Dodgers capture first title since 1988
The Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Texas — Mookie Betts streaked home with a go-ahead run and later homered for good measure as the Los Angeles Dodgers won their first World Series championship since 1988, taking advantage of a hotly debated Tampa Bay move to beat the Rays 3-1 in Game 6.
The Dodgers posted the best record in the majors during this pandemic-shortened season, then rallied in the final game to claim a most elusive crown.
Tampa Bay starter Blake Snell struck out nine and seemed to be in complete control with a 1-0 lead when manager Kevin Cash pulled him with one out and a runner on first in the sixth inning. The Dodgers pounced quickly, and Betts soon dashed home from third base on Corey Seager’s infield grounder for a 2-1 edge.
Betts added a solo home run in the eighth.
Manager Dave Roberts and the Dodgers lost the World Series in 2017 and ’18 before winning this title at a neutral site, Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
Rookie sensation Randy Arozarena hit his record 10th homer in the postseason to account for Tampa Bay’s run.
After Julio Urias retired Tampa Bay in order in the top half of the eighth, Betts led off the bottom half with a drive to center for his second homer of the Series. Urias stayed on and pitched the ninth, getting the Rays 1-2-3, striking out Willy Adames looking on three straight pitches.
Betts also scored the go-ahead run in the Dodgers’ two-run sixth, dashing home on Corey Seager’s bouncer to first.
The Dodgers’ Brusdar Graterol got the first two outs of the seventh for the Dodgers before giving up a single to Mike Zunino, his first hit in 16 at-bats during this Fall Classic. Urias, the seventh Dodgers pitcher, entered and threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Yandy Diaz.
Rays reliever Pete Fairbanks worked around Will Smith’s leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh to keep it a one-run game. Smith’s drive went off the wall in the left-field corner by the 329-foot sign.
The Dodgers pushed across two runs after Cash pulled Snell in the sixth inning. He came out to get Snell after No. 9 hitter Austin Barnes singled with one out for the Dodgers’ second hit. Snell had thrown just 73 pitches, and the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner looked upset over the quick hook.
Betts then greeted righty Nick Anderson with a double, and Barnes scored the tying run on a wild pitch. The pitching change likely will be questioned by some because Betts had a .531 OPS against lefties and a 1.061 OPS against right-handers.