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Brewers force Game 7 with 7-2 victory

A big four-run first inning and another scoreless night from the bullpen sent the Milwaukee Brewers to a seventh game of the National League Championship Series with a 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday night at Miller Park.

The Brewers tied the best-of-seven series at 3-3, with Game 7 Saturday night at Miller Park.

Jesus Aguilar delivered three huge hits, three RBI and two runs scored for an offense that had been struggling miserably. Aguilar lined a two-out, two-run double in the first inning to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead.

A double by Mike Moustakas and a single by Erik Kratz quickly pushed the lead to 4-1.

Ryan Braun’s RBI double in the second made it 5-1.

The Dodgers scored first as David Freese led off the game with a home run. Los Angeles chased Brewers starter Wade Miley with a run in the fifth.

But relievers Corey Knebel, Jeremy Jeffress and Corbin Burnes shut out the Dodgers from there on, not allowing a hit in 4 2/3 innings.

The Brewers added a huge insurance run in the seventh when Aguilar hit his second double of the game and eventually scored with two outs on a wild pitch by Kenta Maeda. Aguilar delivered the final run with two outs in the eighth with a single that scored Lorenzo Cain.

The add-on runs in the seventh and eighth innings allowed Brewers manager Craig Counsell to let Burnes cover the final two innings, saving relief weapon Josh Hader for Game 7 with three days of rest.

Counsell had said earlier in the series the Brewers would need to win a game without using Hader. Friday night became that game.

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