(Arlington) Cody Bellinger slammed a powerful long ball in the seventh inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers came in from behind to beat the Atlanta Braves 4-3 on Sunday night to return to the World Series.
Facing a two-ball-and-two strike count, and after hitting three foul balls in a row, Bellinger catapulted an offering from reliever Chris Martin into the right-field bleachers to secure the Dodgers' first lead of the game.
The Californian troops were behind 1-3 in that National Championship series, but they moved up the slope to join the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series. It was the first 1-3 comeback since the Chicago Cubs versus the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series.
The fall classic of Major League Baseball gets underway Tuesday night at Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers. The Dodgers are participating for the third time in four years while the Rays meet for the first time since 2008.
The Dodgers lost in seven games against the Houston Astros in 2017 and five games against the Boston Red Sox in 2018.
Relief Julio Urias was perfect in three innings and closed the books in the ninth as stopper Kenley Jansen warmed up in the box.
Dogers shortstop Corey Seager has been named the Championship Series MVP. Seager notably slammed five long balls and produced 11 points in the seven games against the Braves.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts trusted young Dustin May to start the seventh game, but the right-hander had to shake off the nervousness in the first inning. May threw eight straight balls to get Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman on base. Marcell Ozuna slammed a single to push Acuna home to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
In the second set, Tony Gonsolin replaced May at the mound, but the Braves doubled their lead anyway. Gonsolin's third shot was sent over the fence to left center field by Dansby Swanson, who had a first homer in that series.
The Dodgers left a runner in scoring position late in the second inning, but they didn't waste their opportunity in the third, after two outs. Justin Turner walked out and Max Muncy hit a double in the right. Will Smith pushed his two teammates to the plate with a single that tied it 2-2.
Walks once again served the cause of Atlanta's formation, this time in the fourth inning, and she regained the lead in the game. Installed in the second cushion, Ozzie Albies came to score following a single from Austin Riley. The Dodgers ended the threat, however, when Riley and Swanson were unattractive on the trails.
Dave Roberts' men tried to level the score and even get ahead on their turn at bat, but Muncy was pulled out on momentum with the bases all occupied.
The Dodgers' defense was not to be outdone and it stood out, as it has throughout the series. Outfielder Mookie Betts jumped against the fence to deprive Freeman of a solo homerun in the fifth inning. Enrique Hernandez praised his teammate's play in his own way by leveling the score 3-3 with a resounding homerun in the sixth at the expense of AJ Minter.
Bellinger and Urias then did the work to confirm their team's victory.