The Arizona Diamondbacks are one win away from the franchise’s first NLCS appearance since 2007 after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 in Game 2 of their NL division series on Monday.
Diamondbacks right-hander Zac Gallen earned the win after allowing two runs on five hits with four strikeouts across 5 1/3 innings. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered and drove in two runs to pace Arizona’s offense.
“With a lineup like this, and you’re playing at their park, I think you have to kind of be on the aggressive,” Gallen told MLB Network postgame. He added, “As cliché as it was, I was trying to stay ahead, stay in attack mode, and just kind of put guys away.”
Gallen delivered in one of the game’s biggest moments, striking out Dodgers All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman with two runners on and two outs in the fifth inning to preserve a 3-1 lead.
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“My thought was, just had a base open there with two outs,” Gallen said of the matchup with Freeman. “Obviously, Freddie’s Freddie, so I was just trying not to give in. And 3-2, I’m just like, ‘All right, I’ve gotta make a pitch that’s going to force him to swing.’ And halfway to home plate, I’m like, ‘Oh, I don’t think he’s going to swing at this.’ Kind of froze him up, so yeah, I was pretty fired up after that.”
The Diamondbacks improved to a perfect 4-0 in the postseason with the win.
For the second straight game, the Dodgers were unable to get two innings out of their starting pitcher. Right-hander Bobby Miller labored, registering just five outs while allowing three runs on four hits with a pair of walks.
Miller’s struggles came on the heels of Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw recording a single out in Game 1.
The Dodgers have their work cut out as they try to mount a comeback. In the division series with the current 2-2-1 format, 88% of teams that won the first two games on the road went on to win the series, and 10 of those 14 teams swept their opponents, according to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs.
The Diamondbacks will look to complete the sweep when the two teams head to Arizona for Game 3 on Wednesday.
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