The Dodgers returned to Los Angeles Monday, finding themselves in a must-win situation after squandering three leads in Sunday’s wild, marathon 13-12 10-inning loss to the Houston Astros in Game 5 in Houston.
“It’s going to be boisterous and energetic at Dodger Stadium, and I think our focus is just going to be to win one game,” Dodger manager Dave Roberts said of Tuesday’s upcoming Dodger Stadium game. “To get ourselves to think about two in a row, I think we’d be getting ahead of ourselves. We’re at an elimination stage right now and we’ll do everything we can to win one game.”
If the Astros win Tuesday, they win the World Series. If the Dodger win, they’ll force the series into a final, deciding seventh game Wednesday.
Sunday’s victory gave the Astros a three games to two lead in the best-of- seven series. Of the previous 65 times a team has led a Series three games to two, it has won 43 times, 66.2 percent. However, the team trailing three games to two has won Game 6 40 of 65 times, 61.5 percent.
The home team is 42-24 in Game 6, a .636 winning percentage, including winning four of the past five.
When the Series resumes Tuesday at Dodger Stadium left-hander Rich Hill will pitch for the Dodgers against Houston right-hander Justin Verlander in a rematch of the Game 2 starters. Neither figured in the decision in Houston’s 7- 6 11-inning victory Oct. 25.
In Game 5, the Dodgers led 3-0 in the first inning, 4-0 in the fourth, 7- 4 in the fifth and 8-7 in the seventh before becoming the fifth team to lose a World Series game in which it had held three leads, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician of Major League Baseball.
“They just got the hit when they needed,” Dodger manager Dave Roberts said. “But I thought we did a lot of great things, as well, on our offensive side.”
Both teams had 14 hits. Each team had eight extra-base hits, a first in World Series play. The Astros tied a World Series record with five home runs. This was the second game in World Series history in which both teams scored at least 12 runs, joining Game 4 of the 1993 Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays.
Alex Bregman singled on the first pitch he saw from Dodger ace reliever Kenley Jansen to drive in pinch-runner Derek Fisher from second base with two outs in the bottom of the 10th for the winning run.
“As soon as it left the bat, I knew Fisher would score,” said Bregman, who had homered off Jansen in the ninth inning of Game 4, a game won by the Dodgers, 6-2.
Jansen, who entered Game 5 to start of the bottom of the ninth, retired the first two batters he faced in the 10th, then hit Brian McCann with a 2-2 cutter. Jansen walked George Springer on five pitches, then threw Bregman a cutter.
Jansen, the last of seven Dodger pitchers, was charged with the loss. Joe Musgrove, the last of seven Astro pitchers was credited with the victory in the second-longest World Series game, five hours, 17 minutes. Only Game 3 of the 2005 Series between Houston and the Chicago White Sox was longer, taking 5:41 to play 14 innings.
Kershaw allowed six runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings in Game 5, including Yuri Gurriel’s three-run homer in the fourth that tied the score, 4- 4.
Kershaw has allowed a record eight home runs during the 2017 postseason, erasing the previous record he shared with three pitchers who pitched when the postseason consisted of three rounds and two when it was two rounds.
The Dodgers also mounted a comeback of their own, tying the score after trailing 12-9 entering the top of the ninth.
Yasiel Puig hit a two-run homer with one out. Austin Barnes followed with a double and moved to third on Joc Pederson’s ground out. Chris Taylor hit a 2-2 change-up from Chris Devenski for a single, tying the score for the fourth time.
Houston put the winning run in scoring position the bottom of the ninth as Gurriel doubled with two outs, but Jansen induced former teammate Josh Reddick to fly out to left fielder Andre Ethier to send the game into extra innings.
The Dodgers were leading 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh when reliever Brandon Morrow allowed a home run by Springer, the first batter he faced. Bregman followed with a single, Jose Altuve an RBI double and Carlos Correa a two-run homer that gave the Astros an 11-8 lead.
Both teams scored once in the eighth.
Corey Seager doubled in Pederson, who doubled. McCann hit a solo homer before a capacity crowd at Minute Maid Park announced at 43,300.
Cody Bellinger’s three-run homer in the top of the fifth gave the Dodgers a 7-4 lead.
Roberts removed Kershaw after he issued back-to-back walks to Springer and Bregman with two outs in the fifth, replacing him with Kenta Maeda. Altuve, the first batter Maeda faced, hit a three-run homer, tying the score, 7-7.
The Dodgers took an 8-7 lead with one out in the top of the seventh when Cody Bellinger tripled in Justin Turner, who led off with a double.
The Dodgers opened the scoring with three runs in the first. Logan Forsythe’s two-out single drove in Taylor, who had led off with a single, and Turner, who had walked.
With Puig at bat, Forsythe was caught in a rundown. The throw by Gurriel, the Astros first baseman, to Altuve, their second baseman, was wide. Forsythe was safe at second and Kike Hernandez, who had walked, scored.
The Dodgers increased their lead to 4-0 in the fourth. Forsythe doubled with one out and scored on Austin Barnes’ two-out single.
Correa doubled in Springer, who had walked, with Houston’s first run in the fourth.
Bellinger’s three-run homer in the fifth gave the Dodgers a 7-4 lead.
This was the 45th time a World Series has been tied at two games a piece. The Game 5 winner has gone on to win the Series 29 times, 65.9 percent of the time.
The home team has won 27 of the 45 times the series has been tied at two games a piece, 60 percent of the time, including six of the last seven and 20 of the past 26.
—City News Service
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