HOUSTON — Cody Bellinger pulled into second base with his first World Series hit and said: “It’s a miracle!”
With the Dodgers three innings from falling into a deep deficit, the rookie slugger sparked a late comeback that stopped the Houston Astros’ surge.
Hitless in 13 at-bats, Bellinger doubled and scored the tying run in the seventh inning, then doubled home the go-ahead run off struggling closer Ken Giles in a five-run ninth that lifted Los Angeles to a 6-2 win Saturday night and tied the Series at two games apiece.
George Springer put the Astros ahead with a two-out homer in the sixth, the first hit off Los Angeles starter Alex Wood. The crowd at Minute Maid Park, where the Astros had been 7-0 this postseason, was revved up in anticipation of the Astros having a chance to win the first title in their 56-season history today.
Instead, the Series will go back to Los Angeles no matter what. Clayton Kershaw starts Game 5 for the Dodgers tonight and Dallas Keuchel for the Astros in a rematch of the opener, when Kershaw pitched Los Angeles to a 3-1 win.
Bellinger, a 22-year-old bopper who set a National League rookie record with 39 home runs this season, struck out four times in Game 3 and once more in the fifth inning — his eighth whiff of the Series.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed faith Friday night in Bellinger and again Saturday afternoon.
Bellinger doubled over left fielder Marwin Gonzalez, chasing starter Charlie Morton, and came home on Logan Forsythe’s two-out single off Will Harris.
Giles entered to start the ninth and got into immediate trouble, allowing a leadoff single to Corey Seager and a walk to Justin Turner. Bellinger took a low slider, then lined a fastball at the letters to left-center. He raised a hand rounding first and clapped his hands half a dozen times in excitement after sliding into second.
Joe Musgrove relieved and allowed Austin Barnes’ sacrifice fly and Joc Pederson’s three-run homer.
Wood, Brandon Morrow, winner Tony Watson and Kenley Jansen combined on a two-hitter. Jansen allowed Alex Bregman’s two-out homer in the ninth, the 14th home run of the Series.
Giles, the loser, was charged with three runs — he has allowed runs in six of seven postseason appearances.
Yuli Gurriel of the Astros has been suspended for five games next season for making a racist gesture at Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish during the World Series.
Gurriel said he didn’t intend to offend Darvish when he pulled on the corners of his eyes after homering against him during Houston’s 5-3 win in Game 3 on Friday night.
“I didn’t try to offend nobody,” Gurriel said in Spanish through a translator. “I was commenting to my family that I didn’t have any luck against Japanese pitchers here in the United States.”
Gurriel, a 33-year-old from Cuba, made the gesture shortly after homering to start Houston’s four-run second inning. While sitting in the dugout, Gurriel put his fingers to the side of his eyes and said “chinito” — a derogatory Spanish term that translates literally to “little Chinese.”