Houston, we have a World Series winner
THE Houston Astros have claimed their first ever World Series title, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven.
The Astros got to starting Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish early, scoring a run before recording an out and leading 5-0 after just one and two-thirds innings.
George Springer hit a lead-off double to start the game and a two-run home run in the second inning to send the Astros on their way to victory. He was named World Series MVP after hitting a record five home runs in the seven-game series.
It comes after Sports Illustrated infamously predicted a Houston World Series win on the cover of their magazine in 2014.
That front cover was based on the rebuild the Astros were undertaking, recording seasons of 56-106, 55-107 and 51-111 from 2011-13 respectively.
"We did it. We knew we had a plan that could get us here and we got it: a world championship,” said Jeff Luhnow, the team's general manager.
Los Angeles had its chances and pitched well after Darvish was pulled. Clayton Kershaw produced four scoreless innings of relief but the Dodgers stranded eight base runners before finally scoring once in the sixth inning.
Lance McCullers Jnr started the game for Houston and only pitched for 2.1 innings, not allowing a run but hitting a World Series-record four batters and allowing seven of 13 batters to reach base.
In the first inning, Houston scored a run before even recording an out. After a lead-off double from Springer, an Alex Bregman ground ball to second base caused an error from the Dodgers. Cody Bellinger overthrew Darvish at first base allowing Springer to score and Bregman to move to second.
Bregman then stole third base before a ground ball from Jose Altuve got him home, giving Houston a 2-0 lead having just recorded one out in the first inning.
The Dodgers had a chance to recover, loading the bases with two outs after two batters were hit in the arm by pitches from McCullers. But a ground ball from Joc Pederson saw the Astros escape the jam.
In the second inning, McCullers recorded his first ever RBI, grounding out but scoring Brian McCann from third base in the process to make it 3-0 Houston.
In the home half of the inning McCullers hit a batter for the third time, putting the Dodgers on first and second with one out, but recorded a double play to escape another jam.
After hitting a World Series-record fourth batter - Justin Turner for a second time - McCullers was pulled with one out in the third inning.
With two outs in the sixth inning, the Dodgers intentionally walked two straight batters to load the bases. It worked, with Cameron Maybin popping up the pitch from Kershaw.
However the Dodgers were never able to put a sustained challenge together, with Houston claiming the franchise's first World Series championship.