Posted by Ben Morse, CNN
In the face of elimination, Chris Taylor rises.
He hit three home runs to keep the Los Angeles Dodgers alive against the Atlanta Braves in their best-of-seven National League Championship Series, and cut the Braves’ lead to 3-2.
The 31-year-old provided six of the Dodgers’ first seven runs as they drove to an 11-2 win in Game 5 on Thursday night, meaning they will head to Atlanta in exciting MLB playoffs for Game 6.
Taylor became the first player in postseason history to score three home runs while his team was about to be eliminated.
“It’s definitely a surreal feeling,” said Taylor. “I never thought I’d hit three homers in one game, let alone a postseason game.”
Taylor’s form this season earned him his first All-Star call.
He was only the 11th player in MLB history to score three home runs in a postseason game on Thursday night.
One of the other players, Taylor’s teammate Albert Pujols, called him an “amazing guy, a great teammate”.
“Just the preparation that he does day in, day out, the stuff you don’t get to see but the players get to see, that’s why he’s got the success he has on his plate,” said Pujol.
Still lagging behind, the Dodgers are looking to become the 15th team to win a best-of-seven streak after trailing 3-1 and the fifth team, 2-0 and 3-1 behind.
However, the defending champions were already in that situation as they trailed Atlanta 0-2 and 1-3 in the NLCS last year before winning three straight times.
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“I think when we have our backs to the wall we play our best and fight,” said manager Dave Roberts. “But this is just not an ideal place to be in Game 6, but I think it brings out the best in us.”
If the Braves can win this crucial game, it will seal a first World Series appearance since 1999.
Meanwhile, after their Game 5 of the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, the Houston Astros have a chance to complete the series in Game 6 on Friday at home and reach the World Series for the third time in five seasons.
The CNN Wire
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