This time, Braves on the right side of big inning vs. Dodgers

It's fun to score a lot of runs. Various Braves enjoy Marcell Ozuna's double during the big six-run sixth inning Thursday in Game 4 of NLCS vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Curtis Compton /

Credit: Curtis Compton /

Credit: Curtis Compton /

It's fun to score a lot of runs. Various Braves enjoy Marcell Ozuna's double during the big six-run sixth inning Thursday in Game 4 of NLCS vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Curtis Compton /

Is there anything sweeter than settling a score by scoring yourself in Costco-like bulk?

The Braves would tell you no, not really. One night after yielding an embarrassing 11-run inning, they came back to hang a sixth-inning six-spot on the Los Angeles Dodgers on the way to a 10-2 Game 4 National League Championship Series victory Thursday.

Doesn’t feel so good, does it Dodgers?

Big innings have defined the Braves most painful playoff moments of late. There was the 10-run inning to start the deciding division series game against St. Louis last season. And the 11-run abomination that sent Braves fans to their beds early Wednesday. Life is hard on the wrong side of record outbursts.

The Braves scored six runs or more in an inning six times during the 60-game regular season, and once in the postseason, against Miami. Thursday’s was the one big inning of which to be especially proud. Suitable for framing and hanging on the clubhouse wall.

While their own eruption didn’t exactly reach double digits, it was plenty big enough to propel the underdog Braves to a 3-1 lead in this NLCS.

Let’s assess the carnage of the sixth. Eleven Braves came to the plate. They pumped out seven hits, three of them for extra bases. They were 5-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

“Coming off game like (Wednesday) night we kind of thought we needed an offensive day and those guys took care of business,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “They did a great job of turning the page.”

To begin it all, appropriately, it was the furiously beating heart of the Braves that set the tone.

Consecutive hits by the top three in the Braves' order – Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna – marked the end of the night for Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. Class hitters chased the class starter.

The night may not have begun so well for the Braves top of the order. Temporarily blinded by gust-driven dust, Freeman struck out in the first. And Ozuna hit into an inning-ending double play. But they decided to keep playing anyway.

Amid this fully engaged offense, Ozuna stood out. Stood out big, with a 422-foot home run to right in the fourth inning that tied the game at one. And another, 433 feet to center, in the seventh. Four hits and four RBIs for the night. But it was his double in the sixth, which scored Freeman, who had doubled in front of him, that was the satisfying part of a group effort.

That inning the contagion of hitting swept through the Braves. And it matter little whether it was Kershaw or the hardest thrower in the Dodgers bullpen, Brusdar Graterol.

“Every hit relaxes the next guy and they join in. It’s amazing how that works,” Snitker said. “Hitting is so much mental and when guys are relaxed and feeling good and keeping the line moving a lot of good things can happen.”

Ozzie Albies, who had been hot versus the Dodgers, hitting .467 with two homers to that point, stayed that way, lashing a single to right.

Then Dansby Swanson, who was not hot, 2-for-14 in the series until he turned a 99-mph sinking fastball into a double off Graterol down the leftfield line. That scored Albies and Ozuna. “Dansby hasn’t seen a fastball he doesn’t like yet. That’s one thing about that kid, he can whistle a fastball,” Snitker said.

And still the line kept moving, regardless of age or experience.

Austin Riley singled off Graterol, scoring Swanson.

Into the game came a third Dodgers pitcher trying to staunch the bleeding, Victor Hernandez, who promptly walked Johan Camargo. And up stepped young Cristian Pache, the 21-year-old called in to start because of injury to Adam Duvall. He got his first postseason home run Wednesday, and now has had an RBI in all three of his postseason starts.

With that, the Braves returned to the top of their lineup and went quietly with a 7-1 lead at that stage, having exacted a fair share of vengeance for certain past innings that had gotten away from them.

His English isn’t precise, but Ozuna summarized the experience quite well: “Everyone pull together and we ready for making damage.”