Rosario stars as Braves thump Dodgers, close in on pennant
Atlanta beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-2 in Game 4 of the NLCS at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, pushing the defending champions to the brink of elimination. The Braves now own a commanding 3-1 series lead and can clinch their 18th National League pennant - and first in 22 years - on Thursday.
Rosario, acquired from Cleveland at the trade deadline for seldom-used pinch hitter Pablo Sandoval, was the star of the show, going 4-for-5 with four hits and four RBIs. He finished a double shy of the cycle, settling for two home runs, including the exclamation point in the ninth inning.
Rosario became just the second player ever to have multiple four-hit games in a single playoff series, joining Hall of Famer Robin Yount in the 1982 World Series, according to MLB Stats. The 30-year-old is now hitting an astounding .588/.632/1.059 in the NLCS.
Atlanta got started quickly when Rosario and Adam Duvall clubbed back-to-back jacks in the second inning. Dodgers starter Julio Urias, who got shelled in a Game 2 relief appearance, allowed five runs over five innings in Game 4 while surrendering three home runs.
The Braves hit four homers on the night, which tied a club record. The pitching staff also came up huge on a bullpen day, as six pitchers combined to hold L.A. to just four hits.
Atlanta will now look to finish a job they couldn't last October when the team took a 3-1 lead on the Dodgers in the NLCS only to drop the next three games and lose the series.
The Dodgers also play well with their backs to the wall. L.A. has won six straight playoff games when facing elimination, including three already this year, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com.
The Braves will send ace Max Fried to the mound in Game 5. It will be a bullpen game for the Dodgers, who have yet to announce an opener.