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Braves fend off Dodgers to close out NLCS, reach first World Series since 1999

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For the first time in more than two decades, the Atlanta Braves are headed to the World Series.

The Braves, thanks to another hot night from Eddie Rosario, closed out the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 4-2 win in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Truist Park on Saturday night.

Atlanta advanced to its first World Series since 1999.

“I never thought it would happen, quite honestly,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said on TBS. “This is something that I sit in my easy chair and watch everyone else do. I watched [the Astros do it] last night, and I was like, ‘God I want to experience that.’ Here we are.”

Eddie Rosario lifts Braves past Dodgers

Austin Riley put Atlanta on the board in the first inning after hitting a deep shot to left field that one-hopped over the wall and sent Ozzie Albies in for a 1-0 lead.

The Dodgers, namely Cody Bellinger, responded in the fourth inning. Bellinger hit an RBI-single to left field that sent Trea Turner in to tie up the game.

That didn’t last long. In the bottom of the inning with two outs, Rosario drilled a three-run homer off starter Walker Buehler to put the Braves right back on top.

That hit marked Rosario's 14th of the NLCS, a franchise record, and his third home run. The NLCS MVP's 14 hits also tied the Major League Baseball record for most hits in a postseason series.

“That guy’s been on fire,” pitcher Tyler Matzek said on the MLB Network. “I don’t know his numbers, but he’s got to be hitting like .700 or something. Every time he comes up to a clutch situation, he seems to pull through.”

The Dodgers had a shot to get back into the game in the seventh, after A.J. Pollock hit a double and cut the Braves’ lead down by one with no outs.

After pulling Luke Jackson and replacing him with Matzek on the mound, the Braves escaped the inning without any more damage.

Matzek cruised through the eighth inning with three quick outs, too. And though the Dodgers stopped a dangerous Atlanta showing in the bottom of the inning, they couldn't get anything in the ninth. Will Smith grabbed three quick outs himself to end the game and close out the series 4-2.

The Braves last made it to the World Series in 1999, when they were swept by the New York Yankees. They last won the title over Cleveland in 1995 and made it back to the series in 1996, but they fell to the Yankees then, too.

The Braves will next take on the Houston Astros, who finished off the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS on Friday night. Game 1 of that series is set for Tuesday night in Houston.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been to the World Series,” first baseman Freddie Freeman said, via The Associated Press. “This is absolutely incredible. I’m speechless.”

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