Dodgers sweep away D-backs, advance to NLCS
PHOENIX — As a suburban Phoenix native, Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger saw the Arizona Diamondbacks have some big days at Chase Field. He did his part to make sure that would not happen in the National League Division Series.
Bellinger homered and drove in two runs, Austin Barnes also went deep, and the Dodgers rode right-hander Yu Darvish and four relievers to a 3-1 victory over Diamondbacks on Monday in Game 3 of the NLDS at Chase Field, completing a sweep.
The Dodgers are headed to the NL Championship Series for the second consecutive season.
“I had a little extra adrenaline,” Bellinger said. “I came to a lot of these games here as a kid, so it was pretty cool to do that here.”
Bellinger’s solo homer gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning off Arizona right-hander Zack Greinke.
Daniel Descalso homered off Darvish in the last of the fifth, but Barnes countered with a bases-empty homer in the sixth for the final run, knocking Greinke out of the game.
Bellinger, the likely NL Rookie of the Year, had 39 regular-season homers but was 1-for-12 in the NLDS before his opposite-field shot to left-center field.
“All series they had kind of been working away, a lot of junk,” Bellinger said. “I knew an off-speed pitch was coming, so I just tried to do what I could with it. They were pitching to my aggressiveness and I was chasing, so it made total sense.”
Darvish gave up one run and struck out seven in five-plus innings to send the Dodgers to the NLCS against the winner of the Chicago Cubs-Washington Nationals series. The Cubs beat the Dodgers in six games in the NLCS last year.
Kenley Jansen pitched around a one-out single to David Peralta in the ninth inning for his second save of the series.
“Obviously, Cody had a breakout year,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “(He had) struggled a little bit so far in the postseason, but put a good swing on that pitch away. It was a big hit for us.”
Bellinger also flipped over the railing in front of the Dodgers’ dugout to catch a foul pop from Jeff Mathis to end the fifth inning after Descalso broke up Darvish’s shutout with his two-out homer.
Darvish was removed after hitting Christian Walker in the helmet leading off the sixth. The right-hander gave up two hits and no walks while throwing 74 pitches.
The Diamondbacks had three hits and four baserunners in all.
“I’m hurting right now, as the guys are,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “I want to remember how I feel, because I think the pain will motivate me. I know collectively as a group we are going to look back on this year as one that was very productive.”
The Dodgers, who won the NL West thanks to a major-league-leading 104 victories in the regular season, will host the first two games of the best-of-seven NLCS on Saturday and Sunday.
Greinke gave up four hits and three runs, leaving after Barnes’ leadoff homer in the sixth. He struck out four and walked five.
“They’re ready to hit, which is tough, but they’re not chasing the pitch you want them to chase,” Greinke said. “That’s kind of what they do best. They did that the whole series. Both those guys hit home runs on kind of pitches I wanted them to hit. Not much I can really do about those home runs.”
Greinke threw 29 pitches in the first inning and finished with 105. He got three swinging strikes.
Los Angeles’ Chris Taylor doubled to lead off the first inning before Corey Seager walked. Taylor went to third on Justin Turner’s flyout and scored on Bellinger’s slow grounder to first for a 1-0 lead.
“We had a game plan against (Greinke), and when we execute our game plan, we are a hard team to beat,” Bellinger said. “He was good today, but we were just a little bit better.”
NOTES: Arizona RHP Zack Greinke made six starts for the Dodgers in the 2013-15 playoffs, and all were quality starts. He gave up as many as three runs only once. ... The Diamondbacks have not won a playoff series in two tries since 2007, when they beat the Cubs in the NLDS before losing to Colorado in the NLCS. They lost to Milwaukee in 2011 NLDS. ... Arizona PH Christian Walker appeared to be hit in the left hand on a 2-1 pitch in the fifth inning, but the play was ruled a foul ball and upheld on review. He was hit on the bill of the helmet two pitches later. ... Dodgers RHP Yu Darvish gave up one run in 19 1/3 innings in his last three regular-season starts, two on the road.