Dodgers blow out Giants behind 6th-inning flurry to even up NLDS
Atlanta holds Milwaukee scoreless in win to even up series
Julio Urias shut down San Francisco and contributed an RBI single for his cause, Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock delivered two-run doubles to blow it open in the sixth, and the Los Angeles Dodgers pounded the Giants 9-2 on Saturday night to even their NL Division Series at one game apiece.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts declared earlier in the day, "We're going to play this game essentially like a do or die," and the reigning World Series champions did just that by continuing to add on, including Will Smith's leadoff homer in the eighth.
Now, NL West runner-up Los Angeles — second place despite 106 wins — is right back in it and headed home to Chavez Ravine with a chance to ride some momentum.
The best-of-five series shifts to Dodger Stadium for Game 3 on Monday night all square, hardly a surprise considering how close these clubs played for months. The 107-win Giants edged the Dodgers for the division on the final day and took the season series 10-9 but were outscored overall 80-78.
Urias hit an RBI single in the second to give Los Angeles the lead, and Mookie Betts followed with a run-scoring single.
Julio Urías helps his own cause! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PitchersWhoRake?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PitchersWhoRake</a> <a href="https://t.co/2rgUTmEUbc">pic.twitter.com/2rgUTmEUbc</a>—@MLB
And those "Let's go, Giants!" chants were suddenly competing against the fired-up Los Angeles faithful's "Let's go, Dodgers!" in a boisterous, largely orange sellout crowd of 42,275.
San Francisco answered right back in the bottom half when Urias walked Wilmer Flores leading off and gave up Brandon Crawford's single. Flores advanced on Evan Longoria's deep flyball to centre and scored on a sacrifice fly by Donovan Solano.
Urias hardly looked rattled.
Leading up to his start, the 25-year-old lefty stressed how facing these Giants would take an immense focus — and the 20-game winner sure looked the part from first pitch in outdueling Giants All-Star right-hander Kevin Gausman.
Urias went unbeaten over his final 17 regular-season starts since June 21, going 11-0 during that stretch that included a Sept. 4 victory here at raucous Oracle Park. He struck out five and walked one over five innings Saturday, giving up one run on three hits.
Gausman, furiously chomping his bubble gum, had a tough act to follow after a gem by Logan Webb in his postseason debut a night earlier, when the right-hander and a pair of relievers held the slugging Dodgers to five hits in a 4-0 victory.
Trea Turner also contributed two stellar defensive plays at second base, while Betts thwarted a potential Giants rally in the sixth with a perfect throw from right field to catch Wilmer Flores at third.
Buster Posey's sixth-inning single gave him 54 career playoff hits, most in Giants postseason history. He had three hits in the game.
Atlanta shuts out Milwaukee to take Game 2 win, even up NLDS
Max Fried pitched six sharp innings and Atlanta's bullpen held on after manager Brian Snitker's quick hook, sending Atlanta over the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 Saturday to tie their NL Division Series at a game apiece.
The Brewers brought the tying run to the plate in each of the last three innings but couldn't get a key hit.
Austin Riley homered and Ozzie Albies hit an RBI double for Atlanta, who bounced back after losing 2-1 in Game 1.
The best-of-five series heads to Atlanta for Game 3 on Monday.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/austinriley1308?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@austinriley1308</a> with a causal 428 feet to right center. 💪<br><br>(MLB x <a href="https://twitter.com/ftx_app?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ftx_app</a>) <a href="https://t.co/j7PoyyoSwo">pic.twitter.com/j7PoyyoSwo</a>—@MLB
Fried continues dominant play
Fried struck out nine, allowed three hits and didn't walk anybody. The Brewers didn't get a runner in scoring position until Willy Adames hit a two-out double in the sixth, and Fried responded by striking out Eduardo Escobar.
The left-hander went 7-0 with a 1.46 ERA over his last 11 regular-season starts. Counting Saturday's performance, Fried has allowed just one earned run over 29 innings in his last four starts.
This was the second straight exceptional outing by an Atlanta starter in a series that has been dominated by pitching.
Snitker made sure Fried didn't get quite that far. Fried had thrown 81 pitches when he was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh.
The move nearly gave Atlanta two extra runs. After pinch-hitter Joc Pederson singled, Jorge Soler hit a deep drive that left fielder Christian Yelich caught in front of the wall.
Brewers try to muster up offence against Atlanta bullpen
Then the Brewers made things interesting against Atlanta's bullpen.
After reliever Luke Jackson struck out the first two batters he faced in the seventh, Luis Urias singled and Lorenzo Cain walked to bring the potential tying run to the plate. Tyler Matzek replaced Jackson and got out of the jam by striking out pinch-hitter Tyrone Taylor.
Jace Peterson walked and Kolten Wong singled to start the bottom of the eighth, but Matzek worked out of it by retiring Adames, Escobar and Avisail Garcia in order.
Will Smith worked around a leadoff walk to Yelich and a single by Urias in the ninth by getting a flyout and a groundball double play for his first career postseason save.
Four Atlanta pitchers struck out and combined on a six-hitter.
Atlanta took a 2-0 lead in the third off Brandon Woodruff and were inches away from getting a third run in that inning.
Soler hit a one-out double down the left-field line and beat the throw home when Freddie Freeman singled to right. Albies drove in Freeman with an RBI double that went off the yellow at the top of the right-field wall.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/ozzie?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ozzie</a> missed a homer by inches. 😱 <br><br>Powered by <a href="https://twitter.com/Mitel?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Mitel</a> <a href="https://t.co/uW5GIGSNHE">pic.twitter.com/uW5GIGSNHE</a>—@MLB
Albies was left stranded at second, but Atlanta extended the lead to 3-0 three innings later when Riley sent an 0-1 pitch over the center-field wall.
Woodruff struck out seven while allowing three runs, five hits and one walk in six innings. The All-Star right-hander had the worst run support of any major league starting pitcher during the regular season, which explains why he went 9-10 despite owning a sparkling 2.56 ERA.