Historic night of Chris Taylor, who hits 3 home runs, keeps the Dodgers alive

Chris Taylor (right) gets his second hug of the night from Albert Pujols after hitting a home run.

Chris Taylor (right) gets his second hug of the night from Albert Pujols after hitting a home run.

Photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

The quietest man in Los angeles dodgers sparked a scandal Thursday night at Dodger Stadium to keep his team alive.

Chris taylor hit three home runs and drove six runs in a performance that goes straight to the Major League record book, leading the Dodgers to a vital 11-2 win over Atlanta Braves in game 5 of the National League Championship Series. It’s the Dodgers’ seventh straight win in win-or-die games.

The Dodgers came up 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, which now returns to Atlanta with the bats of the reigning champions again hot, including AJ Pollock, who hit two home runs between his three hits and produced 4 touchdowns.

31-year-old Taylor becomes the first MLB player to blow himself up three times in a game of possible elimination.

In addition to the sublime offensive display of “CT3,” who started at third base in the absence of the injured Justin Turner, seven Dodgers relief pitchers combined to control Atlanta’s artillery on 5 hits. It was a bullpen day for Dave Roberts and his arms responded.

The Braves were topped in the same first inning on Freddie Freeman’s two-run homer off the starter. Joe Kelly, who left after two-thirds due to discomfort in the arm, another bad news for some badly injured Dodgers who lost Turner the night before for the rest of the series.

But an inning later the Dodgers reacted with an urgent three-run rally off Atlanta ace Max Fried thanks to Pollock’s solo homer and Taylor’s two-run, taking along Albert Pujols, who also had a good game with two of his team’s 17 hits.

In the third, the same men responded again: hits from Pollock and Pujols before Taylor drove in 4-2 with a hit to center.

The versatile Taylor had more dynamite to detonate. Pujols walked with two outs in the fifth and Taylor welcomed reliever Chris Martin with cannon shot on the center wall on the count of 0 and 2 to put the game 6-2.

With that hit, “CT3” reached 8 runs produced in life and death games for the Dodgers this postseason, a new franchise record. The mark would increase to 9 with the passing of the night.

He also became the third Dodger in history to record 2 or more home runs and 5 or more RBIs in a playoff game. The others were Davey Lopes in 1978 and Kiké Hernández in 2017.

But Taylor, the quietest man on the team but a key player for years, had one more gift for the crowd in this year’s possible final game at Dodger Stadium.

Taylor hit left-hander Dylan Lee in the seventh and sent the ball over the left-center field fence, rounding out his dream night. He looked for the fourth bomb on his final turn by getting struck out, but went 5-for-4 in the batter’s box with his 6 RBIs and 3 scored.

Brusdar Graterol and Blake Treinen each pitched two scoreless innings and Kenley Jansen got the last three outs, but the win went to Evan Phillips, who pitched 1.1 perfect innings after Kelly’s injury, including 3 strikeouts.

The Championship Series moves to Atlanta with the sixth game scheduled for Saturday (5 pm ET). Max Scherzer will be the starter for Los Angeles, which obviously has a long, long life.

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