LA sweep? Yu got it! Dodgers return to NLCS

LA sweep? Yu got it! Dodgers return to NLCS

PHOENIX -- With Cody Bellinger driving in runs and Yu Darvish and the bullpen preventing them, the Dodgers completed their three-game sweep of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile on Monday night with a 3-1 victory over the D-backs at Chase Field to reach the NL Championship Series presented by Camping World for the second consecutive year.

Gear up for the NLCS

It opens Saturday at Dodger Stadium against the Cubs, who beat them in last year's NLCS.

Game Date Results Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 6 LAD 9, ARI 5 Watch
Gm 2 Oct. 7 LAD 8, ARI 5 Watch
Gm 3 Oct. 9 LAD 3, ARI 1 Watch

NLCS Game 1: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on TBS

Darvish, a Trade Deadline acquisition for exactly this purpose, outpitched Zack Greinke, who left the Dodgers two years ago for a $206.5 million payday from Arizona. Darvish, in his first game in two weeks, allowed two hits in five-plus innings, dinged only by Daniel Descalso's two-out homer in the fifth inning.

"Yu really stepped up huge for us," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He was in command and control from the first pitch, working to both sides of the plate. The cutter was working really well, good velocity with the fastball and great command. It was just fun to watch him just have his nerves calm and just compete. He was out there having fun."

Darvish's one-run effort

Four relievers protected the lead, including four outs from Brandon Morrow and a two-strikeout inning from Kenta Maeda, with Kenley Jansen earning his second consecutive save.

Posnanski: Dodgers rekindle winning formula

The game ended with D-backs slugger Paul Goldschmidt, representing the tying run, swinging and missing an eighth pitch from Jansen, who had a five-out save in Game 2.

"I just had to have the mindset that I'm better than Goldy right there, even though he has a pretty good career against me [4-for-20 with a homer]," Jansen said. "We swept them, and it can look like it was so easy, but that is a tough team, they're going to be good in the future, but we shut them down."

Jansen earns save to win series

Bellinger brought home a first-inning run with a groundout, then the NL rookie home-run record holder blasted an opposite-field shot in the fifth. Catcher Austin Barnes, starting ahead of Yasmani Grandal, led off the sixth with a homer that chased Greinke. The 22-year-old Bellinger, the youngest Dodger to homer in the postseason, also sacrificed his body and tumbled into the Dodgers' dugout catching Jeff Mathis' popup to end the fifth inning and made a diving stop to steal a hit in the sixth.

"Cody is a game-changer, he can impact the game in so many ways," said Justin Turner, who had two more hits to bring his Division-Series record average to .449. "At the plate, his defense, going first to third two nights ago. Just so many ways. Can't take your eyes off him, just fun to watch."

Homecoming king: Bellinger brings it in AZ

Must C: Bellinger's great game

With strict plate discipline, the Dodgers ran up Greinke's pitch count, walking five times. Greinke, who scrambled Arizona's rotation when he couldn't protect a six-run lead in their Wild Card Game win, was 13-1 at home during the regular season. He's 2-5 against the Dodgers since leaving them.

Greinke's great season ends on sour note

"I know collectively as a group we're going to look back on this year as one that was very productive. When that happens, I don't know," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I want to start to think positive thoughts, but I can't quite get there yet, and I'm not going to force it. I want to have it be a natural process."

Bloom: D-backs built for 2018 and beyond

Goldschmidt on Game 3 loss

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Never look back: Chris Taylor set the tone for the Dodgers leading off the game by working the count to 3-2, then lining a double to left field. He went to third on Turner's fly to center and scored when Goldschmidt fielded Bellinger's sharp grounder but needed two tries to step on first base and decided not to throw home.

"This whole season has been crazy. Trying to enjoy it as much as I can. I'm going to enjoy this with the team and my family," said Bellinger, an Arizona native. "It was really cool coming back here to Chase Field. Played here in high school. Went to a lot of games as a kid. So to celebrate here on the Dodgers is pretty special."

Bellinger on the Dodgers' win

One batter too late: The fifth inning ended with pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco in the Arizona on-deck circle to bat for Greinke. But with 103 pitches already thrown, Greinke was sent back out for the top of the sixth and served up an insurance leadoff homer to Barnes, then was removed.

"Obviously it was a big game for us, to come in here and face a really good pitcher in Greinke and scratch a few runs across," Barnes said. "Our pitchers did an amazing job, with Yu and the whole bullpen."

Barnes' solo homer

QUOTABLE
"I was telling him, 'Hey, Arizona has no tomorrow; we're going to finish them off today.' He said, 'Exactly, that's what we're going to do.' So it was about finishing them off." -- Darvish, on his pregame conversation with Roberts

Lovullo: 'They deserved to win this series'

Descalso's solo home run

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Dodgers are 8-0 in series-clinching games on the road.

J.D. heads to FA with fond D-backs memories

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW
The D-backs issued a manager's challenge in the bottom of the sixth inning when home-plate umpire Gerry Davis ruled that an inside pitch to Christian Walker hit the knob of Walker's bat and not his hand. After a brief review, they ruled that the call stands. Walker fouled off the next pitch and then was struck in the helmet by Darvish's last pitch of the night.

No HBP as call stands in the 6th

DYK? Facts, figures from Monday's 4 games

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.