Dodgers beat Rays in Game 5, are one win from first World Series title since 1988

The Los Angeles Dodgers are one win away from their first World Series win since 1988.

10/26/2020 7:11:00 AM

The Los Angeles Dodgers are one win away from their first World Series win since 1988.

Behind a strong outing from Clayton Kershaw and three relievers, the Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to take a three-games-to-two lead in the World Series.

ARLINGTON, Texas — This is a neutral-site World Series, the first in modern history, played at Globe Life Field, a gleaming new ballpark 1,400 miles from Los Angeles at quarter capacity during a global pandemic. It didn’t sound that way in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ 4-2 win in Game 5 on Sunday.

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Clayton Kershaw recorded the inning’s first two outs with two pitches. He had seemingly discovered a rhythm after a choppy start. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts emerged to take the ball from the future Hall of Famer anyway. Kershaw tried to convince Roberts to change his mind. Even third baseman Justin Turner spoke up in support of his teammate. Roberts stayed resolute and took the ball.

The pro-Dodgers crowd of 11,437, most with their minds still on the previous night’s debacle and years of heartbreak, let Roberts know what they thought. They loudly booed him as Kershaw, peeved, walked off the field. And they loudly booed him again when he returned to the dugout.

Roberts didn’t bend to the pressure. He wanted to put Dustin May in the game and so he did. It was the first of Roberts’ deft decisions.AdvertisementMay responded by striking out Manuel Margot with 101-mph fastball and retiring the side in order in the seventh.

Roberts replaced May with left-hander Victor González with one out after Ji-man Choi, a left-handed hitter, was announced as a pinch-hitter. In response, Rays manager Kevin Cash, whose 28-man roster features 15 position players, opted to pinch-hit Mike Brosseau, a right-handed hitter, for Choi, burning another player to maximize the matchup.

Brosseau walked, bringing up Randy Arozarena, the Rays’ best player who earlier collected his 27thhit of the playoffs to set the record for the most in a single postseason. Arozarena lined out on the first pitch. Next, Brandon Lowe flied out to center field to quash the threat.

Roberts’ made his bullpen decision before the start of the ninth. Blake Treinen had pitched the previous two days, accumulating 30 pitches in the two outings, but Roberts trusted him to record his first career postseason save.AdvertisementMargot greeted Treinen with a leadoff single, but the right-hander recovered. He struck out Austin Meadows swinging through a 98-mph four-seam fastball. Joey Wendle flied out. And, for the 27

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thout, he blew a 98-mph sinker by Willy Adames to pull the Dodgers within one win of their first championship in 32 years.The Dodgers arrived at Globe Life Field having moved on from Saturday’s ninth-inning collapse. At least that’s what a few of them said on pregame videoconference calls with reporters. Corey Seager maintained the game was flushed from his mind once he went back to the hotel. Will Smith, a central figure in the collapse’s final act, called it “heartbreaking,” but emphasized a thought the Dodgers have repeated for weeks.

“We’re still pretty confident we’re the best team in baseball,” Smith said, “and we’re gonna win this thing.”Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, whose stupefied reaction to the implosion was played on a loop for the next 20 hours, claimed to not have watched a replay of the sequence. Living it was clear enough. And he slept just fine — with help.

Advertisement“Some medication,” Roberts said. “I slept like a baby.”Dodgers fans, overwhelming their counterparts more than in any previous game played at this neutral site, serenaded the team with cheers as they walked off the field after batting practice at 5:45 p.m. local time. Then they rained light boos when Roberts’ name was announced during pregame introductions. Saturday night’s sour taste lingered.

The combination of Mookie Betts and Corey Seager quickly cleansed the palates. Betts led off the game with a 106-mph screamer for a double on the eighth pitch of his at-bat against Tyler Glasnow. Two pitches later, Seager, fresh off a four-hit effort in Game 4, smoked a 102-mph RBI single to right field. Then Seager showcased another dimension of his game.

Not the fastest runner, Seager took second base on a wild pitch that didn’t bounce too far from the catcher. Mike Zunino was able to corral the ball and fire a throw to second base for a bang-bang play. Seager was called safe. The Rays challenged the ruling, which was upheld because even the footage didn’t offer an obvious answer.

Read more: Los Angeles Times »

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This is our year!! LAbleedsblue sports 60 games 162 60 HUGE ASTERISK Easier said than done for the LA Dodgers? Make. Us. Proud. Dodgers!

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