LOS ANGELES — Dallas Keuchel walked slowly to the dugout with a 1,000-yard glare.
Two home runs.
The left-hander with the bushy beard and intense gaze gave up a solo shot to Chris Taylor leading off the game and a two-run drive to Justin Turner in the sixth inning that powered the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Houston Astros 3-1 in the World Series opener Tuesday night.
On a night when Clayton Kershaw faltered on only one pitch — a tying home run to Alex Bregman starting off the fourth — two slipups was one too many.
Keuchel had allowed one previous home run on his opening pitch, to Starling Marte on July 26, 2012, in the first plate appearance of the Pittsburgh outfielder’s big league career.
Taylor was ready for a scorching start on an unseasonably hot night of Santa Ana winds. He drove the pitch 447 feet into the left-field pavilion.
Keuchel allowed just one runner past first in the next four innings, helped by three double plays, but his downfall began with a five-pitch walk to Taylor with two outs in the sixth.
Keuchel got ahead of Turner 1-2 in the count, but the power-hitting third baseman with the unruly red beard sent a fastball to left. Marwin Gonzalez drifted back but ran out of room, and the ball dropped into the first row of seats.
That was one lapse too many on a night when Kershaw was brilliant.
Keuchel looked at the videoboard, hand on his left hip, as Turner circled the bases. He did not react when he was removed with two outs in the seventh inning and teammates patted him on the back when he returned to the dugout.
Among only four Astros left from a 111-loss season four years ago, Keuchel has been a linchpin of the team’s renaissance. He spoke Monday of how special this first World Series for him is. He recalled the 2012 season as being “pretty much at an open tryout” and criticized some of his former teammates without naming them, saying “a lot of the guys didn’t take advantage or weren’t really serious about it.
“It was like they were handed stuff and they thought they were going to be the next greatest player,” he said. “I started out well my first four or five starts, but really faltered, and I knew if I was going to make a name for myself or stick in the big leagues, that I needed to make some adjustments.”
He made the modifications, won the 2015 AL Cy Young Award, led the Astros to the second Series appearance in team history and first since 2005.
None of that mattered now. The miscues were on his mind.