Before Game 4 of the 2019 World Series, the last American League player to hit a grand slam in the Fall Classic was Paul Konerko in 2005. The last third baseman to do so was Ken Boyer in 1964. On Saturday, Alex Bregman knocked out both of those records with one swing, taking Fernando Rodney deep in the seventh with a bases-clearing knock:
Bregman’s slam was just the 20th in World Series history and the first of his postseason career to date. He lifted the Astros to a sizable seven-run lead over the Nationals, giving them the kind of run insurance they needed as they looked to pull even in the series.
Immediately after giving up the home run, Rodney issued back-to-back walks to Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa and was eventually replaced by Wander Suero, the Nationals’ third reliever of the night.
The Astros currently lead the Nationals 8-1 in the seventh.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.
The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.
Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.