WASHINGTON - The Los Angeles Dodgers won their first Major League Baseball World Series in more than three decades Tuesday night, shaking off a slow offensive start to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game 6.
For five innings, the Rays appeared to be in control in their bid to force a deciding seventh game in the series with pitcher Blake Snell allowing just one hit and zero runs.
But the Dodgers rallied in the sixth inning, scoring a run on a wild pitch by Rays reliever Nick Anderson and a second run on a fielder’s choice one batter later.
Star outfielder Mookie Betts, who came to the Dodgers in an offseason trade, pushed the lead to 3-1 with a home run in the eighth inning.
Tampa Bay’s only run came by way of a first-inning home run by Randy Arozarena, who emerged as a star during the postseason with nine total home runs.
The Rays had more chances early in the game with multiple runners on base in the first two innings. But Dodgers pitchers were able to hold the Rays in check, striking out 16 total batters and allowing just two hits in the final eight innings.
Reliever Julio Urías struck out Willy Adames to seal the victory for the Dodgers and send their players into a celebratory pile on the infield.
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was named the World Series Most Valuable Player after compiling a .471 batting average with two home runs and seven runs scored in the series.
The championship is a culmination of years of recent success for Los Angeles, which has won more regular season games than any other team since the 2010 season but suffered repeated heartbreak in the playoffs.
The Dodgers lost the 2017 World Series in seven games to the Houston Astros, and a year later fell in the World Series to the Boston Red Sox. Last season brought a first-round defeat at the hands of the eventual champion Washington Nationals.
“This is our year,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game. “We said it. This is our year.”
All of the 2020 World Series games were played in Arlington, Texas, one of the effects the coronavirus pandemic had on the Major League Baseball season. The league postponed its usual start from the end of March to the end of July, with teams playing just 60 regular season games instead of 162. No fans were allowed into stadiums until the last two rounds, when only a limited number were able to see games in person.
The schedule was further thrown into chaos with multiple teams experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. Tuesday night, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was removed in the eighth inning, and after the game it was announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
“It’s a bittersweet night for us. We’re glad to be done,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “I do think it’s a great accomplishment for our players to get this season completed.”