The Dodgers flexed their might Saturday night, breaking out the bats to beat the Giants soundly, 9-2, in Game 2 of the National League Division Series.
And just like that, home field advantage swings to Los Angeles.
Both teams will travel Sunday, then resume the NLDS on Monday at Dodger Stadium. The series is a best-of-five affair, and any home loss changes the dynamic in terms of who holds the home stadium advantage.
Saturday’s scene at Oracle Park started much like Game 1, with a raucous crowd on hand at Oracle Park, cheering on the Giants to take a dominating 2-0 lead in the series. But the Dodgers had different ideas, riding a strong start from 20-game winner Julio Urias, who pitched five strong innings and drove in a run at the plate to help his cause.
Giants starter Kevin Gausman turned in a solid outing, lasting 5-1/3 innings and giving up only four hits. But he also allowed four earned runs, and his departure gave way to a string of relievers trying to mop up a game that felt decided early on.
“I obviously wished I would’ve gotten throught that sixth inning,” said Gausman. “It’s going to be a good matchup.”
The Dodgers broke out in the sixth inning, scoring four and putting the game out of reach. Generally speaking, the Dodgers were patient at the plate and waited on good pitches to hit. As a result, they ended up feasting on fastballs.
“It was really good to see that tonight, having some history with Gausman,” said Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts.
To his credit, Buster Posey continued his strong early postseason, picking up two hits and supassing former Giant Pablo Sandoval for the all-time lead in San Francisco postseason hits. With 54 hits, he nows stands one ahead of Panda, who collected 53 hits in 144 at bats (.344 batting average).
Next up, both teams will travel Sunday and prepare to play Monday in Game 3 of the NLDS. The Giants could win two in Southern California and close out the series. The could lose two and be eliminated. Or the teams could split, forcing a high-intensity Game 5 at Oracle Park on Thursday.
Monday’s starting pitching matchup is expected to match the Dodgers’ Max Scherzer against the Giants’ Alex Wood.
“Woody’s numbers in the postseason have been incredible,” said Gausman. “I’m looking forward to see him pitch.”