Walker Buehler had yet another outstanding postseason performance. Buehler’s final line was six innings pitched, only allowing one run on three hits while striking out ten batters. The Dodgers gave Buehler an early lead when Justin Turner homered off Rays starter Charlie Morton in the first inning. From then on, Los Angeles cruised to a 6-2 Game 3 win and a 2-1 lead in the 2020 World Series.
Morton, who had essentially pitched lights out all postseason, was victimized early. After the Turner long ball, the Dodgers tagged on two more in the top of the third inning. Corey Seager reached base with two outs after getting hit by a pitch. Turner then doubled to make it second and third with two outs. Max Muncy then singled up the middle to make it 3-0.
The Dodgers then scored two more in the fourth inning. Cody Bellinger hit a leadoff single and Joc Pederson followed with a single of his own, landing runners at the corners with one out. A nice display of small ball appeared when Austin Barnes laid down a great sacrifice bunt to score Bellinger. Mookie Betts followed up with an RBI single that scored Pederson.
However, the Dodgers got that run right back when Barnes homered off Rays right-handed reliever John Curtiss. Barnes became the first player since the 1961 World Series to drive in a run on both a home run and a bunt.
Betts also recorded two hits and two stolen bases becoming the first player since 1972 to accomplish such a feat in the World Series.
Right-handed reliever Blake Treinen relieved Buehler in the seventh inning and pitched a scoreless frame with two punchouts. After Brusdar Graterol threw a perfect eighth, Kenley Jansen came in the ninth inning and got two easy outs, but he did serve up a meaningless one-run homer to Randy Arozarena. The Dodgers had done a good job of holding Arozarena at bay so far, after being one scary hitter this postseason.
The Dodgers now lead 2-1 and look to go up 3-1 in Game 4 on Saturday. Los Angeles will start left-hander Julio Urias, who last pitched in Game 7 of the NLCS. Urias pitched the last three innings of that game, recording the save. He also started Game 3 of that series, going five innings and allowing only one run. Urias is 4-0 this postseason with a 0.56 ERA.
The Rays still haven’t announced a starter, but all signs indicate that they will go to a bullpen game. One possible opener is left-hander Ryan Yarbrough.
The Dodgers should have a plentiful, well-rested bullpen after getting six full innings from Buehler.
First pitch for Game 4 is set for 5:08 p.m. Pacific.