Turner’s homer helps Dodgers top Brewers
MILWAUKEE — Justin Turner and the Los Angeles Dodgers know all about performing in the postseason.
Backed into a tough spot Saturday, the red-headed slugger delivered once again.
Shut down for most of the afternoon, the Dodgers staged another late rally and Turner hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to lift them over the Milwaukee Brewers for a 4-3 victory that evened the National League Championship Series at a game apiece.
The high-powered Dodgers had two measly singles off Wade Miley before breaking through against one of baseball’s best bullpens. After forcing the Brewers to use six relievers in Milwaukee’s 6-5 victory Friday night, the NL West champions put that extended look to good use in Game 2, especially against faltering All-Star Jeremy Jeffress.
“As long as we have outs left, we know we’re in the game,” Turner said.
Milwaukee wasted a terrific performance by Miley in its first loss in three weeks, ending a 12-game winning streak that started in the regular season. Orlando Arcia and Travis Shaw homered, and Lorenzo Cain robbed David Freese of a tworun drive with a leaping grab over the wall in center field.
Miley pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings in the second playoff start of his MLB career and had two hits in his first multihit game since 2014.
“We were in really good shape with the effort that Wade gave us,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He pitched beautifully.”
The best-of-seven series moves to Dodger Stadium for Game 3 on Monday night. Walker Buehler will start for Los Angeles, and Jhoulys Chacin gets the ball for Milwaukee.
Miley handed a 2-0 lead over to his bullpen and Shaw tacked on a solo drive in the sixth, delighting a yellow towel-waving crowd of 43,905 at Miller Park. But that was the last run for the Brewers, and the Dodgers finished off their rally this time around after nearly taking Game 1.
Cody Bellinger got Los Angeles on the board with an RBI single in the seventh, chasing Corbin Burnes and stopping an 0-for-15 slide in the playoffs that landed him on the bench at the start of the game. Austin Barnes forced in another run with a bases-loaded walk off Jeffress, but the right-hander escaped when pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal bounced into a double play.
The Dodgers went right back to work in the eighth. Chris Taylor reached on a leadoff single before Turner hit a long drive to left off Jeffress, admiring the ball with his bat pointed toward the sky before rounding the bases and participating in several different celebrations with his giddy teammates on his way to the dugout.
Turner bounced back after striking out a career-worst four times in Game 1.
“It felt good,” Turner said. “I knew it was a homer, and it’s cool to run around the bases and see all your teammates going crazy, jumping up and down waiting for you.”
Jeffress also struggled in Game 1, allowing two hits while recording only one out. He was charged with two runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings in three appearances in the NL Division Series sweep of Colorado, including a blown save in the opener.
“It’s intense baseball games, man,” Jeffress said. “They’re going to be like this for the rest of the postseason. We’re going to battle, they’re going to battle. Just be ready.”
Los Angeles has scored eight runs against Milwaukee’s bullpen, all in the seventh inning or later.
“The more you face the relievers, the easier it’s going to get,” Bellinger said.
Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, center, celebrates with manager Dave Roberts and teammates after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday afternoon. The Dodgers won 4-3 to even the series at a game apiece.