Cody Bellinger belted a 400-foot go-ahead home run and Mookie Betts made another eye-popping catch as the Los Angeles Dodgers advanced to their third World Series in the last four years with a 4-3 Game 7 win over the Atlanta Braves.
Bellinger blasted the eventual game-winning homer in the seventh inning and Enrique Hernandez smacked a pinch-hit home run in the sixth on Sunday night as the Dodgers clawed their way back to win the final three games after being down 3-1 in the series to the Braves.
“I tried to stay within myself and I got a pitch I could get to,” said Bellinger of his home run.
The Dodgers will take on the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays, who won their own game seven 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 classic end to the 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.
Hernandez is just the second player ever to hit a pinch-hit homer in a game seven, joining Chicago Cubs Troy O’Leary in the 2003 playoffs.