The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-2 (box score), in Friday's Game 3 of the 2020 World Series. The Dodgers now have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, which will continue Saturday night at Arlington's Globe Life Field.
In a matchup of co-aces -- Walker Buehler vs. Charlie Morton -- the Dodgers jumped out to a big lead in Game 3. Third baseman Justin Turner knocked a 397-foot home run off Morton in the first inning to make it 1-0. Los Angeles tacked on two more runs in the third inning via a two-run single from first baseman Max Muncy and then another two in the fourth on a safety squeeze from Austin Barnes and an RBI single from Mookie Betts to make it 5-0. Buehler, who finished a dominant outing with 10 strikeouts in six innings, held the Rays hitless through four innings before Manuel Margot and Willy Adames doubled in the fifth.
Here are four things to know about Game 3.
Buehler was lights out
In the second World Series start of his young career, Dodgers ace Walker Buehler put together a stellar performance for Game 3. Buehler, who had been dealing with blisters this postseason, delivered six innings of one-run ball. He struck out 10 batters and allowed just three hits and a walk. With a performance like that comes accolades like these:
Walker Buehler is the 7th pitcher in Dodgers history with a 10-K World Series outing, joining:— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 24, 2020
Sandy Koufax (3)
Walker Buehler’s 10-K game tonight is the first 10-K game in the World Series since Clayton Kershaw in 2017 World Series Game 1 (11 K)— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 24, 2020
Only others since 2010:
- Adam Wainwright, 2013 G5
- Tim Lincecum, 2010 G5 (at the Rangers, though in the old park)
The 26-year-old right-hander has an impressive World Series resume. Here's Buehler's combined line from his two career games in the Fall Classic: 13 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 17 K, 1 BB. He threw seven shutout innings in Game 3 of the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox. Overall, Buehler has been excellent this postseason and the Dodgers could not be happier with their young stud.
Walker Buehler: "The more you do these things, the calmer you get."— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 24, 2020
Turner continued Dodgers two-out magic
There were concerns that this could be a low-scoring game because the roof at Globe Life Field was closed due to bad weather conditions in Arlington. Rays manager Kevin Cash predicted that the baseball would travel 10-15 feet less with the retractable roof shut. Well, Turner still sent a ball 397 feet in the first inning to open the scoring with a solo homer.
The veteran knocked that homer with two outs in the first. With Turner's homer and Max Muncy's hard-hit RBI single with two outs in the third inning, the Dodgers set the record for most two-out runs in a postseason in the Wild-Card era. The Dodgers have recorded 48 two-out runs during this postseason.
Turner, who has been with the Dodgers for seven seasons, also tied Hall of Famer Duke Snider for the most home runs in Dodgers postseason history, with 11 playoff homers.
That’s Justin Turner’s 11th career postseason HR, tying Duke Snider for most in franchise history— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 24, 2020
Most HR, Dodgers postseason history:
Duke Snider: 11
Justin Turner: 11
Steve Garvey: 10
Corey Seager: 10
Randy kept being Randy
Rays breakout rookie Randy Arozarena tied the MLB record with eight home runs in a single postseason Friday night as he went deep in the ninth inning. He also set the rookie record for hits in a postseason with 23, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Derek Jeter set in 1996.
Arozarena's eighth 2020 postseason home run came off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning with two outs. You can read more on his record-setting long ball here.
While normally great in the playoffs, Rays starter Charlie Morton struggled to shut down the Dodgers offense in a start that lasted just 4 1/3 innings. Morton, 36, was pitching on regular rest and entering Friday's start, Morton was 7-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his past eight postseason appearances. Morton didn't give up a run in his 10 2/3 innings pitched during the ALCS against the Astros, but the Dodgers lineup chased him out of the game after scoring five runs.
Morton struggled to close out at-bats, and that's abnormal considering Morton is normally dominant with two strikes. During the regular season, Morton's opponents hit .170/.207/.284 with two strikes. Beyond that, Morton rarely had given up multiple extra-base hits before Friday's loss in which he gave up three extra-base hits.
Friday's start also saw the end of a streak for Morton; entering Game 3, he had not allowed more than one earned run in each of his last five postseason starts dating back to the 2019 playoffs. It was the second-longest such streak in MLB history, behind Curt Schilling.