Justin Turner’s hunt for a red-hot October resumed in Game 1 of the World Series with a tie breaking two-run homer off of Dallas Keuchel that held up in the Dodgers 3-1 win against the Astros in the best-of-seven series.
After striking out and fouling out in his first two at-bats swinging a heavier bat, the scraggly bearded third baseman returned in the sixth inning with some lighter lumber for the decisive blow on a 1-2 inside cutter.
Turner and National League Championship Series co-MVP Chris Taylor provided all of LA’s offensive fireworks. The leadoff hitting Taylor tagged Keuchel’s first pitch 447 feet for his third postseason homer.
The 103-degree heat that blanketed the ballpark had nothing on the cool, calm pitching of their partner in crime Clayton Kershaw, who put his shaky postseason behind with a combination of slow curves and fast sliders. In his World Series debut, the lefty from the Lone Star State struck out 11 batters, the most for a Dodger in a World Series game since Sandy Koufax‘s 15 in Game 7 in 1965 against the Twins.
“Two big swings, [Taylor] just getting that monkey off our back, getting that first run across is huge,” Kershaw said after the game. “[Turner] just doing what he does, just keeps getting clutch hit after clutch hit.”
Kershaw limited Houston to three hits, his only mistake was an inside fastball to infielder Alex Bregman that found the left field seats. With the Dodgers lights out bullpen, manager Dave Roberts lifted his ace after 83 pitches for Brandon Morrow. The starter turned reliever retired the side in the eighth, and the business as usual closer Kenley Jansen followed suit in the ninth for his first Fall Classic save.
Wednesday the Astros will try and get their first World Series win with Justin Verlander on the mound, coming off his spectacular 2-0 in the American League Championship Series, while Rich Hill hopes to extend the Dodgers postseason home winning streak to six, before heading onto Houston.