ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — First, it was Dylan Floro. And then Alex Wood, Pedro Báez, Victor González, Brusdar Graterol and finally, Julio Urías.
The Los Angeles Dodgers relied on their bullpen in a World Series-clinching 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 on Tuesday night. Floro, Wood, Báez, González, Graterol and Urías combined for 7 1/3 innings of two-hit ball after Tony Gonsolin was pulled in the second.
“Those guys won us that game,” catcher Austin Barnes said.
Gonsolin allowed Randy Arozarena's homer in the first and departed with runners on first and second. Floro came in and struck out Arozarena, ending the inning.
Wood pitched two innings before Báez got two outs. González entered with Arozarena on first and retired Austin Meadows on a grounder to second, ending the fifth.
After González struck out the side in the sixth, Graterol got two outs and Urías finished for the save. The 24-year-old Urias went 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA in six postseason appearances, including two starts.
Urías retired the final seven batters after pitching three perfect innings to clinch Game 7 of the NL Championship Series against Atlanta. According to MLB, Urías and Bruce Sutter (1982, St. Louis) are the only pitchers to finish two series-clinching wins in the same postseason by throwing at least two innings without allowing a baserunner.
Closer Kenley Jansen, who has struggled with velocity and control at times in the postseason, watched from the bullpen again as Urías finished the job.
“I'm ready any time the phone rings,” Jansen said. “We all want that moment, but Julio was throwing the ball pretty well.”
Urías, a 24-year-old left-hander from Mexico, joins LA fan favorite and countryman Fernando Valenzuela as a World Series champion after becoming the fourth pitcher to save a title clincher with at least 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
Steve Howe did it for the Dodgers in 1981 in Game 6 against the New York Yankees. The most recent time was Madison Bumgarner for San Francisco six years ago in Game 7 against Kansas City.
“The Dodgers are a famous team in Mexico,” Urías said. “You’re familiar with the team, and to have the blue on, I'm just happy for the team and my teammates.”
The Rays scored 67.1% of their runs this postseason via home runs. That is the highest rate for a team in a single postseason, with a minimum 10 games, surpassing the 1998 Indians at 63.2%.
Tampa Bay set a record with 34 homers this postseason. The Dodgers finished with 30, also topping the previous record of 27 shared by Houston (2017) and San Francisco (2002).
It has been quite a month for Los Angeles. The Lakers won the NBA title on Oct. 11.
Los Angeles is the first city in the history of the four major North American sports to win two championships in the same calendar month, according to STATS.
ANOTHER FAST START
When Tampa Bay's Randy Arozarena extended his record with his 10th postseason homer in Game 6, it marked the fifth straight Series game with at least one run in the top of the first.
That's a record, breaking the previous mark of four in the 1932 World Series. That sweep by the New York Yankees of the Chicago Cubs featured Babe Ruth's called shot on a home run.
Of the previous four in this Series, the team that scored in the top of the first went on to win three times. The exception was Tampa Bay's 8-7 win in Game 4 when the Rays scored twice with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on a crazy sequence triggered by Brett Phillips' RBI single. Arozarena scored the winning run on an error by catcher Will Smith.
SHUT THAT DOOR!
There were plenty of questions for players from both teams about what they did on the final off day of the season, what the discussions were like and whether they got their mind off baseball before Game 6.
The answer was easy for Dodgers second baseman Kiké Hernández.
“That we hope the roof is closed because it’s freezing,” Hernández said.
Indeed, temperatures barely reached 40 Tuesday, a third consecutive day of misty conditions with intermittent rain and drizzle in the Dallas area.
GOOD OL' TEXAS BBQ
The Rays brought barbecue in on the day off to the Dallas-area hotel where both teams are quarantined. The Dodgers have been in the same hotel for most of the month. The Rays have only been there a little more than a week, but that's long enough for manager Kevin Cash.
“The hotels have been great, but room service and all those meals can get a little boring sometimes,” Cash said. "The hotels have done a good job of setting up game rooms where there’s simulated golf pool tables, ping pong tables. And it felt like, you know, any one of the limited off days that we’ve had in this postseason bubble.
“So, yeah, I like the barbecue a lot.”