|5:20 PM PT6:20 PM MT7:20 PM CT8:20 PM ET20:20 ET0:20 GMT8:20 5:20 PM MST7:20 PM EST7:50 PM VEN4:20 UAE (+1)7:20 PM CT, October 28, 2017
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas Attendance: 43,322
Dodgers' big ninth inning ties World Series 2-2
(TSX / STATS) -- HOUSTON -- Roughly 24 hours after Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger was fitted with a figurative golden sombrero following an unsightly showing at the plate, redemption came in the form of that sweet swing, one that is soon to yield National League Rookie of the Year honors.
Bellinger ripped a run-scoring double to left-center field off imploding Astros closer Ken Giles in the ninth inning, igniting a five-run breakthrough in the Dodgers' 6-2 win over the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.
The Dodgers evened the series 2-2 and ensured a return trip to Chavez Ravine for Game 6.
Bellinger, 0 for 4 with four strikeouts in Game 3, doubled in his final two at-bats, with the latter snapping a 1-1 tie and coming off Giles (0-1), who coughed up a 5-3 lead in the 10th inning of Game 2 before the Astros rallied to victory. After opening the ninth inning with a single to right, Corey Seager scored on the hit by Bellinger, who found success far more palatable.
"Yeah, I felt good today," said Bellinger, who was 0 of 13 in the series before his first double. "Made some adjustments pregame, and ... I hit every ball in BP (batting practice) today to the left side of the infield. I've never done that before in my life. Usually I try to lift. I needed to make an adjustment, and saw some results today."
Designated hitter Joc Pederson snuffed any shot at another miraculous Astros rally by belting a three-run homer off Astros right-hander Joe Musgrove later in the ninth.
Giles, Musgrove and Will Harris, who allowed an inherited runner to score in the seventh inning, continued the postseason struggles for the Houston bullpen, a unit that continues to leak under pressure.
"It seems like right now for some of these guys it's one pitch and things unravel a little bit," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "That's what happened to Kenny in the ninth. Joe came in and was working his way through the mess that we had. And then one pitch to Pederson and then all of a sudden his night's ruined."
After making a career-high 34 saves during the regular season, Giles has allowed at least one run in six of his seven postseason appearances. His teammates picked him up in Los Angeles, but there was no salvaging this effort after all three batters he faced reached base.
"I didn't do my job, plain and simple," Giles said. "I let the team down."
Left-hander Tony Watson (1-0) picked up the win in relief with a scoreless eighth inning.
Astros right-hander Charlie Morton and his mound counterpart, Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood, engaged in a riveting pitcher's duel. Wood carried a no-hitter into the sixth and retired the first two batters of that inning before falling behind 3-1 to center fielder George Springer.
Springer followed by drilling a knuckle curveball into the Crawford Boxes in left field, turning the Astros' first hit into a 1-0 lead. Morton, who survived a harrowing fifth inning thanks to a fabulous defensive play from third baseman Alex Bregman, returned for the sixth with a lead.
It was short-lived. Morton allowed a one-out double to Bellinger before being lifted for Harris, who then coughed up the lead via a two-out RBI single to second baseman Logan Forsythe.
Morton surrendered one run and three hits with seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 sterling innings.
Morton needed just nine pitches to retire the side in order in the second and, by the close of the third, had faced the minimum on just 33 pitches.
By the middle of the fifth inning, Morton had seven strikeouts and only 50 pitches on his ledger, yet Wood was matching his zeroes.
With just one start this postseason under his belt, Wood appeared a likely candidate for an abbreviated start. However, he ably kept the ball down in the strike zone, induced six groundouts by the close of the fifth, and worked around walks in the second and third innings.
"Both starters tonight were lights out," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Woody's command tonight, his compete was just off the charts."
NOTES: Astros 1B Yuli Gurriel has been suspended without pay for the first five games of the 2018 season by Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred for mocking Dodgers RHP Yu Darvish with a racially insensitive gesture in the second inning of Game 3 on Friday night. Gurriel, a Cuban native, will undergo offseason sensitivity training for his inflammatory actions demeaning Darvish, who is Japanese. The Astros will donate Gurriel's lost salary to charity. ... Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda, perhaps their most versatile bullpen arm, was unavailable after pitching in Games 2 and 3. Maeda (2-0, 0.00 ERA in seven appearances this postseason) has worked in consecutive games three times this postseason. ... Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig and SS Corey Seager were named Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalists at their respective positions.
Updated October 29, 2017