Dodgers, Giants To Meet in Deciding Game of NLDS Thursday in San Francisco

Division Series - San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Four

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The National League Division Series will return to San Francisco tomorrow, where the Los Angeles Dodgers will face the San Francisco Giants in the decisive fifth game of the best-of-five series.

The Dodgers tied the series at two games apiece Tuesday night with a 7-2 victory at Dodger Stadium, with Mookie Betts homering and driving in three runs.

Walker Buehler, pitching on three days rest for the first time in his five-season major league career, allowed one run and three hits in 4 1/3 innings, striking out four and walking two.

“Sometimes when you might be a little bit more fatigued and not too amped up or too strong, you sort of kind of try not to do too much,'' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “All night long he stayed in his delivery, all the stuff, the velocity, the characteristics of his secondary pitches was really good, used the changeup when he needed to. I thought it was really good all night long.''

Buehler said he wished he “could have gotten a little bit deeper, but that's part of it and we have the talent and the guys in the back end of the bullpen to cover it.''

San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said Buehler “mixed in his changeup a little bit more than we would have suspected and that was an effective pitch for him.

“He still did have good carry to his fastball like he always does and was throwing his cutter,'' Kapler said. “I just thought it was more like a typical quality Walker Buehler outing than anything out of the ordinary, but I ... think the changeup was a little bit different and got a couple of good strikes on that pitch.''

Joe Kelly, who relieved Buehler, pitched two-thirds of an inning for the victory. The four relievers who followed Kelly allowed one run and three hits over the final four innings.

The Dodgers never trailed, opening the scoring in the first inning with Trea Turner doubling in Corey Sager, who singled.

The Dodgers added a run in the second. Gavin Lux led off with a single, moved to third on Cody Bellinger's single and scored on Chris Taylor's sacrifice fly.

“To score kind of early and often, even if it's one, is huge for us as starters,'' Buehler said. “Just gives you a little bit of security and you can be aggressive and do the things that you want to do without fear.''

Betts' two-run homer in the fourth inning increased the Dodgers' lead to 4-0. He had a sacrifice fly in the fifth that gave the Dodgers a 5-1 lead.

Will Smith hit a two-run homer in the eighth for the game's final runs.

Betts and Smith were among six Dodgers with two hits as they out-hit the Giants, 12-7, before a crowd at Dodger Stadium announced at 52,935.

Lux reached base on all four plate appearances, going two-for-two with two walks. Lux started in center field after being a pinch-hitter each of the first three game of the series, going hitless in three at-bats.

Lux had never played in the outfield in his six-season professional career before this season.

“I just feel that he can handle whatever situation I put him in,'' Roberts said. “This has been a big growing year for Gavin.''

Lux will be in the starting lineup for Game 5, Roberts said, but he did not disclose what position he would play.

San Francisco scored once each in the fifth and eighth.

Evan Longoria singled leading off the fifth and moved to second on a one-out walk to Steven Duggar, the last batter Buehler faced.

Tommy La Stella, the first batter Kelly faced, singled, advancing Longoria to third.

The next batter, Darin Ruf, grounded out, driving in Longoria, with the run charged to Buehler.

Brandon Crawford doubled leading off the eighth, moved to third on Buster Posey's ground out and scored on Kris Bryant's ground out.

Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, the first of eight Giants pitchers, was charged with the loss, allowing two runs and five hits in 1 2/3 innings.

“I don't think he had his best stuff,'' Kapler said. “I don't think he had his best command and I think the Dodgers were getting good swings off him.''

Left-hander Julio Urias will start Game 5 for the Dodgers against San Francisco right-hander Logan Webb.

Urias was the Game 2 winner Saturday, limiting the Giants to one run and three hits over five innings, striking out five and walking one. Webb was the Game 1 winner Friday, pitching 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing five hits, striking out 10 and not walking a batter.

The winner of Game 5 will advance to the National League Championship Series against the NL East champion Atlanta Braves, who completed a three games to one victory over the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers in their National League Division Series with a 5-4 victory Tuesday.

Even though the Dodgers had a better regular-season record than the Braves, going 106-56 while Atlanta was 88-73, the Braves would have the home-field advantage in the NLCS because they won their division. The NLCS is scheduled to begin Saturday. The Dodgers would play the first two games on the road.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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