The Los Angeles Dodgers will try again Monday to wrap up their National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves after their attempt to complete a sweep ended with a 6-5 loss Sunday at SunTrust Park in Cumberland, Georgia.
Left-hander Rich Hill will start for the Dodgers against right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, who also started Game 1 for Atlanta.
Hill was 11-5 with a 3.69 ERA in the regular season and pitched seven shutout innings against the Braves, allowing three hits, striking out eight and walking one in an 8-2 victory July 26.
Hill struck out seven or more batters in eight consecutive starts to end the regular season, the longest streak of his 14-season major league career.
Foltynewicz was charged with the loss in Game 1 Thursday, allowing four runs and three hits, striking out five, walking three and hitting a batter in two innings in a 6-0 loss.
Atlanta cut the deficit in the best-of-five series to two games to one as 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 inning.
“I thought he would go to his out pitch, and I was kind of looking for something up and he gave me a slider and I was able to get him,” said Freeman, who was struck out on four pitches by Wood in Game 1.
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.
“Eighth and ninth, we had our chances,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “And those guys made some pitches and got out of some traffic, but our guys stressed them, got on base, and gave ourselves an opportunity. But yeah, to take us over the top and take the lead again, we couldn’t get that one extra hit.”
Dozier’s single and a two-out walk by A.J. Minter gave the Dodgers runners on first and second in the eighth, but Yasiel Puig grounded out to end the inning.
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.
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 division series play, dating back to Game 4 of their 2016 series against the Washington Nationals.
Game 5, if necessary, would be played Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
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