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LOS ANGELES — Houston Astros starter Justin Verlander was perfect through three innings of Game 2 in the World Series before Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a walk.

Houston led 1-0 with one down in the fourth after Corey Seager grounded into a fielder's choice. 

Alex Bregman notched his second RBI of the series with a single to score George Springer from second in the top of the third. 

Verlander has still faced the minimum after four innings of work after Justin Turner grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Rich Hill started on the mound for Los Angeles. Hill has struck out 7 over four innings of work, but has allowed three hits while walking three.

Top 5th

Kenta Maeda has relieved Hill in the top of the fifth inning. Facing George Springer to start his night, Maeda got a pop out to center for the first out of the inning. Bregman lifted a 2-2 pitch to the warning track in left, but Joc Pederson easily made the catch for the second out of the inning. 

Yasiel Puig made a nice running catch in foul territory to end the inning,  catching Jose Altuve's pop fly.

Bottom 5th

Cody Bellinger leads off the bottom of the fifth for L.A. He strikes out on a filthy 12-6 curveball from Verlander. 

Yasiel Puig grounded out to Carlos Correa on a high chopper to short stop for the second out. 

Then came Joc Pederson. The left-handed slugger lifted a shot to right-center for a solo home run to the game at 1-1 with two down in the fifth. Pederson lifted a hanging breaking ball from Verlander just over the outstretched arm and glove of right fielder Josh Reddick.

Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes was the third out of the inning after flying out to left.

Top 6th

Carlos Correa leads off the top of the sixth inning with a single to left. Correa's single ended Maeda's streak of 18 consecutive postseason batters retired to start his playoff career. 

Tony Watson replaced Maeda with one out in the sixth to face Brian McCann, who promptly hit into an inning-ending double play on the first pitch he saw from Watson.

Bottom 6th

Verlander appears to be going strong in the bottom of the sixth inning, getting second baseman Chase Utley to fly out to center to start the frame. 

Andre Ethier flew out to center for the second out of the sixth.

Chris Taylor got ahead 2-0, but Verlander fought back to make it 2-2, dropping in a nice curveball. Taylor then called time before Verlander and his catcher McCann had a brief meeting on the mound. Verlander's 2-2 offering was a curveball that just missed outside. Verlander again just missed with a 96 mph fastball that was a bit low, giving Taylor a free pass.

Seager fouled back the first pitch he saw from Verlander. Verlander then checked on Taylor with a throw down to first. Verlander painted a fastball on the outside corner to get ahead 0-2 on the left-handed Seager. Another throw down to first with Taylor taking a slim lead off the bag. Verlander checks Taylor again. (Taylor was 17 for 21 on steal attempts during the reg. season).

Seager then smashed a 97 mph fastball to left field for an opposite field two-run home run.

Seager knew it was gone right off the bat.

Seager missed the NLCS with a bad lower back, undergoing a painkiller injection roughly two weeks ago.

He's enjoying being a part of the World Series.

Turner then flew out to end the inning.

Top 7th

Ross Stripling replaced Watson to start the seventh inning and was replaced after Marwin Gonzalez reached via a walk. Josh Reddick got down 0-2 against Brandon Morrow and hit into a 5-4-3 double play, bringing Evan Gattis to the plate. 

Gattis reached after hitting a bouncing ground ball down the third-base line. Justin Turned made a backhanded stop on the ball well past the bag, but his throw skipped past Bellinger at first, bringing up Springer with one on and two out.

Springer grounded out into a 6-4 fielder's choice to end the inning.

Bottom 7th

Will Harris replaced Houston starter Verlander to face Bellinger leading off the bottom of the seventh. A high curve from Harris just missed to fill the count. Bellinger then hit a sharp grounder to Bregman, playing at short with the shift, and Bregman's low throw was not fielded by Gurriel, putting Bellinger on.

Puig swung and missed on a high fastball from Harris. Bellinger moved to second on a passed ball and to third on a soft chopper by Puig to short. Bellinger is at third with one out and Pederson at the plate.

Harris struck out Pederson with a cutter up in the zone.

Harris then struck out Barnes on a curveball to end the inning.

Top 8th


Alex Bregman lofted a Morrow pitch to the corner in right field. Puig gave chase, running 50-some yards and stretching out to make the catch, but the ball glanced off his glove and out of play, for a ground-rule double. Puig popped up and immediately slammed his glove into the dirt in foul territory at full force.

Dave Roberts, the Dodgers' manager, was quick to pull Morrow and put in his All-Star closer Kenley Jansen, asking for a six-out save. 

Altuve fouls back Jansen's first pitch. Jansen is a Mariano Rivera clone, using a hard cut fastball 90 percent of the time. Jansen has converted 12 straight save opps. to start his postseason career.

Altuve's soft grounder up the middle moves Bregman to third with one out. 

Correa's soft single right up the middle plates Bregman and cuts the Dodgers' lead to 3-2 with one out.

Gurriel fouls out to Bellinger near first base for the second out.

McCann struck out swinging on a cutter from Jansen to end the inning and strand a runner.

Bottom 8th

Joe Musgrove on to pitch as Chase Utley flies out to deep left for the first out.

Enrique Hernandez is up, pinch-hitting in the ninth spot. Hernandez hit a sharp grounder that Correa fielded smoothly at short.

Chris Taylor is up. He flies out to left to send it to the ninth.

Top 9th

Marwin Gonzalez hits a home run to tie the game. His shot when a bit left of dead-center, just over the fence and center fielder Chris Taylor. The left-handed hitting Gonzalez lifted a cutter out over the plate to the opposite field.

It's the 75th HR this season (incl. the postseason) in the 9th inning or later for the Astros. It's the first blown save in the postseason in 12 chances for Jansen.

Springer then doubled down the third-base line on a sharp grounder that got past Turner, the ball just slipping under his glove. 

Bregman grounded out to Seager at short to end the top of the ninth.

Bottom 9th

Seager, Turner and Bellinger are up for LA. Ken Giles is on to pitch for Houston.

Seager strikes out on a filthy slider that's at Seager's back foot.

Bellinger flies out to deep right-center on the warning track to end the ninth. Game is headed to extras. 

Top 10th

Jose Alutve crushes a pitch from Josh Fields to left-center for the go-ahead HR. A no doubter, his sixth HR of the postseason.

Back-to-back: Correa hits his fourth HR of the playoffs to give Houston a 5-3 edge over Los Angeles, both shots coming off Fields.

Gurriel then doubles with nobody out in the 10th.

Josh Reddick then hits into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Three outs left for the Astros to tie this series at 1-1.

Bottom 10th

Puig, backup catcher Yasmani Grandal and Barnes are due up. 

Puig crushes a pitch from Giles to straight left field, cutting deficit to 5-4 with nobody out in the 10th.

Grandal strikes out with a check swing on a hard breaking pitch from Giles.

Barnes up with one out. Barnes strikes out swinging, the third K for Giles. Another breaking pitch, a slider that fell off the table. 

Logan Forsythe is up. Forsythe battles back to force a walk. Two down. One on. Hernandez up. Wild pitch moves Forsythe to second. Hernandez fouls one off. 2-1 count. Fastball is wide, count moves to 3-1.

Hernandez went with the pitch for a hard single to Reddick in right. Reddick's throw home was good, but Forsythe beats the tag with a head-first slide and this game is tied 5-5 with two outs in the 10th. Hernandez move to second on the throw.

Chris Devenski comes on in relief for Giles. Devenski tries to pick off Hernandez at second and the throw hits the umpire on the hip, helping the Astros to keep Hernandez at second. Hernandez was not happy with how that played out.

Taylor is up and the count is at 2-0. Taylor flies out to center and we're headed to the 11th.

Top 11th

Brandon McCarthy to pitch for the Dodgers in the 11th. Maybin, Springer and Bregman due up for Houston.

Maybin singles just over the outstretched glove of Corey Seager. Maybin steals second. Springer ahead in the count 2-1 against McCarthy.

Springer lifts a pitch to deep right-center for a two-run HR. Astros lead 7-5 with nobody out in the 11th.

Bregman pops out to first. One down.

Correa grounds out to end the top of the 11th.

Bottom 11th

Houston has outhit L.A. 14-4 but leads just 7-5. Can the Astros finally close this one out and head home with some major momentum?

Seager, Turner and Charlie Culberson are due up for Dodgers. 

Seager lines out to Maybin in center. Turner up. Bregman catches a hard line drive just over his head at third. Stadium thought it was a sure basehit. Two down.

Game 1: Los Angeles entered the game with a 1-0 series lead after Tuesday night's 3-1 win. Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers' starter, struck out 11 and walked none over seven dominant inning Tuesday night. Bregman hit a solo home run for Houston's lone score of the game. Justin Turner hit a tie-breaking two-run home run for the decisive play of the game.

Culberson then mashes a solo shot to deep left field. This one is a one-run game once again at 7-6.

Puig is up. He's down 0-2. Count moved to 2-2 on a breaking pitch in the dirt. Puig checks his swing on a curveball. That was a close one. Puig fouls off a high pitch. Count remains full. Puig wastes another pitch, fouling off a breaking ball. 

Next up: After Wednesday night's game 2 and a travel day, the series shifts to Houston for three games before moving back to Los Angeles for the final two if it goes to seven games. Games in Houston are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if necessary). 

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Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at @jbaileysmsports


Sports Editor

Alumni Fresno State