(Arlington) Austin Riley broke the stalemate with a ninth inning homer, helping the Atlanta Braves defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 on Monday night. Riley, the ninth hitter in the Braves lineup, catapulted a quickball from reliever Blake Treinen 448 feet from home, giving his team a 2-1 lead.
“I didn't feel my legs when I was running on the trails. So it was quite a feeling, ”expressed Riley.
Riley became the youngest player since Chipper Jones in 1995 to give his team a lead in the ninth inning or later with a long ball, in a playoff game.
PHOTO KEVIN JAIRAJ, USA TODAY SPORTS
Ronald Acuna Jr. (13)
“He's a really good ninth hitter that we have,” insisted teammate Freddie Freeman. We believe in all of our players and Austin has been that player tonight. Atlanta's training didn't end there. Ronald Acuña Jr. called with a double and crossed the plate after Marcell Ozuna slammed a single. Jake McGee replaced Treinen, but he gave Ozzie Albies a long two-run.
“That's what they are capable of doing. I said before that we are like in an NBA game. You don't want to quit because a lot of things happen in the last third of the game, compared Braves manager Brian Snitker. We have been playing this way for several years now. The guys don't give up and they keep fighting when they are at home. In this duel between the two best Majors teams this season in terms of points and homers - and in the first National championship series since 2007 to feature two undefeated teams in the playoffs - the Braves offered another impressive performance at the mound. Will Smith, the Braves' third pitcher, was perfect in the eighth inning before Mark Melancon closed the books. The Atlanta troops have allowed six points in six games since the start of the playoffs. Before the ninth inning, the only points of the match had been scored thanks to the long ball. Freddie Freeman opened the scoring for the Braves following a solo homerun in the first inning and Kiké Hernández followed suit for the Dodgers in the fifth. The second clash will take place on Tuesday evening. The Braves will send rookie Ian Anderson to the mound while the Dodgers hand the ball to three-time Cy-Young Trophy winner Clayton Kershaw. For the first time since March 12, when the spring camps were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were spectators in the stands. The first game of this championship series, the first involving the Braves since 2001,
Dodgers starter Walker Buehler pitched beyond the fourth inning for the first time in three starts to start a series this fall. He seemed to be struggling with blisters in the index and middle fingers of his right hand.
Buehler struck out seven batters in over five innings of work. He joined Randy Johnson as the only pitchers to record at least seven strikeouts in nine straight playoff starts. Buehler, however, allowed five walks, a career-high.