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Sunday April 18th, 2021 5:08AM

The Latest: LA goes into Game 6 seeking 1st title since 1988

By The Associated Press
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Latest on Game 6 of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays (all times local):

7:10 p.m.

The Los Angeles Dodgers took a 3-2 World Series lead into Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night, one win from their first title since 1988.

The Dodgers were in Brooklyn when they lost the World Series in 1916, 1920, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952 and 1953, then finally won their first championship when Johnny Podres completed an eight-hit shutout in Game 7 in 1955 when Elston Howard grounded to Pee Wee Reese, who threw to first baseman Gil Hodges for the final out.

After moving to Los Angeles following the 1957 season, the Dodgers added titles in 1959, when Larry Sherry was MVP after getting two wins and two saves, and 1963 and 1965, when Sandy Koufax went 4-1 and was twice MVP. Titles followed in 1981 and in 1988, the latter when Orel Hershiser earned the MVP by going 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA.

While Tony Gonsolin started Game 6 on Tuesday night, ace Walker Buehler was lined up to start a Game 7, with Clayton Kershaw available in the bullpen after throwing 85 pitches Sunday in Game 5 for his second win of the Series.

Blake Snell started Game 6 for the Rays. Charlie Morton was set to start Game 7 after allowing five runs over 4 1/3 innings in a Game 3 loss last Wednesday. Morton said he would be available in relief in Game 6 if needed. Morton, who turns 37 on Nov. 12, hopes to pitch next season but is not sure whether the Rays or any other team will want him.

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5:45 p.m.

The Tampa Bay Rays received some encouraging words from former President Barack Obama ahead of Game 6.

Obama spoke at a rally in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday in support of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and referenced the Rays’ five-game loss to the Philadelphia Phillies 12 years ago.

“I don’t know if we’ve got any Tampa Bay Rays fans here in Orlando,” Obama said. “Big game tonight. It’s do-or-die time. The last time the Rays were in the World Series in 2008, Florida sent me to the White House. The Rays fell just a bit short then, but, here in Florida, Democrats fell a little bit short in 2016 also. Over the next couple of weeks, Florida, you’ve got the chance to fix two mistakes. You’ve got the chance to set two things right. You can bring a World Series championship to the Sunshine State, and you can send Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House.”

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5:20 p.m.

The Tampa Bay Rays are going with the same nine players in the batting order for Game 6 against Tony Gonsolin, but shuffled the top four for their second game in this World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers rookie right-hander.

First baseman Ji-Man Choi is leading off Tuesday night, followed by left fielder Randy Arozarena, designated hitter Austin Meadows and second baseman Brandon Lowe. In Game 2 last Wednesday, when the Rays won 6-4, it went Meadows, Lowe, Arozarena and Choi. The rest of the lineup is the same, right fielder Manuel Margo batting fifth, ahead of third baseman Joey Wendle, shortstop Willy Adames, center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and catcher Mike Zunino.

In the leadoff spot this season, Choi is hitting .115 (3 for 26) with one homer and four walks.

Los Angeles has used the same batters in the top six spots for every game of the World Series. Right fielder Mookie Betts is leading off again, followed by shortstop Corey Seager, third baseman Justin Turner, first baseman Max Muncy, designated hitter Will Smith and center fielder Cody Bellinger. Second baseman Chris Taylor is batting seventh, left fielder AJ Pollock eighth and catcher Austin Barnes ninth.

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3:35 p.m.

The Globe Life Field roof will be closed for Game 6 of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays.

The forecast called for a game-time temperature of 42 degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 degrees Celsius) Tuesday night and a chance of rain.

Major League Baseball announced the roof decision about four hours before the scheduled first pitch.

The retractable roof of the new $1.2 billion ballpark was open for Games 1, 2 and 4 and closed for Games 3 and 5.

Los Angeles held a three games to two lead in the Series.

“We hope the roof is closed because it’s freezing,” Kiké Hernández of the Dodgers said shortly before the announcement.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Sports - Major League Baseball
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