Dodgers near first title in 32 years
(Agence France-Presse) - October 27, 2020 - 12:00am

The Los Angeles Dodgers, led by pitcher Clayton Kershaw’s gutsy performance, shook off a crushing defeat to beat Tampa Bay, 4-2, and move within one win of their first World Series title in 32 years on Sunday.

Joc Pederson and Max Muncy homered for the Dodgers and Kershaw notched the 13th post-season win of his career – his fourth this post-season – as Los Angeles took a 3-2 lead in Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven championship series.

“Tonight was a grind, all the way through,” said Kershaw. “My slider wasn’t as good as it was in Game 1. But I stuck with the game plan.

“To only give up two runs is huge for me.”

Kershaw and the Dodgers, who came up agonizingly short in World Series appearances in 2017 and 2018, can lock up their first title since 1988 in Game 6 at Globe Life Field in Arlington on Tuesday (Wednesday morning Manila time).

“It is very exciting, but at same time we’ve got to win one more. I am going to keep it together for one more game,” Kershaw said.

Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award-winner whose Hall of Fame resume is lacking a World Series title, pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits.

His six strikeouts took his career post-season tally to a record 207 – surpassing the 205 of Justin Verlander.

Perhaps his most memorable throw to home on the night, however, wasn’t a pitch, but a sharp throw to cut down Manuel Margo as he tried to steal home and thwart a Rays rally attempt.

Kershaw nailed Margot as he tried to steal home to end the fourth inning.

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