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Braves avoid elimination, defeat Dodgers 6-5 in NLDS Game 3

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Unlike the Rockies, the Braves were able to stave off the opposition to avoid being swept in the NLDS, hanging on to defeat the Dodgers 6-5 in Game 3 at SunTrust Park on Sunday night.

Ronald Acuña gave the Braves an early jolt, swatting a grand slam to left field in the second inning against Walker Buehler, who had been living up to his first name. That put the Braves up 5-0 early.

The Dodgers chipped away at their five-run deficit, scoring a pair of runs in the third inning that was aided in part by a misplay by Acuña in left field when Justin Turner grounded a single. In the fifth, Chris Taylor drilled a two-run homer to left field off of Kevin Gausman to cut the deficit to 5-4. Later in the inning, in a battle of Maxes, pinch-hitter Muncy bested reliever Fried as Muncy lifted a game-tying solo homer to center field to knot the game at five each.

In the bottom of the sixth, Freddie Freeman took matters into his own hands. Alex Wood took the mound to start the frame, tossing a first-pitch, 83 MPH change-up that Freeman promptly deposited into the stands in right field for a solo homer.

Chad Sobotka tossed a scoreless seventh and A.J. Minter did the same in the eighth. The Braves handed the ball to Arodys Vizcaíno in the top of the ninth to preserve the 6-5 lead. He got into a sticky situation, giving up a leadoff single to Joc Pederson, then walking Turner. Vizcaíno rebounded in a big way, striking out Muncy, Manny Machado, and Brian Dozier consecutively to end the game.

The Braves won their first postseason game since Game 2 of the 2013 NLDS when they beat the Dodgers 4-3. They are hoping to win two more games in a row to advance out of the Division Series for the first time since 2001.

The Dodgers will get another opportunity to eliminate the Braves on Monday. Game 4 will start at 4:30 PM ET and will be broadcast on FS1. If the Dodgers advance, they will return to the LCS for a third consecutive year.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.