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Braves hold off late Dodger rally; now 2 wins from World Series

One year after bearing the weight of another disappointing October in Atlanta, Freddie Freeman has energized his hometown city with an MVP-caliber performance that has brought the Braves within two wins of their first trip to the World Series since 1999.

Freeman homered for a second straight game and contributed to a four-run fifth inning that allowed the Braves to post an 8-7 win over the Dodgers in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

“He keeps showing why he’s the MVP,” Braves closer Mark Melancon said. “Freddie is one of the most consistent players I’ve ever played against, played with or been around. If there was one word to sum him up, it’s consistency.”

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After the Braves improved to 2-0 in the NLCS, Freeman had to undergo treatment on his right elbow, which was hit by an Alex Wood pitch in the eighth inning. Manager Brian Snitker said all indications were Freeman would be fine after getting hit on the funny bone.

But when dealing with Atlanta sports, there’s always seemingly reason to worry. There have been too many stumbles in big games. So it wasn’t necessarily surprising to see Melancon called upon on a night when the Dodgers had trailed 7-0 in the seventh and by five runs entering the ninth. But the fact that he stranded the potential tying run at third provided further indication this year might be different for the Braves.

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