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The Sports Report: Dodgers win Game 1 of World Series

The Dodgers dugout erupts on a home run by Mookie Betts in the sixth inning against the Rays in Game 1.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Jorge Castillo on the Dodgers: The reasons for the Dodgers’ cool, unfiltered confidence this October, the reasons they believe this is finally the year they’ll hoist that piece of metal, were on display in their 8-3 victory in Game 1 of the World Series at Globe Life Field on Tuesday.

Want dominant pitching? Clayton Kershaw held the Tampa Bay Rays to one run and two hits over six tidy innings. What about a power display? Cody Bellinger, sore shoulder and all, cracked a home run for the Series’ first two runs. Think dynamic baserunning is important? Mookie Betts, the Dodgers’ new table-setting weapon, wreaked havoc on the basepaths to ignite a four-run fifth inning before slugging his first home run off a left-hander as a Dodger the next inning.

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The Dodgers blended those elements to take 1-0 series lead, three wins away from their first title since 1988, on the 32nd anniversary of the day that last championship was clinched. Game 2 is scheduled for 5:08 p.m. PDT on Wednesday.

“I think we are the best team,” Kershaw said. “And I think our clubhouse believes that.”

This is the 116th World Series in major league history and the first at a neutral site. It was technically a home game for the Dodgers, who finished with the best regular-season record in baseball. Their team-produced graphics and videos were shown throughout the night. The PA announcer applied a homey touch. Vin Scully baptized the unprecedented event with the words said before every game at Dodger Stadium.

“It’s time for Dodger baseball,” declared the legendary broadcaster.

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Scully delivered the message in a prerecorded video 70 years after he, at 23, became the youngest broadcast to call a World Series game then and since. It was shown on the big screen overlooking right field. The pro-Dodgers crowd of 11,388, spaced out throughout the ballpark, roared. They were given a reason to cheer again in the fourth inning.

Bellinger’s go-ahead home run in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series was the biggest moment of his career. The celebration, however, hurt. Bellinger dislocated his right shoulder when he violently banged right forearms with Kiké Hernández, generating uncertainty on an otherwise joyous night.

But Bellinger has dealt with the injury a few times. He knew what was ahead: pain the next day before it got better. The shoulder remained sore Tuesday, but his status was never in question.

Any doubt was erased when he clobbered a 98-mph, first-pitch fastball from Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow. The ball landed in the Dodgers’ bullpen beyond the wall in right-center field. After one home run in his first 44 career World Series at-bats, he had one in his second Tuesday.

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————

Bill Plaschke: Dodgers’ Game 1 dominance over Rays shows why they’ll win World Series

Dylan Hernández: Clayton Kershaw flashes World Series form he showed before Astros cheated him

Mookie Betts celebrates the little things

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Photos: Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of World Series

Dodgers’ use of Julio Urías goes from abundance of caution to workhorse

Dodgers co-owner: Team revenues, fan experience will be ‘back to normal by 2022’

Dodgers-Rays schedule

All times Pacific

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Dodgers are home team for Game 1, 2, 6 and 7

All games at Arlington, Texas

Game 1: Dodgers 8, Tampa Bay 3

Game 2: Today, Tampa Bay (Blake Snell**) vs. Dodgers (Tony Gonsolin), 5 p.m., Fox

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Game 3: Friday, Dodgers (Walker Buehler) vs. Tampa Bay (Charlie Morton), 5 p.m., Fox

Game 4: Saturday, Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay, 5 p.m., Fox

Game 5*: Sunday, Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay, 5 p.m., Fox

Game 6*: Tuesday, Tampa Bay vs. Dodgers, 5 p.m., Fox

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Game 7*: Wed., Oct. 28, Tampa Bay vs. Dodgers, 5 p.m., Fox

*-if necessary

**-left-handed

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SOCCER

Kevin Baxter on the NWSL: Southern California’s fledging NWSL team officially has a name and some big-name new investors.

The club formally adopted its working title, Angel City Football Club, according to Julie Uhrman, the team’s founder and president. Its group of owner-investors grew to more than 50 with the addition of tennis legend Billie Jean King and her partner Ilana Kloss; WNBA star Candace Parker and her daughter, Lailaa; NHL star P.K. Subban and fiancée Lindsey Vonn, an Olympic champion skier; actor and talk-show host James Corden; actress and activist Sophia Bush; former Galaxy and U.S. national team star Cobi Jones; and five-time Pro Bowl lineman Ryan Kalil.

The team, which will begin play in 2022 as the first major U.S. professional sports team with a majority-woman ownership group, was founded by Uhrman, actress Natalie Portman and venture capitalist Kara Nortman. Its original investor group, announced in July, includes tennis star Serena Williams and her husband, tech entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian; 14 former U.S. national team soccer players, among them Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach; and actresses Eva Longoria, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera and Jennifer Garner.

Last week Angel City announced a civic-minded sponsorship model that will require its corporate partners to re-allocate 10% of the value of their sponsorships to local causes.

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“We need everyone to invest in women’s sports and Ilana and I are proud to stand with the Angel City FC ownership group and help make history in Southern California,” said King, a trailblazing tennis player and activist who is also a part owner of the Dodgers. “Angel City’s mission to make an impact on and off the field and to provide an opportunity to some of the best professional female athletes in the world to play on a stage as powerful as Los Angeles sends a strong message to young girls in the community and beyond.”

GOLF

Sam Farmer on golf: Tiger Woods is feeling especially nostalgic this week about his Southern California roots. He’s defending his title in the Zozo Championship, which debuted last year in Japan but was moved because of the pandemic, at Sherwood Country Club.

Talk about a home-course advantage. Sherwood is where Woods has hosted the Hero World Challenge from 2000-2013, finishing first five times and second five more in the unofficial money event.

“The shape of the golf course hasn’t changed, but the greens have changed since the last time I’ve played,” said Woods, who practiced on the back nine Tuesday. “They’re a little bit flatter, a little bit bigger. Some of the contours are gone, so it’s a bit different.”

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The dramatic undulations of 2020, however, are unmatched. For instance, Woods has been Masters champion for 18 months, and will return to Augusta National next month to defend that 2019 title at a completely different and unfamiliar time of year.

“This whole year’s been different for all of us,” he said. “The fact that the Masters will be held in November, it’s unprecedented, never been done before. I can’t simulate the ramp-up that I normally have, and I don’t think anyone else can either. It will be different for all of us.”

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific.

Tampa Bay vs. Dodgers, 5 p.m., Fox

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THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1950 — Tom Powers of Duke scores six touchdowns — three rushing, three receiving — in a 41-0 victory over Richmond.

1956 — Billy Howton of the Green Bay Packers catches seven passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-17 victory over the Rams.

1961 — Eddie Arcaro wins the Jockey Club Gold Cup for a record tenth time. His mount, Kelso, wins his second straight Gold Cup.

1972 — One day after setting an NBA record by scoring 58 points in the fourth quarter, the Buffalo Braves scored an NBA record-low 4 points in the third quarter of a 91-63 loss at home to the Milwaukee Bucks.

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1973 — Fred Dryer of the Rams becomes the first NFL player to record two safeties in a 24-7 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

1975 — Carlton Fisk breaks up a thrilling contest with a homer in the 12th inning to give the Boston Red Sox a 7-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds and force a seventh game in the World Series.

1979 — Chicago Bulls guard Sam Smith scores the first 4-point play in NBA history during a 113-111 loss to the Bucks at Milwaukee.

1980 — The Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series for the first time in their 98-year history as they beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1 in the sixth game.

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1998 — The New York Yankees close out their historic season with 3-0 victory at San Diego, sweeping the Padres in four games to win their record 24th World Series championship.

2006 — Michigan State rallies from a 35-point, third-quarter deficit to beat Northwestern 41-38 in the biggest comeback in NCAA Division I-A history. Brett Swenson kicks the winning 28-yard field goal with 13 seconds left following an interception by Travis Key.

2007 — Rob Bironas kicks an NFL-record eight field goals, the last a 29-yarder with no time left to give Tennessee a 38-36 win over Houston. Bironas adds two extra points to set the NFL record for most points by a kicker, with 26.

2007 — Kimi Raikkonen wins the Brazilian Grand Prix and the Formula One World Championship by one point. Raikkonen’s teammate Felipe Massa finishes second and McLaren driver Fernando Alonso finishes third. Lewis Hamilton had held a four-point lead over Fernando Alonso and a seven-point lead over Raikkonen, entering the race. Hamilton, who finishes seventh and Alonso end up finishing a single point behind.

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2012 — Tamika Catchings scores 25 points to help the Indiana Fever win their first WNBA title with an 87-78 victory over the Minnesota Lynx.

2017 — Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov extended their season-opening points streaks to nine games and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-1. Stamkos had a goal and three assists, and Kucherov had two goals and an assist. They became the first teammates to start the season with nine-game streaks since St. Louis’ Pavol Demitra and Doug Weight in 2001-02.

2018 — Tampa Bay’s Chandler Catanzaro kicks a 59-yard field goal, the longest ever in overtime, to give the Buccaneers a 26-23 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

And finally

Highlights of the Dodgers’ Game 1 win over the Rays. Watch them here.

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Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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