Recap

Red Sox put cap on juggernaut season with World Series title

The Boston Red Sox have won the World Series, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 5 to capture the franchise's ninth title.

Steve Pearce takes home MVP with 3 HRs and 8 RBI in Fall Classic

The Boston Red Sox celebrate their 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The Boston Red Sox really are that great.

David Price proved his post-season mettle, Steve Pearce homered twice and Boston beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 on Sunday to finish off a one-sided World Series in five games.

A tormented franchise during decades of frustration and despair before ending an 86-year championship drought in 2004, the Red Sox have become baseball's team of the century with four titles in 15 seasons.

"It's very special. Seeing all these grown men over there, just acting like kids, that's what it's all about," Price said.

Watch highlights of Boston's World Series victory over the Dodgers:

The Boston Red Sox win their ninth World Series title in franchise history after a 5-1 win in game five of the 2018 World Series. 2:34

119 total wins for Boston

Alex Cora's team romped to a 17-2 start and a club-record 108 wins, then went 11-3 in the post-season, dispatching the 100-win New York Yankees and the 103-victory and defending champion Houston Astros in the playoffs. Cora became the first manager from Puerto Rico to win a title and just the fifth rookie manager overall.

Pearce, the World Series MVP, hit a two-run homer on Clayton Kershaw's sixth pitch. Solo homers by Mookie Betts in the sixth inning and J.D. Martinez in the seventh quieted the Dodger Stadium crowd, and Pearce added a solo drive off Pedro Baez in the eighth.

"We are a bunch of grinders," Pearce said, "and this is exactly where we knew we were going to be."

Pearce, a June acquisition from Toronto, had three homers and seven RBIs in the final two games of the Series.

After losing to Houston in Game 7 last year by the same 5-1 score, the Dodgers became the first team ousted on its home field in consecutive World Series since the New York Giants by the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds in 1936 and '37.

Los Angeles is still looking for its first championship since 1988.

"I can't say enough about what Clayton — what our guys did," manager Dave Roberts said. "Unfortunately we came up short again this year."

Boston won its ninth title, tying the Athletics for third-most behind the Yankees (27) and Cardinals (11). All that stood between the Red Sox and a sweep was an 18-inning loss in Game 3, the longest World Series game ever. They trailed 4-0 in the seventh inning of Game 4 when ace Chris Sale rose from the dugout bench for a fiery, profane, motivational rant, and his teammates woke up in time to rally for a 9-6 win. Boston never trailed in Game 5.

Price rewrites legacy

The 33-year-old Price, a Cy Young Award winner in 2012, long pitched under an October shadow cast by his regular-season success. He had been 0-9 in 11 post-season starts before defeating Astros ace Justin Verlander in the clinching Game 5 of the AL Championship Series. He won his third straight start Sunday and became the first pitcher to beat Cy Young winners in the finale of an LCS and the World Series in the same year.

After allowing two runs over six innings to win Game 2 last Wednesday, Price got two outs in the ninth inning of Friday's marathon game. He became the first to pitch into the eighth inning of a Series game on one day of rest since the Yankees' Bob Turley in 1957.

David Price delivers a pitch to Clayton Kershaw in the third inning. Price struck out five and walked two. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

"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."

Price gave up a home run to David Freese on his first pitch, then allowed just two more hits — the last a triple to Freese that Martinez lost in the third-inning twilight and allowed to drop behind him in right. Price struck out five and walked two, retiring 14 in a row before a leadoff walk to Chris Taylor in the eighth ended his night after 89 pitches. He tapped his heart several times to Red Sox fans behind the first base dugout while walking to the bench.

Joe Kelly struck out three straight pinch-hitters and Sale, originally scheduled to start Game 5, fanned three more in the ninth. Sale ended by throwing a slider past Manny Machado, a meagre 4 for 22 (.182) in the Series, and raised both arms as catcher Christian Vazquez ran out to jump on him with glee and teammates from the dugout and bullpens followed.

While Price rose to the occasion, Kershaw was unable to change his. He dropped to 1-4 with a 6.06 ERA in post-season elimination games. Plagued at times by an aching back, the 30-year-old lefty no longer is the dominant pitcher who won three Cy Young Awards, his famous 12-to-6 breaking ball now more 10 to 4:30.

Kershaw allowed four runs and seven hits — three of them homers — in seven innings. He is 9-10 with a 4.32 ERA in 30 post-season appearances, a huge drop from his 153-69 record and 2.39 ERA during the regular season.

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