Puig powers Dodgers to win over D-Backs, 2-0 series lead

Rachel Hardy
October 11, 2017

The LA Dodgers will attempt to end their National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday as they look to gain a third straight win to progress to the next round of the postseason.

Even with Zack Greinke on the mound, the Dodgers did not even flinch.

"We'll watch the game tonight for a lot of reasons", Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "There are so many guys in our lineup that can hurt you". They hit when they needed to.

After Darvish exited, Robert used Tony Cingrani (two outs), Brandon Morrow (four outs), Kenta Maeda and Jansen (three outs apiece) to finish off the Diamondbacks, and for the first time in the series, the Dodgers' bullpen didn't allow a run.

The Dodgers' July 31 trade for Darvish was supposed to be the move that elevated them from a regular-season juggernaut to an October one.

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While leading the majors in victories for the first time since 1974, they won 25 one-run games and 20 more by two runs. "This is a completely different team and I think we have bigger goals than to jump into a swimming pool". "This team was great. They want to do it".

They'll face either the Nats or the Cubs, depending on the outcome of their NLDS (with Game 4 set for Tuesday night at 5:30 PM ET on TBS), but that'll all get sorted out soon enough.

Kenley Jansen earned his second save of the series as the closer appeared in all three games for the Dodgers of the NLDS. "You take a step back and look at it from that perspective, as a whole year, and you realize how special a year it was for us". Bellinger, who was playing for the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League at this time previous year, started this season with the Dodgers' Class AAA team in Oklahoma City before making his major-league debut on April 25. Clayton Kershaw - who didn't even need to pitch in relief in this particular NLDS after his memorable turn a year ago against the Nationals - can start the NLCS opener Saturday on seven days' rest, with Rich Hill, Darvish and Alex Wood all well-rested and ready to take their turn. The future seems unlimited for a team that was the best in baseball all season and is playing like it again.

Darvish's fastball averaged about 94 miles per hour this season, the highest of his career, but whether because of the dialed-up October adrenaline or the 14-day layoff he had between starts, Darvish's heater had some extra giddy-up to it Monday night, sitting at 96 and touching 98. After the first couple of innings if you told me he'd get to the sixth, I really wouldn't have believed you. "You have to win that game to get here. The series is not over".

Just when he put together his most impressive sequence of the night, getting Seager on a first-pitch flyball and Turner on a four-pitch strikeout to start the fifth, Greinke fell behind Bellinger 3-0, and then KABOOM. Yet he worked out of several jams, and gave up only that one run through four innings, and only two through five after a solo blast by Bellinger. With runners on the corners and one out, Cody Bellinger grounded out to first giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

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