Puig puts Los An­ge­les up 2-0 in series

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - COMMENTARY - By Greg Beacham

LOS AN­GE­LES — Yasiel Puig had three hits and drove in two runs, Austin Barnes added a key two-run dou­ble and the Los An­ge­les Dodgers used an­other re­lent­less of­fen­sive per­for­mance to beat the Ari­zona Di­a­mond­backs 8-5 on Satur­day night for a 2-0 lead in their NL Divi­sion Series.

Logan Forsythe had three hits and Ken­ley Jansen earned a flaw­less five­out save for the 104-win Dodgers, who have made their medi­ocre pitch­ing ir­rel­e­vant by pound­ing out 17 runs and 24 hits in the first two games against their NL West ri­val.

Paul Gold­schmidt hit a two-run homer in the first in­ning and Bran­don Drury added a pinch-hit, three­run shot in the sev­enth, but the Di­a­mond­backs are on the brink of elim­i­na­tion af­ter Rob­bie Ray and re­liever Jim­mie Sherfy couldn’t con­tain the Dodgers’ lineup.

Game 3 of the best-of­five matchup is Mon­day at Chase Field. Ari­zona ace Zack Greinke will at­tempt to save the sea­son when he faces his for­mer team­mates with the Dodgers, who counter with late-sea­son ac­qui­si­tion Yu Darvish.

Greinke is prob­a­bly the Di­a­mond­backs’ best chance to stop the Dodgers from scor­ing their way out of ev­ery prob­lem.

“If you had to pick the one guy to stop the sit­u­a­tion we’re in, we’ve got the right guy in Zack Greinke,” Di­a­mond­backs man­ager Torey Lovullo said.

Los An­ge­les turned an early 2-0 deficit in Game 2 into a 7-2 ad­van­tage with a four-run rally in the fifth.

Forsythe got his first ca­reer play­off RBI dur­ing that stretch, and Barnes fol­lowed with his two-run dou­ble. Puig added an RBI sin­gle to his ear­lier run­scor­ing ground­out, flip­ping his bat and point­ing back to the Dodgers’ dugout as he sprinted to­ward first base.

Puig has five hits and four RBIs in two games, but the ex­u­ber­ant Cuban slug­ger is just one purring com­po­nent of the Dodgers’ for­mi­da­ble of­fen­sive ma­chine.

Rich Hill made it through just four in­nings for the Dodgers, yield­ing three hits and three walks. Kenta Maeda got the vic­tory by get­ting three outs of mid­dle relief.

The Dodgers pounded out six runs on eight hits in a two-in­ning stretch against three Di­a­mond­backs pitch­ers, turn­ing a 2-1 deficit into a 7-2 lead.

Drury kept it close with his no-doubt shot in the sev­enth on Bran­don Mor­row’s first pitch, but the Dodgers ral­lied for an­other run in the bot­tom half.

Ray had been out­stand­ing in five reg­u­lar-sea­son starts against the Dodgers, but he strug­gled might­ily with his con­trol from the first in­ning.

Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

Austin Barnes of the Dodgers watches his two-run dou­ble against the Di­a­mond­backs dur­ing the fifth in­ning of Game 2 of the NLDS on Satur­day night.

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