Turner’s late HR lifts L.A. past Chicago
Dodgers take 2-0 lead in NLCS
Justin Turner hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.
The red-bearded slugger connected on the 29th anniversary of the Dodgers’ last game-ending postseason homer: Kirk Gibson’s famous pinch-hit drive to beat Oakland in the 1988 World Series opener.
“One of my earliest baseball memories, I was 4 years old at my grandma’s house watching that game in ‘88 and seeing Gibby hit that homer,” a smiling Turner said. “So yeah, it feels pretty cool. I thought about doing the fist pump around the bases, but we’ll wait until we get to the World Series for that, hopefully.”
Turner drove in every run for Los Angeles, going the other way for a tying single in the fifth before sending a long shot to center field off John Lackey in the ninth. A fan wearing a blue Dodgers jersey reached over a railing to catch the ball on the fly.
Turner’s second homer of the postseason ended another dramatic night for the Dodgers, who remained unbeaten in these playoffs and moved within two wins of their first World Series appearance since 1988.
“It’s very cool, and J.T., we were talking about it in there after the game,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Twenty-nine years to the day. It was special. Our guys feel it.”
Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Midseason acquisition Yu Darvish starts for the Dodgers against Kyle Hendricks.
Yasiel Puig drew his third walk of the game leading off the ninth, and Charlie Culberson bunted him to second. After losing pitcher Brian Duensing struck out pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer, Chicago manager Joe Maddon went to the bullpen for the 38-year-old Lackey, who pitched on consecutive days for the first time in his 15-year career.
Lackey got the call over All-Star closer Wade Davis, and the veteran starter walked Chris Taylor on six tense pitches.
Turner stepped up and ended it with his fourth career playoff homer. He’s been at his best in October, batting .377 with 22 RBIs in the postseason.
“We’ve been doing it all year long,” Turner said. “We’re never out of a game. As long as we have outs left, we’re going to keep fighting.”