LA lead the best-of-seven series, two games to one, with Game 4 on Saturday night.
Buehler carried a no-hitter into the fifth, struck out 10 batters in six innings — the most strikeouts in a World Series start that short — and could of took it the distance if the Dodgers needed him to. But with a comfortable lead, they pulled him after 93 pitches — in case they might need him again in a decisive Game 7. His career ERA in 11 postseason starts: 2.35.
“He was unbelievable,” Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said. “That might be the best I’ve ever seen his stuff.”
The Dodgers extended the lead to 3-0 in the third when Morton hit Corey Seager on a toe with a pitch, Turner doubled and Max Muncy drove a pitch into center for a two-run single.
After singles by Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson off of Morton, Barnes drove in a run with the safety squeeze to first baseman Ji-Man Choi, the first RBI bunt in the Series since the Rays’ Jason Barlett in Game 2 in 2008 and the first since for the Dodgers since Billy Cox in 1953.
Mookie Betts followed with a two-out RBI single that made it 5-0, and Barnes homered off John Curtiss in the sixth. Five of the Dodgers’ first six runs scored with two outs, raising their total to nine of 18 in the Series and 50 of 87 in the postseason.
“It’s just not giving up. There’s two outs, but you can still build an inning, not giving away at-bats,” Mookie Betts said of the Dodgers’ success with two outs. “That’s the recipe. That’s how you win a World Series.”
Justin Turner homered in the first inning against a Morton, who was chased in the fifth inning.
Austin Barnes, the Dodgers’ No. 9 hitter and catcher, added a sixth-inning homer against John Curtiss and became just the second player to drive in runs with both a homer and a sacrifice bunt in the same Series game.
Kenley Jansen has rediscovered some octane on his fastball. The Dodgers’ veteran reliever threw pitches in the high 90’s in the ninth inning.
He gave up a homer to Randy Arozarena — a 111 mph missile that traveled 397 feet into the left-field corner for a two-out solo shot — on a hanging fastball but otherwise pitched well for the Dodgers.
“You can see the fastball just pop through the zone,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Other than a few breaking balls here or there, it was very much a there it is, hit it approach. You totally understand and appreciate why he’s so talented. He’s got a really special fastball that gets on hitters and commands it well.”
Thirty-eight of 59 previous teams that won Game 3 for a 2-1 lead went on to take the title.