LOS ANGELES -- It was the most unexpected of celebrations from a player who has upped the ante when it comes to perfecting the art of the bat flip. There was Yasiel Puig, as his first Fall Classic homer cleared the wall, gently, artfully, laying down his bat before circling the bases.
The unpredictable moment fit in a game full of them. Puig's blast kick-started the Dodgers' two-run 10th, which extended Wednesday's instant classic another inning before the Dodgers fell to the Astros, 7-6, in 11 innings to even the World Series at one game apiece.
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"You never know," teammate Corey Seager said afterward, "what you're going to get with him."
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Puig has been his typical entertaining self throughout the postseason, shimmying in the batter's box during at-bats, flipping his bat on singles and showcasing a gamut of expressions in key moments. Yet this reaction, unlike most, wasn't entirely unscripted.
The gregarious outfielder acknowledged that the decision to set the bat down was a preconceived one. He just needed the appropriate moment to execute. And no, it had nothing to do with the demonstrative bat flip that Houston's Carlos Correa had performed upon going deep in the top half of the frame. Puig's only reaction to that was one of approval.
"I loved it," Puig said. "It was a little bit higher than the bat flips I normally do, but he was happy and that's the way you should play in the World Series. When he got the home run, it was a moment for him to be happy. I'm glad that he was able to celebrate that way."
After tallying a dozen hits in the team's run through the D-backs and Cubs, Puig entered the 10th inning hitless in his first six at-bats of this Fall Classic. But after he took Astros reliever Ken Giles deep to lead off the frame, the Dodgers' offense mustered its first extended rally of the Series.
A team whose runs had come exclusively via the long ball stayed alive with John Forsythe's two-out walk and then stunned everyone when, after Forsythe advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch, Enrique Hernandez delivered a game-tying single.
"The walk to Forsythe was a key part of that at-bat or that inning," said Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who extended Giles to 33 pitches. "I thought [Hernandez], who does not handle right-handed pitching as well as he does left-handed pitching, comes up with a big base hit through the four-hole. You credit the people that stepped up."
Hernandez's RBI single was the Dodgers' first game-tying hit in extra innings in their postseason history. Chris Taylor, the orchestrator of several highlights already this postseason, flied out to end the frame. Hernandez, representing the potential winning run, was left stranded on second after an errant pickoff throw struck umpire Laz Diaz, preventing him from advancing.
"We don't see why we have to put our heads down or anything," Hernandez said. "We fought until the end. Nobody was expecting us to come from behind after we fell down two runs. We tied the game. The next inning, we almost did it again. That's what this team is all about. We're going to play hard until the last out of the game is made. We're never going to give up."