Dodgers rally against Verlander to force Game 7
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joc Pederson sliced a drive over the left-field wall, pounded his chest and danced around the bases, taking as many twists and turns as this World Series itself. Of course, the Los Angeles Dodgers forced the Houston Astros to Game 7.
Chris Taylor hit a tying double off Justin Verlander during a two-run rally in the sixth inning, Corey Seager followed with a go-ahead sacrifice fly and the Dodgers beat the Astros 3-1 on Tuesday night to push this dramatic World Series to the ultimate game.
Pederson homered in the seventh against Joe Musgrove, connecting off the right-hander for the second time in three games for the record 24th long ball of this Series. Pederson pranced all the way to the plate, pointing at the Dodgers’ dugout and rubbing his thumbs and index fingers together to indicate what a money shot it was.
Yu Darvish starts Wednesday for the Dodgers, trying to win their first title since 1988, and Lance McCullers Jr. for the Astros in the first World Series Game 7 ever at Dodger Stadium. Darvish was chased in the second inning of Game 2, when McCullers pitched Houston to a 5-3 victory.
George Springer’s third-inning home run against starter Rich Hill had given a 1-0 lead to Verlander and the Astros, trying for the first title in their 56-season history. On Halloween night, a championship for a team with orange in its colors seemed appropriate.
But it served only to set up the 10th blown lead of the Series, the fifth by Houston, as Verlander fell to 9-1 with Houston.
Dodgers relievers combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings. Brandon Morrow retired Alex Bregman on a grounder to strand the bases loaded in the fifth, winner Tony Watson got Marwin Gonzalez to fly out with two on and two outs in the sixth, and Kenta Maeda escaped two-on trouble in the seventh when third baseman Justin Turner gloved Jose Altuve’s grounder and threw a one-hop throw that first baseman Cody Bellinger scooped just in time.
After wasting a ninth-inning lead in Game 2 and losing Game 5, Kenley Jansen retired six straight batters for the save and ended by striking out 40-year-old pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran.