Riley's 9th-inning game-winning hit lifts Braves past Dodgers

Austin Riley, a breakout slugger, gave the Atlanta Braves a quick start to the NL Championship Series with a couple of clutch swings.

Riley's 9th-inning game-winning hit lifts Braves past Dodgers

Atlanta won Game 1 3-2 over Los Angeles Dodgers thanks to Riley's homer and a single in ninth inning.

Blake Treinen opened the ninth by striking out Freddie Freeman, before Ozzie Albies' bloop double to center field was given up. Albies stole second, and Riley followed him with a line drive into the left field corner.

After delivering his first walk-off hit, Riley stated that "that was my mindset"

As he reached first base, the 24-year-old slugger extended his arms in celebration. He was then surrounded by happy teammates who carried him into shallow center.

Riley stated, "You can only imagine that as a child."

Eric Young Sr., Albies' first-base coach, told Albies that he would be moving to steal second base so he could score.

Albies stated, "I knew (Riley), was going to do it,"

"I took off as soon as he hit it." I began screaming and shouting all the way to home plate.

In the fourth, Riley also hit a home run. In the fourth, Riley also homered.

He's made a lot of progress in a very short time. Even last year, I don't think he had all the tools. He can beat you in many ways now, and while he has that power always, he now puts together such great at-bats," Trea Turner, Dodgers infielder, said.

"He's a polished batter and I congratulate him on that. He's been a great player, and it's why fans are singing MVP for him."

Riley's huge game was particularly important because Freddie Freeman, the Braves' first baseman, struck out against four Los Angeles pitchers four times after only having one four-strikeout game during the regular season.

Brian Snitker, Atlanta manager, said Riley has shown he is capable of taking that role.

Snitker stated, "I believe that kid has definitely taken a step forward."

For the second consecutive season, the teams will meet in the NL Championship Series. After a 3-1 deficit, the Dodgers won last year's playoff in seven games. They also won the World Series.

Game 2 will be played in Atlanta on Sunday before the series moves to Los Angeles.

In the ninth, the wild-card Dodgers missed a scoring chance. Will Smith got two runs before walking Chris Taylor. Cody Bellinger, pinch-hitter, hit a soft double to right field. Taylor was caught and tagged out during a rundown that began with Joc Pederson's throw at shortstop Dansby Swanson.

Riley stated, "I think if he would've kept going, maybe he could have had a shot at third." But that was a great play from Dansby. It was amazing to be able get out of that inning.

Corey Knebel pitched one inning for the Dodgers as their opener in a bullpen match. He gave up one run. Eddie Rosario started with a single and stole second. Albies then moved to third. Knebel's wild pitch scored Riley.

Atlanta won 18 more regular season games than the Dodgers. The Dodgers pulled even in the second with AJ Pollock's double-out and Taylor's RBI single.

The Dodgers led 2-1 with Will Smith's fourth-inning homer, his third of this postseason. The fourth was tied by Riley's homer with two outs against Tony Gonsolin.

The Dodgers outhit Braves 10-6, but they left runners on base in seven of the seven innings. Los Angeles hitters went 1 for 8. They had runners scoring in scoring position.

"We stopped runs all night. "We didn't prevent any runs, so we won't lose the game," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stated. "We didn't get the hits we needed," Roberts said.

From the eighth inning, no Braves pitcher was perfect until Luke Jackson's three consecutive outs.

Justin Turner was 2 for 24, with one hit in the Dodgers' initial two postseason rounds. Albert Pujols was held with one hit, despite three groundouts. He then popped out in the ninth.

Max Fried, Braves pitcher, gave up two runs in six innings and eight hits. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he threw 23 consecutive strike, which is the most in a postseason match in 20 years.

Snitker stated, "I don’t know if Max felt like he was playing tonight." "Max just kept pitching."

Snitker was shocked to discover that his hitters had scored 14 times in the game.

He said, "I didn't know we struck out so many times," "I'm not sitting here with a clicker.

Braves RHP Ian Anderson faces Dodgers ace Max Scherzer in Game 2.

Scherzer was scheduled to start Game 1, even though he won his first save of his career to end the deciding Game 5 of Thursday's NL Division Series victory over San Francisco. He was moved back to ensure he is fully recovered from the rest of the day.

Scherzer pitched 12 1/3 innings in three playoff appearances. He allowed two runs, six hits and 16 strikeouts. Scherzer was a six-plus season pitcher for Washington in the NL East, before he was traded this season to the Dodgers. He is familiar with the Braves lineup and said that "first and foremost, it starts with Freddie Freeman."

Scherzer stated, "Hands down he's probably the best hitter that I've ever had to face." "And I love to face him because that's where you measure yourself when you have the best."

Anderson is 3-0 and has a 0.76 ERA from five postseason starts. In a win over Milwaukee, Anderson pitched five innings and allowed only three hits with no walks.