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Dublin: 3°C Sunday 29 November 2020

Dodgers scorch into World Series lead in gruelling heatwave-hit opener

Field temperatures reached 39 degrees in LA last night.

JUSTIN TURNER CREDITED some furnace-like temperatures for sending his game-winning homer soaring into the stands as the Los Angeles Dodgers turned up the heat in game one of the World Series last night.

World Series Astros Dodgers Baseball Source: Mark J. Terrill

The veteran third baseman produced the latest in a series of signature post-season moments after blasting Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel for a two-run homer in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium.

Turner said he believed the heatwave that saw on-field temperatures of 39 degrees (103 Fahrenheit) helped his homer carry beyond the wall and hand the Dodgers a 3-1 opening game victory.

Source: Highlight Heaven/YouTube

“I didn’t know if it was going to be a home run or not,” Turner said. “I knew I hit it really high. And I knew it was about 98 degrees. So when it’s that hot here, the ball does travel a lot better.

“If it’s 10 degrees cooler, that’s probably a routine fly ball in left field.”

Clayton Kershaw pitched seven scorching innings, setting the tone by retiring the first three Astros batters.

Astros third baseman Alex Bregman pounced on a waist-high fastball and powered it over the left field fence to tie the game in the fourth and draw a grimace from Kershaw, who promptly struck out the next three batters.

It was the only hiccup for Kershaw, who surrendered three hits in seven innings with no walks and 11 strikeouts — one shy of his playoff record of 12. He threw 57 of his 83 pitches for strikes.

World Series Astros Dodgers Baseball Source: David J. Phillip

“I think (Houston) is a really good hitting team. They hit a lot of homers and don’t strike out. There’s little room for error,” Kershaw said. “So it’s important for me to establish pitches, be able to throw multiple things for strikes, and I’m thankful I was able to do that tonight.

“I made a few mistakes,” he added. “Obviously Bregman got me … For the most part, though, I’ll take it.”

After Bregman’s homer, Kershaw struck out the next three batters to get back on track.

Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel delivered a solid performance himself. After giving up the first-pitch homer to Chris Taylor he retired 12 of the next 15 hitters he faced.

But after walking Taylor with two outs in the second he surrendered a two-run home run to Turner — the walk-off hero of the Dodgers’ game-two win over the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship series.

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