Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig combined for seven RBI, and though Clayton Kershaw allowed four home runs, the Los Angeles Dodgers came away with a 9-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.
The Dodgers struck early against Taijuan Walker, who made his playoff debut Friday night. He allowed a leadoff single to Chris Taylor, walked Corey Seager, then surrendered a three-run homer to Turner.
Matters only got worse for the right-hander, as Yasiel Puig lined a double to the right-center field gap that scored Cody Bellinger from first base. Walker didn’t record an out until the sixth batter faced, and wound up striking out the side.
Walker threw 48 pitches in what was his only inning of work. Zack Godley took over and managed to keep the Dodgers at bay, but only for two innings.
Logan Forsythe led off the fourth and was moved into scoring position on Clayton Kershaw’s sacrifice bunt. Taylor’s walk put two on with one out, and Seager snuck an RBI base hit by a diving Ketel Marte.
Turner’s base hit drove in another run, and Puig’s RBI groundout with the bases loaded extended the Dodgers’ lead to 7-1. To Godley’s credit, he ate up innings to preserve a weary Diamondbacks bullpen.
Kershaw limited a potent Diamondbacks lineup to just two runs — each coming on a solo homer — as he labored through six innings. Arizona had a runner reach in five of seven innings, including the first four. However, Kershaw never faced a situation with multiple baserunners on.
A.J. Pollock ambushed the first pitch he saw from Kershaw for a line-drive, two-out solo home run in the third inning. J.D. Martinez punished a curveball with two outs for a homer in the sixth that stayed just fair down the left-field line.
Already at 92 pitches, a decision to send him out for the seventh proved faulty. Ketel Marte and Jeff Mathis combined for back-to-back home runs and knocked Kershaw out of the game. He became the eighth pitcher overall and first in Dodgers history to allow four home runs in a playoff game.
While the Dodgers stranded Puig’s leadoff triple in the seventh inning, Seager’s RBI triple in the eighth provided insurance. Turner followed with a base hit to tack on another run. His five RBI tied franchise record shared by Davey Lopes (1978 World Series) and Pedro Guerrero (1981 World Series) for most by a Dodgers player in a postseason game.
Tony Watson and Brandon Morrow combined for two outs in the seventh inning, and Morrow induced a double play after an infield single to complete a scoreless eighth. Kenley Jansen allowed a one-out single in the ninth and followed that by issuing a walk.
Jake Lamb grounded into a force out that drove a run in on Seager’s errant throw to first base.