With the 2020 World Series tied at a game apiece, the Los Angeles Dodgers earned a pivotal 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3 to take control of the series.
The Dodgers’ offense got going early against Rays starter Charlie Morton as Justin Turner hit a first-inning home run, his second of the postseason to give them a 1-0 lead.
Turner was then at it again in the third when he hit a two-out double to put two runners in scoring position for Max Muncy, who came up with a big single up the middle to drive in both runners.
Austin Barnes also had a big night at the plate, driving in a pair of runs in polar opposite ways. The first came in the fourth inning when he stepped to the plate with runners at the corners and one out.
Barnes proceeded to drop down a perfect safety squeeze bunt to the first-base side, bringing home Cody Bellinger. “Morton is really tough on right-handed hitters and you’ve got a plus runner at third base in Cody,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained of the sequence.
“I trust Austin handling the bat, so I just felt that, nothing against Choi at first base, I just don’t think he’s fleet of foot. I felt if we could get something down in the right side of the infield, we’ve got a good chance of getting an insurance run.
“Austin did a great job of executing.”
Barnes then came back up in his next at-bat and launched a 425-foot solo home run to left-center field for his first of the postseason.
The other run the Dodgers scored on the night was courtesy of a two-out single from Mookie Betts, which scored Joc Pederson. Betts finished the night 2-for-5, stealing two more bases to give him four in the series.
Buehler tosses gem to earn win
All of those runs were more than enough for Walker Buehler, who turned in yet another postseason gem. Buehler lasted six innings, allowing just three hits and one run while striking out 10 and walking one.
He became the first pitcher in World Series history to have 10-plus strikeouts in an outing of 6.0 innings or fewer.
The Dodgers bullpen was then outstanding in relief of Buehler as Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol and Kenley Jansen combined to allow just one run in the final three innings to give L.A. a 2-1 series lead.
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