Justin Turner has thrived under the playoff spotlight, and he looks to help the Los Angeles Dodgers take a 2-0 lead when they host the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday for Game 2 of their National League Division Series. Turner went 3-for-4 with a homer and five RBIs in a series-opening 9-5 victory to raise his career postseason average to .383 in 60 at-bats.
Turner’s three-run, first-inning blast - his third postseason homer - set the tone for Friday’s victory as Los Angeles built a 7-1 lead while withstanding Arizona’s power show. Turner’s five-RBI performance matched Davey Lopes (1978 World Series) and Pedro Guerrero (1981 World Series) for the most in a postseason game in franchise history. The Diamondbacks belted four homers, but they all were of the solo variety, and had just two at-bats with runners in scoring position. Arizona will attempt to even the series behind All-Star left-hander Robbie Ray, who went 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings over five starts against the Dodgers this season.
TV: 9:08 p.m. ET, TBS
PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks LH Robbie Ray (15-5, 2.89 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32)
Ray won his final six decisions in the regular season, and his 218 strikeouts were the third-most in the NL. The 26-year-old was called on to pitch 2 1/3 innings of relief in Wednesday’s wild-card victory over Colorado and insists the 34-pitch effort will not affect his routine or performance. “I feel great. My arm feels great and ready to go,” Ray said at a press conference. “I wouldn’t lie to (manager Torey Lovullo). I wouldn’t give this team anything (other than) 100 percent of myself. I feel like that would be cheating me and cheating the team.”
Hill finished the regular season in stellar fashion with three straight victories, and he allowed two runs and eight hits while striking out 26 in 18 innings during that stretch. The 37-year-old had nothing but trouble with the Diamondbacks this season, going 0-3 with a 5.03 ERA in four starts, but manager Dave Roberts feels the veteran’s feisty nature will lead to better results. “He’s a great competitor. He’s wacky on his start days,” Roberts said at a press conference. “It’s been well-documented that he and I have had some good run-ins ... but that edge that he brings and the way that this guy prepares like no other, he’s a baseball player.”
1. Dodgers SS Corey Seager and RF Yasiel Puig each registered two hits and two RBIs in Game 1.
2. Arizona RF J.D. Martinez homered in the opener and has gone deep 30 times in 64 games since being acquired from Detroit.
3. Los Angeles RHP Brandon Morrow, who was unscored upon in his final nine regular-season appearances, recorded four outs on seven pitches in the opener.
PREDICTION: Diamondbacks 7, Dodgers 3