The Boston Red Sox celebrate with the World Series trophy after their 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five
Pitching on just two days rest, Boston Red Sox starter David Price yielded a home run on the first pitch of Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday, but followed with six scoreless innings as his teammates knocked four home runs and the franchise secured its ninth Major League title with a 5-1 win over the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Much as they did while rolling to a major-league-best 108 regular-season victories, the Red Sox also dominated the postseason. Boston lost just once in the World Series, and the Dodgers needed 18 innings and 7 hours, 20 minutes to take Game 3.
Boston’s Game 4 hero, Steve Pearce, hit a pair of home runs while Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez added solo home runs of their own for the easy win.
Pearce was named World Series MVP after homering three times and driving in seven runs in Games 4 and 5. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Pearce is the first position player to win the series MVP after playing in 50-or-fewer games with the winning team at the time of the World Series. Pearce, a lifelong Red Sox fan, was acquired by Boston from Toronto before the July trade deadline.
Pearce joined former Hall of Famer Babe Ruth and former Cincinnati Reds slugger Ted Kluszewski as the only players 35 or older to hit multiple homers in a World Series game.
‘Sure, that’s great company,’ Pearce said afterwards. ‘Those guys were the best. And if my name gets to sit right next to theirs, I know I’ve accomplished something.
‘This is the greatest feeling of my life,’ he continued. ‘When you’re a kid, this is where you want to be. And it’s happening right now. And I get to celebrate it with my family and friends back there. And I know they’re happy. They’re on cloud nine, as I am. How are you feeling? She’s feeling good. This is a great moment. I’m so glad I get to share it with everybody.’
Red Sox manager Alex Cora became the first from Puerto Rico to win a title. He is just the fifth rookie manager in Major League history to win a World Series.
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The Boston Red Sox celebrate after Game 5 of baseball’s World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday
Red Sox pitcher David Price celebrates with his son Xavier after tossing seven innings of one-run ball in Sunday’s Game 5 win
Boston Red Sox players celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday
Boston Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce (25) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Pearce, a midseason acquisition from Toronto, was named World Series MVP
Price said winning the World Series was the whole reason he came to Boston.
‘Seeing all these grown men over there just acting like little kids, that’s what it’s all about,’ he added. ‘To come out on top the way we did is unreal.
RED SOX 4, DODGERS 1
- Game 1 in Boston: Red Sox 8, Dodgers 4
- Game 2 in Boston: Red Sox 4, Dodgers 2
- Game 3 in Los Angeles: Red Sox 2, Dodgers 3 (18 innings)
- Game 4 in Los Angeles: Red Sox 9, Dodgers 6
- Game 5 in Los Angeles: Red Sox 5, Dodgers 1
‘This is why I came to Boston. I know it is a tough place to play and challenging with everything that was going to go on there.
‘I’ve been through a lot the three years I’ve been there but this is why I came.’
The Dodgers and their fans arrived at Chavez Ravine on Sunday knowing only 13 teams had clawed their way back from 3-1 deficits to win a best-of-seven postseason series.
The last to do it was the Chicago Cubs against the Cleveland Indians in 2016 as they claimed their first World Series crown in 108 years.
Dodgers first baseman David Freese led off the bottom of the first with a home run, but Price was unflappable afterwards, pitching into the eighth inning.
With the win, Price has now defeated Cy Young winners (Houston’s Justin Verlander and Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw) to clinch each of the last two postseason series.
Price pitched in relief of Game 3 on Friday, and was slated to take the hill if the series went to Game 6 in Boston on Tuesday. Red Sox ace Chris Sale was expected to get the nod, but manager Alex Cora opted instead for Price.
Red Sox fans celebrate while watching a televised Game 5 World Series baseball game in a Boston bar
Sale actually pitched in relief in the ninth inning, and was on the mound when Boston won its fourth World Series title over the last 15 years.
It’s safe to say Matt Damon’s t-shirt was more appropriate that Jimmy Kimmel’s after Boston’s Game 5 win in L.A.
The Red Sox previously had five World Series titles, all of which were won before the franchise sold Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees after the 1919 season. Although the franchise came close several times, Boston did not win a World Series between 1919 and 2003.
For the Dodgers, the frustration continues.
Not only has Los Angeles failed to win a title since 1988, when the Dodgers beat the Oakland Athletics, but the team actually reached the postseason in each of the last six seasons without winning a championship.
The Red Sox went 11-3 overall in the 2018 postseason and were an impressive 7-1 in road games while earning the ninth World Series championship in franchise history, tied for third most all-time with the Athletics franchise (Philadelphia, Kansas City, Oakland). Only the St. Louis Cardinals (11) and the New York Yankees (27) have more.
The Red Sox also became the third franchise to win a World Series in four consecutive appearances, along with the Cardinals and Yankees.
Price, who pounded his chest upon leaving the field after the seventh, went seven-plus innings, giving up a run on three hits and two walks. He struck out five.
Boston Red Sox’s Mookie Betts, right, watches his home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw
(Left) Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman David Freese (25) celebrates with outfielder Yasiel Puig (66) after hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox in game five of the 2018 World Series
From left, Actor Matt Damon, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and actor Ben Affleck watch Game 5 of the World Series baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday
(Left) Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price waits as Los Angeles Dodgers’ David Freese rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the first inning (Right) Valente Quintero poses for a picture before Game 5
During the game, a banner was revealed in left field that read: ‘TRANS PEOPLE DESERVE TO LIVE.’ The banner comes in response to the White House’s push to rewrite the United Nation’s Third Committee general assembly policy statements, arguing that the language relating to gender is vague and politically correct
The Red Sox won their ninth title on Sunday, which is their fourth over the last 15 years
Price won his third consecutive postseason start, two in this World Series alone, after not earning a victory in any of his previous 11 playoff starts.
Joe Kelly struck out all three batters he faced in the eighth inning, and Chris Sale did the same in the ninth, fanning Manny Machado to end it.
Pearce’s bat put a charge in the Red Sox for the second consecutive game when he hit a two-run home run to center field in the first inning off Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. He went deep to left in the eighth inning off Pedro Baez. Pearce also hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning of Game 4 on Saturday as the Red Sox rallied for a 9-6 victory.
Betts, the likely American League MVP, was just 4-for-19 in the World Series heading into Game 5, but his sixth-inning home run off Kershaw gave Boston a 3-1 lead. Martinez added to that cushion with a home run off Kershaw to left-center in the seventh.
DODGERS MANAGER DAVE ROBERTS TALK ABOUT TRUMP TWEET
By The Associated Press
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he talked to his players and coaching staff about President Donald Trump’s tweet criticizing Roberts for taking Rich Hill out of Saturday’s Game 4 but that he hasn’t thought much about it beyond that.
Los Angeles trails 3-1 in the best-of-seven series and is trying to avoid seeing another team celebrate a championship at its own park. Houston won last year’s World Series here in seven games.
‘I’m focused on winning today. So I really don’t have too much bandwidth to kind of really take in all the criticism,’ Roberts said. ‘I think that there’s a lot of thoughts and opinions that people don’t have all the information, which is commonplace these days and cultivate opinions and give out there. So I think for me it’s noise.’
Kershaw, who now has the choice to opt out of his Dodgers contract, was left with yet another postseason disappointment. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has generally been dominating in the regular season, but he fell to 9-10 with a 4.32 ERA in 30 postseason appearances (24 starts).
Kershaw gave up four runs on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts. David Freese hit a leadoff home run in the first inning for the Dodgers, who finished with just three hits Sunday.
Los Angeles lost in the World Series for the second year in a row, having dropped the 2017 Fall Classic to the Houston Astros in seven games.
‘Well, I can’t say enough about our ballclub, the fight, the [way they] compete,’ Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said afterwards. ‘All year when it didn’t look so good, our guys stuck together, stayed the course and believed in one another, and put ourselves in a chance to win a championship.
‘And that’s not easy to do, to get to the World Series where two teams are playing at the end. It’s very difficult. There’s a lot of hard work that comes with it, a lot of sacrifice and you’ve got to have good players. And we did that this year. Our backs were against the wall numerous times and there were markers and points where we could have went the other way, but we found ways to win baseball games. Ran up against a very good ballclub. And just a little bit too much for us.’
The Dodgers held a 4-0 lead in the top of the seventh inning in Game 4, and nearly tied the series. However, a three-run double by Pearce helped Boston complete the comeback win, which set up Sunday’s clincher.
Roberts had been criticized – most notably by President Donald Trump on Twitter – for removing starter Rich Hill, who had pitched six strong innings and left with the 4-0 lead intact.
‘I think that we can always go back and look at certain moments, and that’s what people do,’ Roberts said. ‘That’s what we all do, but ultimately that was a very good ballclub over there. And a lot of times you make your own breaks and you’ve still got to go out there and perform. And to their credit, when we gave them opportunities they got big hits and we didn’t. That’s baseball. When you play a seven-game series, there are certainly moments that could go either way.’
The Red Sox not only went 7-0 in the postseason when facing a left-handed starter, but they were 10-0 when they scored the first run of the game.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora became just the fifth person to win the World Series in his first season as a major league skipper. Bob Brenly with the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, Ralph Houk with the 1961 Yankees, Eddie Dyer with the 1946 Cardinals and Bucky Harris with the 1924 Washington Senators also accomplished the feat.
STEVE PEARCE: BOSTON’S UNLIKELY MVP
Boston first baseman Steve Pearce was named the World Series MVP, which is named for Giants legend Willie Mays
By The Associated Press
For a dozen years, Steve Pearce was on the move. From Pittsburgh to Houston to every single team in the AL East, just looking for a spot where he could stick.
He finally found his permanent place – in Red Sox lore.
The well-traveled journeyman wound up as the World Series MVP on Sunday night after hitting two home runs that sent Boston over the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 5.
‘This has been the funnest year of my life,’ Pearce said on the field at Dodger Stadium.
It got better and better, too, as hundreds of Red Sox fans in the stands chanted ‘MVP! MVP!’ Later, he strolled hand-in-hand with his young daughter behind home plate.
For a guy who just kept on truckin’ around the majors, he now has something shiny to show for it – a bright red truck, presented to him on the infield dirt as a most unlikely MVP.
‘Baseball’s a funny game,’ he said. ‘The longer you stay in the game, great things can happen.’
Traded from Toronto to the Red Sox in late June, the 35-year-old delivered the key hits in two straight games against the Dodgers.
On Saturday, he launched a tying home run in the eighth inning, then added a three-run double in the ninth that sent Boston to a 9-6 win.
Pearce got the Red Sox rolling in the clincher, connecting for a two-run homer off Clayton Kershaw in the first inning. He capped his October spree with a solo drive off Pedro Baez in the eighth.
Overall, the first baseman went 4 for 12 and drove in eight runs.
Pretty good production for a guy acquired in midseason for a minor league infielder. He played 50 games after the trade – he became the first position player to win a World Series MVP while playing 50 or fewer games for the winning team in his career, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
‘You never know where the game will take you,’ he said. ‘And I’ve gone through a lot in my life or in my career to be here, and I couldn’t be more thankful.’
Sox fans celebrate while watching the aftermath of Boston’s ninth World Series titlte
Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes waits at the plate as Boston Red Sox’s J.D. Martinez scores after hitting a solo home run against Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw during the seventh inning of Game 5
Red Sox fans embrace in Boston after the team won its ninth World Series title with a 5-1 Game 5 win over the L.A. Dodgers
Boston’s Steve Pearce is congratulated by teammates Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez after homering in the first inning
Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax was in attendance for Game 5 of the World Series in Los Angeles on Sunday
As always, Dodger Stadium was filled with celebrities for a World Series game.
Actor Ben Affleck join friends Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel, both of whom were wearing ‘I’m with stupid’ t-shirts with arrows pointed at each other. Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax was also in the crowd.
Other celebrities in attendance were game show host Pat Sajak, former Major League player and manager Joe Torre, retired slugger Dave Winfield, actor Jason Bateman, director Judd Apatow and his actress wife Leslie Mann, and PGA legend Fred Couples.
Former Dodgers ace Orel Hershiser threw out the first ceremonial first pitch. He was a member of the last Dodgers team to win a title in 1988.
During the game, a banner was revealed in left field that read: ‘TRANS PEOPLE DESERVE TO LIVE.’
The banner comes in response to the White House’s push to rewrite the United Nation’s Third Committee general assembly policy statements, arguing that the language relating to gender is vague and politically correct.
CORA-NATION! ROOKIE SKIPPER LEADS SOX TO TITLE
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora waits for the start of Game 5
By The Associated Press
Hard to believe now, all these wins later, but the Alex Cora Era in Boston began with a loss. A brutal one, in fact.
Opening day at Tropicana Field in late March, none of his late moves worked out as the bullpen blew a big lead in a 6-4 setback.
No fan in New England would admit it now – still, chances are some had already started to wonder whether he was the right guy for the Red Sox.
‘It’s baseball,’ Cora reassured that afternoon. ‘We know it’s going to happen. … I guess get it out of the way right away.’
Yep, guess so.
A calming presence in a boiling sports cauldron, Cora capped off one of the greatest runs by a first-year skipper in leading Boston to the World Series championship.
His Cora-nation came Sunday night, when the Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 5.
The victory set off celebrations all over.
While throngs of Red Sox fans rooted from the seats and so many more reveled across the country, all of Puerto Rico certainly cheered its native son from Caguas.
Cora became the first manager from the island to guide a team to a championship. It came more than a year after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico – when Cora negotiated his contract last October, he asked the Red Sox to help his people with relief efforts, and the team eagerly pitched in.
‘Whenever I have the chance to talk about them or represent them the right way, I have to do it,’ Cora said this month. ‘But for as proud they are – because they are – I’m prouder of them.’
Cora again turned Dodger Stadium into his personal party room. A year ago, he celebrated at the park as Houston’s bench coach after the Astros beat Los Angeles in Game 7. This time, he was front and center when Boston hoisted the shiny gold trophy.
Cora became the fifth manager to win the crown in his first season, joining Bob Brenly (Arizona, 2001), Ralph Houk (Yankees, 1961), Eddie Dyer (Cardinals, 1946) and Bucky Harris (Washington Senators, 1924).
Called A.C. by his players, Cora has an unassuming presence. He often wears a gray hoodie in the dugout and doesn’t raise his voice – except to yell at umpires.
Shouting at his own team?
‘No, no, I don’t,’ he said before Game 5. ‘I talk to them and I try to stay in tune with them. If I have something to tell them, I just sit with them. Very casual. Very casual.’
‘I try to do it that way. It feels right. It feels right,’ he said. ‘I never had a manager that was like rah, rah, screaming at guys. They always had good conversations, and I learned from them and that’s what I’m trying to do.’
Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (second from right) is checked on by manager Alex Cora (right) and a trainer after being hit by a pitch in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the 2018 World Series
His dugout demeanor is boosted by a combination of analytical aptitude and people approach.
‘Coralytics’ is what it’s called by his agent, Scott Boras.
Cora was hired after John Farrell, who led the Red Sox to the 2013 title, was fired following two straight early exits in the AL playoffs.
‘Alex was the manager that fit for us. He was really good in so many ways,’ Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said before Game 5. ‘He knew Boston. I think he excels in dealing with the media, which in Boston is a bigger job than some other places. It can be cumbersome for a lot of people, and I’m not saying it’s not for him at times, but it’s part of the process and he handles it easily.’
Cora was chosen over about a half-dozen candidates that included former managers Brad Ausmus and Ron Gardenhire.
‘It was a clear-cut choice that he was our guy,’ Dombrowski said.
After the opening loss, Boston won 17 of its next 18 games and was on its way.
Cora steered the Red Sox to a team-record 108 wins in the regular season, then Boston topped the 100-win Yankees and Astros in the playoffs. Along the way, it seemed Cora could do no wrong.
Brock Holt it for the first postseason cycle when Cora gave him his only start of the Division Series against New York. Cora masterfully managed a bullpen that many questioned before October, then avoided burning it out by leaning on hard-throwing starter Nathan Eovaldi in key spots. And Cora helped coax a breakout postseason from World Series Game 5 winner David Price.
Cora made the right decision in Game 5 by opting to start pitcher David Price, who was throwing on just two days rest
The clinching win at Houston came on the day Cora turned 43, and his players sang happy birthday to him in the clubhouse.
‘More than anything, he’s just brought consistency,’ ace Chris Sale recently said. ‘He’s the same guy in the first inning as he is in the ninth inning of a 10-1 ballgame or 3-3 ballgame. I think that’s the overall thing as players that we take from him.
‘Ninth inning, bases loaded, one out of a one-run ballgame, and he’s sitting there eating seeds, doing the same thing as a 10-1 ballgame in the fourth inning. And I think that goes very well with us as players, when if he’s not panicking, why should we?’ Sale said.
Cora grew up playing ball with his older brother, Joey, a former big league infielder. Alex spent 14 years in the majors, batting .243 as an infielder with six teams.
He got to the plate one time in Boston’s sweep of the 2007 World Series, putting down a sacrifice bunt for a team led by David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Manny Ramirez.
‘Offensively, we did a lot of good things. And then the bench, it was amazing, they had the best utility guy in the bigs in 2007,’ Cora said with a playful grin Sunday. ‘That guy was great.’
With the season over, Cora can enjoy spending more time with his twin 15-month-old boys. Free from any criticism that comes with such a high-pressure job, too, although he doesn’t stress over it.
‘I really don’t care if they second-guess me. I prepare. We prepare as a group, and you make decisions,’ he said after Game 1. ‘And honestly when I’m done here, I shower, I get in that car, I might get a text and say, ‘Go to the pharmacy and get some diapers for the kids.’
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw sits in the dugout during the seventh inning
Former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and his ex-Boston Red Sox rival David Ortiz attend Sunday’s Game 5
Fans pose for a picture by a championship ring before Game 5 of the World Series between the Red Sox and Dodgers
President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox Dave Dombrowski sits in the team’s dugout before Game 5
Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser – a member of the 1988 title-winning Dodgers – throws out the first pitch
Fans cheer in Game Five of the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox
A Boston Red Sox fan arrives before Game 5 of the World Series as his team seeks its ninth Major League title