For the third time in the last four years, the Dodgers are headed to the World Series.
Kiki Hernandez belted a game-tying home run in the sixth, Cody Bellinger launched a go-ahead homer in the seventh and Julio Urias retired the final nine batters in a row to lead L.A. to a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday night in Arlington, Texas.
The Dodgers, for the second time in franchise history, won a playoff series when facing three straight elimination games. Los Angeles belted 16 home runs in the NLCS, which tied a record.
Atlanta reliever Chris Martin, who had carved through the three previous hitters he faced, peppered the outside corner against Bellinger, who spoiled pitches to stay alive with two strikes in the seventh inning. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Martin left a fastball over the heart of the plate, and Bellinger hammered it 417 feet to right-center field, a majestic shot that left a pro-Dodgers crowd of 10,920 at Globe Life Field screaming with joy.
While the Dodgers ultimately won it with the long ball, the pitching of Urias and the defense of Mookie Betts, who robbed Freddie Freeman of a fifth-inning home run, were just as important. Urias earned the win by retiring all nine batters he faced from the seventh inning on. Corey Seager, who belted five home runs and drove in 11 runs in the NLCS, was named the Most Valuable Player.
“This was just a total team effort,” Seager said. “We all came together to get this done.”
The Dodgers, who are in search of the franchise’s first World Series title since 1988, will take on the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 on Tuesday. The Rays are in after their Game 7 victory over Houston on Saturday.