World Series 2017: Houston Astros beat Los Angeles Dodgers for 4-3 series win

George Springer (right) celebrates his home run with Houston Astros team-mates

The Houston Astros won their first World Series title by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in the decisive seventh game.

Astros centre fielder George Springer was presented with the series’ most valuable player award after becoming the first man to hit home runs in four successive World Series games, and only the third to hit five homers in the same Fall Classic.

Since the Houston area suffered heavy flooding after Hurricane Harveythis summer, the Astros players have worn a “Houston Strong” patch on their uniforms, while also helping with relief efforts.

“We wore that patch, we wore it proudly, and the people of Houston were never far from our minds,” said Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr.

Springer added: “Our fans have endured a lot, and we’re coming home champions.”

Shortstop Carlos Correa, who proposed to his girlfriend during celebrations on the pitch, also dedicated the win to those affected by Hurricane Maria in his native Puerto Rico.

“To be able to bring joy and happiness to their lives is special in this moment,” he said.

Houston Astros fans
While the players were in action in California, Astros fans also packed into Houston’s Minute Maid Park to follow the game on the big screen

Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish, who was racially abused by Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel in game three, struggled early on at Dodger Stadium and failed to make it through the second inning.

After Houston went 2-0 ahead in the first inning and Darvish’s opposite number McCullers Jr drove in a third, Springer’s two-run shot prompted Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to lift his starter with the score 5-0.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers, who had the highest payroll and the best regular-season record in Major League Baseball this year, stranded eight baserunners in their first five innings.

After four scoreless innings from their ace Clayton Kershaw, pitching in relief on two days’ rest, the hosts rallied in the sixth as pinch-hitter Andre Ethier drove in a run.

However, Houston right-hander Charlie Morton kept the Dodgers quiet for the final three innings.

The Astros – in their 56th year in the majors – had appeared in only one previous World Series, when they were swept 4-0 by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

The Dodgers have not won the World Series since 1988.

“It’s a tough one – we just didn’t get it done,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

“We went a little further than we did last year and I expect us to be in this same position next year.”

World Series result: Dodgers 3-4 Astros
Game 1: Dodgers 3-1 Astros Game 5: Astros 13-12 Dodgers
Game 2: Dodgers 6-7 Astros Game 6: Dodgers 3-1 Astros
Game 3: Astros 5-3 Dodgers Game 7: Dodgers 1-5 Astros
Game 4: Astros 2-6 Dodgers Home team listed first

Analysis

BBC Sport presenter Nick Marshall-McCormack in Los Angeles

For decades to come we will be talking about this baseball World Series as one of the best ever – a seven-game marathon of beautiful baseball between the two best teams from the regular season.

If that wasn’t enough to pull the heart strings, we also saw a marriage proposal as Carlos Correa popped the question to his girlfriend, Miss Texas Daniella Rodriguez.

While this victory won’t go close to fixing the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, it will give a massive boost to the city’s morale. Watching the tears of joy flow down fans’ faces at Dodger Stadium was just another indelible image of this baseball epic.

This has put Houston into the history books – a classic that went all the way to game seven and gave players and fans a rollercoaster ride of emotions they’ll never forget.