The Dodgers have two chances to secure the first World Series title in the franchise in 32 years after a 4-2 victory over the Rays in Game 5 Sunday night. They wiped out their Game 4 disaster with ease.
Having the good October Clayton Kershaw on the mound (two runs in 5 innings 2/3) helped a lot; so he made an unsuccessful baserunning move that removed much of the Rays ’offensive momentum.
SN set three keys to a win that set the Dodgers to reach Game 6 on Tuesday.
1. Manuel Margot stole an opportunity to the Rays
The outsider escaped Tampa Bay out of a fifth-inning threat with a hit trying to steal the house. Margot thought she had timed Kershaw’s long stretch with runners at right base; he left for home while Kershaw’s hands were high in the air.
LA’s first baseman, Max Muncy, warned Kershaw, who got off the tire and accurately threw catcher Austin Barnes, who, in turn, took the label on Margot just before. time.
“As soon as I saw it [Margot] pause, I ran straight towards Kersh and said, ‘Home! Home! Home! ‘He knew what to do from there,’ Muncy told reporters, for MLB.com. by MLB.com.
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The captured robbery kept the Rays ’deficit at 4-2. Tampa Bay hasn’t gotten a run past second base in the last four innings.
“I thought it was a good idea at the time,” Margot told reporters, for MLB.com.
2. Dave Roberts ’bullpen movements worked
Binding of the LA manager for his use of bullpen is necessary these days, but Roberts can sing after three combined relievers for 3 1/3 frames without a point on Sunday.
Dustin May got the first five outs after coming up for Kershaw in the sixth, a move that Justin Turner opposed.
May was replaced by left-hander Victor Gonzalez, who went with one in one and one in the eighth. His first two batters were straight Mike Brosseau and Randy Arozarena. Brosseau made a pint hit for Ji-Man Choi, who was announced as a pitcher for Yandy Diaz before Roberts went to Gonzalez.
Gonzalez marched to Brosseau after throwing a wild pitch but then withdrew Arozarena on a fly to midfielder Cody Bellinger and left Brandon Lowe on a liner to Bellinger to end the Rays threat.
Wondering why Gonzalez was the one to tackle the rights in such a big position? Because he was strong against them in the regular season: a .469 OPS in 42 plate appearances. He was even better against left-handers (.382 OPS in 38 PA). His cancellation slider was a big reason why.
“For them to choose Victor or make a move of three players to get a match was worth it,” Roberts told reporters, per MLB.com. “I like Victor playing baseball against Arozarena. I just like the matchup, and Victor showed it.”
In the ninth, Roberts went with Blake Treinen as his closest instead of game 4 loser Kenley Jansen. Treinen gave up a top single to Margot but then withdrew the next three batters for the save.
3. Brandon Lowe’s bat is silent again
The exit to Bellinger was the only well-hit ball put in play by Lowe in Game 5. The Rays ’first power in the regular season jumped twice and he fired once in his other three batters. He stopped three runners at night.
Lowe is 1 for his last 14 dates in Game 2, with him being a home run in three games in Game 4. He’s 3 for 21, all omers, for the series. He has eight tears and not walks.
Lowe will start Game 6 with the lead in the peloton against right-handed rookie Tony Gonsolin.