run for the Braves, who have two more chances to advance to their first World Series since 1999.

Game 6 is scheduled for Saturday at Atlanta, which will also be the site of Game 7, if necessary, on Sunday.

The Braves also held a 3-1 NLCS lead on the Dodgers last season but failed to pull off one more victory. Los Angeles advanced and eventually won the World Series.

Freeman’s first-inning home run came off Dodgers right-hander Joe Kelly, who was opening the bullpen game. Kelly did not finish the half-inning, leaving after 28 pitches due to right shoulder stiffness.

The Dodgers answered in the second inning, first on a solo home run from Pollock. After a single by Albert Pujols, Taylor gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead with a home run to left off Braves left-hander Max Fried.

Taylor boosted the Dodgers’ lead to 4-2 in the third inning with an RBI single. After Pujols walked in the fifth inning, ending Fried’s night, Taylor went deep again, this one to center field off right-hander Chris Martin.

Fried gave up five runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings with two walks and three strikeouts. It was just the second time the Braves lost a Fried start since the beginning of August, with the other coming Sept. 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Taylor’s third home run came in the seventh inning against left-hander Dylan Lee, as he became the first player to hit three home runs in an elimination game.

Pujols, 41, reached base three times, with two hits. Taylor went 4-for-5 while Trea Turner, Cody Bellinger and Pollock each had three hits for Los Angeles.

Evan Phillips (1-0) tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the victory, and Brusdar Graterol and Blake Treinen each pitched two scoreless innings.

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