Houston, Oct 28 (EFE).- The Houston Astros topped the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 to remain undefeated at home in the postseason and grab a two-games-to-one lead heading into Saturday night’s Game 4 of the World Series, which will also be played at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros improved their home record in this year’s Major League Baseball playoffs to 7-0 thanks to strong contributions from a handful of players and outstanding relief pitching by Brad Peacock, who shut the door on the Dodgers with a 3 2/3-inning, hitless save.
“It was pretty obvious he was cruising,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said of Peacock on the Astros’ official Web site.
“Their swings weren’t good. His fastball was playing, his slider was playing. This postseason, I’ve really enjoyed bringing back the three-inning save. That’s cool. And there’s no reason to take him out. He was in complete control of every at-bat. So why not leave him in?”
The home team raced out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning of Game 3 against Japanese starter Yu Darvish, who gave up a lead-off home run by first baseman Yuri Gurriel and run-scoring singles by left fielder Marvin Gonzalez and catcher Brian McCann and also allowed a fourth run to score on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Alex Bregman.
Gurriel was seen on television apparently mocking Darvish in a racist fashion after his home run, pulling at his eyes to slant them and saying “chinito” (little Chinese boy) while laughing with his teammates in the dugout.
Darvish’s dreadful outing proved disastrous for the Dodgers, but the Dodgers’ relievers were stingy the rest of the way, allowing just one run over the final 6 1/3 innings to keep their team in the game.
The Dodgers’ hitters needed more time but eventually got to the Astros’ starter, Lance McCullers Jr., who was strong through five innings but was taken out after walking shortstop Corey Seager and giving up a double to third baseman Justin Turner in the top of the sixth.
Peacock was brought in and got his team out of that jam, although not before Seager scored on a ground out and Turner crossed home plate on a wild pitch to narrow the Astros’ lead to 5-3.
He then completely shut down Los Angeles’ offense the rest of the night, only allowing one runner to reach base (pinch hitter Andre Ethier on a two-out walk in the top of the seventh) and delivering the longest hitless relief effort in the World Series since 1964.
In the eighth and ninth innings, Peacock struck out three batters and only allowed one ball to leave the infield – a flyout to right field by pinch hitter Yasmani Grandal that ended the game.
Friday night’s victory leaves the Astros just two wins away from the first World Series title in franchise history.
The Dodgers, who are seeking their first championship since 1988, will be desperate for a victory when Alex Wood takes the mound against the Astros’ Charlie Morton in Saturday night’s Game 4 of this best-of-seven series.