Turner & Taylor hammer homers in Dodgers’ Series opener win
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The two Ts did it again for the Dodgers.
Justin Turner and Chris Taylor, co-MVPs of the NL Championship Series, produced all the runs on homers in the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros in the World Series opener Tuesday night.
Taylor wasted no time leading off against Astros ace Dallas Keuchel. He stroked an 88 mph fastball on Keuchel’s first pitch into left field for a 1-0 lead. The crowd of 54,253 erupted in the 103-degree heat.
Taylor became the fourth player in Game 1 history to homer leading off and first since Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar legged out an inside-the-park homer against the Mets in 2015.
Taylor has hit safely in seven of his nine postseason games, including three home runs.
Turner went hitless in his first two at-bats against Keuchel before connecting on a two-run shot in the sixth that put the Dodgers ahead 3-1.
The red-bearded slugger leads the team with four homers in the postseason, one shy of the club record set by Davey Lopes in 1978. He has reached base safely in all nine games in the postseason, and his 14 RBIs lead all players in the playoffs.
Taylor and Turner split the NLCS MVP award after Los Angeles beat the defending World Series champion Cubs in five games. Taylor batted .316 (6 for 19) with two homers, and Turner hit .333 (6 for 18) while going deep twice, including the game-ending three-run homer to win Game 2.
Both are reclamation projects now starring on baseball’s biggest stage. Turner was non-tendered by the Mets after the 2013 season and only signed with Los Angeles after then-bench coach Tim Wallach saw him and his revamped swing at a Cal State-Fullerton alumni baseball game.
Taylor’s breakout this year also followed a swing overhaul. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Taylor was considered a “fringy, 4-A player” with his old approach. His new one has helped put Los Angeles three wins from its first title since 1988.