HOUSTON – Dallas Keuchel figures he already has one advantage for his next World Series start — warming up, he will be able to spot his catcher.
The Houston Astros lefthander is set to start Game 5 against Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on Sunday night with the World Series tied 2-2. It will be a rematch of the opener, when Kershaw dominated in a 3-1 victory.
It was 103 degrees in Los Angeles for the first pitch Tuesday. Keuchel felt the heat while he threw to catcher Brian McCann before the game.
"Physically, I felt great. The only thing that bothered me was the sun, it was literally in my face in the bullpen," he said. "I had never been at Dodger Stadium for a 5 [p.m.] game before. Couldn't even see McCann or the plate warming up."
Part of the home-field advantage, probably. While Keuchel loosened up in the sun, Kershaw was in the shade.
With the retractable roof closed at Minute Maid Park, the elements won't be an issue for Game 5.
Kershaw was in total control in the opener. He threw seven shutout innings, giving up three hits while striking out 11 without a walk. He has won all three of his starts this postseason.
Giles' troubles continue
This time, the Astros couldn't save Ken Giles. Houston's hard-throwing closer faltered again in Game 4, taking the loss in Los Angeles' 6-2 victory on Saturday night.
Giles was charged with three runs without getting an out, inflating his postseason ERA to 11.75. He has given up at least a run in six of seven appearances — a staggering flop after posting a 1.14 ERA over his final 38 regular-season games.
Last time out, Giles gave up a solo homer to Yasiel Puig and a tying hit to Enrique Hernandez to blow a lead in the 10th inning of Game 2. Houston bailed him out, rallying for a 7-6, 11-inning victory.
Giles has a pair of saves this postseason, but he gave up a run each time. He had blown leads in two of his previous three outings before Saturday.
• The Dodgers' Kenley Jansen and Boston's Craig Kimbrel were recognized as MLB's top relievers for the second time in their careers. Jansen was the NL Trevor Hoffman Winner last year as well, and Kimbrel won the inaugural NL award with Atlanta in 2014.
• Hailey Dawson, a 7-year-old born without three fingers on her right hand, threw out the ceremonial first pitch Saturday with a 3D-printed prosthetic hand.