Dodgers draw level in Cubs se­ries be­hind Ker­shaw’s gem

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

LEFT-HANDED hurler Clay­ton Ker­shaw pitched seven stel­lar in­nings and Adrian Gon­za­lez hit the win­ning homer on Oc­to­ber 16 in the Los An­ge­les Dodgers’ 1-0 play­off vic­tory over the Chicago Cubs.

Dodgers starter Ker­shaw al­lowed just two hits to help the Dodgers level the best-of-seven Na­tional League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries at one game apiece.

Gon­za­les’ solo home run off Cubs start­ing pitcher Kyle Hen­dricks in the sec­ond in­ning was enough for the Dodgers thanks to lights-out show­ings from Ker­shaw and clos­ing pitcher Ken­ley Jansen.

Ker­shaw gave up back-to-back Cubs hits in the fifth in­ning, when Javier Baez and Will­son Contreras pro­duced two-out sin­gles, but not be­fore he re­tired 14 straight bat­ters.

Ker­shaw struck out six in the dom­i­nant per­for­mance, and Jansen pitched a per­fect eighth and ninth to se­cure the win.

“It’s fun when you win,” Ker­shaw said, al­though he said that dur­ing the game the level of con­cen­tra­tion re­quired leaves lit­tle room for en­joy­ment.

“When you’re in the mo­ment, you’re just try­ing to just con­stantly stop runs, pre­vent­ing runs ... It was one of those games where one pitch could have been the de­cid­ing fac­tor. So, re­ally just kind of couldn’t look up for a minute for air and just kind of kept go­ing through it and for­tu­nate to get through it tonight.”

Jansen struck out four, in­clud­ing pinch hit­ter Miguel Mon­tero, whose eight-in­ning grand slam lifted Chicago to an 8-4 vic­tory in game one on Oc­to­ber 15.

Hen­dricks struck out five, walked four and threw 91 pitches be­fore he was lifted in the sixth in­ning hav­ing sur­ren­dered three hits.

That in­cluded the home run by Gon­za­lez.

“First at-bat, no­body on base, I wanted to be ag­gres­sive,” Gon­za­lez said. “I just wanted to get a fast­ball and try to el­e­vate it. I felt pretty good about it once I hit it, but I still ran know­ing that it could have eas­ily not gone over the wall.”

The se­ries shifts to Los An­ge­les for game three to­day, when the Dodgers give the ball to for­mer Cub Rich Hill, while the Cubs send ace Jake Ar­ri­eta to the mound. Ari­etta threw a no-hit­ter at Dodger Sta­dium on Au­gust 30, 2015.

“I know that we came in here want­ing both, but tak­ing one is good and we’ll be ready [to­day] to try to take the se­ries lead.”

The win­ner of the se­ries will face ei­ther the Cleve­land In­di­ans or the Toronto Blue Jays in Ma­jor League Base­ball’s World Se­ries cham­pi­onship.

The In­di­ans won two games at home to take a strong grip on the Amer­i­can League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries, which shifted to Toronto for game three yes­ter­day.

In­di­ans man­ager Terry Fran­cona said he ex­pected pitcher Trevor Bauer to start the game, af­ter be­ing scratched from his game two start af­ter cut­ting the lit­tle fin­ger of his pitch­ing hand while work­ing on his drone.

“I don’t think it’s go­ing to be a big deal,” Fran­cona said of Bauer’s in­jury.

While the Cubs’ ti­tle drought stretch­ing back to their last World Se­ries tri­umph in 1908 is the long­est in North Amer­i­can sport, the In­di­ans have en­dured their own epic stretch of fail­ure, last win­ning it all in 1948. –

Photo: AFP

Clay­ton Ker­shaw throws a pitch in the first in­ning against the Chicago Cubs dur­ing game two of the Na­tional League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries on Oc­to­ber 16. The Dodgers tied the se­ries, 1-1.

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