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Dodgers rally to beat Rays, capture first World Series title since 1988

Written by on October 28, 2020

Image: World Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Dodgers  - Game Six
Tom Pennington / Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers brought a curtain down on the shortest and strangest season of Major League Baseball — and in the process on Tuesday night, ended a three-decade-long franchise curse.

Los Angeles rallied to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1, in Arlington, Texas, to end the World Series in six games and hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy for the first time since 1988.

Tampa Bay led, 1-0, going into the bottom of the sixth behind dominant starting pitcher Blake Snell. After Snell surrendered a one-out single to Barnes, Rays manager Kevin Cash pulled Snell in hopes that his stable of hard-throwing relief pitchers would protect the lead.

Instead, Dodgers star Mookie Betts greeted reliever Nick Anderson with a momentum-shifting double that sparked a two-run rally that put Los Angeles on top for good. Betts homered in the eighth inning to add a key insurance run.

MLB’s bubble turned out not to be full-proof. Star Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was taken out in the middle of Game 6 after it was learned he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The pandemic, which has killed more than 227,000 Americans, forced MLB to shut down spring training in March, and no games were played until July 23.

After months of acrimonious labor negotiations, MLB returned with a miniature 60-game regular season, far short of the 162 games usually played, with no fans and under odd rules.

With Tuesday night’s win, the Brooklyn-born Dodgers have seven World Series titles, the sixth most in baseball. They trail only the New York/San Francisco Giants with eight, the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia/Oakland A’s who both have nine, the St. Louis Cardinals with 11 and the New York Yankees with their 27 world titles.

And in a historical quirk, Los Angeles now owns World Series titles from MLB’s two shortest seasons.