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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

World Series: Some like it hot as Justin Turner roasts Houston Astros

LA Dodgers win Game 1 with Turner crediting furnace-like temperatures for sending his game-winning homer soaring into the stands

Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner reacts after striking out against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning of Game 1 of baseball's World Series. Matt Slocum / AP Photo
Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner reacts after striking out against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning of Game 1 of baseball's World Series. Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Justin Turner credited furnace-like temperatures for sending his game-winning homer soaring into the stands as the Los Angeles Dodgers turned up the heat in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday.

The veteran third baseman produced the latest in a series of signature post-season moments after blasting Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel for a two-run homer in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium.

Turner said he believed the heatwave that saw on-field temperatures of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees celsius) helped his homer carry beyond the wall and hand the Dodgers a 3-1 opening game victory.

"I didn't know if it was going to be a home run or not," Turner said. "I knew I hit it really high. And I knew it was about 98 degrees. So when it's that hot here, the ball does travel a lot better.

"If it's 10 degrees cooler, that's probably a routine fly ball in left field."

Turner, who cuts an instantly recognisable figure with his long shaggy hair and bushy ginger beard, is a firm favorite with Dodgers fans.

He provided the defining moment of the National League Championship Series win over Chicago when he belted a walk-off home run to secure victory in Game 2.

The 32-year-old said the secret to his success in the post-season had been trying to eliminate pressure from the occasion.

"Postseason is definitely a lot more fun," Turner told reporters. "During the regular season it's work, it's a grind.

"Once you get onto these stages it's fun. And just to be in the moment and soak it in and see almost 60,000 people in Dodger Stadium on their feet going crazy, it's pretty special."

The California native, who joined the Dodgers in 2014 after earlier stints with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets, said he had a low-key celebration planned after Tuesday's heroics.

"I'll get in my car, drive home and I'll have a really excited puppy waiting for me when I get home," he said.

"And I'll probably go out back and play with her for a while, throw the tennis ball around and then go to bed."