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Dodgers closer Jansen tries to stay positive after an uncharacteristically bad stretch

Kevin Baxter and Meg James, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has made four appearances in the World Series and given up runs in the last three, marking the first time in his big-league career he has allowed runs in three consecutive appearances.

Jansen gave up runs in only seven of 65 regular-season appearances, going 5-0 with 41 saves in 42 chances. In 11 postseason games, he has given up runs four times, going 1-1 with four saves in five chances. He has given up six hits and two home runs in 5 2/3 innings during the World Series. In the Houston Astros' 13-12 win Sunday, he took the loss when, with two outs, he hit a batter, walked another and gave up a walk-off, run-scoring single to Alex Bregman.

Jansen and other top-flight Dodgers relievers looked tired during Game 5, which lasted 5 hours 17 minutes, but not too long afterward Jansen was already looking forward to another chance Tuesday.

"You've got to stay positive," he said. "We can't just let a bad day affect us."

Sunday night's marathon matchup was watched by 19.6 million viewers across Fox's media platforms -- the Fox broadcast network, Spanish-language Fox Deportes and Fox Sports Go online.

Viewership peaked from 11:45 p.m. to midnight Eastern time with 20.76 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings released Monday by Fox. The Game 5 ratings are expected to surpass those of NBC's "Sunday Night Football," a Pittsburgh Steelers victory over the Detroit Lions, when the final numbers are released Tuesday.

In the Los Angeles market, the game scored a 32.8 household rating and a 52 share, the largest television audience since Game 7 of the 2002 World Series, when the Angels defeated the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers and Astros combined for 11 home runs in the first two games at Dodger Stadium, a feat that probably was aided by unseasonably high temperatures. The warm, dry air helped the ball travel farther off the bat, turning the pitchers' park into a launching pad.

The advantage is expected to swing back to the pitchers this week, with temperatures in the high 60s. "That's below normal for late October," said Bill Patzert, a NASA climatologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. "So Dodger Stadium goes from tank-top weather to hoodie time in one week. The ball will not carry as far."

Patzert, a lifelong Dodgers fan, noted that the weather affects more than the ball. Justin Verlander, the Astros' scheduled Game 6 starter, had to come out early from his Game 2 start in Los Angeles after tiring.

"Something to think about is the impact of weather -- hot or cool, dry or damp -- on various players," he said. "Who's hot when it's cool and who slumps when it sizzles?"

(c)2017 Los Angeles Times

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