ATLANTA — Chris Taylor hit a bases-loaded double in an eight-run fifth inning for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who beat the Atlanta Braves 9-5 Friday night in a rematch of last year's National League Championship Series.
In the teams' first meeting since the Dodgers rallied from a 3-1 NLCS deficit to take the pennant before going on to win the World Series, Los Angeles sent 13 batters to the plate in the top of the fifth, which lasted more than 40 minutes.
Atlanta starter Ian Anderson (4-3), facing the Dodgers for the first time in the regular season and the first time since Game 7 of the NLCS, retired the first nine batters he faced, five by strikeout, before allowing two walks in the fourth. He began to unravel in the fifth, walking Taylor and giving up his lone hit, a double by Gavin Lux.
"We have an explosive offense, and I feel like we can put up five, six, seven, eight runs whenever," Lux said. "We have a lot of really good hitters, really good players. When we string together at-bats like that, it's pretty fun to be a part of. That inning was huge. It was the difference maker in the game."
Los Angeles tied it at 1 when third baseman Austin Riley fielded A.J. Pollock's grounder and hit Taylor in the back with his throw home, allowing a run to score. Lux used a headfirst slide to cross the plate on pitcher Julio Urías' bunt that Anderson fielded in front of the mound and flipped too late to catcher William Contreras.
"The ground ball to Riley off the bat off Pollock and C.T. running in the baseline, getting hit in the back flipped the game," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "That's just a heads-up play, taking away the angle from the third baseman. After that, it was just good to see our guys take the walks."
Reliever Sean Newcomb walked Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger with the bases loaded to make it 4-1 before Will Smith singled for a 5-1 lead and Taylor doubled. Newcomb and Grant Dayton combined to allow four runs and five walks for a bullpen that began the night with a 4.79 ERA, fifth-worst in the majors.
"Yeah, it's an issue," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "Anybody that comes in, the key to pitching is throwing strikes. Throwing strike one and hitting your spots, but you can't get buckshot like we did that inning. We weren't even close on a lot of them. We've got to do a better job of making pitches right there."
Freddie Freeman homered for the 13th time this season to make it 1-0 in the first.
Urías (8-2) was facing the Braves for the first time since closing them out with three perfect innings to finish off the NLCS last October. He allowed four hits and two walks with five strikeouts in five innings.
Los Angeles, which had four hits and walked eight times, added a run in the ninth.
The Dodgers have won three of their past four games and 16 of 22 to improve to 34-23. The Braves, who got a two-run double from Ozzie Albies and another two runs on an error by shortstop Lux in the eighth, have lost five of seven to drop to 26-29 and have yet to get their record above .500 this season.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen pitched a shaky ninth in a nonsave situation, walking the first two batters he faced, but Ronald Acuña Jr. popped out, Freeman struck out and Albies flied out to end it.