Dodgers thump Giants to level NL series

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Julio Urias shut down San Francisco while Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock delivered two-run doubles to blow it open in the sixth as the Los Angeles Dodgers pounded the Giants 9-2 to even their NL Division Series at one game apiece.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had declared before Saturday's away game at Oracle Park, "We're going to play this game essentially like a do-or-die,".

The reigning World Series champions did just that by continuing to add on, including Will Smith's leadoff homer in the eighth.

Now, NL West runner-up Los Angeles - second place despite 106 wins - are right back in it with a chance to ride some momentum.

The best-of-five series shifts to Dodger Stadium for Game 3 on Monday night all square, hardly a surprise considering how close these clubs played for months.

The 107-win Giants edged the Dodgers for the division on the final day and took the season series 10-9 but were outscored overall 80-78.

Urias hit an RBI single in the second to give Los Angeles the lead, and Mookie Betts followed with a run-scoring single.

San Francisco answered quickly in the bottom half when Urias walked Wilmer Flores leading off and gave up Brandon Crawford's single. Flores advanced on Evan Longoria's deep flyball to centre and scored on a sacrifice fly by Donovan Solano.

Urias hardly seemed rattled. The 20-game winner looked the part from first pitch in outdueling Giants All-Star right-hander Kevin Gausman.

Urias went unbeaten over his final 17 regular-season starts since June 21, going 11-0 during that stretch that included a September 4 victory here at raucous Oracle Park. He struck out five and walked one over five innings on Saturday, giving up one run on three hits.

Gausman had a tough act to follow after a gem by Logan Webb in his postseason debut a night earlier, when the right-hander and a pair of relievers held the slugging Dodgers to five hits in a 4-0 victory.

Trea Turner doubled leading off the sixth, and after Justin Turner struck out, Smith walked to chase Gausman after 5 1/3 innings in which he struck out seven and walked three.

Roberts went with Bellinger at first base - he played four games there this year and 19 in 2020 - in order to get Chris Taylor's bat in the lineup.

Taylor doubled in his first at-bat with one out in the second and wound up 2 for 4 with a walk.

Bellinger came through, too.

The 2019 NL MVP slumped to a .165 average in the regular season and was 0 for 5 with four strikeouts in the series before turning this one into a rout with his double in the sixth.

Earlier, Max Fried allowed three hits over six scoreless innings as the Atlanta Braves mustered enough timely hitting for a 3-0 victory over the host Milwaukee Brewers, sending their National League Division Series back to Atlanta tied at a game apiece.

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