With the series tied at one apiece, Game 3 was built up as a potential pitchers’ duel, but thankfully only the Dodgers side lived up to the billing in a 6-2 victory. The 2-1 lead in the World Series was supported by 10 hits for the Dodgers and three strong frames from the pen.
Suppose it shouldn’t be surprising at this point, but the Dodgers rallied with two outs in the 3rd. Corey Seager got hit by a pitch on the foot and Justin Turner yanked a double down the line in left. That setup Max Muncy, who singled sharply to center to drive in both for a 3-0 lead.
The Dodgers continued to be relentless in attack, getting to Morton again in the 4th. A Cody Bellinger single to start was followed later by a one-out Joc Pederson single to put runners on the corners. Austin Barnes then laid down a perfect safety squeeze to score a run and Mookie Betts followed with a jam-shot single to plate another and make it 5-0.
Mookie then stole second to set up another threat but was stranded there to end the inning.
Of course, to this point Walker Buehler hasn’t been mentioned, and that’s because thankfully he was delivering. The fastball was jumping out of his hand all game and his breaking balls finally looked sharp for the most part, so hopefully his blisters are getting better.
After allowing the first baserunner of the game in the 3rd, he still faced the minimum through the inning thanks to a great pick by JT.
Buehler finally gave up a hit in the 5th via a one-out double to Manuel Margot, and then with two outs he hung a slider to Willy Adames who roped a double for the Rays first run of the game to make it 5-1.
No matter, with two out in the 6th, Mookie’s protege Austin Barnes amusingly smashed a laser of a homer to left-center field off reliever John Curtiss to push the lead back to five at 6-1.
Mookie then followed with another single and stolen base to create another scoring chance, but after Corey Seager drew a walk, the Dodgers failed to add on.
Buehler wasn’t going to be denied tonight, however, as he got through the 6th with 10 strikeouts. He threw 93 pitches, giving up just a run on three hits and a walk.
The Dodgers couldn’t add more off Ryan Sherriff, managing just a walk in the 7th. Ryan Thompson took over in the 8th and set the Dodgers down in order. Shane McClanahan then got the 9th, giving up a Corey Seager single and forcing 26 pitches, but not plating any runs to keep things at 6-1.
No matter as the pen for the Dodgers kept things as simple as they should’ve been. Blake Treinen got two strikeouts in a perfect 1-2-3 frame in the 7th on 14 pitches with nine strikes. Brusdar Graterol was next out, getting the side on just seven pitches via two grounders and a fly. Kenley Jansen then entered to protect a five-run lead in the 9th, and he continued to look good. Randy Arozarena lined a homer to left on a 3-2 two-seamer right down the middle that seemed to prioritize avoiding a walk to make it 6-2 in the end, but otherwise was touching 95 mph with the two-seam and 93 mph with cutter.
Two more, guys.
The Dodgers and Rays will do it again tomorrow for Game 4 at 2:08 PM HST/5:08 PM PST/8:08 PM EST with Julio Urias facing off against a Rays pen game.