For the second consecutive night, the team throwing a “bullpen game,” rather than using a traditional starting pitcher, prevailed by a one-sided score. This time, seven Dodgers pitchers limited the Braves to five hits and struck out nine. The night before, six Braves pitchers held the Dodgers to four hits in a 9-2 win.
Now the Braves’ lead in the best-of-seven series is reduced to three-games-to-two, with Game 6 set for Saturday at Truist Park.
Freddie Freeman hit his third homer of this postseason in the first inning, a 425-foot two-run shot to center field off Dodgers “opener” Joe Kelly. But the Braves wouldn’t score again in the game, and their lead lasted only until the second inning, when the Dodgers got home runs from AJ Pollock and Taylor off Fried fastballs over too much of the plate. Pollock homered again in the eighth inning, the Dodgers’ fifth homer of the night, that one a three-run blast against Jacob Webb.
Pitching in his hometown, Fried didn’t make it through the fifth inning. He allowed eight hits and five runs in 4-2/3 innings, throwing a laborious 90 pitches. He exited with the Dodgers leading 4-2 and a runner on first base. Martin then surrendered Taylor’s second homer on an 0-2 pitch. In two starts this series, Fried has allowed seven runs on 16 hits in 10-2/3 innings.
Dodgers 11, Braves 2 (box score)
-- The Dodgers have won seven consecutive elimination games, including three against the Braves in last year’s NLCS.
-- After going 4-for-5 with two homers and a triple in Game 4, the Braves’ Eddie Rosario was 2-for-4 with a double in Game 5. For the series, he is 12-for-21 (.571).
-- Jorge Soler, back from the COVID-19 list, got into the game as a pinch-hitter and struck out.
-- Future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols, starting at first base for the Dodgers, had two hits and a walk and scored two runs.
-- The Dodgers’ 5-6-7-8 hitters -- Pollock, Pujols, Taylor and Cody Bellinger -- were a combined 12-for-18 with five homers, 10 RBIs and eight runs scored.
-- Kelly didn’t make it through the first inning, lifted two outs into the game because of right biceps tightness.
-- When Rosario was thrown out attempting to steal second base in the third inning, it was the first time in this season’s NL playoffs that any player on any team had been thrown out stealing. NL base runners are 25-for-26 on postseason stolen-base attempts, including the Dodgers’ 16-for-16.