The Los Angeles Dodgers were able to get a key Game 1 victory in the World Series when Chris Taylor and Justin Turner took advantage of a couple of bad pitches in an otherwise fierce pitcher's duel that would ultimately be won by Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
Taylor got the scoring started with a homer on the first pitch the Dodgers saw, then Turner added two more on a two-run blast as Kershaw gave up just one run while striking out 11 in a dominant pitching performance in the 3-1 win over the Astros.
The Dodgers hold a 1-0 series lead with Game 2 on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
The game got underway with a Kershaw strikeout of George Springer. Kershaw went on to retire the Astros in order on a flyout and groundout. Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel took the mound in the bottom of the inning for Houston but was met with a home run from Chris Taylor on the very first pitch, giving the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead. Keuchel bounced back to get the next three batters out on a strikeout and two groundouts.
In the bottom of the second, Kershaw had another quick inning to put the Astros down 1-2-3 on 10 pitches. Keuchel gave up a leadoff single to Kike Hernandez but followed it up with a double play ball for the first two outs, then a popout to end the inning and keep the game at 1-0 going into the third.
Josh Reddick hit a one-out single into right field in the top of the third for the first Astros' hit of the night but was left stranded after a bunt strikeout from Keuchel and strikeout of Springer by Kershaw for his fifth of the night. Keuchel gave up another leadoff single in the bottom of the inning, this time to Austin Barnes, who then moved to second on a Kershaw sacrifice bunt. He went on to be doubled up, though, on a perfectly played lineout caught by Carlos Correa that he tossed to Jose Altuve at second for the double play to end the inning and leave the game 1-0 in the Dodgers' favor.
Alex Bregman came through to tie the game with a leadoff solo home run in the top of the fourth to make it a 1-1 game. Kershaw bounced back from it with three consecutive strikeouts to end the half inning. Keuchel had his first 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half including two groundouts to send the tied game into the fifth.
Kershaw had his best inning of the night so far in the top of the fifth, getting two groundouts and a three-pitch strikeout to sit down the Astros on just 6 pitches. Keuchel worked around a one-out single by Corey Seager in the bottom of the inning by getting another double play, his third of the night, to end the inning and leave the game tied 1-1 after five innings.
Kershaw continued to dominate in the top of the sixth with two more strikeouts, bringing his total to 11, and a groundout in another three up, three down inning. In the bottom of the inning, Keuchel issued a two-out walk followed by a two-run home run by Justin Turner to make it 3-1 Dodgers. Keuchel was able to get a strikeout to end the inning, but the damage was done as the Dodgers took the two-run lead into the seventh.
The Astros' Jose Altuve led off the seventh with a single but was out at second on a fielder's choice hit by Carlos Correa. Kershaw followed that with a groundout and fly out to get through the inning. Keuchel was able to get two groundouts for the first two outs in the bottom of the inning but after a Seager single had his night ended by A.J. Hinch. Brad Peacock entered the game and after a walk was able to get a flyout to end the seventh and keep the game at 3-1.
Brandon Morrow was first out of the Dodgers' bullpen in the top of the eighth and made quick work of the Astros on 10 pitches. Chris Devenski pitched the bottom of the eighth for the Astros and threw two strikeouts and a line out for a quick half inning to send the game into the ninth with the Astros in a 3-1 hole.
Kenley Jansen came in for the close in the top of the ninth and was able to get a strikeout and two flyouts to save the 3-1 victory for Los Angeles.
Game 2: First pitch of Game 2 is scheduled for 7:09 pm CST Wednesday and will air on FOX. The Astros will try to even the series 1-1 by sending out their new-found ace, Justin Verlander, who has been dominant in the playoffs with a 4-0 record. The Dodgers send out Rich Hill who posted a 3.32 ERA in the regular season with a 12-8 record but has only pitched 9 innings this postseason during which he has allowed three runs.
This story originally appeared on SportsMap.