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Dodgers Even World Series vs. Astros as Joc Pederson HR Leads Big 9th Inning

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 28:  Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he hits a RBI double during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers leveled the 2017 World Series at two games apiece with a 6-2 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 4 on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Los Angeles, which dropped the previous two contests after winning Game 1, evened things up with a ninth-inning offensive explosion featuring a clutch RBI double from Cody Bellinger and a Joc Pederson home run to support a terrific effort from starter Alex Wood, who allowed just one hit, and the rest of the pitching staff.

The Dodgers' win ensures the Fall Classic will return to Dodger Stadium. The only question is which team will hold a 3-2 lead when the series shifts back to L.A. The answer will be determined Sunday night in Houston.

Wood and Charlie Morton engaged in a fierce pitchers' duel. Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor opened the game with a frozen rope to center field, but nobody for either team picked up another hit until Enrique Hernandez singled for L.A. in the sixth.

David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution pointed out it was a bittersweet battle for fans of the Atlanta Braves:

David O'Brien @DOBrienAJC

It's a trip seeing these 2 former homegrown #Braves pitchers, Wood and Morton, squaring off in the World Series. With Smoltz as analyst.

Wood carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the sixth. George Springer brought it to an end with a mammoth home run to left field on a breaking ball that didn't have quite enough tilt.

ESPN Stats and Info provided further details about the Dodgers starter's outing:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Since Don Larsen's perfect game in 1956, Alex Wood was the 5th pitcher with a World Series no-hit bid longer than 5 IP per @EliasSports. https://t.co/LwdxDBncz0

Fox Sports MLB highlighted the Springer blast for the first run of Game 4:

FOX Sports: MLB @MLBONFOX

No-hitter GONE. Shutout GONE. Baseball GONE. SPRINGER DINGER. @astros strike first! https://t.co/jutsXYjTXW

It didn't take long for Los Angeles to get back even. Bellinger pounded a double to deep left-center with one out in the top of the seventh, and Logan Forsythe singled him home shortly thereafter.

The Astros turned to struggling closer Ken Giles in the ninth, and he failed to record an out. Corey Seager singled, Justin Turner walked, and then Bellinger delivered another bullet to left-center to give the Dodgers their first lead of the ballgame.

Fox Sports MLB spotlighted the turning-point hit from the L.A. first baseman:

FOX Sports: MLB @MLBONFOX

Belli CLUTCH. #WorldSeries https://t.co/RiCxtgotXv

After an Austin Barnes sacrifice fly, Pederson took the air out of Minute Maid Park with a three-run homer to give the Dodgers more insurance for dominant reliever Kenley Jansen.

Alex Bregman hit a long ball for the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, but there was no miracle comeback for the home club as Jansen delivered an otherwise clean inning to complete the win.

Fox Sports showcased the final moments of Game 4:

FOX Sports @FOXSports

The #WorldSeries is ALL TIED UP! GREATEST. WEEKEND. EVER. https://t.co/mnyresSRLq

Looking ahead, Los Angeles' victory moves the World Series right back into the toss-up category. The teams have been about as evenly matched as possible through four games, and that suggests there should be plenty of drama before the Commissioner's Trophy is handed out next week.

The expected pitching matchup will see a rematch from Game 1 as the Dodgers send three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw to the mound to face off with 2015 AL Cy Young Award recipient Dallas Keuchel on Sunday night.

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