Justin Turner gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a lead in the first inning and they went wire to wire in a 6-2 win over Charlie Morton and the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3 of the World Series. The home run was Turner’s 11th of his career in the postseason, tying Duke Snider for the Dodgers franchise record.
“Obviously it’s something that I don’t think I ever thought about or ever crossed my mind. It’s something that’s pretty cool that I can talk about when I’m done playing, Turner said. “It doesn’t mean a whole lot until we finish this thing off and win two more games.”
Turner later doubled off Morton to keep the third inning alive and set the table for Max Muncy’s two-run single. Their hits were the latest examples of the Dodgers faring much better with two outs this postseason compared to years past.
“We’ve been really good with two outs and two strikes. I think we’ve put together tough ABs, battled and got a lot of two-strike hits as well,” Turner said.
“Just a credit to the guys digging in, fighting and battling. Not trying to do too much, trying to move the ball forward, put something in play and good things happen.”
Turner finished the night 2-for-5, putting the ball in play for all but one of his at-bats. It marked only his second multi-hit performance this postseason and first instance in which he didn’t feel as though he was searching.
“I’ve been grinding away, working away with our hitting guys, trying to get good feels,” Turner explained. “Finally felt a little better tonight and was able to put together five good at-bats. I had a few little blips once or twice a game where I felt like I felt normal, and then I’d lose it.
“Tonight was really the first time all postseason I felt like I was able to put together five good ones.”
When asked what are indicators to having found what he’s looking for at the plate, Turner explained, “There’s a lot of things that go into it. How you see the ball, decision making, pitches you’re swinging at, pitches you’re checking off on, and finding barrels.
“I felt like I was in the best position I’ve been in all postseason to swing when I wanted to swing and check off on pitches when I wanted to check off, minus the 3-2 cutter that I chased out of the zone against Morton in my third at-bat.”
Turner, Dodgers keeping focused
The Dodgers hold a 2-1 lead in the World Series since 1988, when they last won the championship. Of course, the team was one win from a title in 2017 when they suffered a Game 7 loss to the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium.
And with just coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the National League Championship Series, Turner denied he or the Dodgers will begin to get ahead of themselves against the American League champion.
“We know how difficult this is, we know there’s still a lot of work to do in front of us. We were down 3-1 in the last series and fought our way back, so you don’t take anything for granted,” he said.
“You assess how tonight went, come back tomorrow, make whatever adjustments you need to make and go back to grinding away and finding a way to win a ballgame.”
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