Seager named MVP as Dodgers finally clinch title

    Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers MLB for

ARLINGTON — They might have gotten a little help from the opposing manager in Game 6, but the Los Angeles Dodgers finally won their World Series, the first for the franchise since 1988 and the first in three tries for them over the past four years.

The Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Tuesday night behind a stellar effort from their bullpen, with six relievers combining for an eight-inning shutout after starter Tony Gonsolin allowed a solo home run to Rays rookie sensation Randy Arozarena in the first.

Corey Seager hit a rare October double, becoming Most Valuable Player of the World Series after earning the honor for the League Championship Series. Just as Orel Hershiser did when the Dodgers won their previous World Series title in 1988.

The Dodgers trailed early in Game 6 and were doing very little on offense up until the sixth inning, when Rays manager Kevin Cash inexplicably pulled starter Blake Snell while the lefty was pitching a gem. Snell had struck out nine batters while giving up two hits, including one to Austin Barnes before being pulled. Reliever Nick Anderson came into the game and immediately gave up a double to Mookie Betts, a run-scoring wild pitch and a run-scoring groundout, erasing the deficit and giving the Dodgers their first lead of the game.

Arozarena’s homer was the 10th of this postseason, but it wasn’t enough for the Rays, who managed just four hits the rest of the game. The Dodgers also had five hits on the night, including a home run by Betts in the eighth to extend the Dodgers’ lead.

Julio Urias pitched the final 2.1 innings for the save.

It’s the seventh championship for the Dodgers, who have won their division for eight consecutive years. The Dodgers posted the best record in the majors during this pandemic-shortened season. They had a scare against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series, going down 3-1 in the series before winning three straight games to capture the NL pennant.

Longtime Dodgers broadcasting legend Vin Scully, who retired in 2016 following a 67-year career, tweeted his congratulations to the team.

Seager batted .400 with two homers, five RBIs and six walks against the Rays, including a sixth-inning grounder that allowed Betts to speed home from third base with the go-ahead run. The star shortstop jumped into the arms of second baseman Kike Hernandez after Urias struck out Willy Adames to clinch the championship.

Seager hit .310 with five homers and 11 RBIs in the seven-game win over Atlanta in the NLCS, including three homers as the Dodgers fought off elimination in Games 5 and 6. He drove in runs in five consecutive plate appearances, starting with his last two at-bats in Game 2, matching a feat that had been accomplished only by Houston’s Carlos Beltran in 2004.

The previous MVP of both a League Championship Series and the World Series in the same year was San Francisco pitcher Madison Bumgarner in 2014. Only eight players have done it — all National Leaguers.

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. The Rays have played in two World Series, this season and in 2008, losing both times.

About 2 1/2 weeks after the Lakers won the NBA title while finishing their season in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, the Dodgers gave Los Angeles another championship in this year when the coronavirus pandemic has delayed, shortened and moved around sports seasons.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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