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Dodgers end long wait for World Series with 3-1 victory over Rays

The Dodgers’ Justin Turner was pulled in the eighth inning after testing positive for coronavirus, but later appeared in the on-field celebrations.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw celebrates with the World Series trophy.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw celebrates with the World Series trophy.
Image: Eric Gay

THE LOS ANGELES Dodgers have ended their 32-year wait for a World Series title on Tuesday, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to claim the Major League Baseball crown at last after a string of agonizing near-misses.

Corey Seager drove in the go-ahead run, Mookie Betts homered late and a stream of Los Angeles pitchers stood firm as the Dodgers won the seventh World Series in club history but their first since 1988.

Back in Major League Baseball’s championship showcase for the third time in four years, the Dodgers eased the disappointment of defeats in 2017 and 2018.

They beat the Rays 4-2 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, where the first neutral site World Series in baseball history capped a pandemic-shortened campaign.

“This is what you think about when you are a kid,” said Seager, who was named MVP after batting .400 with two home runs and five runs-batted-in during the series.

“You strive to hear that,” he said of being called a World Series champion. “To do it with this group couldn’t be any more special.”

Added catcher Austin Barnes: “We had our hearts broken so many times.”

The Dodgers win completed a championship double for Los Angeles, whose LeBron James-led Lakers won their first NBA title since 2010 earlier this month.

As the Dodgers celebrated on the field, key contributor Justin Turner appeared, despite having been pulled in the eighth inning after testing positive for coronavirus — a final sombre reminder of the shadow cast on the season by the pandemic.

It was the first positive test since baseball put teams in quarantine bubbles for the League Championship Series, prompting commissioner Rob Manfred to call it a “bittersweet night” for MLB.

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© – AFP, 2020

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