What to Know
- Steve Pearce was named Most Valuable Player of the World Series after the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1.
- Mookie Betts hit his first home run of the 2018 postseason -- and the first home run of his career.
- Alex Cora became the 3rd Red Sox manager to win the World Series this century, following Terry Francona in 2004 and John Farrell in 2013.
Perhaps no single player epitomized the underachieving Boston Red Sox teams of 2016 and 2017 more than David Price.
So naturally, it's the oft-maligned $217 million man whose brilliance in Game 5 helped these Red Sox break through and capture the 2018 World Series title.
Boston finished off the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, as Price cemented his newfound legacy as a big game pitcher.
"This is why I came to Boston," Price said. "I knew it was a tough place to play. I knew it was challenging with everything that goes on there. I've been through a lot in three years since I came here, but this is why I came."
Entering the 2018 postseason without a win in nine career playoff starts, Price won his final three starts for the Red Sox dating back to Game 5 of the ALCS vs. the Houston Astros.
The lanky lefthander made only one mistake on Sunday night, on the very first pitch he threw of the game: a solo home run for Dodgers first baseman David Freese.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Price was pitching with a lead, however, thanks to the continued emergence of folk hero Steve Pearce. With Andrew Benintendi aboard after singling, Pearce clobbered a Clayton Kershaw offering into the center field bleachers in the top of the first to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.
Pearce, who was acquired by the Red Sox over the summer from the Toronto Blue Jays, was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Series.
"We are a bunch of grinders," Pearce said, "and this is exactly where we knew we were going to be."
Price went seven strong for Boston, giving up just the one run on three hits, walking two and striking out five Dodgers hitters.
Kershaw, himself a shaky postseason pitcher throughout his career, settled down quite nicely after the first inning as well. That is until Mookie Betts, who was as overdue as any member of the Red Sox lineup, hit his first home run of the 2018 postseason to left-center field in the top of the sixth to give Boston a 3-1 lead.
Not only was it the first home run of the 2018 postseason for Betts...it was the first home run of his career.
J.D. Martinez, mired in a mini-slump of his own, connected on a solo shot off Kershaw in the top of the seventh to further pad Boston's lead. The homer atoned for a mistake Martinez had made earlier in the game, losing a ball in the stadium lights in the bottom of the third inning that enabled Freese to reach third on a triple.
"Get the ducks ready, right?" Martinez said after the game, a reference to the Duck Boat Parade coming to the streets of Boston later this week.
Just for good measure, Pearce homered again in the top of the eighth inning -- this time, a solo shot off of Pedro Baez. It was his third homer of the World Series, all three coming in the last two games. Price's solo shot in Game 4 evened the score at 4-4.
"Baseball's a funny game," Pearce said. "The longer you stay in the game, great things can happen."
Joe Kelly relieved Price, striking out pinch-hitters Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger all in a row in the bottom of the eighth inning to preserve a 5-1 lead.
Chris Sale, who was originally slated to start Game 5 before manager Alex Cora flipped to Price, worked a scoreless ninth to turn out the lights in Los Angeles. Like Kelly, he struck out the side.
Cora became the third Red Sox manager this century to win the World Series in his first season with the team, following Terry Francona in 2004 and John Farrell in 2013.
[NATL-BOS]World Series Game 5 in Photos
The Red Sox made some history with the win at Dodger Stadium, which is in the Pacific Time Zone. By winning there, Boston is the first Major League Baseball franchise to clinch a World Series on the road in four different time zones, following wins in Philadelphia (Eastern, 1915), St. Louis (Central, 2004) and Colorado (Mountain, 2007).
Including the regular season, it was the 119th win of the season for the Red Sox. Only two teams in MLB history have won more: the 1998 New York Yankees, who won 125, and the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who won 120. Only the Yankees won it all.
The Red Sox were 10-0 this postseason when scoring first. Despite its last championship win coming only five years ago, the only active player on Boston's current roster that also played in the 2013 World Series was Xander Bogaerts.