'How the hell': World Series rocked by 'unacceptable' virus drama

Andrew Reid
·5-min read
Pictured here, Justin Turner got news of a positive coronavirus test towards the end of Game 6.
Justin Turner played most of Game 6 before news of his positive COVID-19 test broke. Pic: Getty

Baseball fans are lost for words after it emerged that a player from the Los Angeles Dodgers received results of a positive COVID-19 test deep into the decisive Game 6.

The Dodgers ended a 32-year championship drought with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6.

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However, focus quickly turned to LA mainstay Justin Turner who was pulled from the contest in the eighth inning after testing positive for COVID-19.

At the time nobody knew why Turner had left the game, but he wasn’t on the field to celebrate with his teammates after the final out.

Fox Sports broke the news shortly afterwards the Dodgers sealed the win, with LA confirming that Turner was immediately sent into isolation after learning of the positive result, so as to prevent potential spread.

It begged the obvious question of how on earth he was cleared to play in the first place, with fans on social media mystified by the crazy turn of events.

Turner tweeted afterwards the say that he felt fine and insisted that he wasn't showing any symptoms.

Incredibly, he was later seen back out on the field shaking hands, hugging teammates and joining in the celebrations, despite the positive test.

Turner can be seen here celebrating with teammates despite testing positive.
Turner was in the thick of celebrations with teammates despite testing positive. Pic: Getty

Players are tested daily inside baseball's postseason bubble, with no player testing positive for coronavirus in that time - making Turner's case even more strange.

Dodgers end long title drought

The Dodgers were the best homer-hitting team in a regular season that was shortened to 60 games as a concession to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they got inventive on offence to earn their deciding victory.

In their 16th consecutive game at the Texas Rangers' new Globe Life Field, the Dodgers turned a wild pitch and a fielder's choice into run-scoring gold in the fifth inning.

The runs gave Los Angeles a 2-1 lead. The Dodgers also used seven pitchers, including starter Tony Gonsolin, who was pulled after 1 2/3 innings.

Left-hander Julio Urias was the last of those arms, striking out Willy Adames looking to end it while pitching with 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the save. Lefty Victor Gonzalez (1-0) threw 1 1/3 shutout innings to earn the victory.

Rays starter Blake Snell was in the midst of the most impressive start of his career. He struck out nine and gave up just two harmless singles the first two times through the Dodgers order.

However, with one out in the sixth inning, following a single by Dodgers No. 9 hitter Austin Barnes, Rays manager Kevin Cash went to his bullpen to protect a 1-0 lead, putting right-hander Nick Anderson (1-1) into the game. After striking out twice against Snell, Mookie Betts hit a double to put runners on second and third.

Barnes scored on an Anderson wild pitch to tie the game, with Betts moving to third. Corey Seager, who also fanned twice against Snell, then hit a ground ball to first with Betts scoring on a dive just ahead of the throw home for a 2-1 advantage.

"I'm not exactly sure why, I'm not asking any questions, but he was pitching a great game," Betts said of the Rays' decision to lift Snell.

Seen here, the LA Dodgers celebrate their World Series triumph.
The celebrations are sure to be long and sweet for the LA Dodgers. Pic: Getty

"(Barnes) led off with a hit, I think, right there. We had a chance to do something, but they made a pitching change, and it seemed like that's all we needed."

The exclamation point came in the eighth when Betts, the Dodgers' high-profile roster addition in the offseason after a trade with the Boston Red Sox, hit a home run for a 3-1 advantage. It was his second homer of the series.

The Dodgers' most recent title came in 1988, when a hobbled Kirk Gibson hit a walk-off homer to beat the Oakland Athletics in Game 1. Los Angeles went on to win the series in five games.

with AAP

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