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Cody Bellinger’s 3-run homer in 8th fuels Dodgers’ rally to beat Braves in NLCS Game 3

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Cody Bellinger’s 3-run homer in 8th fuels Dodgers’ rally to beat Braves in NLCS Game 3

LOS ANGELES — Are you not entertained?

Like a defibrillator paddle straight to the chest, Cody Bellinger’s three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning shocked life into a moribund Dodger Stadium crowd.

Bellinger’s home run tied a game the Dodgers seemed to have bungled away. Three batters later, Mookie Betts drove in the go-ahead run with a double and the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves, 6-5, in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday afternoon

Five outs away from facing another elimination game and potential sweep in this NLCS, the Dodgers have bounced back from two walk-off losses in Atlanta and have a chance to even the series in Game 4 on Wednesday night.

The Braves have now lost 21 of their last 25 games at Dodger Stadium, including regular season and postseason – but not last year’s bubble games. That includes 11 of their past 12 and the last eight in a row.

It looked like they might whistle past their graveyard Tuesday.

The Braves arrived in Los Angeles this time having won the first two games of the NLCS against the Dodgers for the second year in a row. Last year, the Dodgers’ comeback started with a 15-run explosion in Game 3 (including 11 runs in the first inning).

They were counting on a similar rebirth in this Game 3 with a rested Walker Buehler starting and the energy boost of home-field advantage.

Deja vu took an early lead on Corey Seager’s two-run home run in the first inning – his 13th career postseason home run (tying Justin Turner for the Dodgers’ franchise record) and his seventh against the Braves.

But the Dodgers stopped well short of last year’s 11-run jump start. Despite four walks, sending eight batters to the plate and making Braves starter Charlie Morton throw 34 pitches, the Dodgers didn’t score again after Seager’s home run.

Buehler wasn’t particularly sharp either through the first three innings and gave up a leadoff single to Freddie Freeman in the fourth. It was one of three opposite-field singles for Freeman, who went 0 for 8 with seven strikeouts in the first two games of the series.

After Ozzie Albies flew out, Austin Riley drove a deep fly ball to center field. Novice outfielder Gavin Lux went back to the wall, fighting the sun, reached up and had the ball clank off his glove for what was scored a double.

With runners on second and third, Buehler had Joc Pederson down 0-and-2 when he threw a cutter that appeared to tuck itself inside the strike zone, down and in to Pederson. Home plate umpire Jerry Meals did not call it a strike, much to Buehler’s consternation.

Two pitches later, Pederson ripped a single through the shift and into right field to drive in the Braves’ first run. Adam Duvall followed with a broken-bat single to drive in the tying run. Buehler walked Travis d’Arnaud to load the bases then Dansby Swanson’s hard-hit ground ball (107 mph off the bat) went off Seager’s glove and into left field for another RBI single.

Buehler walked in another run, gesturing at Meals after the fourth ball (not particularly close) and then exiting the stage. In two starts this series, the Dodgers have gotten a combined eight innings from Max Scherzer and Buehler with six runs allowed on 11 hits and four walks in that time.

The Dodgers have taken a two-run lead three times in this series. All three have been erased by the Braves within the next three innings.

Morton came off the ropes in the first inning to allow just two more hits through five innings. The Braves bullpen picked it up from there. After stranding the bases loaded in the first inning, the Dodgers left Betts at second base in the second inning. They didn’t get another runner safely to second base until singles by Will Smith and AJ Pollock in the eighth inning.

That brought up Bellinger against the Braves’ best reliever, Luke Jackson. He fell behind 1-and-2 then got the kind of pitch he has struggled with all season – a high-heat, high fastball. Bellinger hammered it into the right field pavilion to tie the score.

After a dreadful regular season, Bellinger has hit the reset button in the postseason, going 7 for 24 with six RBIs and coming up clutch for the Dodgers.

Chris Taylor followed Bellinger’s home run with a single, stole second and went to third on a ground out. With two outs, Betts ripped a double into the right-center field gap to score the go-ahead run.

Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the top of the ninth to end it.

More to come on this story.

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Large fire reported at recycling business in East St. Louis

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Large fire reported at recycling business in East St. Louis

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – The Christmas Traditions Festival is a celebration that business owners on Main Street in St. Charles rely on to stay afloat, especially coming out of the pandemic. But, they worry barriers will block the shoppers they need this season. 

“The question is do we have a shopping and dining district or do we have a street party district?” said Robert Schuette, owner of First Capitol Trading Collectibles and Gifts. 

Business owners on Main Street were notified on Nov. 2 that the St. Charles Fire chief approved a city ordinance to block off the strip from parking on weekends during the Christmas Traditions Festival for public safety reasons … but they say, blocking vehicles also block sales. 

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Mikaela Shiffrin ties Ingemar Stenmark record with win in women’s slalom

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Mikaela Shiffrin ties Ingemar Stenmark record with win in women’s slalom

KILLINGTON, Vt. — Mikaela Shiffrin marked the return of the women’s World Cup to North America by setting yet another record — and the two-time Olympic champion did it Sunday on home snow.

Shiffrin beat Petra Vlhova — her main rival — for her 46th career win in slalom. That matched a 32-year-old record for most World Cup wins in a single discipline, set by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark in giant slalom.

While the 26-year-old Shiffrin hails from Vail, Colorado, she can almost consider Killington a hometown race as she honed her skills nearby at the Burke Mountain Academy as a teenager.

Shiffrin trailed Vlhova by .20 seconds after the first run and, although she made an error at the top of her second run, a fantastic finish ensured she was still fastest on that second run.

Shiffrin lifted her arms over her head to soak in the cheers of the passionate home crowd before cupping her hand to her ear as she beamed broadly.

Then she turned to watch her rival.

Vlhova also made a mistake, and that cost her even more dearly than Shiffrin’s. The overall champion was almost a second slower than Shiffrin on the second run to ultimately finish .75 behind in second place.

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AP college football poll: Michigan rises to No. 2; Oklahoma State up to 5th

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AP college football poll: Michigan rises to No. 2; Oklahoma State up to 5th

Michigan jumped to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll on Sunday and Oklahoma State joined the top five for the first time since 2015.

Georgia was a unanimous No. 1 in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank for the eighth consecutive week. For the fourth straight week, there is a different No. 2 team behind the Bulldogs.

Michigan has its highest ranking since it peaked at No 2. in 2016. The Wolverines moved up four spots after emphatically beating Ohio State on Saturday to break an eight-game losing streak in the rivalry.

Cincinnati moved up to No. 3, flip-flopping with Alabama at No. 4. The Crimson Tide slipped after beating Auburn in overtime.

Oklahoma State moved up two spots after beating Oklahoma for the first time since 2014. The Sooners fell three places to No. 13.

Notre Dame dropped a spot to No. 6 and Ohio State tumbled five spots to No. 7 a week after it peaked at second last week.

The week before the Buckeyes were No. 2, Alabama held that spot. The Tide had replaced Cincinnati the week before.

Mississippi, Baylor and Oregon rounded out the top 10.

POLL POINTS

The longest streak of weeks as unanimous No. 1 was Alabama’s run of nine in 2018.

There are two more polls left this season, after next week’s championship games and then after the College Football Playoff national title is decided on Jan. 10.

If Georgia can beat Alabama in the Southeastern Conference title game next weekend and make a run through the playoff, it could break Alabama’s record.

But something to keep in mind for the Bulldogs: Alabama’s run of unanimous No. 1 rankings ended in a national championship game loss to Clemson and the Crimson Tide finished No. 2.

IN

— No. 22 Clemson (9-3) is back in the Top 25 after falling out after the last weekend of September. The Tigers have climbed back, winning seven of their final eight games.

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