NLCS Game 5 at a glance: Dodgers 11, Braves 2

The Dodgers' Chris Taylor jogs around the bases after he hit a two-run home run off of  Braves starting pitcher Max Fried, right, during the second inning in Game 5 at the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on Thursday. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)
Caption
The Dodgers' Chris Taylor jogs around the bases after he hit a two-run home run off of Braves starting pitcher Max Fried, right, during the second inning in Game 5 at the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on Thursday. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

What you need to know about the Braves’ 11-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium:

Taylor’s epic game

The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor led the rout with a monumental performance: three home runs off three different pitchers and six RBIs. His first homer, a two-run shot off Max Fried, gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the second inning. His second homer, a two-run blast against Chris Martin, made the score 6-2. And his third, a solo shot against Dylan Lee, tacked on a run in the seventh.

Taylor batted again in the eighth with a chance to become the first player in MLB history with four homers in a postseason game, but struck out. For the series, he is 9-for-17 (.529) with a 1.776 OPS.

ExploreMichael Cunningham: Braves squander chances to leave L.A. with pennant

Successful ‘bullpen game’

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.

Power surge

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.

Fried’s start

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)

Notable

-- 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.

About the Author

Editors' Picks