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Dodgers Defeat Astros To Force A Final World Series Game


People following the World Series have said it is so dramatic, so compelling, it's just destined to go to a decisive Game 7. Now, LA Dodgers fans wanted to believe that, but I saw it last night, they were nervous beyond belief. But their Dodgers survived to play another day. There will be a Game 7 at Dodger Stadium tonight. LA beat Houston and tied the Series. As NPR's Tom Goldman reports, Game 6 had the drama but not the big-time hitting we've been seeing.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: It was bound to happen, a World Series crammed with hits and homers had to cool off. And last night, it did, when the pitchers finally heated up. The starters, Houston's Justin Verlander and LA's Rich Hill, were very good at times, but the relievers, who'd been pummeled throughout the series, they're the ones who wrote last night's script, especially the Dodgers' bullpen.

KENLEY JANSEN: The way that we believe in our self, you know, we come big today.

GOLDMAN: That's Dodgers closing pitcher Kenley Jansen. He'd given away two games in this Series and lost a bit of invincibility. Last night, he got it back. He mowed down the last six Houston batters of the game, throwing only 19 pitches. His bullpen mate, Brandon Morrow, had perhaps an even bigger moment in the fifth inning. Morrow entered the game with Houston ahead 1 to nothing. The Astros had the bases full and looked ready to explode for more.


UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Let's go Dodgers. Let's go Dodgers.

GOLDMAN: Dodgers fans knew that only two nights earlier, Morrow had a disaster showing. During his appearance, the Dodgers went from 8-7 ahead to 11-8 behind. But last night...



GOLDMAN: Morrow got Houston's Alex Bregman to ground out to end that fifth inning threat. That happened several times to the Astros as LA pitching and defense ruled in the Dodgers 3-1 win. Asked about the missed opportunities, Houston manager A.J. Hinch said, it was unfortunate, but no time to dwell.

A.J. HINCH: If you carry any baggage into Game 7 of the World Series then you're certainly misguided with your attention.

GOLDMAN: After a memorable six games, it's guaranteed heading into tonight there's only positive, focused attention. Or, in the words of Houston's Game 7 starting pitcher, Lance McCullers, Jr., you've got two teams with a bunch of dogs in the clubhouse. No one is afraid. Tom Goldman, NPR News, Los Angeles. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tom Goldman is NPR's sports correspondent. His reports can be heard throughout NPR's news programming, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and on NPR.org.