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NLCS: Dodgers beat Braves in Game 7, advance to World Series

Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger (35) celebrates after hitting a home run during the seventh inning in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE
Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger (35) celebrates after hitting a home run during the seventh inning in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE

Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers completed their comeback with a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series on Sunday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

With the victory, the Dodgers reached the Fall Classic for the third time in four years. Los Angeles will play the Tampa Bay Rays -- who beat the Houston Astros in seven games in the American League Championship Series -- in the World Series.

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The Dodgers, who matched an LCS record with 16 home runs, overcame a 3-1 series deficit by winning three straight games when facing elimination for just the second time in team history. Corey Seager was named NLCS MVP after recording five homers against the Braves.

"I'm just so proud of these guys," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who is attempting to guide the club to its first championship since 1998. "... This is our year."

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The Braves took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Marcell Ozuna singled to left field to score Ronald Acuna Jr. In the second, Dansby Swanson belted a 434-foot home run to extend the Braves' lead to 2-0.

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The Dodgers answered in the third with Will Smith's two-RBI single, tying the game at two runs apiece. Austin Riley put the Braves back in front by one run with an RBI single in the fourth.

But the Dodgers responded again in the bottom of the sixth. Pinch-hitter Enrique Hernandez blasted a solo home run to tie the game at 3-3.

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An inning later, Cody Bellinger provided the deciding blow with a mammoth solo homer to spoil the Braves' World Series hopes. He became the second player in franchise history to hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later in a winner-take-all game.

"Two strikes, I was in battle mode. And I got a pitch I could hit right there," Bellinger said. "It's one of those where you hit it and you just know right away. It felt really good."

Braves starter Ian Anderson allowed two runs on five hits across three innings. He recorded two strikeouts and walked two. Reliever Chris Martin (0-1) was charged with the loss after giving up the Bellinger homer.

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Dustin May got the start for the Dodgers and lasted only one inning before Roberts went to his bullpen. May allowed one run on one hit and walked two in his lone inning of work. Julio Urias (2-0) earned the win with three spotless innings against the Braves.

Game 1 of the World Series is set for Tuesday night in Arlington.

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