ARLINGTON, Texas – One Will Smith outdid another Will Smith to keep the season alive for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
A common name, a special result for the Dodgers catcher.
Smith hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off the Atlanta Braves reliever with the same name, Corey Seager homered twice and the Dodgers avoided elimination with a 7-3 win in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Friday night.
“I’ll always bet on our Will Smith,” Dodges manager Dave Roberts said.
Smith connected in the sixth against — of all people — Will Smith, the fourth of six Braves pitchers in their bullpen night that started with a couple of postseason firsts by A.J. Minter.
“For him to come through for us in that spot. I’m happy to see him expressing himself,” Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts said of his teammate who rarely shows emotion but was clearly pumped up by his big blast.
Betts got that decisive sixth started with an infield single, and the first-year Dodger and former AL MVP had a running, shoestring catch in right field that turned into an inning-ending double play. His snag took an Atlanta run off the board after a replay challenge right before Seager's first homer.
“You’re talking about momentum shifts, that’s the play of the year," Roberts said. “I just thought there was no way he was going to make that play.”