With runners on first and second with no outs, Brian McCann, who was hitless in the first two games of the series, looped a ball into right-center that brought home Gattis and sent Gonzalez to third.
Darvish finally got his first out when George Springer, the sixth batter of the half-inning, lined out to second, but Alex Bregman hit a fly ball deep enough to center to give Gonzalez enough time to tag up and score, making the score 4-0.
Jose Altuve doubled to left, sending McCann over to third, and that brought out Roberts, who replaced Darvish with Kenta Maeda. Maeda needed just two pitches to end the inning, getting Carlos Correa to fly out to right.
Darvish’s final line was one and two-thirds innings, six hits and four runs. He walked one and had no strikeouts in the shortest start of his career.
Credit Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Waldstein: Darvish did not have it tonight. Even the outs were on balls that were hit hard. Gurriel started it by ripping a line-drive home run into the left field bleachers, which can be home to some of the cheapest home runs in baseball. Not to say that it was cheap, because he hammered the ball. But the distance is 315 feet, only 5 feet deeper than Fenway Park in Boston. But the wall here is about half the height of the 37-foot Green Monster, so it is one of the most tantalizing targets in baseball for a right-handed pull hitter, as Gurriel showed. It was the sixth home run hit in the last four innings of this World Series, going back to the extra innings of Game 2.
Top 2nd: Dodgers make some noise, but can’t score.
Lance McCullers threw half of his 12 pitches in the inning to one batter, but worked around a single to keep the game scoreless. He needed just three pitches to strike out Cody Bellinger, as the rookie infielder almost fell down as he swung wildly at a knuckle-curve. One pitch to Yasiel Puig and McCullers had a second out on a grounder to second, but Logan Forsythe got the Dodgers’ first hit on a single to right. Forsythe was able to steal second as Austin Barnes worked a six-pitch at-bat, but the half-inning ended when Barnes grounded out to third.
Bottom 1st: Darvish gets out of jam.
George Springer worked a 3-1 count against Yu Darvish and then pounced on a fastball in the zone, hitting a hard liner to center for a double. Alex Bregman made Darvish work, fouling off five pitches in an eight-pitch at-bat, but ultimately grounded out to third, which kept Springer at second. Jose Altuve flew out to deep center, which sent Springer to third, but Darvish got ahead in the count and Carlos Correa grounded out to short to end the inning.
Credit David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Top 1st: McCullers gets three quick outs.
Game 3 began at 8:21 p.m. Eastern with Lance McCullers of the Astros throwing a 95 mile-per-hour fastball low and outside for ball one to Chris Taylor of the Dodgers. McCullers eventually got Taylor to pop out to second and retired Corey Seager when Jose Altuve made a great diving play in shallow-right to knock the ball down before throwing Seager out at first. The inning ended with Justin Turner flying out to deep center.
Waldstein: Yu Darvish takes the mound in the bottom of the first for the Dodgers as the first Japanese starting pitcher in the World Series in 10 years. The last one was Daisuke Matsuzaka for the Boston Red Sox in their four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies in 2007. Matsuzaka also started Game 3.
Darvish has plenty of experience pitching at Minute Maid Park from his days with the Texas Rangers. He comes into the game with a 4-1 record and a 2.16 earned run average, so the Dodgers are pinning a lot of their hopes on him replicating that success here.
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Dodgers and Astros get comfortable in Houston.
The conditions in Houston could not be more different than it was in sizzling Los Angeles. It is 61 degrees outside Minute Maid Park — real World Series weather — or 42 degrees cooler than Game 1 in L.A. The roof is closed and it’s about 68 degrees inside and almost everyone in the stands is wearing orange.
Here is what’s at stake: The winner of Game 3 when the teams are tied, 1-1, has gone on to win the World Series 63.8 percent of the time. The umpires are coming onto the field.
J.J. Watt, the Houston Texans’ injured defensive end who raised over $35 million for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, threw out the ceremonial first pitch on crutches.
— David Waldstein
Here are the top story lines for Game 3:
■ Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86 E.R.A.) will be facing Lance McCullers Jr. (7-4, 4.25) in a pitching matchup with far less star power than the previous two games. Both pitchers have performed well in the postseason, though, as McCullers has a 2.08 E.R.A. in 13 innings and Darvish has a 1.59 E.R.A. in 11 and one-third innings.
■ Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa had their bats wake up at just the right time. The pair of Astros sluggers were a combined 3 for 15 (all singles) going into the 10th inning of Game 2 when they hit back-to-back home runs to aid in Houston’s hectic late-game surge. Marwin Gonzalez, who had been ice-cold throughout the playoffs, also was key, tying the game in the 9th inning with a homer off Kenley Jansen.
■ As good as the Dodgers looked in Game 1, and for eight innings of Game 2, there is a chance the Series does not return to Los Angeles. The Astros are 6-0 at home during the playoffs, and have averaged 5.2 runs a game there, versus the 3 runs a game they have averaged in their seven postseason road games.
■ Darvish, who was traded to the Dodgers after having been with the Texas Rangers since 2012, has plenty of experience facing the Astros. He is 5-5 in 14 career starts, with 118 strikeouts in 89 innings. His 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings against them are his best against any team he has faced more than four times. This season he was 1-1 against them, allowing four earned runs in 12 innings. McCullers has just one career start against the Dodgers, and it came in 2015.
■ We are only two games in, and there have already been 11 home runs, which is more than were hit in the entirety of four of the previous five World Series. The 2014 Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals had just five in seven games. In Game 2 on Wednesday, the Dodgers and Astros combined for five homers in the 10th and 11th innings.
■ The Astros need to figure out what is wrong with Ken Giles. The closer looked like a second-coming of Brad Lidge during the regular season, but he has been horrendous throughout the postseason, allowing at least one run in six of his seven appearances. He has also allowed two of the three runners he has inherited from other pitchers to score. His 8.22 E.R.A. has somehow only resulted in one blown save, but Houston needs an anchor to its bullpen, and if it can’t be Giles, they will need to make adjustments.
■ Dave Roberts, the Dodgers’ manager, said he has no plans to change up his bullpen usage despite how poorly Game 2 went. Closer Kenley Jansen ran out of gas in what was intended to be a six-out save, and the Dodgers ended up scraping the bottom of the bullpen barrel after pulling starter Rich Hill after just four innings. Darvish will likely have an incredibly short leash on his third trip through Houston’s lineup, assuming Roberts lets him get that far.