The Los Angeles Dodgers opened up the 2020 World Series in style, cruising to an 8-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays to take a 1-0 series lead.
It took a little while for the offense to get going but they finally were able to break through in the fourth inning. Will Smith got it started with a walk, and then Cody Bellinger followed with a two-run home run on the first pitch he saw from Tyler Glasnow to give the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead.
The home run was Bellinger’s third in four career at-bats against Glasnow. “I don’t know,” Bellinger answered when asked about the success. “I really don’t. He’s got really good stuff, and today was just a moment for me where I tried to get the run in and stayed simple with it.”
Bellinger later robbed Austin Meadows of a potential home run in the ninth inning in what was another all-around performance from the reigning National League MVP.
The Dodgers broke the game open a bit in the fifth inning by tacking on four more runs. Mookie Betts and Corey Seager worked back-to-back walks to begin the inning and then pulled off a double steal
Max Muncy grounded to first base and despite the drawn-in infield, Betts took off for home and slid in safely just ahead of the tag. Smith, Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez then all had RBI singles to account for the other three runs.
L.A. was able to essentially put the game away with two more runs in the sixth, starting with an opposite-field home run off the bat of Betts. It was Betts’ first postseason home run as a member of the Dodgers.
Justin Turner and Muncy then had back-to-back doubles to account for the eighth and final run of the night.
Kershaw tosses gem
All of those runs were in support of Clayton Kershaw, who had one of his best outings of the year. Kershaw went six innings, allowing just two runs and one run on a solo home run by Kevin Kiermaier while striking out eight and walking one.
The bullpen then took care of the rest, although it didn’t come without a little drama. The Rays were able to push across two runs in the seventh inning, the first after Kershaw exited the game.
Victor Gonzalez came in to put out the fire and eventually was able to thanks to an outstanding defensive play of his own. With two on and one out, Mike Zunino hit a hard line drive back up the middle that Gonzalez was somehow able to catch and throw to second base to double up the runner to end the inning.
Pedro Baez and Joe Kelly then each tossed perfect innings to close out the victory.
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