The Latest: Verlander Pitching No-hit Ball Through 4
Published October 26th, 2017
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on Game 2 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers (all times local):
Houston ace Justin Verlander is pitching no-hit ball through four innings at Game 2 of the World Series.
The Astros lead 1-0 at Dodger Stadium, a day after losing the opener.
Verlander is throwing almost all fastballs and has struck out four. The only runner he allowed came on a leadoff walk to Chris Taylor in the fourth, and the Dodgers haven't hit much very hard.
Los Angeles starter Rich Hill did well for four innings, striking out seven. But he got pulled to begin the fifth after 60 pitches, and Kenta Maeda came in to relieve.
The Dodgers are trailing in a World Series game for the first time since 1988.
The Astros broke through for a run in the third inning of Game 2 off Rich Hill, who limited the damage by striking out Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa to end the threat with runners on first and second.
The inning began when Josh Reddick reached first on a ground ball Chase Utley couldn't handle. He was sacrificed to second and George Springer singled him to third and Alex Bregman singled Springer home.
Justin Verlander has been dominating through three innings for the Astros, not allowing a baserunner and striking out four.
There's no score in Game 2 of the World Series through two innings.
Justin Verlander of the Astros and Rich Hill of the Dodgers are dueling on the mound.
Verlander has struck out four of his first six batters.
Hill gave up a leadoff walk to start the game before retiring the next six batters he faced. He has three strikeouts.
Game 2 of the World Series is scoreless after the first inning at Dodger Stadium.
It was a downright pleasant 93 degrees when Los Angeles lefty Rich Hill threw the first pitch — that's 10 degrees cooler than it was for the opener.
Houston ace Justin Verlander brought his own heat. His fastball was topping out in the upper 90s as he struck out Chris Taylor and Corey Seager to begin the bottom of the first.
The Astros are counting on Verlander to help them pull even after they lost 3-1 in Game 1.
It's another star-studded crowd in Dodgerland. Former NFL great Peyton Manning was in attendance, as was comedian George Lopez.
For 67 years Vin Scully provided the soundtrack to the Dodgers, first in Brooklyn and then in Los Angeles.
He rarely called in for a reliever, though that changed Wednesday night in Game 2 of the World Series.
Much to the delight of the crowd packing Dodger Stadium, Scully came out to throw the ceremonial first pitch. He carried a microphone in one hand and a baseball in the other, fitting for the announcer whose voice reverberated for years on transistor radios throughout Dodger Stadium.
Scully went into a windup and stopped, feigning a rotator cuff injury. He said he would have to call to the dugout for relief.
And who should come out? None other than Fernando Valenzuela, the Dodger great who now works as a Spanish language announcer for the team.
Valenzuela went into his classic windup and threw the ball to a familiar target, Steve Yeager, who spent 14 years as catcher for the Dodgers.
Viewers for the World Series opener dropped 21 percent from last year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers' 3-1 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night was seen by an average of 15,458,000 viewers, according to Fox. That includes 14.97 million on Fox, 348,000 on Fox Deportes and an average of 140,000 who streamed the game on FSGO.
Cleveland's 6-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs last year was viewed by an average of 19,786,000 on the three outlets, including 19.4 million on Fox, 297,000 viewers on Fox Deportes and 121,000 who streamed.
Last year's opener was the most-watched since 2004. This year's was the second-most-watched since 2010.
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was busy before Game 2 being honored as winner of the Hank Aaron Award as the most outstanding offensive performer in the American League.
Miami outfielder Giancarlo Stanton won the NL award.
Aaron was on hand at Dodger Stadium to present the trophies. The winners were decided in voting by a special panel of Hall of Fame players and fans.
Altuve is the first Astros player to win the award. Aaron was enthusiastic about the 5-foot-6 player, saying there aren't many people that he would pay to see play, but Altuve is one of them.
Stanton won for the second time since 2014. He posted 59 home runs and 132 RBIs for the Marlins.
The heat is still on at the World Series.
The mercury has hit 100 degrees for the second straight day as the teams are on the field for batting practice.
The temperature at the start of Game 1 on Tuesday was 103, making it the hottest World Series ever.
Adrian Gonzalez is on the field with the Dodgers for batting practice. The veteran first baseman was shut down for the season with a back injury after going on the disabled list for the first time in his career this year.
Gonzalez didn't join the team for introductions before Game 1 on Tuesday.
The five-time All-Star has played more games without a World Series appearance than all but active players Ichiro Suzuki and Brandon Phillips.
Lance McCullers Jr. will start Game 3 of the World Series for the Houston Astros on Friday and Charlie Morton will open Game 4.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch had held off announcing the order of his rotation until Wednesday.
McCullers did not get a decision in his one postseason start, when he allowed one run over six innings in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. He gave up two runs over three innings of relief in Game 3 of the Division Series at Boston, and he followed Morton with four scoreless innings to finish Game 7 against the Yankees last Saturday, when he finished with 24 consecutive breaking pitches.
"It opens up Lance a little more in Game 6 and 7, if we can get that far, and if we don't clinch before that or if they don't clinch before that," Hinch said.
Morton is 1-1 in three postseason starts this year, allowing nine runs and 15 hits in 13 innings.
Yu Darvish starts Game 3 for the Dodgers and Alex Wood goes in Game 4.
Joc Pederson earned a start in Game 2 of the World Series over Andre Ethier because Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts thinks he has a better chance for success against Justin Verlander.
"This guy is obviously plus, plus velocity," Roberts said. "I like Joc a little bit better with the velocity. And I think Joc is a better defender in left field, too."
Pederson was not on the active roster for the NL Division Series after going 4 for 22 from Sept. 1 on. He was 1 for 5 in the NL Championship Series.
"In his batting practice and simulated games I think he's in his legs a little bit more, more consistent mechanically," Roberts said. "And so I think for us is it hasn't really translated into production. And he hasn't had those opportunities really, to be fair to him. But I think in this one case I think he's going to put some at-bats together against him."
Left fielder Joc Pederson and second baseman Chase Utley get the start for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the World Series in place of Enrique Hernandez and Logan Forsythe, and shortstop Corey Seager moves from sixth to second in the batting order.
Chris Taylor bats leadoff and plays center field Wednesday night, followed by Seager, third baseman Justin Turner, first baseman Cody Bellinger, right fielder Yasiel Puig, Pederson, catcher Austin Barnes, Utley and left-hander Rich Hill.
Center fielder George Springer tops an unchanged Houston Astros batting order, followed by third baseman Alex Bregman, second baseman Jose Altuve, shortstop Carlos Correa, first baseman Yuli Gurriel, catcher Brian McCann, left fielder Marwin Gonzalez, right fielder Josh Reddick and right-hander Justin Verlander.