Turner also made a terrific play at third base, going to his left to backhand a sharp bouncer off the bat of Mike Zunino to initiate a double play and wipe away the only base runner the Rays had in the first four and one-third innings.
While Buehler remained locked in a groove, the Dodgers also demonstrated that, while the tendency in baseball over the past several years drifted away from the small-ball tactics of past years, they have not been totally abandoned. In recent years, baseball has increasingly moved toward a heavy reliance on home runs and big innings, with techniques like stolen bases and sacrifice bunts consigned to the strategic trash heap.
But the Dodgers put both of the largely abandoned tactics on display Friday, with Betts stealing a couple of bases and Barnes executing a perfect safety squeeze bunt.
In the top of the fourth, Cody Bellinger led off the inning with a single to right field. Morton struck out Chris Taylor, but Joc Pederson ripped a line drive over the outstretched glove of Ji-Man Choi, the Rays’ athletic first baseman, for a single. With runners at first and third, Pederson feigned as if he were stealing second, which temporarily froze Lowe, the Rays’ second baseman.
On the pitch, Barnes gently tapped a bunt up the first base line. Bellinger ran home on contact, and Choi’s only play was to toss the ball to Lowe, covering first base, to force out Barnes. Not only did the sacrifice bunt score a run, it also moved Pederson to second base, and he scored on a single by Betts.
Of course, Barnes is also capable of playing the more modern game: He whacked a home run in the top of the sixth that provided an exclamation point on an emphatic Dodgers win.
One of the few bright spots for the Rays was that Randy Arozarena, who had gone 1 for 6 in the first two games of the series, drilled a home run in the ninth inning off Kenley Jansen. It was his eighth home run of the postseason, tying him with Barry Bonds, Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz. It was also his 23rd hit of the postseason, breaking a postseason record for rookies that he had shared with Derek Jeter, who had 22 in the 1996 postseason.