ARLINGTON, Texas — Mookie Betts rallied the Dodgers to their first World Series title since 1988, hitting a double and home run to help Los Angeles defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game 6 on Tuesday night.
The World Series title was the seventh in franchise history and the sixth since the team moved west from Brooklyn in 1958. Tuesday’s victory was a fitting end for a team that had won eight straight division titles and had played in three of the past four Fall Classics.
Betts doubled and later scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, then gave the Dodgers some insurance with a solo homer in the eighth,
Los Angeles overcame an early Tampa Bay lead and shutdown pitching by Rays ace Blake Snell before rallying for a pair of runs in the sixth inning.
The Dodgers' title takes the onus off star pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who had been the only three-time Cy Young Award winner not to own a World Series ring. Kershaw was the winning pitcher in Games 1 and 5.
Corey Seager was named the World Series MVP.
Third baseman Justin Turner was removed from Game 6 because of a positive COVID-19 test, Fox baseball announcer Kevin Burkhardt said after the game.
“After the completion of the game tonight, we were informed by MLB that Justin Turner received a positive COVID test and that’s why he was removed from the game," Burkhardt said. No other details were given.
Turner went 0-for-3 before he was replaced by Edwin Rios.
The Rays struck early when Randy Arozarena hit a solo homer off Tony Gonoslin in the first inning. The blast was the rookie’s 10th of the postseason. But the Rays stranded a pair of runners to allow Gonsolin to escape without further damage.
Snell, meanwhile, struck out nine batters over the first four innings to tie Dodgers' Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, who turned in the trick in Game 1 of the 1963 World Series en route to a then-record 15-strikeout game in the Fall Classic.
However, the Dodgers relievers matched shutout innings with Snell, keeping the Rays' bats silent.
The Dodgers finally broke through in the sixth inning.
With one out, Austin Barnes singled and Rays manager Kevin Cash removed Snell, who had thrown 73 pitches.
Reliever Nick Anderson then yielded a Mookie Betts double down the left-field line, and the Dodgers tied the game when Anderson threw a wild pitch. Betts put the Dodgers ahead 2-1 when he scored on a fielder’s choice on Corey Seager’s infield grounder.
Betts then added a solo shot in the eighth inning to set off a celebration in the Dodgers' dugout and in the parking lot at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, where fans jammed the parking lot in anticipation of the team’s first World Series title in 32 years.
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