Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to end 32-year World Series drought
Arlington (United States) (AFP) –
Corey Seager drove in the go-ahead run and Mookie Betts homered late as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Tuesday to end a 32-year World Series title drought.
Back in Major League Baseball's championship showcase for the third time in four years, the Dodgers claimed the seventh World Series title in club history but their first since 1988.
An array of Los Angeles pitchers stood firm as the Dodgers beat the Rays four-games-to-two at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, where the first neutral site World Series in modern baseball history capped a pandemic-shortened campaign.
The Rays, needing a victory to force a decisive game seven, couldn't take advantage of a dominant performance from starting pitcher Blake Snell, who gave up just two hits and no runs with nine strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
He became the first pitcher with nine strikeouts through four innings in a World Series game since Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax had a total of 15 in a complete game win in game one against the New York Yankees in 1963.
But when Snell departed with one out and one on in the bottom of the sixth, the Rays led by just one run, thanks to Randy Arozarena's first-inning homer.
And then the momentum shifted.
Dodgers rightfielder Mookie Betts promptly smacked a double up the left field line off Rays relief pitcher Nick Anderson.
Austin Barnes, who had singled off Snell, advanced to third and scored on a wild pitch.
Seager then made it to first on a fielder's choice, with Betts beating the throw to home to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
A parade of Dodgers pitchers had kept it close after rookie sensation Arozarena clubbed his record-extending 10th home run of the post-season off an 88 mph slider from Gonsolin, the rookie righthander whose impressive regular season numbers haven't translated in the playoffs.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had said he was hoping for five or six innings from the rookie Gonsolin, whose impressive regular-season numbers haven't translated to the playoffs.
But he lasted just 1 2/3 innings before giving way to Dylan Floro.
Snell, meanwhile, retired the first six batters he faced before giving off a leadoff single to Chris Taylor in the third, then retired nine more as the Rays preserved their one-run lead through five innings3
After Arozarena cracked a single to left field with two outs in the top of the fifth off the Dodgers' fourth pitcher of the night -- Pedro Baez -- Victor Gonzalez took over on the mound and recorded the last out of the inning.
Gonzalez retired three straight in the top of the sixth, and after the Dodgers seized the lead in the bottom of the frame Brusdar Graterol took over on the mound for Los Angeles in the seventh.
With two outs in the inning Graterol gave up a line drive single to Mike Zunino and was replaced by game-four starter Julio Urias -- who didn't allow a baserunner in closing out the victory.
© 2020 AFP