Urías hits, pitches Dodgers past Giants to even NLDS series
SAN FRANCISCO — The Dodgers, who are currently the defending World Series champions, have seized momentum from the division-winning Giants and are now in prime playoff position.
Fittingly this NL Division Series has been a fierce battle between the rivals.
Julio Urias stopped San Francisco and provided an RBI single. Cody Bellinger, AJ Pollock and AJ Pollock both delivered two-run doubles in the sixth to make it open. Los Angeles beat the Giants 9-2 to tie the series at one game each.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stated earlier in the day that “We’re going play this game basically like a do-or-die” and the reigning champs did exactly that, adding on throughout the game, including Will Smith’s leadoff homer.
Now is the NL West runner up Los Angeles, who finished second despite 106 wins by the Giants’ 107. He will be going to Chavez Ravine to try to ride this win to hand ace Max Scherzer next.
“It is a great feeling,” Roberts stated. It’s fascinating to see how the narrative shifts from one game to another. It’s a three game series right now. We have home-field advantage, Max is on the mound, and it’s a three game series. I like where we are at .”
The best-of-five set moves to Dodger Stadium on Monday night, which is not surprising considering the closeness of these clubs over the months. The Giants edged the Dodgers for the division on the final day and took the season series 10-9 but were outscored overall 80-78.
” It’s great that we won one on the road,” Dodgers star, Mookie Betts, said. “Julio pitched a great game. Any type of atmosphere like this, he’s going to come ready to pitch.”
Urias hit an RBI single in the second to give Los Angeles the lead, and Betts followed with a run-scoring single.
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.
“It’s exciting to get them going, I think that they fed off it,” Urias stated through an interpreter.
San Francisco responded right back in the second half. Urias walked Wilmer Flowers leading off and gave up Brandon Crawford’s single. Flores scored on Donovan Solano’s sacrifice fly and advanced on Evan Longoria’s deep flyball to the center.
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. In five innings, he struck out five batters and walked one. He gave up three runs on three hits in the fifth.
” I have never seen him without his stuff. Wilmer Flores, Giants infielder, said that he always has it.
Gausman was furiously chewing his bubble gum after Logan Webb’s postseason debut. The right-hander and two relievers had held the Dodgers to just five hits in a 4-0 win.
Trea Turner doubled in the sixth. After Justin Turner struck out, Smith was able to walk to chase Gausman. Smith had lasted 5 1/3 innings and struck out seven.
Trea Turer also made two outstanding defensive plays at second base. Betts stopped a Giants rally in sixth with a perfect throw to right field to catch Flores. Flores accepted responsibility for this move.
” Sometimes you do things that you don’t understand,” Betts stated about his play. “And that was just one of them.”
Buster Posey’s sixth-inning single gave him 54 career playoff hits, most in Giants postseason history. He scored three hits during the game.
” Gabe Kapler, Giants manager, said that he was looking forward to turning the page and getting ready for Los Angeles. It wasn’t our best effort tonight. The Dodgers swung the bats better, made more pitches, and made more plays than we did, so it wasn’t our best effort tonight.
“So as we’ve done all season long, we’ll turn the page and get ready for an off day, an off day of preparation and get ready for Game 3.”
Roberts went with Bellinger at first base — he played four games there this year and 19 in 2020 — in order to get Chris Taylor’s bat in the lineup. In the ninth inning, Taylor scored the decisive run-scoring homer to win Wednesday’s wild-card victory over the Cardinals by three runs.
Taylor scored two runs in his first at bat with one out in the second. He finished with 2 for 4, including a walk.
Bellinger also made it through.
The 2019 NL MVP fell to a. 165 was at 0 for 5 in the regular season with four strikeouts before turning this series into a rout in the sixth with his double.
“He wanted the big field to be used and to be rewarded for it, it was a great hit,” Roberts stated. “I think there was a big weight lifted off his shoulders.”
Before that, there had been 75,528 occasions that a player batted 50-plus times against a team in one season — postseason included — since 1903, and Bellinger’s . 038 average (2 for 53) versus the Giants was the lowest of any of those players, according to SportRadar.
Dodgers: Los Angeles remains hopeful of having 1B Max Muncy back in action if the Dodgers advance. After colliding with Milwaukee’s Jace Peterson, the slugger broke his left elbow during Sunday’s regular-series finale. Muncy batted. 250 with 36 homers, isn’t expected to need surgery.
Giants – 1B Brandon Belt had his left thumb broken by Dr. Scott Hansen, a hand specialist. Belt and the Giants are hopeful that he will be able to heal in time for a return in NLCS if the Giants advance.
Giants lefthander Alex Wood will begin Game 3. San Francisco was 12-2 with Wood on the mound following a loss in the regular season. After pitching one-run in 4 1/3 innings, Scherzer made his second postseason appearance after winning over St. Louis.
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