The Los Angeles Dodgers, for the second time in less than a week in danger of being eliminated, maintained the same calm strategy.
It was his 52,935 fans who went wild Tuesday to celebrate a 7-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants, which forced a decisive fifth game in the NL Division Series.
Mookie Betts homered and drove in three runs, Will Smith hit another home run and the defending World Series Dodgers kept their season alive. Last Wednesday they defeated St. Louis in the National League wild card game.
“Everybody was calm, relaxed in a way, and wanted to play,” Betts said. “It’s not like we’re suddenly going to start hitting harder or throwing farther or faster or whatever. It’s the same game we’ve been playing. It’s just a win-or-go-home situation. “
The Giants, who have accumulated 107 victories, will host the Dodgers on Thursday with 106 victories. The winner will face Atlanta in the National League Championship Series. The Braves had eliminated Milwaukee earlier on Tuesday.
“They know us, we know them very well,” Smith said. “It will depend on who wants it a little more.”
San Francisco won the NL West by one game over the Dodgers, in a historic contest that lasted until the last day of the regular season. Now, the two rivals will decide the victory in a single game.
“This is what baseball wants,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We are going to be the only show in town. If you breathe or like sports, you better watch the Dodgers-Giants. “
In Game 3, the Dodgers had just five hits and lost 1-0, their second shutout, which left them on the brink of elimination. By Tuesday they had already had five hits for the second inning, and ended up adding 12 to back up a brief but effective outing by Buehler, coming off a three-day layoff.
Following the Dodgers’ 9-2 victory in Game 2, Buehler went to Roberts and said he wanted to open Game 4 after a short break for the first time in his career. The right-hander allowed one run and three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked two on 71 pitches.
“I actually feel great,” Buehler said. “Probably the best I have been in the second half of the year. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow, but tonight I feel very good. “
After allowing an Evan Longoria single to open the episode and walking pinch-hitter Steven Duggar, Buehler came out to a standing ovation from 52,935 fans in blue.
The Dodgers retired Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani in the second. DeSclafani took the loss after allowing two runs and five hits. He struck out two.
For the Giants, the Venezuelan Wilmer Flores 1-0. The Colombian Donovan Solano 2-0.
For the Dodgers, Albert Pujols 1-0.