Julio Urías shut down San Francisco and contributed an RBI single for his cause, Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock delivered two-run doubles to blow it open in the sixth, and the Los Angeles Dodgers pounded the Giants 9-2 on Saturday night to even their NL Division Series at one game apiece.
Dave Roberts, Dodgers’ manager, stated earlier that day, “We are going to play the game essentially as a do-or-die,” and the World Series champs continued to add to their roster, which included Will Smith’s eighth homer.
Now, NL West runner-up Los Angeles — second place despite 106 wins — is right back in it and headed home to Chavez Ravine with a chance to ride some momentum.
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Dodger Stadium will host Game 3 of the best-of-five series. It is not surprising, considering how close these two teams have been for months. The Giants, with 107 wins, edged out the Dodgers in the division final day. They won the series 10-9. However they lost the overall score by 80 to 78.
Mookie Betts of the Dodgers stated, “It’s wonderful to win one in the road.” “Julio pitched a great game. He’ll pitch in any atmosphere similar to this.
Urías hit an RBI single in the second to give Los Angeles the lead, and Betts followed with a run-scoring single.
And those “Let’s go, Giants!” chants were suddenly competing against the fired-up Los Angeles faithful’s “Let’s go, Dodgers!” in an enthusiastic, mostly orange crowd of 42275.
San Francisco answered right back in the bottom half when Urías walked Wilmer Flores leading off and gave up Brandon Crawford’s single. Flores scored Donovan Solano’s sacrifice fly and advanced on Evan Longoria’s deep flyball to the center.
Urías hardly looked rattled.
Leading up to his start, the 25-year-old lefty stressed how facing these Giants would take an immense focus — and the 20-game winner sure looked the part from first pitch in outdueling Giants All-Star right-hander Kevin Gausman.
Urías went unbeaten over his final 17 regular-season starts since June 21, going 11-0 during that stretch that included a Sept. 4 victory here at raucous Oracle Park. In five innings of work, Urias struck out five while walking one and gave up only one run on three hits.
Gausman was furiously chewing bubble gum and had to learn from Logan Webb’s gem in his postseason debut, where the right-hander along with a pair relievers kept the Dodgers down to just five runs in a win 4-0.
Trea Turner doubled in the sixth. After Justin Turner had struck out, Smith was able to walk to chase Gausman. Smith pitched five 1/3 innings, striking out seven batters and walking three.
Trea Turner made two outstanding defensive plays at second, and Betts stopped a Giants rally with a flawless throw from rightfield to catch Wilmer Flores.
Betts stated, “Sometimes it’s just you do things that you can’t really understand.” That was only one.
Buster Posey had 54 playoff hits in his career, the most ever recorded by the Giants. Three of his hits were in this game.
“Obviously looking forward to turning the page on tonight’s game and getting ready for Los Angeles,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “It wasn’t our best effort tonight. Dodgers swung their bats better than we did, made more pitches, and made more plays than ours.
“So as we’ve done all season long, we’ll turn the page and get ready for an off day, an off day of preparation and get ready for Game 3.”
Roberts went with Bellinger at first base — he played four games there this year and 19 in 2020 — in order to get Chris Taylor’s bat in the lineup. Taylor struck the decisive home run in the ninth of Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Cardinals.
Taylor scored two runs in his first at bat, with one out in the third. He finished 2 for 4, with a walk.
Bellinger was also successful.
He was 0-5 with 4 strikeouts during the regular season, and then slumped to a.165 in 2019. Then, he turned it into a rout in this game with his six-run double.
Before that, there had been 75,528 occasions that a player batted 50-plus times against a team in one season — postseason included — since 1903, and Bellinger’s .038 average (2 for 53) versus the Giants was the lowest of any of those players, according to SportRadar.
Dodgers: Los Angeles still hopes to have 1B Max Muncy in action, if Los Angeles advances. In Sunday’s final of the regular series, Muncy suffered a dislocated left elbow after colliding with Milwaukee’s Jace Peterson. Muncy, who slugged.250 and had 36 homers in his first series, won’t need to have surgery.
Giants: Giants 1B Brandon Belt had his left thumb broken by Dr. Scott Hansen. Belt is expected to recover in time so the Giants can make a comeback in the NLCS if they advance.
Alex Wood, Giants left-hander will begin Game 3. Wood took the start in Game 3 after San Francisco lost the regular season. Roberts didn’t announce his plans but Max Scherzer, an ace in the regular season, was ready to go.
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