The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ quest for their first World Series championship since 1988 ended quickly Wednesday evening, as the Houston Astros scored two runs in the first inning and three in the second in a 5-1 victory in Game 7 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium.
George Springer got the Astros started, doubling leading off the first, scoring one batter later on an error, and hitting a two-run homer in the second to give Houston the four games to three victory in the best-of-seven series and its first World Series championship in its 56 seasons of play.
Charlie Morton, the last of five Astros pitchers, was credited with the victory, limiting the Dodgers to one run and two hits, striking out four and walking one over the final four innings. Starter Lance McCullers Jr. was removed after 2 1/3 innings.
Springer scored on first baseman Cody Bellinger’s two-base throwing error on a ground ball hit by Alex Bregman. Bregman stole third and scored on Jose Altuve’s ground out.
McCullers Jr. drove in another run for Houston in the third, grounding out to plate Brian McCann, who had led off with a walk and moved to third on Marwin Gonzalez’ double. Springer followed McCullers’ ground out with a two-run homer.
The homer was Springer’s fifth of the Series, tying the record set by Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson in the New York Yankees’ six-game victory over the Dodgers in the 1977 Series, and tied in 2009 by Chase Utley, then of the Philadelphia Phillies, now with the Dodgers, in a six-game loss to the Yankees.
Manager Dave Roberts replaced starting pitcher Yu Darvish following Springer’s home run. Brandon Morrow struck out Bregman to end the inning.
Darvish lasted 1 2/3 innings, equaling the shortest outing in his major league career that began in 2012, which he had set in Friday’s Game 3, where he was also charged with the loss. Darvish allowed five runs, four earned, and three hits. He walked one and did not strike out a batter.
Morrow became the second pitcher to pitch in all seven games of a Series, joining Darold Knowles of the 1973 Oakland Athletics.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw held Houston scoreless from the third through sixth innings.
The Dodgers scored their run in the sixth. Joc Pederson led off with a single, moved to second on a walk to Logan Forsythe and scored one out later on pinch-hitter Andre Ethier’s single.
The Dodgers led in hits, 6-5, but were one-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base.
The Astros were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left five runners on base.
Manager A.J Hinch removed McCullers with one out in the third and runners on first and second. McCullers set a World Series record by hitting four batters, breaking the record set in 1971 by Bruce Kison of the Pittsburgh Pirates and tied in 2005 by Jose Contreas of the Chicago White Sox.
The four hit batters tied the record for a Series, also held by Kison, Contreas and Bill Donovan of the 1907 Detroit Tigers.
McCullers now shares the career Series hit batter record with Donovan and Eddie Plank, a Hall of Famer who pitched for the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1905, 1911, 1913 and 1914 Series.
This was the first time the seventh game of the World Series was played at Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962. This was the Dodgers’ first World Series Game 7 since 1965, when Sandy Koufax pitched a three-hitter, striking out 10, in a 2-0 victory over the host Minnesota Twins.
Koufax joined Don Newcombe in throwing the ceremonial first pitches Wednesday.
The Dodgers are 2-4 in Game 7s in best-of-seven series, losing three others when they were based in Brooklyn, all to the New York Yankees. The Dodgers defeated the Yankees, 2-0, in Game 7 of the 1955 Series on Johnny Podres’ eight-hitter to win their only World Series championship when they were in Brooklyn.
The Dodgers also lost a Game 7 in the 1920 World Series against Cleveland, which was played with a best-of-nine format. The Dodgers lost that Series five games to two.
This was the 39th time a best-of-seven World Series was been extended to a final game, including 1912, when eight games were played because of a Game 2 tie.
The home team has an 18-21 record in Game 7.
This was the third time a World Series concluded at Dodger Stadium, joining the 1963 Series, when the Dodgers swept the Yankees, and 1978 Series, when the Dodgers lost to the Yankees in six games.
This was the first time either team has played in November. This was the sixth Series to extend into November, including each of the last two.
–City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: