The Los Angeles Dodgers put together arguably their most complete performance of the postseason in a 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3 of the World Series to take a 2-1 lead. Teams taking Game 3 of a Fall Classic that was tied 1-1 went on to win the title 38% of the time, including in five of the last eight, and 16 of the last 18 instances.
Coming off his pest start this postseason, Walker Buehler authored an even more dominant outing. He held the Rays without a hit until Manuel Margot’s one-out double in the fifth inning. Willy Adames then doubled with two outs to give the Rays their first run.
That was all Buehler allowed over six innings as he scattered three hits. In two career World Series starts, he’s now logged a combined 13 innings, allowed just one run, issued one walk and collected 17 strikeouts.
Buehler became the first pitcher in World Series history to finish with double-digit strikeouts in no more than six innings pitched. While Adames’ double snapped what had been a long drought on a personal level, the Dodgers had already taken control of the game.
They went to work early against Charlie Morton, beginning with Justin Turner’s home run in the first inning. The homer was Turner’s 11th of the postseason, which tied him with Duke Snider for most in Dodgers franchise history.
L.A. continued to stress Morton and added to their impressive success with two outs. Corey Seager being hit by a pitch in the third was followed by a Turner double, and Max Muncy’s two-run single then extended the Dodgers’ lead to 3-0 before Morton could get out of the inning.
After base hits by Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson put runners at the corners, Austin Barnes’ safety squeeze brought in a run. Mookie Betts added an RBI single to cap off another two-run inning.
In response to Tampa Bay trimming into their deficit, Barnes got the run right back with a 425-foot homer to left-center field.
With a rested bullpen, the Dodgers turned to Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol and Kenley Jansen for three innings to finish out their win. It was flawless work until Randy Arozarena pulled a solo home run down the line with two outs in the ninth.
Arozarena tied the MLB record with eight home runs in a single postseason. Corey Seager has hit seven thus far.
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