Oct. 13 (UPI) — Mookie Betts drove in three runs and pitcher Walker Buehler allowed just three hits and one run over 4 1/3 innings to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers over the San Francisco Giants, forcing a winner-take-all NLDS Game 5.
Betts went 2 for 4 with a home run in the 7-2 win in Game 4 on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Dodgers catcher Will Smith also homered in the elimination game victory.
“I know when our backs are against the wall, we got a guy named Walker Buehler who gets us out of it,” Betts told reporters.
“But we got one more game. [Starting pitcher] Julio Urias has to bring us home.”
Buehler retired Tommy La Stella, Darin Ruf and Brandon Crawford in order in the top of the first Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager singled in the second at-bat in the bottom half of the frame.
Second baseman Trea Turner smacked a double to right field on the next pitch to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
Taylor drove in outfielder Gavin Lux with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second. Buehler reached base on a fielding error to lead off the bottom of the fourth. Betts followed with a 388-foot, two-run shot to right field off an 0-1 fastball.
Betts’ blast gave the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.
Giants first baseman Darin Ruff drove in third baseman Evan Longoria with an RBI groundout in the top of the fifth, but Betts responded in the bottom of the inning. He brought in fellow outfielder Cody Bellinger with an RBI sacrifice fly to push the Dodgers lead back to four.
Giants outfielder Kris Bryant drove in Crawford with an RBI groundout in the top of the eighth to make the score 5-2, but the Giants would not score again.
Smith hit a 396-foot, two-run homer in the bottom of the same inning for the final runs of the night.
The Dodgers catcher went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, a run scored and a walk in the victory. Seager, Lux, Bellinger and Trea Turner joined Smith and Betts with two hits apiece for the Dodgers.
Bryant went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a walk for the Giants. Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani allowed five hits and two runs in 1 2/3 innings. The Dodgers bullpen allowed four hits and one run over the final 4 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers and Giants face off in the series finale Thursday in San Francisco. The winner advances to the NLCS to face the Atlanta Braves, who beat the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 in the NLDS.
“This is what baseball wants,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Game 5. “From what I understand, all of the other series are done and we’re going to be the only show in town.
“If you have a pulse, or you’re a sports fan, you better be watching Dodgers-Giants. It’s going to be a good one.”
The Giants host the Dodgers at 9:07 p.m. EDT Thursday at Oracle Park. The winner faces the Braves in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday in San Francisco or Atlanta.