A second-year third baseman, Bregman's heroic stroke was deep enough to send pinch-runner Derek Fisher from second base to the plate with the game-winner. Fisher had been inserted for Brian McCann, who had reached base after being hit by a pitch from LA reliever Kenley Jansen and moved to second on George Springer's walk.
Jansen, the Dodger closer, threw 33 pitches and was laboring in the 10th, bringing into focus manager Dave Roberts decision to pitch him in the ninth inning of Saturday's 6-2 Dodger victory.
Jansen is normally called upon in save situations, when the lead is three runs or fewer. In Saturday's win, the lead was five runs (6-1). Jansen threw 14 pitches in the inning, one of them planted in the stands by Bregman, so it was not surprising that Bregman would respond favorably facing a tiring Jansen on Sunday night (actually Monday morning.
The game itself was nothing short of a classic, as both ace starters - LA's Clayton Kershaw and Houston's Dallas Keuchel - were routed by the opposing batters. Keuchel was the first to go, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits over 3 2/3 innings. The Dodgers got to him for three runs in the first. Kershaw worked into the fifth, squandering almost all of the Dodger lead by allowing six earned runs over 4 2/3 innings.
Houston and LA batters were persistent, the teams scoring runs in 11 of the 20 half innings, including scoring in six of the last eight. Houston socked five home runs to LA's two, and erased of four and three runs, in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively. The Dodgers were equal to the challenge, tying the game with three runs in the top of the ninth to produce the extra frame which eventually was their undoing.
AL MVP candidate, Jose Altuve, had a sensational game, going 3-for-5 with a single, double and game-tying three run homer, scoring three times and driving in four. His infield mate, shortstop Alex Correa, was also 3-for-5, singling, doubling, homering and driving in three runs.
The series now shifts back to Los Angeles on Tuesday for game six, going live at 8:09 pm ET at Dodger Stadium. Justin Verlander goes to the mound for Houston against Dodger hurler, Rich Hill. The Dodgers need a win to force a game seven while the Astros seek to end the baseball season with a victory.