Houston, we have a world champion

Published on Wednesday, 1 November 2017 23:10 - Written by Staff, Wire Reports

 

LOS ANGELES - The World Series championship trophy is headed to Texas for the first time.

The Houston Astros completed a magical season on Wednesday, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, in Game 7 to capture the World Series for the first time in the 56-year history of the franchise.

The Astros won the Series, 4-3.

Houston went ahead against Game 3 loser Yu Darvish after four pitches and took a 2-0 lead after eight.

George Springer lined a flat slider just inside the left-field foul line for a leadoff double, tying Willie Stargell's record of seven extra-base hits in a World Series, set in 1979.

Alex Bregman hit a grounder that first baseman Cody Bellinger gloved in front of second baseman Logan Forsythe. Needing to make an off-balance throw, Bellinger threw behind Darvish at first base, and the ball bounced into the Astros dugout as Springer scored.

Bregman wound up at second on the error, advanced to third on Houston's second stolen base of the Series and came home on Jose Altuve's grounder to first.

Yuli Gurriel was booed loudly again by Dodgers fans after his racist gesture at Darvish in Game 3, which led to a five-game suspension at the start of next season. Like Rich Hill the night before, Darvish stepped off the mound before Gurriel's opening plate appearance, allowing extra time for jeers. Gurriel hit an inning-ending flyout in a 13-pitch at-bat that raised Darvish's pitch count to 24.

Chris Taylor doubled against Lance McCullers Jr. on a hop to the right-center wall leading off the bottom half and reached safely in all seven games. Corey Seager struck out, Justin Springer was hit by a pitch, Cody Bellinger struck out and Yasiel Puig was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.

Joc Pederson fell behind 0-2 in the count and grounded to second on McCullers’ 25th pitch.

Houston took a 5-0 lead in the second inning with three more runs off Darvish, capped by George Springer's two-run homer. Lance McCullers Jr. also drove in a run with a groundout for the Astros, who are attempting to win their first championship in franchise history.

Springer homered in his fourth consecutive World Series game, becoming the first player in big-league history to accomplish the feat in a single postseason.

In the biggest start of his career, Darvish lasted only five outs - just as he did in Game 3. The Japanese right-hander is headed into unrestricted free agency after the worst World Series by a starting pitcher since 1960, when Art Ditmar lasted got just one out in each of his two starts for the Yankees against Pittsburgh.

The Dodgers got two more runners on in the second against McCullers, but Chris Taylor lined out and Logan Forsythe was doubled up.

Lance McCullers Jr. was chased in the third inning, making this the first Game 7 in which neither starting pitcher got three outs.

Clayton Kershaw relieved to start the inning and retired the side in order, three days after he failed to hold a 4-0 lead in Game 5.

McCullers allowed Corey Seager's leadoff single in the third and hit Justin Turner on a shoulder blade - McCullers’ Series record fourth hit batter of the game.

He struck out Cody Bellinger for the second time, and Brad Peacock came in and retired Yasiel Puig on a flyout and struck out Joc Pederson.

Los Angeles put on three runners in the first and two each in the second and third, but went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and stranded six.