MLB·GAME 3

Russell Martin keys big inning for Dodgers to push Nationals to brink

Justin Turner's homer capped a startling and record-setting seven-run rally in the sixth inning as the Dodgers roughed up starter-turned-reliever Patrick Corbin, and Los Angeles beat the Washington Nationals 10-4 on Sunday night to take a 2-1 lead in their NL Division Series.

Canadian catcher hits 2-run double in 7-run 6th for Los Angeles, adds home run

Los Angeles catcher Russell Martin celebrates his two-run double in the sixth inning of the Dodgers' 10-4 win against the Washington Nationals in Game 3 of the NLDS on Sunday. (Will Newton/Getty Images)

With all of that October experience, no wonder Justin Turner and the rest of the Los Angeles Dodgers managed to produce a post-season inning unlike any other: seven runs, all scored with two outs and two strikes.

Turner's three-run homer capped a startling and record-setting rally in the sixth as the Dodgers roughed up $140 million starter-turned-reliever Patrick Corbin and beat the Washington Nationals 10-4 on Sunday night to grab a 2-1 lead in their NL Division Series.

"Just a wild inning," said David Freese, who entered as a pinch hitter in the sixth and finished with four hits.

Russell Martin and pinch-hitter Kike Hernandez added a pair of two-run doubles in the sixth as LA became the first team in major league history to score that many two-out, two-strike runs in one post-season inning. Martin tacked on a two-run homer in the ninth.

WATCH | Dodgers use one big inning to storm past Nats:

Russell Martin knocked a double, a home run and cashed in four RBIs in the Dodger's 10-4 victory over the Nationals. 1:30

The Dodgers can advance to the NL Championship Series for the fourth consecutive year by closing the best-of-five NLDS in Game 4 at Washington on Monday, when LA sends Rich Hill to the mound against Max Scherzer.

And to think: Things were not looking all that good for the Dodgers, who entered the sixth trailing 2-1 after Juan Soto's two-run homer off eventual winner Hyun-Jin Ryu in the first and Max Muncy's solo shot off Washington starter Anibal Sanchez in the fifth.

Corbin roughed up in relief

That seemed to wake up LA's offence.

Well, it was either that or the fact that Sanchez, who struck out nine, was gone to begin the sixth. In came Corbin, the lefty who started — and lost — the opener and hadn't made a relief appearance since 2017, when he only made one.

"Just couldn't seem to get that third out there," Corbin said. "Just stinks."

It continued Nationals manager Dave Martinez's penchant for pushing his starters to appear in relief in the playoffs, deemed necessary because of his club's NL-worst bullpen. The strategy had been working.

Needless to say, not this time against the Dodgers, who lost in the World Series each of the past two years and led the NL with 106 wins this season, 13 more than the Nationals.

Chris Taylor, Cody Bellinger and Kike Hernandez celebrate the Dodgers' win. (Will NEwton/Getty Images)

"Anibal was at 87 pitches. He gave us all he had. We were at a good spot in the lineup, where we thought Corbin could get through it," Martinez said. "And his stuff was good. ... But he had every hitter 0-2. He just couldn't finish."

After Cody Bellinger snapped his 0-for-8 start to the series with a single, Corbin struck out the next two hitters. That's when it all fell apart for Washington.

Freese, the MVP of the 2011 NLCS and World Series for St. Louis, singled to put runners on the corners. Then Martin came through in his first game of this NLDS, hitting a two-run double on a 2-2 slider that landed on the warning track in left-centre, putting the visitors ahead 3-2.

Jansen sharp in return

Hernandez connected on a 1-2 slider from Corbin for yet another two-run double to left-centre, a hit off the base off the wall.

After Muncy was intentionally walked, Wander Suero entered and promptly served up a full-count fastball that Turner lofted to the back of the visiting bullpen beyond left field.

"A couple guys came up and had really big at bats and that's what we've been doing all year," Muncy said. "That was one of those things where once one guy started doing it, the next cat picked up on it and it just kind of rolled throughout the inning."

Suddenly, it was 8-2. With baseball's ERA leader this season, Ryu, done after going five innings and allowing two runs, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pieced together the remaining 12 outs with five relievers.

That included closer Kenley Jansen, who hadn't pitched in a game since Sept. 28. He threw a 1-2-3 ninth that included a pair of strikeouts.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now