LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Boston Red Sox really are that great.
David Price proved his postseason 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.
Long downtrodden during decades of 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.
Alex Cora’s team romped to a 17-2 start and a club-record 108 wins, then went 11-3 in the postseason, 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 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.
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 defeated 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.
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 woke up for a 9-6 win. Boston never trailed in Game 5.