NLCS Game 3 at a glance: Dodgers 6, Braves 5

Braves relief pitcher Luke Jackson reacts in the dugout during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 at the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday. Jackson gave up a three-run homerun to the Dodgers' Cody Bellinger to tie the game at 5-5. Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com
Caption
Braves relief pitcher Luke Jackson reacts in the dugout during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 at the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday. Jackson gave up a three-run homerun to the Dodgers' Cody Bellinger to tie the game at 5-5. Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

What you need to know about the Braves’ 6-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium:

How it unraveled

The Braves led 5-2 and were five outs away from an all-but-insurmountable three-games-to-none advantage in the series until the Dodgers, whose offense had been quiet since the first inning, exploded for four runs in the eighth. A three-run homer to right-center by Cody Bellinger off a high fastball from Luke Jackson abruptly tied the score 5-5. Then, three batters later, a double by Mookie Betts into the right-center gap against Jesse Chavez put the Dodgers ahead 6-5. And after L.A. closer Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth, the Braves were left with a tenuous two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven series.

Earlier, a big rally

Until the eighth, the Braves seemed in command of the game on the strength of a four-run rally of their own in the fourth inning. They took advantage of several breaks -- a fly ball misplayed by inexperienced center fielder Gavin Lux for an Austin Riley double, a ball call on what appeared to be a third strike to Joc Pederson and a Dansby Swanson hit off shortstop Corey Seager’s glove -- to chase Dodgers starter Walker Buehler and take a 4-2 lead. Runs scored on singles by Pederson, Adam Duvall and Swanson and a bases-loaded walk to Eddie Rosario.

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Familiar beginning

For the second consecutive game, the Dodgers led 2-0 before making an out. After Betts walked, Seager homered. But Charlie Morton, despite walking three consecutive batters with two outs, escaped the first inning without further damage.

Morton’s recovery

After throwing 34 pitches and walking four batters in the first inning, Morton rebounded strongly. He lasted five innings, more than could have been expected after the way the game started, and allowed no runs after the first. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth, the Braves leading 5-2.

Dodgers 6, Braves 5 (box score)

Notable

- The first three games in the series have been decided by one run, with the winning run scoring in the eighth or ninth inning each time.

- The Braves still haven’t won a game in Dodger Stadium since June 9, 2018. They’ve lost 10 in a row there (seven regular-season and three postseason).

- Duvall, who led the NL in RBIs during the regular season, drove in his first two runs of this postseason with singles in the fourth and fifth innings.

Caption
Braves center fielder Adam Duvall reacts after hitting an RBI single - scoring second baseman Ozzie Albies - to give Atlanta a 5-2 lead in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

Braves center fielder Adam Duvall reacts after hitting an RBI single - scoring second baseman Ozzie Albies - to give Atlanta a 5-2 lead in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)
Caption
Braves center fielder Adam Duvall reacts after hitting an RBI single - scoring second baseman Ozzie Albies - to give Atlanta a 5-2 lead in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

- After going 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts in the first two games of the series, Freddie Freeman had three hits in Game 3, all singles to left field.

- The Dodgers are 13-for-13 on stolen-base attempts in the playoffs, including 8-for-8 in this series. Chris Taylor stole second base in the eighth inning Tuesday before scoring on Betts’ game-winning double.

- A base-running mistake defused a potential Braves rally in the first inning. After hits by Rosario and Freeman put runners on first and second base with no outs, Rosario was doubled off second on a lineout to center field by Ozzie Albies.

- The series has had the same outcomes as last year’s NLCS to this point: the Braves winning the first two games and the Dodgers winning the third, although the 2020 series was played at a neutral site in Arlington, Texas.

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