Mookie Betts came to the Dodgers to make a World Series difference. With a mad dash to home plate, he put Los Angeles over the top.
The end of a frustrating championship drought for LA — and perhaps just the start for Betts and the Dodgers.
Betts bolted from third for the go-ahead run on Corey Seager's infield grounder in the sixth and led off the eighth with a punctuating homer, and the Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game 6 to claim their first championship since 1988.
The Dodgers had played 5,014 regular season games and were in their 114th postseason game since Orel Hershiser struck out Oakland’s Tony Phillips for the final out of the World Series in 1988, the same year veteran lefty Clayton Kershaw — the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner who won Games 1 and 5 of this Series — was born in nearby Dallas.
Kershaw was warming in the bullpen when Julio Urias struck out Willy Adames to end it and ran alongside teammates to celebrate in the infield — many players and coaches still wearing face masks at the end of a season played out amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Los Angeles had come up short in the World Series twice in the previous three years. And Betts was on the other side two years ago with the Boston Red Sox, who before this season traded the 2018 AL MVP to the Dodgers. They later gave him a $365 million, 12-year extension that goes until he turns 40 in 2032.