The Los Angeles Dodgers played an all-around game, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 with a consistent offensive and defensive effort. The victory gives the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the 2020 World Series.
“It’s just a credit to these guys just really [at] every single at bat just fighting,” said Dodgers general manager Dave Roberts. “Regardless of the game score, they’re just really competing every bat which is really good to see.”
Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts had five at bats, two hits and one RBI and pitcher Walker Buehler had 10 strikeouts. Betts also stole two bases during the matchup.
“I’m able to get on base and if it’s there, I’ll take it, especially at a time like this, every run is important,” Betts said. “If I can get to second … all it takes is a single and I’m scoring on that, so anything to scratch across a run is what I’m trying to do.”
Rays left fielder Randy Arozarena scored one run from four at bats. Pitcher Charlie Morton had six strikeouts.
The pitching of Walker Buehler was effective as he only allowed three at bats every inning for the first four innings. Roberts mentioned how Buehler was fun to watch.
“I just thought that the fastball command to the arm side early, the breaking ball, the shape to it to kind of get those guys off the fastball,” Roberts said. “I thought the curveball was really good early and then he elevated when he needed to.”
Charlie Morton started on the mound for Tampa Bay, he allowed Justin Turner to hit a homerun in the first inning.
After Turners home run, the Dodgers struggled to reach bases until Corey Seager was hit with a pitch in the third inning. Turner came up next and smacked a double, then Max Muncy got 2RBI with a single.
“I thought we did a really good job against them tonight, battling and making them work, making them throw a lot of pitches,” Turner said. “That’s kind of the M.O. of our offense when we do that, we can create some havoc on the bases.”
Tampa Bay came up to bat down 0-3 against the Dodgers. With one out against them, Mike Zunino sent the ball left field to Turner who executed a double play.
Morton had allowed two singles when Austin Barnes executed an effective sacrifice bunt and RBI. Barnes noted how he was not surprised when he was appointed to do the bunt play.
“That’s something we’ve done before in the past, I had a feeling it was coming,” Barnes said. “You just had to execute, runners on base did a great job selling it and when you sell it, it’s a real hard play to defend.”
Betts batted next, his single edged the score up to 5-0.
In the fifth inning, Morton was relieved by John Curtiss who quickly got the Rays off the field. Manuel Margot hit a double and Willy Adames hit an RBI double to put the Rays on the scoreboard.
The Dodgers soon returned infield and Curtiss struck out Chris Taylor. Two at bats later, Austin Barnes hit a home run. Buehler struck out three batters when he returned to the mound, allowing four at bats.
In the seventh inning, Ryan Sherriff took the mound for Tampa Bay. Blake Treinen took the mound for the Dodgers and got two consecutive strikeouts.
Brusadar Graterol and Kenly Jansen also pitched in the later innings. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Randy Arozarena hit a home run to give the Rays a four-point deficit. The game ended on the next at bat.
Game 4 of the World Series will be on October 24 at 5:08P.M.