October 15, 2020 | 2:21am
The Dodgers were already cruising when Max Muncy came to the plate in the first inning Wednesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, but then it turned into a circus.
Muncy crushed a pitch from Grant Dayton into the right-field seats, capping a historical feat. The grand slam gave the Dodgers 11 runs in the inning — a postseason record.
The Dodgers finished the night with five homers in their 15-3 rout of the Braves in Game 3 of the NLCS.
Despite the fact they began the game in an 0-2 series hole, Muncy sensed a lightness about the Dodgers.
“A lot of guys were joking around and it doesn’t surprise me at all,” Muncy said. “We know who we are over here, we’re a really good team. We kind of lost our footing these first two games, but we weren’t worried about anything and tonight we went out and showed what we can do.”
Muncy, who grew up in Midland, Texas, called it “pretty cool” to hit such a big home run in his native state.
“There’s not too many things that are cooler than that, but the biggest thing to me was our team got a ‘W’ and got us back on track,” he said.
The Dodgers plan to have their ace ready for Thursday.
Clayton Kershaw’s back spasms have improved to the point that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was comfortable enough after the game to name the lefty ace as his starter for Game 4.
With Kershaw set for Thursday, it’s likely Dustin May will get the ball in Game 5, as Walker Buehler is unlikely to return on short rest. Buehler pitched five-plus innings on Monday, but has been bothered by a blister issue.
Kershaw threw an aggressive bullpen session after he was scratched on Tuesday. He had first incurred the discomfort after throwing a bullpen session Saturday, but showed improvement in the following days.
The Dodgers turned to Tony Gonsolin in Kershaw’s place on Tuesday and watched the right-hander allow five earned runs on three hits and three walks over 4¹/₃ innings.