ARLINGTON, Texas, Fla. — Clayton Kershaw beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the second time in six days, escaping a fourth-inning jam with a quick reaction throw to cut down a runner trying for a rare steal of home plate, and the Los Angeles Dodgers held on for a 4-2 win Sunday night and a 3-2 World Series lead.
With one more victory, the Dodgers would claim their first title since 1988.
Mookie Betts and Corey Seager sparked a two-run first inning, and Joc Pederson and Max Muncy homered off long-ball prone Tyler Glasnow, whose 100 mph heat was no match.
Kershaw was cruising when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts removed the 32-year-old left-hander in favor of Dustin May with two outs in the sixth inning. The mostly pro-Dodgers fans in the pandemic-reduced crowd of 11,437 booed when Roberts walked to the mound, well aware that closer Kenley Jansen wasted a ninth-inning lead in Saturday's stunning 8-7 loss.
May got five outs and Victor Gonzalez stranded a pair of runners in the eighth by retiring Randy Arozarena and Brandon Lowe on flyouts.
Blake Treinen pitched the ninth for his first ever postseason save.
The Rays will give the ball to left-hander Blake Snell in Game 6 on Tuesday night. Los Angeles hasn't announced a starter and may empty the bullpen, with ace Walker Buehler in play on regular rest for Game 7 if necessary.
Thirty of the previous 46 teams to win Game 5 for a 3-2 lead have won the title, but just six of the last 14. Teams that wasted 3-2 leads include last year's Houston Astros.
Victor Gonzalez worked out of a jam with some effective relief work, and the Los Angeles Dodgers carried a 4-2 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays into the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series.
With one out and Kevin Kiermaier on first after a leadoff single in the eighth, manager Dave Roberts pulled hard-throwing right-hander Dustin May and put in the lefty Gonzalez.
Kiermaier then advanced on a wild pitch and pinch hitter Mike Brosseau walked. But Gonzalez retired the righty-hitting Randy Arozarena and the lefty-batting Brandon Lowe on a pair of fly balls to center fielder Cody Bellinger.
Gonzalez yelled in celebration after Bellinger made a fine running catch on Lowe, ending the inning.
Los Angeles is trying to take a 3-2 lead in the Series in pursuit of its first championship since 1988.
Dustin May is keeping the Rays’ bats quiet with an impressive relief outing -- and making Dodgers manager Dave Roberts look smart for summoning him to replace an effective Clayton Kershaw.
The rookie right-hander with the wild shock of bright red hair has retired all four batters he’s faced (two on strikeouts) to protect a 4-2 lead for Los Angeles through seven innings.
May, who had been struggling in the postseason, is consistently throwing 99-101 mph with major movement. A fired-up May struck out pinch-hitter Austin Meadows to begin a 1-2-3 seventh that was aided by Joc Pederson’s nice running catch in deep left-center field.
May entered with a 5.00 ERA in six previous appearances covering nine innings this postseason. He had allowed nine hits and walked six.
Tampa Bay reliever Diego Castillo made quick work of the first three hitters in the Dodgers’ lineup in the top of the seventh.
The best-of-seven Series is tied at two games apiece.
Two pitches, two outs for Clayton Kershaw in the sixth. And then, just like that, he got pulled by manager Dave Roberts.
Perhaps that was the plan Sunday night, maybe that’s what the book said, yank him after 21 batters, no matter what.
But the Dodgers lefty was done after 85 pitches. Not that the LA fans at Globe Life Field liked the decision -- a few thousand of them booed, before cheering for Kershaw as he walked off.
Struggling reliever Dustin May entered and struck out Manuel Margot with a 101 mph fastball to end the inning with the Dodgers ahead 4-2.
Rays manager Kevin Cash went to his bullpen to begin the sixth, taking out starter Tyler Glasnow. Relievers Aaron Loup and Diego Castillo combined for a hitless inning.
Max Muncy launched a no-doubt homer into the right-field seats, and the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 through five innings.
Muncy turned on a 99 mph fastball from Tyler Glasnow and whipped his bat to the ground as he admired it from the plate. It was the first homer of the World Series for Muncy and lifted his batting average to .412. The 30-year-old also walked earlier in the game and has 20 free passes this postseason, tied for second most ever behind Barry Bonds’ 27 in 2002.
Glasnow has allowed a record nine homers this postseason, including eight on his fastball. The 6-foot-8 right-hander seemed to have settled after a rocky start, setting down eight straight before Muncy’s shot.
After escaping a thorny fourth inning by thwarting Manual Margot’s attempted steal of home, Clayton Kershaw cruised through the fifth, retiring the side in order, including two strikeouts.
Manuel Margot was thrown out attempting to steal home, and the Tampa Bay Rays trailed the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 in the fifth inning of Game 5 of the World Series.
Margot opened the fourth with a walk. He stole second and advanced to third on an error on second baseman Chris Taylor. Hunter Renfroe then walked to put runners on the corners with none out.
Kershaw bounced back by retiring Joey Wendle on a popup and fanning Willy Adames for his 205th postseason strikeout, matching Justin Verlander’s big league record. Kershaw then alertly stepped off the rubber when Margot broke for the plate and threw to catcher Will Smith for the final out of the inning.
Max Muncy then gave Los Angeles a 4-2 lead with a solo homer in the fifth. Joc Pederson also connected in the second for the Dodgers.
Yandy Díaz hit an RBI triple off Clayton Kershaw and scored on Randy Arozarena’s record-breaking single to cut Tampa Bay’s deficit to 3-2 after three innings.
A scuffling Tyler Glasnow remains on the mound for the Rays, trying to find his rhythm. The 6-foot-8 right-hander worked around a leadoff single and another wild pitch in the top of the third, striking out Will Smith and Cody Bellinger before Chris Taylor grounded out to end the inning.
Kevin Kiermaier beat out an infield single to begin the bottom half on a ball charged and fielded by Kershaw. Díaz then sliced a line-drive triple into the right-field corner that skipped past Mookie Betts, allowing Kiermaier to score. It was Díaz’s first RBI since Aug. 29.
Arozarena singled through the left side on a hanging breaking ball to make it 3-2. A frustrated Kershaw yelled and pounded his glove, and Arozarena signaled for the souvenir ball to be taken out of play.
With his 27th hit of this postseason, Arozarena set a major league mark. Pablo Sandoval had 26 hits during the 2014 postseason.
The rookie slugger also matched Tampa Bay’s franchise record for postseason hits held by Melvin Upton Jr.
Joc Pederson kept up the Dodgers’ attack against Tyler Glasnow, hitting a leadoff home run in the second inning that made it 3-0. Pederson stood at the plate for a moment to admire the shot into Tampa Bay’s bullpen in left-center field while Glasnow covered his head with both hands.
Pederson became the eighth different Dodgers player to homer in this Series, tying the Bash Brothers of the ’89 A’s for the most ever.
This is not what the Rays hoped for or needed from Glasnow. The 6-foot-8 ace has walked three so far, the outs against him are loud and he’s already thrown 51 pitches. He got a break, too, when Austin Barnes was caught stealing as he came off second base after beating the throw.
For Glasnow, this comes after he walked six and threw a whopping 112 pitches in just 4 1/3 innings of Game 1.
Clayton Kershaw also got some help in the bottom half. After Manuel Margot led off the inning with a smart bunt single and moved up on a grounder, do-it-all third baseman Justin Turner made a nifty play on Willy Adames’ bouncer to end the inning.
Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger singled in runs off an overthrowing Tyler Glasnow in the first inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers took a 2-0 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays with the World Series tied at two games apiece.
Seager advanced on a pair of wild pitches in the first by Glasnow, who was throwing at up to 100.6 mph.
Mookie Betts doubled on a 99 mph fastball, driving the ball into left field, and scored two pitches later when Seager pulled a curveball into right field for a single and his 19th postseason RBI.
Justin Turner took a called third strike, and Seager advanced on a wild pitch, a safe call by Laz Diaz that was upheld in a video review.
Max Muncy drew his 20th walk of the postseason, Will Smith struck out and, after another wild pitch, Cody Bellinger hit a grounder that was stopped by second baseman Brandon Lowe on the right field grass with no play. Seager scored on the infield single, the Dodgers’ 58th run with two outs this season. Glasgow got out of the inning by striking out Chris Taylor.
Glasnow needed 34 pitches to get three outs, his most in the first inning this year, and the Dodgers batted for 19 minutes. The two wild pitches in an inning tied a Series record.
Yandy Díaz singled off Clayton Kershaw and Randy Arozarena, who hit his ninth postseason homer in Game 4, hooked a slider just foul down the right-field line. Arozarena grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, and Lowe fouled out to catcher Austin Barnes.
The Dodgers have three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw starting the pivotal Game 5 in the World Series.
They could also have Walker Buehler available out of the bullpen against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Buehler, who won Game 3 on Friday night and would start Game 7 on Wednesday night if the Series goes that long, didn’t throw his usual between-games side session before Sunday night’s game.
The last time Buehler pitched in relief was June 28, 2018, when he was nursing a rib microfracture and rejoined the team after a planned rehab assignment. His only other relief appearances came in his eight games as a rookie in 2017.
Big right-hander Tyler Glasnow started for the Rays, a rematch of Game 1 when Kershaw and the Dodgers won 8-3.