Turner, Barns power Dodgers to win over Rays and 2-1 World Series lead
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Arlington (United States) (AFP) –
Justin Turner set the tone with a first-inning home run and the Los Angeles Dodgers marched to a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays Friday to take a 2-1 lead in the World Series.
Austin Barnes added a solo homer and a squeeze bunt as the Dodgers provided plenty of support to outstanding pitcher Walker Buehler -- who gave up just one run in six innings while striking out 10.
Los Angeles, seeking their first title in 32 years after coming up empty in World Series appearances in 2017 and 2018, will try to stretch their lead in Major League Baseball's best-of-seven championship series in game four on Saturday.
"I feel good out there," said Buehler. "Our team gave me a cushion and allowed me to be aggressive. You can't ask more than that.
"I made a couple of bad pitches, when I gave up the run, but other than that I felt good with it. There is a comfort level with both our catchers. Barnes back there, put me in a spot to execute . We are happy."
The roof was closed in case of inclement weather at Globe Life Field in Arlington Texas, where the first neutral site World Series in modern major league history caps a pandemic-shortened season.
Statistics in the Texas Rangers' new park's first season show fewer runs scored on average in games played with the roof closed, but Turner wasted no time in bucking that trend when he lashed a fastball from Rays star pitcher Charlie Morton over the left field wall to put the Dodgers up 1-0 with two out in the top of the first.
The 11th post-season homer of Turner's career tied him with Duke Snider for the most in Dodgers' history.
Max Muncy and Mookie Betts delivered run-scoring singles as the Dodgers pounced on Morton to take a 5-0 lead through four innings.
Morton, who established himself as a post-season star as he gave up just four runs -- two earned -- in 25 2/3 prior innings in the post-season, surrendered seven hits and five earned runs with six strike outs one walk and one hit batter in 4 1/3 innings.
With two outs in the third, Morton hit Corey Seager with a pitch, Turner doubled to left field and Max Muncy's single scored them both.
The Dodgers added a pair of runs in the fourth when Cody Bellinger led off with a single and reached third on Joc Pederson's single to right field.
Barnes's bunt scored Bellinger and Betts cracked a two-out single up the middle to score Pederson.
Buehler's no-hit bid was broken up in the fifth inning when Manuel Margot hit a double down the left field line and scored on shortstop Willy Adames's double.
Barnes restored the Dodgers' five-run lead with a solo homer off Rays relief pitcher John Curtiss in the sixth.
Buehler returned to pitch a scoreless sixth before handing over to Blake Treinen having allowed one run on three hits.
Buehler said he has learned how to deal with the pressure of delivering in these big moments.
"The playoffs are different. I feel like I failed in these moments. I have taken the failures I had and tried to learn from them," Buehler said.
Rays' rookie sensation Randy Arozarena hit his record-equalling eighth home run of this post-season off Kenley Jansen with two outs in the ninth, but Jansen retired Choi Ji-man to bring the game to a close.
© 2020 AFP