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Old 10-10-2017, 03:51 AM
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Default Dodgers 3 Diamond Backs 1 (NLDS Game 3)
The Los Angeles Dodgers are heading to the National League Championship Series for the second straight season.

The Dodgers finished a sweep of the NL West rival Arizona Diamondbacks with a 3-1 victory at Chase Field in Game 3 of an NL Division Series on Monday. Yu Darvish allowed one run on just two hits with seven strikeouts in five-plus innings, while Los Angeles got to his counterpart, Zack Greinke, for a run in the first inning and never trailed.

Cody Bellinger and Austin Barnes homered against Greinke, but Darvish—whom the Dodgers acquired via trade from the Texas Rangers—set the tone for the victors. While Greinke struggled with his command (five walks) and racked up his pitch count (105 in five-plus innings), Darvish cruised into the sixth on 74 pitches, zero walks and little trouble outside Daniel Descalso's solo homer in the fifth.

Greinke allowed three earned runs on four hits and the five walks. It was more of the same from the former Dodger after he struggled in Arizona's NL Wild Card Game win over the Colorado Rockies last week, allowing four earned runs in 3.2 innings.

Los Angeles wasted little time getting to the four-time All-Star, as Chris Taylor led off the game with a double and scored on Bellinger's ground out. In the fifth, Bellinger added the contest's second run with a solo blast to left-center, and Barnes' leadoff homer in the sixth ended Greinke's evening and gave his team some breathing room after Arizona had pulled within 2-1 on Descalso's long ball in the fifth.

The Dodgers' dominant pitching didn't stop with Darvish, who exited after he hit the bill of Christian Walker's helmet to start the bottom of the sixth. Tony Cingrani came on in relief and induced a double play from David Peralta on the ensuing at-bat as the bullpen with the National League's best ERA finished the series.

Brandon Morrow pitched 1.1 perfect innings, Kenta Maeda breezed through a 1-2-3 eighth, and dominant closer Kenley Jansen converted his 10th career playoff save in 10 chances by striking out Paul Goldschmidt when the slugger represented the tying run.

The Diamondbacks bullpen deserves credit for keeping the home team within striking distance. Jorge De La Rosa, David Hernandez, Archie Bradley and Andrew Chafin combined for four scoreless innings, though Chafin needed some help. After Peralta couldn't cleanly catch Bellinger's bloop single, he threw out Justin Turner at the plate to end the top of the ninth.

The Dodgers will turn their attention to the NLCS and the chance to play in their first World Series since 1988. They await the winner of the series between the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals, which the Cubs lead 2-1.

Last year, Chicago beat Los Angeles in six games in the NLCS on the way to its first World Series title since 1908. The Dodgers had outlasted the Nationals in a five-game thriller in an NLDS.

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