Justin Turner knocked in five runs and Yasiel Puig drove in two more as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-5 in Game 1 of their National League Championship Series.
Per Scott Miller of Bleacher Report, Turner's five RBI tied a team postseason record:
Scott Miller @ScottMillerBbl
Justin Turner's 5 RBI tonight ties LA #Dodgers record for a postseason game, equaling Pedro Guerrero 1981 World Series & Davey Lopes 1978 WS2017-10-7 05:52:36
Turner's three-run homer sparked a four-run opening frame in which the first five Dodgers reached base safely. He added a run-scoring single in the fourth inning and another in the eighth.
Four Arizona Diamondbacks (A.J. Pollock, J.D. Martinez, Ketel Marte and Jeff Mathis) hit solo home runs off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, but he earned the win by going 6.1 innings and striking out seven.
The Dodgers chased Diamondbacks starter Taijuan Walker from the game after the first inning. After a Chris Taylor single and Corey Seager walk, Turner launched a 93 mph fastball 424 feet into the left-field stands to give Los Angeles a 3-0 lead:
TBS Network @TBSNetwork
OUTTA HERE! @redturn2 goes yard to give the @Dodgers a 3-0 lead. #NLDS #MLBonTBS https://t.co/VG59Sj9IKE2017-10-7 03:04:39
After a Cody Bellinger single, Yasiel Puig lined a double into center field to give Los Angeles a 4-0 advantage.
Zack Godley replaced Walker and cruised through two hitless innings before running into trouble in the fourth. Once there, Godley allowed two run-scoring singles and a Puig RBI groundout.
Kershaw navigated the first six innings with relative ease, allowing just three hits and two runs off homers from Pollock and Martinez.
However, he ran into trouble in the seventh and allowed back-to-back solo shots to Marte and Mathis on consecutive pitches, his 99th and 100th of the game:
Arizona Diamondbacks @Dbacks
Ketel Marte + @JMathSix combine for the 2nd set of back-to-back homers in #Dbacks #postseason history. https://t.co/Rpg9hDnlXY2017-10-7 05:38:18
Kershaw has struggled late in past postseason matchups, as ESPN Stats and Info noted:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Clayton Kershaw has a 25.50 ERA in the 7th inning or later of his postseason starts2017-10-7 05:16:41
He looked fatigued at the end of this outing, though, and Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register also noted that it had been a few months since Kershaw threw this many pitches:
Bill Plunkett @billplunkettocr
#Dodgers Clayton Kershaw has not thrown more than 97 pitches in a start since July 18 -- his last healthy start before lower back strain.2017-10-7 05:05:20
Los Angeles added a couple insurance runs in the eighth inning: A Corey Seager triple down the right-field line scored Austin Barnes, and Turner provided his fifth RBI of the game with a single.
Arizona scored its fifth and final run off a throwing error in the ninth, but closer Kenley Jansen snared a liner off leadoff hitter David Peralta to end the game.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are back at it Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET at Dodger Stadium for Game 2 of the best-of-five NLDS.
In a battle of left-handers, Rich Hill will take the mound for Los Angeles, while Robbie Ray will do the same for Arizona.