Astros walk off 13-12 after a 10-inning, knock-down, drag-out war with Dodgers

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The Astros and Dodgers combined for 25 runs, 28 hits, and 11 walks in Game 5 of the World Series. It was a knock-down, drag-out war of a game that took five hours and 17 minutes to complete from its 8:21 PM ET start. And it was the Astros who finally emerged victorious in the bottom of the 10th inning thanks to Alex Bregman.

The Dodgers got on the board quickly, loading the bases with one out against Astros starter Dallas Keuchel in the top of the first inning. After Cody Bellinger struck out, Logan Forsythe knocked in a pair of runs with a single to left field. With Yasiel Puig batting, Keuchel made a pickoff throw to first base and Forsythe was a dead duck. He hurried to second base and first baseman Yuli Gurriel made a wide throw. Forsythe was able to sneak his foot onto the bag ahead of Jose Altuve‘s tag, a call that was upheld upon replay review. Another run scored in the process, giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth, Austin Barnes tacked on another run for the Dodgers with an RBI single. In the bottom half, the Astros finally responded against Clayton Kershaw. George Springer drew a walk to start the inning and Jose Altuve singled with one out. Carlos Correa then doubled to left field, plating Springer. That brought up Gurriel, who had been a net negative on the field for the Astros since his dugout incident. He turned that narrative around, swatting a first-pitch slider from Kershaw over the Crawford Boxes for a game-tying three-run home run.

Bellinger answered the Dodgers’ rally with a three-run home run off of Collin McHugh in the top of the fifth, putting the Dodgers ahead 7-4. Altuve answered in the bottom half with a three-run homer of his own off of Kenta Maeda, tying the game again, this time at seven apiece.

Neither starter fared well. Keuchel’s final line: 3 2/3 innings, four runs (three earned), five hits, two walks, four strikeouts on 86 pitches. Kershaw’s: 4 2/3 innings, six runs (all earned), four hits, three walks, two strikeouts on 94 pitches.

The Dodgers re-took the lead in the top of the seventh. Justin Turner led off with a double, but was erased attempting to advance to third base on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Enrique Hernandez. Cody Bellinger then lifted a sinking liner to center field that George Springer dove for and could not catch. Hernandez came around to score all the way from first base and Bellinger wound up at third base with a triple.

Springer re-tied the game in the bottom half of the seventh, sending a first-pitch fastball from a clearly gassed Brandon Morrow — pitching for a third consecutive day — towards the train tracks in left field, making it an 8-8 game. That certainly makes up for the defensive misplay. Altuve gave the Astros their first lead. After Bregman singled, Altuve doubled to left-center, allowing Bregman to score from first. Correa kept the pain train rolling, sneaking a rainmaker of a home run into the first couple rows of the Crawford Boxes, upping the Astros’ lead to 11-8.

In the top of the eighth, the Dodgers fought back for a run against Brad Peacock and Will Harris. Joc Pederson doubled and Peacock hit Chris Taylor with a pitch, which prompted manager A.J. Hinch to bring Will Harris into the game. Corey Seager ripped a first-pitch double into left field, bringing Pederson home. Harris was able to escape the inning without further damage. Brian McCann got the run back for the Astros in the bottom half, lacing a solo home run to right field off of lefty Tony Cingrani to make it 12-9.

In the bottom of the ninth, Chris Devenski came on in a save situation, as Hinch avoided using the struggling Ken Giles. Devenski issued a leadoff walk to Bellinger, then served up a two-run home run to Yasiel Puig, whose line drive had just enough height to clear the wall in left field. That closed the deficit to 12-11. Puig’s homer also set a new World Series record as the Astros and Dodgers have combined for 22 home runs through five games in the World Series. The 2002 World Series saw the Angels and Giants combine for 21 home runs in a seven-game series. Barnes followed up by hustling for a double on a line drive hit to center field. Devenski was able to get Pederson to ground out but Taylor somehow found a way to reach for an outside pitch and single to center field, bringing Barnes home to tie the game at 12-all.

Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth inning for the Dodgers to send the game into extra innings. Joe Musgrove worked a scoreless top of the 10th for the Astros. In the bottom half of the 10th, Jansen returned to the mound for a second inning of work. After getting two quick outs, Jansen hit McCann with a pitch, then walked Springer to push the winning run to second base. Derek Fisher pinch-ran for McCann, which would prove to be pivotal as Bregman lined a single into left field. Andre Ethier‘s throw came in late as Fisher scored the winning run, giving the Astros a 13-12 walk-off victory over the Dodgers.

It was an absolutely entertaining game to watch from start to finish, unless you’re a fan of either team in which case the game probably caused heart issues. It was reminiscent of Game 4 of the 1993 World Series in which the Phillies and Blue Jays combined for 29 runs.

The Astros, now holding a 3-2 series lead, will attempt to win their first ever championship on Tuesday as the two clubs meet for Game 6 of the World Series. Justin Verlander will square off against Rich Hill at Dodger Stadium.

Kendrys Morales pitched a scoreless inning Sunday

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Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.

Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.

Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.

On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.