The Los Angeles Dodgers forced a game seven in the World Series by beating the Houston Astros, 3-1, Tuesday, October 31, 2017, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Houston sent their ace Justin Verlander to the mound hoping to end the series. The Dodgers countered with starter Rich Hill.
For the first two innings, this game appeared it might be a pitcher’s duel. Neither team could produce a run until the top of the third. Houston struck first with George Springer slamming a two-out solo home run. It remained 1-0 in favor of the Astros until inning number six.
The next two innings were quiet for the Dodgers as Verlander was sharp. Houston had chances to increase the lead in the fourth and fifth but stranded five base-runners in those innings.
The home team got on the scoreboard in the sixth. Austin Barnes hit a double to start the inning. With one out, Chris Taylor hit a line-drive double to score Barnes. Corey Seager hit a long sacrifice fly ball to right center field. It was caught for the first out and Chase Utley scored from third base giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. The next two batters failed to produce another hit.
The Astros came up in the top of the seventh and threatened to score after a walk to Josh Reddick. The pitcher’s spot was due up next and a pinch-hitter Evan Gattis came in, ending the night for Verlander. The Dodgers then changed pitchers, replacing Tony Watson with Kenta Maeda. Springer then came up and hit a single moving Gattis to second. However, the rally fizzled as the next two Houston batters delivered a fly out to center field and a groundout to the third baseman.
The bottom of the seventh inning began with Yasil Puig facing off against reliever Joe Musgrove. He hit a pop-up that was caught by shortstop Carlos Correa for the first out. The next hitter, Joe Pederson, then slammed a solo homer to give the Dodgers a two-run lead. Musgrove got the next two batters out to end the seventh.
The Dodgers brought out reliever Kenley Jansen in the top of the eighth inning. Jansen had a rough time during his last appearance in the 25 run show in Houston in game five. However, he retired the side in order and the Dodgers were three outs away from tying the World Series and forcing a game-seven to decide it all.
The Dodgers threatened to increase the lead after a single by Charlie Culberson and a two-out walk to Justin Turner. Houston changed pitchers and brought in Francisco Liriano. He struck out Cory Bellinger to end the inning.
Jansen began the top of the ninth with a pop fly by Marwin Gonzalez and then a strikeout to Josh Reddick. Houston brought in pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran to try and extend the game. However, Jansen was up to the task and struck out Beltran to force a game seven. The teams will meet for the final time this year and a fitting end to a terrific World Series that has been too good to end in only six games.
The Dodgers will be hoping for a Series clincher at home, and Houston will be looking to spoil that scenario and capture their first World Series title. They will meet in Los Angeles on Wednesday evening, November 1st. It will be the first time in Dodgers’ history that they have hosted a game seven in Los Angeles.
By D.T. Osborn
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of D.T. Osborn