The Los Angeles Dodgers will have to wait until at least Monday to wrap up their National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves.
The Dodgers bid for a sweep of the best-of-five series ended with a 6-5 loss Sunday at SunTrust Field in Cumberland, Georgia, cutting their lead to two games to one.
The Braves took a 5-0 lead on Ronald Acuna Jr.’s second-inning grand slam before a crowd announced at 42,385.
The Dodgers tied the score, 5-5, on Max Muncy’s fifth-inning solo home run, but the Braves’ Freddie Freeman hit reliever Alex Wood’s first pitch for what proved to be the game-winning homer leading off the bottom of the sixth.
Game 4 of the best-of-five series is scheduled for Monday, also at SunTrust Field. Game 5, if necessary, would be played Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers threatened to tie the score in the ninth. Joc Pederson led off with a pinch-hit single to conclude a 10-pitch at bat and Justin Turner drew a seven-pitch walk from Arodys Vizcaino.
Vizcaino struck out the next two batters, Muncy and Manny Machado. However, the third strike to Machado was a wild pitch, allowing Pederson to advance to third and Turner to second.
Vizcaino then struck out Brian Dozier to end the game.
The Dodgers comeback attempt began in the third with Turner’s two-out, two-run single. They cut the margin to 5-4 in the fifth on Chris Taylor’s two-run home run, two batters before Muncy’s homer tied the game.
The Dodgers had a chance to take the lead in the top of the sixth. Matt Kemp led off with a ground-rule double, moved to third on Cody Bellinger’s ground out, but was thrown out at the plate on Kike Hernandez’s grounder to shortstop Charlie Culberson.
Culberson was among the four players the Dodgers traded to Atlanta on Dec. 16 to re-acquire Kemp.
The Braves opened the scoring in the second on rookie right-hander Walker Buehler’s two-out four-pitch walk to Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb that forced in Nick Markakis, who led off the inning with a four-pitch walk.
Buehler, the Dodger starter, pitched five innings, allowing five runs and two hits, striking out seven. He walked three batters, one intentionally. All scored.
Newcomb, the Atlanta starter, allowed two runs and one hit in 2 2/3 innings, walking three, two who would score. He did not strike out a batter.
Wood, the second of five Dodger pitchers, was charged with the loss. Touki Toussaint, the fourth of seven Braves pitchers, was credited with the victory, pitching one inning, allowing a hit and walking two.
Vizcaino, the final Atlanta pitcher, was credited with the save, allowing one hit, walking one and striking out three in the ninth.
The loss ended the Dodgers seven-game winning streak in divisional series play, dating back to Game 4 of their 2016 series against the Washington Nationals.
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