Updated 11:50 p.m. ET
The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Houston Astros 3-1 in Game 1 of the 2017 World Series in Los Angeles on the strength of superior pitching and timely home runs.
The Dodgers got a strong performance by their ace, Clayton Kershaw, who struck out 11 batters over seven innings, surrendering only one run on three hits. He walked none.
“It was a special night for Clayton,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said about his three-time Cy Young Award winner.
Kershaw said he really couldn’t tell the difference between any other post-season start and a World Series start.
“But it definitely feels good to say it was the World Series and feels good to say we’re 1 and 0,” he said.
The Astros’ starter, Dallas Keuchel, pitched almost as well. But the Dodgers’ three runs came on pitches Keuchel would probably like to pull back.
The Dodgers drew blood in the bottom of the first inning when center fielder Chris Taylor smacked Keuchel’s first pitch deep into the left field seats.
Down by a single run, the Astros’ starting pitcher kept the Dodgers at bay with his own efficient pitching and the help of three double plays by his teammates. Houston’s third baseman Alex Bregman silenced the Los Angeles crowd when he opened the fourth inning with a solo homer off of Kershaw to tie the game 1-1.
The game was looking like a classic pitchers’ duel until the bottom of the sixth inning when Keuchel, with two outs, walked Taylor. Dodger third baseman Justin Turner broke the tie with a two-run homer to left field.
Keuchel gave up three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out three and surrendered one walk — to Taylor, setting up the Turner home run.
That made the score 3-1 Dodgers and their highly touted bullpen held that lead. LA reliever Brandon Morrow retired the Astros in the eighth inning and closer Kenley Jansen wrapped it up in the ninth.
In addition to outstanding pitching, Game 1 of the 2017 World Series will likely be remembered for the heat. The recorded temperature at Dodger Stadium at game time was a toasty 103 degrees.
In fact, Turner gave credit to the heat for his game-winning homer.
“When it’s that hot here the ball does travel a lot better,” he said in a post-game press conference. “If it’s ten degrees cooler that’s probably a routine fly ball to left field.”