MLB: Dodgers ride epic first inning to 15-3 victory over Braves

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 15 2020 11:03 AM

Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith (16) celebrates with relief pitcher Adam Kolarek (56) after defeating the Atlanta Braves in game three of the 2020 NLCS at Globe Life Field. Tim Heitman, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers erupted for a record-setting 11 runs in the first inning on the way to a 15-3 rout of the Atlanta Braves in game three of Major League Baseball's National League Championship Series.

The Braves cut the deficit in the best-of-seven series in Arlington, Texas, to 2-1 in historic style.

Max Muncy's grand slam was the Dodgers' third of the first inning, capping the highest-scoring half-inning in post-season history.

The Braves were on the wrong side of the prior record also, surrendering 10 runs in one inning of game five of the NL division series against the St. Louis Cardinals last year.

The Dodgers, buoyed by a late surge that saw them come up just short in an 8-7 loss to the Braves on Tuesday, came out firing.

Mookie Betts led off the game with an infield single on the first pitch from Atlanta starter Kyle Wright.

Corey Seager belted a double off Wright's second pitch of the game to score Betts.

Wright had retired two batters when Will Smith's double scored Seager.

Joc Pederson and Edwin Rios homered on back-to-back pitches, Pederson's blast to left center field scoring three.

Wright walked Chris Taylor before he was replaced by Grant Dayton -- who surrendered a run-scoring single to Seager and loaded the bases to set the stage for Muncy's 435-foot blast to center field.

The three homers were also a record for a first inning in a playoff game -- and tied the record for most in any inning of a post-season contest.

The Dodgers weren't done. Bellinger led off the second inning with a homer, and Seager sparked an three-run third with a lead-off home run as Los Angeles made it 15-0 before Cristian Pache's solo homer down the left field line to open the bottom of the third pulled one run back for the Braves.

Atlanta would tack on two more runs in the ninth, but it was out of reach by then.

The Dodgers' five homers in the first three innings were the most in the first three innings of a post-season game.

All nine Dodgers batters had notched a hit by the third inning -- and Seager had three.

The Dodgers will try to level the series on Thursday in game four, when they expect to have ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw on the mound after he was a late scratch from game two with back spasms.

The winner of the series will take on either the Tampa Bay Rays or the Houston Astros in the World Series.

The Rays led their American League Championship Series 3-0 with a chance to complete a sweep of the Astros in game four later Wednesday in San Diego.

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