Red Sox beat Dodgers to win World Series

The Boston Red Sox have won the World Series. (AFP pic)

LOS ANGELES: Steve Pearce hit two home runs on Sunday, while Mookie Betts and J. D. Martinez each hit one as the Boston Red Sox pounded their way to a fourth World Series title since 2004, finishing off a 5-1 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5.

Much as they did while rolling to a 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 stretched over seven hours and 20 minutes to take Game 3.

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.

Red Sox starter David 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.

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 Báez. 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.

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 lead-off home run in the first inning for the Dodgers, who finished with just three hits on Sunday.

Los Angeles lost in the World Series for the second year in a row, having lost the 2017 edition to the Houston Astros in seven games.

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.