Turner blasts Dodgers past Cubs, into 2-0 NLCS lead
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[October 16, 2017]
(The Sports Xchange) - Los
Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner hit a game-winning,
three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 2 of
the National League Championship Series to give the Dodgers a 4-1
victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
The win gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and
plenty of momentum heading to Chicago for Game 3 on Tuesday.
Before Turner's heroics, the game was a battle of bullpens.
One night after taking out ace Clayton Kershaw after five innings,
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts did the same with Rich Hill, even
though Hill had allowed just one run.
The move paid off -- again -- as four Dodgers relievers were nearly
perfect over four innings. Even so, the game was tied at 1-1 heading
into the bottom of the ninth.
Yasiel Puig opened the ninth against Cubs reliever Brian Duensing
with a walk. Charlie Culberson, subbing at shortstop for the injured
Corey Seager, moved Puig to second with a sacrifice bunt.
After pinch hitter Kyle Farmer struck out, Cubs manager Joe Maddon
summoned John Lackey from the bullpen to face Chris Taylor, who
walked, bringing up Turner.
On a 1-0 count to Turner, Lackey grooved a 91 mph fastball over the
plate. Turner didn't miss it, blasting it over the fence in center
field for the dramatic victory.
Turner also drove in the Dodgers' first run with a two-out RBI
single in the fifth inning.
Hill gave up only a solo homer to Addison Russell in the fifth
inning but was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth,
Roberts continuing to show trust in his bullpen.
Brandon Morrow was perfect in the sixth and seventh innings, before
Josh Fields (one out) and Tony Watson (two outs) combined to throw a
Kenley Jansen entered in the top of the ninth and struck out Kris
Bryant for the first out of the inning before hitting Anthony Rizzo
with a pitch, the only baserunner allowed by the Dodgers bullpen all
[to top of second column]
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) runs home after hitting a
three RBI home run against the Chicago Cubs in the ninth inning
during game two of the 2017 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger
Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Jansen, though, wasn't fazed, striking out Wilson Contreras and
getting Albert Almora Jr. on a groundout to end the inning.
The Dodgers threatened against Cubs starter Jon Lester in the second
inning with a couple of walks, but Lester retired Culberson on a fly
to right field to end the inning.
In the third, Cubs second baseman Javier Baez, hitless in 17
postseason at-bats going into the game, led off with a walk. After
Lester struck out on a failed bunt attempt, Baez stole second, and
then took third on a wild pitch.
Hill, however, escaped. First, he got Jon Jay to hit a sharp
grounder to Cody Bellinger at first base, Baez having to stick on
third, for the second out. Bryant then struck out to end the inning.
Russell broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth, hitting an
88 mph fastball from Hill into the seats just inside the left-field
foul pole for a 1-0 lead.
The Dodgers got a leadoff double from Culberson in the bottom of the
fifth, but Curtis Granderson, pinch-hitting for Hill, popped out to
the third baseman Bryant in foul territory for the first out.
Chris Taylor grounded out to shortstop, Culberson moving up to
third, before Turner slapped a grounder through the hole between
first and second for an RBI single, tying the game at 1-1.
When Bellinger followed with a walk, increasing Lester's pitch count
to 103, Maddon went to Carl Edwards Jr. out of the bullpen. Roberts
countered with pinch hitter Chase Utley, who struck out to end the
Lester gave up a run on three hits in 4 2/3 innings.
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