Bellinger HR sends Dodgers to 3rd World Series in 4 years

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Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger celebrates his home run with Enrique Hernandez against the Atlanta Braves during the seventh inning in Game 7 of a baseball National League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Arlington, Texas.(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated as Cody Bellinger’s drive soared deep into the Texas night. Bellinger flung his bat off to the side and strutted up the first-base line.

All the way to the World Series.

Bellinger hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh inning, and the Dodgers advanced to the Fall Classic for the third time in four years by topping the Atlanta Braves 4-3 in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series on Sunday.

"This year is our year,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Bellinger connected an inning after Kiké Hernández became the first pinch hitter with a game-tying or go-ahead homer in a winner-take-all-game. His homer tied it at 3 and, like Bellinger's, came on the eighth pitch of the at-bat.

The Dodgers, who matched an LCS record with 16 homers, overcame a 3-1 series deficit by winning three consecutive games when facing elimination for only the second time in their storied history.

“Defensively, pitching, game-calling, planning, everything. we grinded all the way through this series,” said shortstop Corey Seager, who was named NLCS MVP after bashing a record five homers in the series. “We’re glad to be on top.”

After winning both their NL Division Series and the NLCS in the new $1.2 billion Globe Life Field, the Dodgers get to stay in place for the World Series. Game 1 against the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays is Tuesday night.