PHOENIX (AP) — Geraldo Perdomo got the Arizona Diamondbacks started with an unexpected homer, then Ketel Marte made the 48,000-plus at Chase Field giddy with another blast.
Christian Walker followed with a line-drive shot into the left-field seats and then Gabriel Moreno polished off the onslaught with a 420-foot moonshot into left-center.
One inning. Four hitters. Four solo homers.
“That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Walker said.
The hard-hitting Diamondbacks rode a record-setting barrage of homers in the third inning to a 4-2 win in Game 3 of their NL Division Series on Wednesday night, sweeping the 100-win Los Angeles Dodgers out of the playoffs.
The D-backs return to the NL Championship Series for the first time since 2007, where they’ll face either the Phillies or Braves.
“This is what we worked all year for,” rookie sensation Corbin Carroll said. “It’s amazing to be here. It doesn’t feel real.”
Arizona — the No. 6 seed after squeezing into the NL playoff bracket with an 84-78 record — has won all five of its games during the postseason, sweeping aside both the Brewers in a best-of-three series and the Dodgers in a best-of-five.
The wild-card Diamondbacks won with brawn in this one, slugging a postseason-record four homers in the third off veteran righty Lance Lynn. That gave Arizona a 4-0 lead it never relinquished.
“It’s almost unbelievable, right? I’m a fan, too, and I was looking at it thinking, what in the world is happening here?” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.
The NL West champion Dodgers rallied for two runs in the seventh on two-out RBI singles from Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández off side-armer Ryan Thompson, but lefty Andrew Saalfrank entered and retired Austin Barnes on a groundout.
Will Smith had a one-out single in the ninth off closer Paul Sewald, but Taylor hit a flyout to deep center in front of the 413-foot sign and Hernández flied out to left to end it.
Sewald, acquired from Seattle in a trade-deadline deal on July 31, earned his fourth save of the postseason.
“You look at the game, the series, they outplayed us, and there’s no other spin to it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “As far as our clubhouse, it’s just a lot of disappointment.”
Lynn cruised through the first two innings of a scoreless game — giving no indication what was about to come.
Perdomo started the scoring with a leadoff homer, his first long ball since Aug. 13. One out later, Marte hit a 428-foot drive to right on a 1-0 cutter. With two outs, Walker pulled a 3-1 cutter to left for a 3-0 lead.
Then came No. 4: Moreno sliced a 2-1 fastball down the line to the opposite field that right field umpire Gabe Morales called fair. But the umpires huddled and crew chief Todd Tichenor reversed the call to foul, a decision upheld by a video review.
Moreno then drove Lynn’s very next pitch — a hanging slider — over the left-field wall, flipping his bat high in the air as he started his trot.
“The one that was really impressive for me was Gabby Moreno. He hits one foul, then he hits one fair. It’s a great moment for us,” Lovullo said.
A few moments later, a dejected Lynn handed the ball to Roberts and trudged toward the dugout.
Lynn gave up 44 homers in the regular season, the most in the majors. The previous mark of three homers in a postseason inning had been accomplished 12 times, most recently by the Dodgers against Atlanta in 2020.
Arizona rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out two.
While the D-backs thrived, the Dodgers had no answers for a third straight game. A stacked lineup with a pair of former MVPs — Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman — couldn’t make much of an impact throughout the series.
Both All-Stars struck out in the eighth against Kevin Ginkel with a runner on first. Betts finished the series 0 for 11 while Freeman was 1 for 10.
“The bottom line is that they outplayed us in every facet of the game,” Roberts said.
Roberts made a few lineup changes in advance of Game 3.
He flipped Smith and J.D. Martinez in the order, dropping Smith to fifth and moving Martinez up to third. Hernández started in place of James Outman in center field.
EMOTIONAL FIRST PITCH
The four sons of Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen threw out the ceremonial first pitch in honor of their mom Nicole Hazen, who died from brain cancer in 2022.
Hazen’s four sons are Charlie (17), John (16), Teddy (15) and Sam (13).
Nicole Hazen was diagnosed with glioblastoma in 2020 and fought the disease for more than two years. She was 45 when she died.
It was the first playoff game at Chase Field since 2017 and the stadium’s retractable roof was open. The temperature was in the high 80s at first pitch. It was a sellout crowd of 48,175.
Moreno left in the fifth inning with a bruised right hand. The catcher was struck by a foul ball when Taylor squared to bunt. Moreno said postgame that X-rays were negative.
Arizona plays Game 1 of the NL Championship Series at Atlanta or Philadelphia on Monday. The defending NL champion Phillies hold a 2-1 lead in that best-of-five series, with Game 4 on Thursday night in Philadelphia.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb