After his team's dominating Game 3 performance, Los Angeles third baseman Justin Turner wanted nothing to do with the line of questioning that suggested the Dodgers are halfway to claiming their first World Series title since 1988.
The Dodgers hold a 2-1 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays entering Game 4 on Saturday night at Arlington, Texas, but Turner sees a fierce fight ahead. He surely doesn't subscribe to the notion that Los Angeles has the upper hand in the best-of-seven series.
"Absolutely not. We know how difficult this is," Turner said after the Dodgers' 6-2 victory on Friday. "We know there's still a lot of work in front of us. We were down 3-1 (to the Atlanta Braves) in the last series and fought our way back. We're not taking anything for granted."
Turner tied the franchise record with his 11th career postseason homer in the opening inning to fuel the strong performance in Game 3. Hall of Famer Duke Snider (1947-62) also hit 11, all in World Series games.
Right-hander Walker Buehler's stellar pitching -- which included 10 strikeouts in six innings -- also was a key component in the victory. Buehler became the first to notch 10 or more strikeouts in six or fewer innings in a Fall Classic game.
Now the Dodgers have the chance to put Tampa Bay in a big hole. Los Angeles right fielder Mookie Betts, who has four steals in the series, said keeping the approach simple is the key.
"Don't give away at-bats," Betts said. "That's how you win a World Series, and we need to do that for two more games."
The Rays might want to borrow that philosophy after managing just four hits and striking out 13 times in Game 3.
One of the hits was rookie Randy Arozarena's milestone ninth-inning homer. The blast was his eighth of the playoffs to match Barry Bonds (2002), Carlos Beltran (2004) and Nelson Cruz (2011) for the record in a single postseason.
The hit was Arozarena's rookie record 23rd of the postseason, passing Hall of Famer Derek Jeter (22 in 1996).
"There is still no explanation for it," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash of Arozarena's playoff success. "I've heard some of the names he is tied with and or passing, that's very special territory.
"It is remarkable what he has done. Randy hasn't had the opportunities, but he has certainly made the most of it in his first chance. We're not having the success we've had to date without his production."
Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias looks to silence Arozarena as well as continue his own strong postseason when he takes the mound to start Game 4.
Urias has recorded the win in all four of his appearances this postseason while compiling a 0.56 ERA. The 24-year-old has allowed two runs (one earned) and seven hits in 16 innings. He has struck out 16 and walked three.
"Julio's done it the whole postseason," Los Angeles catcher Will Smith said. "He's pitched spectacular, and I see him keep doing that the rest of the postseason."
Urias' lone start of the postseason came in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the Braves when he allowed one run and three hits over five innings of a 15-3 victory.
He has made two career relief appearances against the Rays and has struck out five and allowed one hit and one walk in two scoreless innings.
Tampa Bay left-hander Ryan Yarbrough will start against Urias, looking to help his club even the series.
The 28-year-old is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three appearances (one start) this postseason, having allowed four runs and 11 hits in 10 2/3 innings. He appeared in relief in Game 1 against the Dodgers and gave up two hits and no runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Cash feels Yarbrough should be strong despite the Tuesday relief outing.
"Yarbs has shown the ability to bounce back really, really well," Cash said. "He's been used in a role where you're trying to get his pitch count in."
Yarbrough's relief appearance marked the first time he faced the Dodgers. However, the lefty had good success against Betts (2-for-13, two doubles) when the latter was with the Boston Red Sox.
--Field Level Media
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