Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Dodgers claim 3-1 win to force Game 7

MONEY SHOT:When asked about a gesture he made to the Dodgers after hitting his third homer of the Series, Joc Pederson said: ‘You kind of black out in a situation like that’

AP, LOS ANGELES, California

Chris Taylor of the Los Angeles Dodgers, right, hits an RBI double to score Austin Barnes, not pictured, on Tuesday during the sixth inning of Game 6 of the World Series against the Houston Astros in Los Angeles, California.

Photo: AFP

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 as 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 and Corey Seager followed with a go-ahead sacrifice fly as the Dodgers beat the Astros 3-1 on Tuesday night to push the dramatic 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 and making it a record 24 long balls that have been hit in the World 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.

“You kind of black out in a situation like that, so I’m going to have to rewatch it to see what I did,” Pederson said.

It was the third home run of the series for Pederson, who was demoted to the minors from mid-August until early September, then left off the National League Division Series roster. He had hit just one previous big league opposite-field homer this season and teammates offered to pay him to go the other way.

“People are trying to get me encouraged to using the whole field,” he said. “I’m not very good at it.”

Yu Darvish was to start yesterday for the Dodgers, who are trying to win their first title since 1988, and Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw will be ready in the bullpen after getting knocked out in the fifth inning of Game 5.

“I can give you 27 innings,” Kershaw said. “I’ll be ready to go, whatever they need.”

Lance McCullers Jr gets the ball for the Astros in the first World Series Game 7 ever at Dodger Stadium.

“You’ve got two teams with a bunch of dogs in the clubhouse. No one is afraid,” McCullers said.

Two nights after a 13-12, 10-inning slugfest under the roof at Minute Maid Park, pitching dominated.

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 championship in their 56-season history.

The homer was Springer’s fourth in the series, one shy of the record set by Reggie Jackson in 1977 and matched by Chase Utley in 2009.

On Halloween night, a title for a team with orange in its colors seemed appropriate.

However, it served only to set up the 10th blown lead of the series, the fifth by Houston, as Verlander fell to 9-1 with the Astros.

After wasting a ninth-inning lead in Game 2 and losing Game 5, Kenley Jansen retired six straight batters (on 19 pitches) for the save and ended it by striking out 40-year-old pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran.

A heat wave over and the skies overcast, the temperature dropped to 19.4°C at game time from 39.4°C for the opener, and there was a slight drizzle in the middle innings.

Yuli Gurriel, who made a racist gesture toward Darvish in Game 3, was booed loudly during introductions and each time he batted, and Hill stepped off the rubber to allow the crowd extra time to jeer.

However, attention quickly turned to Game 7.

Pederson sat in the interview room with his older brother, Champ, who has Down Syndrome.

“I have a feeling that everything is possible,” Champ said. “I’m not going to say they have it, but I’m just going to say they will find a way.”

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