Ozuna homers twice as Braves grab 3-1 NLCS edge

Marcell Ozuna went 4-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs, and rookie Bryse Wilson pitched six stellar innings to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-2 on Thursday at Arlington, Texas, and take a 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series.

Dansby Swanson had a two-run double as one of five run-scoring hits during a six-run sixth inning that broke the game open. Freddie Freeman and Ozuna also had RBI doubles in the inning while Austin Riley and Cristian Pache had run-scoring singles.

Wilson (1-0) gave up just one run and one hit — on Edwin Rios’ homer in the third — while pitching for the first time since the regular-season finale on Sept. 27. The 22-year-old right-hander struck out five and walked one in the first postseason appearance of his career.

Four relievers followed Wilson to the mound with right-hander Shane Greene recording the final three outs to complete a three-hitter.

The Braves, who had 14 hits, will attempt to wrap up the best-of-seven series in Game 5 on Friday. Atlanta is looking to reach the World Series for the first time since 1999.

Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw (0-1) was charged with four runs and seven hits in five-plus innings. The 32-year-old veteran struck out four and walked one while seeing his career postseason record fall to 11-12.

Kershaw was making his first start of the series. He was scheduled to start Game 2 on Tuesday but was scratched due to back spasms.

The Braves sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs in the sixth-inning uprising to snap a 1-1 tie.

Freeman’s double plated the inning’s first run, and Ozuna followed with one of his own to give the Braves a 3-1 edge and end Kershaw’s outing.

Three batters later, Swanson ripped a two-run double inside the third base line off right-hander Brusdar Graterol. Riley followed with a ground single to make it 6-1 and Pache added an RBI ground single off left-hander Victor Gonzalez later in the frame.

The Dodgers got a run back in the seventh on Rios’ sacrifice fly, but pinch hitter Will Smith lined out with the bases loaded to end the inning.

On the third pitch in the bottom of the seventh, Ozuna jumped on right-hander Dylan Floro’s offering and sent it 434 feet over the fence in center to make it 8-2.

Freeman and Ozuna added run-scoring singles to center in the eighth.

Los Angeles got on the board first when Rios led off the third by depositing Wilson’s fastball over the fence in right.

Atlanta tied the score in the fourth when Ozuna sent Kershaw’s slider 422 feet to left, smacking off the signage on the facing of the second deck.


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