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Major League Baseball (MLB)

Houston Astros romp past LA Dodgers to claim maiden World Series title

The Astros beat the Dodgers 5-1 to win a first World Series in their 55-year existence

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 November, 2017, 12:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 November, 2017, 12:21pm

The Houston Astros won the World Series for the first time on Wednesday, pouncing early in a 5-1 game seven triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

George Springer homered again as the Astros roughed up Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish, who endured his second nightmare start of the Series.

He surrendered five runs in 12/3 innings as the Dodgers fell into a hole the wouldn’t climb out of.

A day after the Dodgers forced a decisive game seven, the Astros won their first Major League Baseball crown since their inception in 1962.

Their four-games-to-three triumph denied the Dodgers a seventh title and a first since their last appearance in the Fall Classic in 1988.

With everything on the line and Darvish once again ineffective, the Dodgers turned to left-handed pitching ace Clayton Kershaw, the game one winner, in the third inning.

Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and former National League Most Valuable Player, kept the Astros in check over four solid innings.

But the Dodgers, who led the major leagues with 104 regular-season wins, just couldn’t put runs on the board.

The Astros were already 3-0 up when George Springer hit his fifth home run of the Series, a two-run blast to centre field that made it 5-0 and chased Japan’s Darvish with two outs in the second.

Springer’s homer pushed the Astros’ tally for the Series to 15, breaking the World Series record of 14 set by San Francisco Giants in 2002.

It was part of a three-run second that saw Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers drive in Houston’s third run with a groundout that plated Brian McCann, who was walked by Darvish to open in the frame.

Marwin Gonzalez followed McCann with a double and scored on Springer’s homer.

It was the end of another dismal World Series start for Darvish, who had lasted just 12/3 innings in a game three won by Houston.

McCullers lasted a bit longer – 21/3 innings – giving up three hits but no runs.

McCullers, at 24 the youngest pitcher to start a World Series game seven since 24-year-old John Lackey for the Angels in 2002, also hit four batters – the most ever in a World Series game.

Houston had wasted no time in putting two runs on the board. Springer led off the first inning with a double off Darvish.

Alex Bregman came up next and reached second on a throwing error by Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger that allowed Springer to score. Bregman scored on Jose Altuve’s ground out.

LA Dodgers down Houston Astros to keep World Series bid alive and force game seven decider

Darvish induced a ground out from Carlos Correa before a dramatic at-bat by Yuli Gurriel, who was again greeted by a rain of boos after his racially charged gesture directed at Japan’s Darvish in game three.

As the jeers echoed around the stadium, Gurriel tipped his helmet to Darvish, who needed 13 pitches to retire the Cuban.

Chris Taylor matched Springer’s lead-off double in the bottom of the first. But after Lance McCullers Jnr loaded the bases by hitting Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig he escaped by inducing an inning-ending groundout from Joc Pederson.

The Dodgers also left runners on base in the second, third and fifth before Andre Ethier’s single off Astros reliever Charlie Morton scored Pederson, who had singled to lead off the sixth.

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The Astros claimed the title 12 years after being swept by the Chicago White Sox in their only prior World Series appearance.

Now, after a 101-win regular season, they take the trophy home to Houston fans wearied by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath.