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Friday November 24th, 2017 5:03PM

The Latest: Houston takes 2-0 lead in 1st against Dodgers

By The Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on Game 7 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers (all times local):

5:52 p.m.

Houston went ahead against Game 3 loser Yu Darvish after four pitches and took a 2-0 lead after eight.

George Springer lined a flat slider just inside the left-field foul line for a leadoff double, tying Willie Stargell's record of seven extra-base hits in a World Series, set in 1979.

Alex Bregman hit a grounder that first baseman Cody Bellinger gloved in front of second baseman Logan Forsythe. Needing to make an off-balance throw, Bellinger threw behind Darvish at first base, and the ball bounced into the Astros dugout as Springer scored.

Bregman wound up at second on the error, advanced to third on Houston's second stolen base of the Series and came home on Jose Altuve's grounder to first.

Yuli Gurriel was booed loudly again by Dodgers fans after his racist gesture at Darvish in Game 3, which led to a five-game suspension at the start of next season. Like Rich Hill the night before, Darvish stepped off the mound before Gurriel's opening plate appearance, allowing extra time for jeers. Gurriel hit an inning-ending flyout in a 13-pitch at-bat that raised Darvish's pitch count to 24.

Chris Taylor doubled against Lance McCullers Jr. on a hop to the right-center wall leading off the bottom half and reached safely in all seven games. Corey Seager struck out, Justin Springer was hit by a pitch, Cody Bellinger struck out and Yasiel Puig was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.

Joc Pederson fell behind 0-2 in the count and grounded to second on McCullers' 25th pitch.

___

5:17 p.m.

The Dodgers turned to pitching legends Don Newcombe and Sandy Koufax for ceremonial first pitches before Game 7.

The right-handed Newcombe tossed the ball to Rick Monday, while lefty Koufax threw to Steve Garvey.

The 91-year-old Newcombe hung onto the 81-year-old Koufax's arm as they walked onto the field. They stood midway between the mound and home plate to make their throws.

Newcombe was a member of the franchise's 1955 World Series championship team. Koufax was World Series MVP in 1963 and 1965.

Before the game, Newcombe was sitting in his usual seat near the Dodgers dugout and entertained a steady stream of well-wishers. Hall of Famer Dave Winfield stopped by, along with current Dodgers Kenley Jansen and Andre Ethier and actor Ken Jeong.

___

5 p.m.

Fernando Valenzuela is celebrating his 57th birthday at Dodger Stadium.

He was National League Rookie of the Year in 1981, when the Dodgers won the World Series and he earned a Game 3 victory.

Now a broadcaster for the team, Valenzuela had a 173-153 record and a 3.54 ERA in 17 seasons with the team.

Fellow Dodgers broadcaster Pepe Yniguez sang "Happy Birthday" as Valenzuela made his way through the crowded press box before the game. He also received birthday greetings in Spanish and Japanese.

___

4:55 p.m.

Yasiel Puig got fired up for Game 7 by blasting "Eye of the Tiger" from "Rocky III" during his ride to Dodger Stadium.

In a video posted to his Twitter feed, the Cuban outfielder sat in the front passenger seat yelling, sticking out his tongue and thrashing his head as the opening notes of "Eye of the Tiger" blared inside the SUV.

___

4:15 p.m.

Stadium organist Dieter Ruehle crafts a set list for his pre-game playing and it was a tip of the cap to the home team.

During the Astros' batting practice, Ruehle played the Japanese folk song, "Sukiyaki," in honor of Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish at the suggestion of Japanese media members.

With the home team just one win away from their first World Series title since 1988, Ruehle played U2's "One" and "One Is the Loneliest Number" by Three Dog Night.

The Dodgers took batting practice to recorded music selected by DJ Severe.

___

2:19 p.m.

The Los Angeles Dodgers' 3-1 win in World Series Game 6 drew an average of 23 million viewers on the three Fox outlets, down 4 percent from the 24 million for the Chicago Cubs' 9-3 win over Cleveland that forced Game 7 last year.

Fox said Tuesday night's game averaged 22,229,000 on the main Fox network, 535,000 on Fox Deportes and 244,500 who streamed digitally on Fox Sports Go. Last year's Game 6 averaged 23.4 million on Fox, 425,000 on Fox Deportes and 151,000 on Fox Sports Go.

This was the second-most-watched Game 6 since the New York Yankees' Series-ending 7-3 win over Philadelphia in 2009.

___

1:55 p.m.

Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda delivered a message loud and clear to current Dodgers manager Dave Roberts after the team forced a decisive Game 7 in the World Series.

The 90-year-old who managed the Dodgers to their last Series title in 1988 told Roberts: "You haven't won (expletive) unless you win tomorrow."

Roberts smiled when asked his reaction to Lasorda's bluntness.

"I've heard it all year, and I think that it's great," Roberts said Wednesday before Game 7. "It's Tommy's words of encouragement. And yeah, I think for us, we want a championship and we're not done yet."

___

1:44 p.m.

The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers are keeping their lineups intact for the deciding Game 7 of the World Series.

Center fielder George Springer leads off Wednesday night for the Astros, followed by third baseman Alex Bregman, second baseman Jose Altuve, shortstop Carlos Correa, first baseman Yuli Gurriel, catcher Brian McCann, left fielder Marwin Gonzalez and right fielder Josh Reddick. Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. starts.

Center fielder Chris Taylor tops the Dodgers' lineup. He's followed by shortstop Corey Seager, third baseman Justin Turner, first baseman Cody Bellinger, right fielder Yasiel Puig, left fielder Joc Pederson, second baseman Logan Forsythe and catcher Austin Barnes. Right-hander Yu Darvish is on the mound.

The Dodgers won 3-1 on Tuesday night to tie it up 3-all and force the first World Series Game 7 in Dodger Stadium history.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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