Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Rays during the first inning of Game 3 of the World Series on Oct. 23, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Rays during the first inning of Game 3 of the World Series on Oct. 23, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Buehler dominates, Dodgers take 2-1 World Series lead

Los Angeles’ starter strikes out 10 Tampa Bay batters in a 6-2 victory.

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas — Walker Buehler was dominant for Los Angeles. Just like Orel Hershiser during the Dodgers’ last title run.

Buehler struck out 10 in six innings in a pulsating performance, and Los Angeles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 on Friday night for a 2-1 World Series lead.

Justin Turner homered in the first inning against a surprisingly hittable Charlie Morton, who was chased in the fifth.

Austin Barnes, the Dodgers’ No. 9 hitter and catcher, added a sixth-inning homer against John Curtiss and became just the second player to drive in runs with both a homer and a sacrifice bunt in the same Series game.

Los Angeles overwhelmed Tampa Bay in all phases, leaving the Rays’ scuffling offense with a .206 average and 11 runs in the Series.

Julio Urías, a hard-throwing Mexican left-hander in a Dodgers lineage dating to Fernando Valenzuela, starts Game 4 on Saturday night for the Dodgers, while the Rays string together several relievers that include Ryan Yarbrough.

Thirty-eight of 59 previous teams that won Game 3 for a 2-1 lead went on to take the title.

Justin Turner and Austin Barnes homered for the Dodgers, who have outhomered the Rays 7-4 in the Series and opponents 25-16 in the postseason. Barnes also drove in a run with a squeeze, the second player with RBIs on a bunt and home run in a Series game behind Héctor López of New York Yankees in Game 5 of 1961.

Steely-eyed like Hershiser, who won MVP honors of the 1988 Series, Buehler has supplanted Clayton Kershaw as the Dodgers’ ace. He allowed three of Tampa Bay’s four hits and walked one.

The 26-year-old right-hander has allowed one run in 13 Series innings that include seven scoreless in Game 3 against Boston two years ago. He improved to 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four postseason starts that include the win over Atlanta in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series last weekend.

“I’ve taken the failures that I’ve had and tried to learn from them a little bit,” Buehler said. “Obviously our team gave me a cushion early so I could be aggressive.”

He started 15 of 21 batters with strikes and threw strikes on 67 of 93 pitches. Buehler didn’t allow a hit until Manuel Margot’s one-out double in the fifth. Willy Adames then drove in Margot with another double.

Tampa Bay’s only other hit off him was Austin Meadows’ leadoff single in the sixth.

“You can see the fastball just pop through the zone,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Other than a few breaking balls here or there, it was very much a there it is, hit it approach. You totally understand and appreciate why he’s so talented. He’s got a really special fastball that gets on hitters and commands it well.”

Rays batters were kept off balance by his mix of 59 four-seam fastballs, 14 knuckle-curves, 12 sliders and eight cut fastballs. He became the first pitcher in the Series with 10 or more strikeouts in six or fewer innings, part of analytic changes in modern baseball that have led to shorter starter outings in an era of vastly increased whiffs.

“That might have been the best I’ve ever seen him,” Barnes said.

Blake Treinen and Brusdar Graterol followed with a scoreless inning apiece. Kenley Jansen gave up Randy Arozarena’s record-tying eighth homer of the postseason before closing out the four-hitter.

Morton, a right-hander who turns 37 on Nov. 12, had entered unbeaten in seven straight postseason decisions, one shy of Orlando Hernandez’s record, including wins in five consecutive postseason starts. But he took the loss, allowing five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings — more than the four runs total he gave up in his previous five postseason starts combined.

No Rays starter has finished the fifth inning in their last five Series starts since Matt Garza in Game 3 against Philadelphia in 2008. Tampa Bay repeated its pattern of a dozen years ago, losing the opener, winning the next game and dropping the third.

“I wasn’t particularly sharp,” Morton said. “I felt like I was able to get two strikes pretty quickly with a lot of guys and just not able to put them away.”

Turner put the Dodgers ahead on Morton’s 14th pitch, turning on a high 94.8 mph fastball with a 1-2 count and driving the ball 397 feet over the left-field wall. Turner’s home run was the Dodgers’ team record 24th this postseason and the 11th of Turner’s postseason career over 69 games, tying the team record set by Duke Snider over 36 games with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1954 to 1959.

Los Angeles extended the lead to 3-0 in the third when Morton hit Corey Seager on a toe with a pitch, Turner doubled and Max Muncy drove a cutter into center for a two-run single.

After singles by Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson, Barnes drove in a run with the safety squeeze to first baseman Ji-Man Choi, the first RBI bunt in the Series since the Rays’ Jason Barlett in Game 2 in 2008 and the first since for the Dodgers since Billy Cox in 1953.

Mookie Betts followed with a two-out RBI single that made it 5-0, and Barnes homered off John Curtiss in the sixth. Five of the Dodgers’ first six runs scored with two outs, raising their total to nine of 18 in the Series and 50 of 87 in the postseason.

“Obviously there’s two outs, but you can still build an inning not giving away at-bats,” Betts said. “That’s how you win a World Series.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

FILE - Ty Dillon during fist bumps with fans during driver introductions prior to the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., in this Sunday, March 8, 2020, file photo. Ty Dillon landed a Daytona 500 ride with Gaunt Brothers Racing in a pairing of a driver and team both trying to rebuild in 2021. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)
NASCAR’s Ty Dillon to race at Evergreen Speedway this weekend

Dillon, whose wife, Haley, is a Snohomish County native, will bring star power to the speedway’s Summer Showdown.

Silvertips’ Olen Zellweger takes a shot during the game against the Tr-City Americans on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Tips’ Olen Zellweger proves size doesn’t matter

According to conventional wisdom, he’s too small for a defenseman. But the 17-year-old’s speed, skill and work ethic will make him a high choice in this weekend’s NHL draft.

New Seattle Kraken NHL hockey players, back row from left, Mark Giordano, Brandon Tanev, Jamie Oleksiak, Hadyn Fluery, Jordan Eberle and Chris Dreidger stand on stage with Kraken owners David Wright, front left, Jerry Bruckheimer, front center, and Andy Jassy, front second from right, and Kraken general manager Ron Francis, front right, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, after being introduced during the Kraken's expansion draft event in Seattle. Jassy is also president and CEO of Amazon.com. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Kraken expansion draft showcases Seattle, lacks drama

With the choices leaked ahead of time, the focus was on the part on Lake Union.

Great Britain's Amy-Eloise Markovc, a Glacier Peak High School graduate, competes at the British Championships on June 27 in Manchester, England. (Photo by James Rhodes)
Glacier Peak graduate’s bumpy road to the Olympics

Amy-Eloise (Neale) Markovc almost missed out on competing for Great Britain in the women’s 5,000.

The St. Louis Blues left star winger Vladimir Tarasenko (91) unprotected for the Seattle Kraken’s expansion draft, which takes place Wednesday. (AP Photo/Joe Puetz)
Nick Patterson’s Seattle Kraken mock expansion draft 2.0

There are lots of changes following Sunday’s release of the actual protection lists.

Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Utah, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
WSU coach won’t attend Pac-12 event due to vaccine mandate

Nick Rolovich said that he didn’t receive the vaccine for “reasons which will remain private.”

Tips sign Finnish winger, second-overall choice in draft

Niko Huuhtanen is ranked 49th among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting for this weekend’s NHL draft.

From left, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner, free safety Earl Thomas, strong safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback Richard Sherman are introduced before the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Sherman arrest latest sad chapter for Legion of Boom

The once-uplifting story of the Seahawks’ underdog defensive backs has turned, mostly, sour.

Marysville-Pilchuck's Alivia White is all smiles as her arm is raised after ;inning Connell's Rosa Saucedo-Ramirez in their championship match at Mat Classic XXXII in the Tacoma Dome on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 in Tacoma, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Local high schoolers set to compete at USA Wrestling nationals

MP’s Alivia White highlights the 18 locals who are slated to take on the nation’s best in Fargo, N.D.

Most Read