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Chris Taylor hits three homers as Dodgers beat Braves in Game 5 of NLCS

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Chris Taylor hits three homers as Dodgers beat Braves in Game 5 of NLCS
Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Chris Taylor hits his third home run of the game during the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Thursday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Chris Taylor bashed three home runs to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a dominant 11-2 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

Taylor, who started at third base in place of injured star Justin Turner, became just the second player in Dodgers history with a three-homer game in the playoffs. Kike Hernandez also accomplished the feat in Game 5 of the 2017 NLCS against the Chicago Cubs.

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With the victory, the Dodgers cut the Braves' lead in the NL Championship Series to 3-2.

Game 6 is set for Saturday at Truist Park in Atlanta, where the Braves have two more chances to clinch their first trip to the World Series since 1999.

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A.J. Pollock added two home runs and four RBIs for the Dodgers, who have now won seven consecutive postseason elimination games dating back to last season. Los Angeles also faced a 3-1 deficit against the Braves in the NLCS last year before rallying to capture three straight victories at a neutral site in Arlington, Texas.

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The Dodgers, who mustered only four hits in a 9-2 loss to the Braves in Game 4 that pushed them to the brink of elimination, rattled off eight hits by the third inning against Atlanta ace Max Fried. The Dodgers ended the win with 17 hits, a club record for a playoff game.

The Braves appeared primed to close out the best-of-seven series when star first baseman Freddie Freeman launched a mammoth two-run home run over the center-field wall in the opening inning.

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The Dodgers answered with a three-run third inning and never looked back. Pollock's first homer of the day cut his team's deficit to 2-1, and Taylor's two-run shot made it 3-2.

From there, Taylor scored the Dodgers' next four runs, capped by his third home run that brought the score to 7-2 in the bottom of the seventh. Trea Turner plated Mookie Betts on a single to extend Los Angeles' lead to 8-2 in the eighth.

Later that inning, Pollock went deep for the second time -- this one a three-run shot to left-center field -- to clinch the Dodgers' 11-2 victory.

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Fried lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs and eight hits. He struck out three and walked two.

Evan Phillips was credited with the win for the Dodgers, who deployed their bullpen for Game 5. He pitched 1 1/3 innings and recorded three strikeouts.

Ian Anderson is set to start for the Braves in Game 6 of the NLCS. The Dodgers are expected to start Max Scherzer in the matchup.

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