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Dodgers force World Series Game 7 with 3-1 victory over the Astros

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Game 6 of the World Series didn’t feature nearly as much offense as Game 5, but it was riveting nonetheless. The Dodgers emerged victorious 3-1 to send the World Series to Game 7.

Astros starter Justin Verlander was dealing through five and was staked to a 1-0 lead thanks to George Springer‘s solo home run off of Rich Hill in the top of the third inning.

The Dodgers got to Verlander in the bottom of the sixth, however. Austin Barnes singled to lead off the inning, then Verlander hit Chase Utley with a 1-2 change-up. Chris Taylor, who has come up with many a clutch hit for his team throughout the postseason, poked a double down the right field line to plate Barnes, tying the game at 1-1. Corey Seager then lifted a fly ball to deep right-center, about as deep as one can go without hitting a home run. Josh Reddick caught the ball but Utley was able to scamper home easily to score the go-ahead run. Verlander saw his way out of the inning by getting Justin Turner to pop out and Cody Bellinger to strike out.

That was it for Verlander, who ended the night giving up just the two runs on three hits with no walks and nine strikeouts across 73 pitches. Hill, meanwhile, went 4 2/3 innings and give up one run on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts on 58 pitches.

Joc Pederson gave the Dodgers some insurance, lifting a one-out solo home run to the opposite field off of Joe Musgrove.

Kenley Jansen entered in the eighth, despite talk that manager Dave Roberts wouldn’t use him for more than three outs. Jansen worked a 1-2-3 frame, getting Carlos Correa to fly out, Yuli Gurriel to pop out, and Brian McCann to strike out. Jansen returned to the mound in the ninth to attempt a six-out save. Marwin Gonzalez popped up, Reddick struck out, and pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran struck out as well. Six up, six down for Jansen.

For the second year in a row, the World Series will go to a seventh and final game. The last time the World Series went seven games in back-to-back years was 2001-02 (Diamondbacks/Yankees, Angels/Giants). This year’s Game 7 will take place at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night at 8 PM ET.

Yankees, Brett Gardner reunite on one-year, $12.5 million deal

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George A. King III of the New York Post reports that the Yankees and outfielder Brett Gardner are back together on a one-year, $12.5 million contract. The deal includes a second year option worth $20 million.

Gardner, 36, is coming off of the strongest offensive season of his career, batting .251/.325/.503 with 28 home runs, 74 RBI, 86 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases over 550 plate appearances. While he has certainly lost a step or two with age, he still rates as an above-average defensive corner outfielder as well.

As Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes, the Yankees also value Gardner — a veteran of 12 seasons — for his leadership, especially with CC Sabathia and Didi Gregorius gone.

Bringing Gardner back into the fold allows Giancarlo Stanton to remain the full-time DH. Gardner will return to left field with Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge reprising their roles in center and right, respectively.