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First time for everything: Game 7 at Chavez Ravine

Kevin Baxter, Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

LOS ANGELES--Dodger Stadium has staged concerts, soccer games, a Papal mass, even a bullfight.

But Wednesday will mark the first time baseball's third-oldest ballpark will play host to Game 7 of a World Series.

The Dodgers forced a final game by defeating the Astros, 3-1, on Tuesday as Rich Hill and four relievers combined on a six-hitter.

Two World Series-clinching games have been played in Chavez Ravine, both against the Yankees: In 1978, when New York won in six games, and in 1963, when the Dodgers swept.

The Dodgers also have won two Games 7 on the road, in 1955 at Yankee Stadium and 10 years later in Minnesota. Both games finished 2-0 with a left-hander tossing a shutout in the final game -- Johnny Podres in the first case for Brooklyn, Sandy Koufax in the second.

That streak is likely to end Wednesday because Yu Darvish, a right-hander, is starting for the Dodgers. But a left-hander could still figure in the decision with Alex Wood and ace Clayton Kershaw -- along with Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani -- available out of the bullpen.

Still no apology from Gurriel

Yuli Gurriel still hasn't apologized in person to Darvish for making a racially insensitive gesture after hitting a home run against him in Game 3 of the World Series.

Darvish said he told the Houston Astros first baseman it was "completely unnecessary."

"When a Dodgers staffer told me what was happening, at the time, it's not like I was that irritated by it," Darvish said in Japanese. "About the extent of my reaction was me telling (interpreter Hideaki) Sato, 'He did something he shouldn't have done. This is going to be a problem, isn't it?' But I wasn't angry at all."

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