The Dodgers didn’t leave much to chance in Tuesday’s World Series opener at Globe Life Field, steamrolling the Rays for eight runs on 10 hits in a decisive Game 1 victory. Clayton Kershaw conquered his postseason demons with a six-inning, eight-strikeout gem while Mookie Betts spread the wealth by gifting America free tacos.
It was an emphatic, all-encompassing performance by the National League Champs—an honor they’ve held three of the last four years—with strong performances all around. One of those performances was delivered by reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger, who opened the scoring for Los Angeles by swatting a two-run, fourth-inning blast off Rays flamethrower Tyler Glasnow. Bellinger’s towering, 378-foot rocket to right center gave the star outfielder his second home run in as many games. However, unlike Game 7 of the National League Championship Series when Bellinger threw caution to the wind with a reckless celebration that ultimately popped his shoulder out, the former NL Rookie of the Year took a more muted approach this time, opting for a simple and considerably safer foot tap with teammate Max Muncy.
Bellinger only logged one hit in his four trips to the plate Tuesday night, though he did provide his share of defensive heroics, robbing Austin Meadows with a spectacular snag just in front of the center field fence. The catch was reminiscent of a similar play made by Bellinger in the NLDS when the 25-year-old skied for a sensational leaping grab, denying Padres MVP candidate Fernando Tatis of a potential go-ahead homer.
Winners of four straight, the Dodgers can add to their series lead Wednesday night with Game 2 scheduled for 8:08 PM ET. Los Angeles is seeking its first World Series title since 1988.