LOS ANGELES – Chris Taylor flexed his “Mr. October” muscles and joined an exclusive club during Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.
Taylor tied a postseason game record with three home runs and drove in six runs Thursday to keep the Los Angeles Dodgers alive in the best-of-seven series. The Dodgers’ 11-2 victory against the Braves — helped by A.J. Pollock’s two home runs and four RBI — sends the series back to Atlanta for Game 6.
It was the first three-game homer game of Taylor’s career, and it came at a critical time for Los Angeles. The Dodgers were facing elimination against the Braves, who were looking to clinch their first World Series berth since 1999. Atlanta still leads the NLCS series, 3-2.
Taylor had a chance for a fourth home run in the eighth inning but struck out to finish out a 4-for-5 night.
Game 6 will be played in Atlanta on Saturday.
Taylor became the 12th player to hit three homers in a postseason game, evoking memories of Babe Ruth, who achieved the feat twice — in the 1926 and 1928 World Series — and Reggie Jackson, who hit three first-pitch homers against the Dodgers in the 1977 World Series.
It happened last in 2017 by another Dodger. That’s when Kike Hernandez connected three times against the Chicago Cubs in Game 5 of the NLCS to send Los Angeles to the World Series for the first time in 29 years.
Albert Pujols, who was in the lineup for the Dodgers on Friday, hit three homers in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Freddie Freeman put the Braves on top in the first inning when he hit a two-run homer off Los Angeles starter Joe Kelly, who was lifted after facing four batters.
But the Dodgers responded with a three-run rally in the second. A.J. Pollock cut the deficit to 2-1 with a solo homer in the second inning off Atlanta starter Max Fried. After Albert Pujols singled, Taylor connected for a two-run shot into the Dodgers bullpen to give Los Angeles a 3-2 lead.
Taylor added an RBI single in the third inning to make it 4-2 and hit a two-run homer in the fifth to give the Dodgers a 6-2 lead.
Taylor then wrote his name in the record books with a solo shot in the seventh inning to give the Dodgers a 7-2 lead.
Los Angeles added four insurance runs in the eighth inning on Trea Turner’s RBI single and on Pollock’s three-run homer.
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