ARLINGTON, Texas, USA (AP) – One Will Smith won the battle against the other. And the Dodgers season continued.
Catcher Will Smith hit a three-run homer to lead off a self-titled reliever, Corey Seager added two home runs and Los Angeles avoided elimination on Friday by beating the Atlanta Braves 7-3.
Smith hit his home run in the sixth inning, just off Will Smith, the fourth of six pitchers for the Braves, who relied exclusively on relievers during the game, starting with AJ Minter, in an unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the World Series, a instance that they have not visited since 1999.
“I’ll always bet on a Will Smith,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Mookie Betts launched the decisive inning by hitting an infield single. In his first season with the Dodgers, Betts also had a good catch in right field, which led to a double play to end the inning.
Originally, a Marcell Ozuna run was scored on the play, but this was invalidated after reviewing the replay and determining that the Dominican detached himself from the anteroom on the tread and runs before Betts made the catch.
And then Seager hit his first home run.
“There are times when encounters change. That’s the play of the year, ”Roberts said. “I just thought there was no way for him to make that play.”
Game 6 will take place this Saturday afternoon. It will be a rematch between Game 1 starter of the series, left-hander Max Fried, and Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler.
Both allowed one run in Game 1, which Atlanta won 5-1 on a four-run cluster in the ninth inning.
“I knew this was going to be a really tough series, no matter what situation we were in,” said Atlanta manager Brian Snitker. “I’m feeling good tomorrow, with Max on the mound … Hopefully we score some runs and give him support to figure this out.”
Blake Treinen, the third of seven pitchers for the Dodgers, had lost the first game in relief. This time he worked two perfect innings for the win.
Inconsistent closer Kenley Jansen struck out all three of his opponents to end the match, although he was not eligible for the save.
Betts stole a base after his single at the start of the sixth inning. With one out, Justin Turner hit a powerful ground ball and Betts was caught on a strip.
The Braves sent Will Smith to the mound to face left-hander Max Muncy, who managed a walk. Then catcher Will Smith hit the full count and hit the ball 404 feet from home plate between left and center field to make the game 4-2.
“He arrived and responded at that moment. I’m glad I saw him express himself, ”Betts said of his partner, who rarely shows his emotions, but was enthusiastic about the hit.
It is the first time since at least 1961 that a batter home runs against a pitcher of the same name in the regular season or playoffs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
For the Dodgers, Puerto Ricans Kiké Hernández 1-1, Edwin Ríos 1-0.
For the Braves, the Venezuelan Ronald Acuña Jr. 4-0. The Dominicans Ozuna 3-1, Cristian Pache 3-1 with an RBI. The Panamanian Johan Camargo 1-0.