LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles Dodgers will try to avoid falling behind in the National League Championship Series by a nearly insurmountable margin when they face the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 Wednesday.
The Braves took a two games to none lead in the best-of-seven series with an 8-7 victory Tuesday as the Dodgers comeback attempt from a seven-run deficit fell a run short, with the would-be tying run stranded at third.
MLB teams trailing 3-0 in a best-of-7 series are 1-37, with the 2004 Boston Red Sox the lone team to overcome the deficit.
Left-hander Julio Urias will make his first 2020 postseason start for the Dodgers and right-hander Kyle Wright his second for the Braves.
Urias is 2-0 in the 2020 postseason with a 0.00 ERA in eight innings, allowing four hits, striking out 11 and walking one in two relief appearances.
Wright shut out the Miami Marlins over six innings in Game 3 of their National League Division Series on Thursday, allowing three hits, striking out seven and walking two.
The Dodgers trailed 7-0 Tuesday. They began their comeback attempt in the bottom of the seventh inning on Corey Seager’s three-run homer.
Atlanta took an 8-3 lead on Ozzie Albies’ solo homer in the top of the ninth.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Mookie Betts singled. Seager, the next batter, doubled him home.
After Justin Turner struck out for the second out, Max Muncy homered, cutting the deficit to 8-6.
Will Smith reached on an error by Albies, the Braves second baseman. Cody Bellinger followed with a triple, driving in Smith, but AJ Pollock grounded out to end the game.
Rookie right-hander Tony Gonsolin was forced into an emergency start for the Dodgers after the scheduled starter, Clayton Kershaw, was scratched because of back spasms.
Pitching for the first time since Sept. 26, Gonsolin retired the first nine batters he faced. He walked Ronald Acuna Jr. leading off the fourth, then allowed a home run to Freddie Freeman.
After striking out Austin Riley to start the fifth, Gonsolin walked Nick Markakis, then allowed an RBI double to Cristian Pache, the Braves’ No. 9 hitter.
Gonsolin then walked Acuna on a 3-1 pitch, prompting manager Dave Roberts to take him out of the game in favor of Pedro Baez with the Dodgers trailing 3-0 with runners on first and second with one out.
Freeman, the first batter Baez faced, singled on a 1-1 four-seam fastball, driving in Pache and advancing Acuna to third.
Baez walked Marcell Ozuna on a full count to load the bases, then walked Travis d’Arnaud, again on a full count, to force in Acuna with the third run of the inning.
Albies hit a sacrifice fly driving in Freeman, increasing Atlanta’s lead to 6-0.
Dylan Floro relieved Baez and struck out Dansby Swanson to end the four-running inning.
The Braves added a run in the seventh as d’Arnaud drew a two-out walk from Alex Wood, moved to second on Albies’ infield hit and scored on Swanson’s double.
Gonsolin, the first of seven Dodger pitchers, took the loss. He was charged with three runs and allowed five hits. He struck out seven and walked three.
Tyler Matzek, the second of seven Atlanta pitchers, was credited with the victory, pitching two shutout innings, allowing one hit, striking out one and walking one.
Mark Melancon faced two batters and was credited with the save. He allowed Bellinger’s triple, but retired Pollock to end the game.
The Braves have outscored their opponents by 24 runs in the 2020 postseason. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the only team with a better run differential through the first seven games of a postseason was the 1960 New York Yankees, who outscored the Pittsburgh Pirates by 28, but lost the World Series in seven games.
Atlanta is the fourth MLB team to start a postseason 7-0, a feat not possible until the creation of the league championship series in 1969.
The 1976 Cincinnati Reds and 2007 Colorado Rockies started their postseasons 7-0 while the 2014 Kansas City Royals started theirs 8-0. The 1976 Reds won the World Series, while the 2007 Rockies and 2014 Royals lost in the World Series.
The series is being played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The final three rounds of baseball’s postseason are being played at neutral sites in an attempt to reduce the possibility of spreading the coronavirus.