Cody Bellinger belted a 400-foot go-ahead home run and Mookie Betts made another eye-popping defensive play as the Los Angeles Dodgers advanced to their third World Series in the last four years with a 4-3 Game 7 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
Bellinger blasted the eventual game-winning homer in the seventh inning and Enrique Hernandez smacked a pinch hit home run in the sixth as the Dodgers won the final three games of the series after being down 3-1 to the Braves.
The Dodgers will take on the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays, who won their own Game 7 Saturday in San Diego, beating the Houston Astros, 4-2.
The first game of the 2020 World Series is Tuesday in Arlington, Texas.
Los Angeles lost in the 2017 World Series to the Houston Astros and in 2018 to the Boston Red Sox.
Just a few thousand fans were allowed into the 40,000 seat Arlington stadium because of the coronavirus pandemic, but what they witnessed was a back and forth finish to a classic best-of-seven series between two of the premier teams in the National League.
The Braves jumped out to 2-0 and 3-2 leads but each time the Dodgers were able to counterpunch and level the score, including a rare pinch hit home run in the sixth by Hernandez that made it 3-3.
The Dodgers are in the playoffs for the eighth straight season and almost every batter in their lineup has World Series experience.
That’s why it was a huge surprise when their power game went missing early in the postseason. But they rediscovered it in the NLCS by hitting more than a dozen home runs.
Outfielder Bellinger not only hit the home run that gave Los Angeles the lead for the first time in Game 7, but he snagged the final out in the contest when Dodgers reliever Julio Urias got Braves batter Austin Riley to fly out to centre field.