Red Sox shut down Dodgers to win World Series

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The Boston Red Sox capped one of the best seasons in baseball history Sunday night, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, in Game 5 to clinch the World Series, four games to one.

After going almost a century without winning a World Series, the Red Sox have now won four titles in the past 15 years. Boston won 108 games in the regular season, a franchise record. Counting the postseason, the team won 119 games — the third-most in baseball history.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who has struggled in the postseason over his career, gave up a two-run homer to Steve Pearce in the first inning Sunday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and L.A. was never able to climb out of that hole. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez added solo homers against Kershaw, and Pearce smacked his second home run of the game against Pedro Baez in the eighth inning to make it 5-1.

Boston’s best starter, Chris Sale, came on in relief in the ninth inning and efficiently retired all three batters he faced, striking out Manny Machado to end the game.

In a postseason notable for unusually early hooks for starting pitchers and a seemingly endless parade of relievers, both of Sunday’s starters — Kershaw and David Price — pitched deep into the game. After years of playoff failures (and an 0-9 career record entering this postseason), Price was in control this World Series. He went six innings while allowing two runs on three hits to pick up a win in Game 2, and bested that performance Sunday, allowing just one run on three hits over seven innings.

The Dodgers’ sole victory came in an epic 18-inning game Friday night that lasted seven hours and 20 minutes.

It was the Dodgers’ second straight loss in the World Series — last year, the Houston Astros beat them in seven games. The Dodgers last won a championship in 1988.

The Red Sox’s four championships are the most in baseball this century. The San Francisco Giants have won three, while the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees have won two each.

TV ratings were good news/bad news for Fox, a unit of 21st Century Fox FOX, +0.02%  , which has broadcast the World Series since 2000. The first four games of the series were the most-watched shows on each night. But despite featuring the nation’s second- and 10th-largest media markets, the first four games also brought the lowest ratings in four years, though that was reflective more of the general decline in broadcast TV viewership.