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Buehler's big night propels Dodgers to World Series lead

·2-min read
Los Angeles pitcher Walker Buehler struck out 10 in a dominant performance against Tampa Bay as the Dodgers beat the Rays 6-2 in game three of the 2020 World Series
Los Angeles pitcher Walker Buehler struck out 10 in a dominant performance against Tampa Bay as the Dodgers beat the Rays 6-2 in game three of the 2020 World Series

Los Angeles pitcher Walker Buehler added another impressive performance to his resume Friday, dominating on the mound to propel the Dodgers to a 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in game three of the World Series.

The 26-year-old right-hander gave up one run on three hits with one walk and 10 strike outs over six innings against the Rays -- becoming the first pitcher in World Series history with double-digit strikeouts in six innings of work.

The only other Dodgers to strike out 10 and allow three or fewer hits are Sandy Koufax and current teammate Clayton Kershaw.

"When you're facing a guy like Buehler, what we saw today there's really no margin of error," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "It was just dominant, dominant stuff."

Thanks largely to Buehler, the Dodgers are two wins away from their first World Series title since 1988.

"Being a big-game pitcher and really succeeding on this stage, there's only a few guys currently and throughout history," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He's in some really elite company.

"I'm just happy he's wearing a Dodger uniform," Roberts added."

Buehler, who struggled earlier this post-season because of blisters on his throwing hand, used his four-seam fastball to devastating effect and was effective also with his curveball and slider.

"You can just see the fastball popping through the zone," Cash said.

"That might have been the best I've ever seen his stuff," catcher Austin Barnes said.

"The breaking ball, the shape to it, to get those guys off the fastball, I thought the curveball was really good early," Roberts said. "He elevated when he needed to."

Buehler took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, when he gave up doubles to Manuel Margot and Willy Adames that accounted for the one run he allowed all night.

He came back to pitch a scoreless sixth before departing with the Dodgers up 6-1.

Buehler said he has learned how to deal with the pressure of delivering in these big moments.

"The playoffs are different," he said. "I feel like I failed in these moments. I have taken the failures I had and tried to learn from them."

bb/gph