Clayton Kershaw beats Rays again, gives Los Angeles 3-2 lead in World Series

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Clayton Kershaw beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the second time in six days, escaping a fourth-inning jam with a quick reaction throw to cut down a runner trying for a rare steal of home plate, and the Los Angeles Dodgers held on for a 4-2 win Sunday night and a 3-2 World Series lead.

With one more victory, the Dodgers would claim their first title since 1988.

Mookie Betts and Corey Seager sparked a two-run first inning, and Joc Pederson and Max Muncy homered off long-ball prone Tyler Glasnow, whose 100 mph heat was no match.

Kershaw was cruising when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts removed the 32-year-old left-hander in favor of Dustin May with two outs in the sixth inning. The mostly pro-Dodgers fans in the pandemic-reduced crowd of 11,437 booed when Roberts walked to the mound, well aware that closer Kenley Jansen wasted a ninth-inning lead in Saturday’s stunning 8-7 loss.

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May got five outs and Victor Gonzalez stranded a pair of runners in the eighth by retiring Randy Arozarena and Brandon Lowe on flyouts.

Blake Treinen pitched the ninth for his first ever postseason save.

The Rays will give the ball to left-hander Blake Snell in Game 6 on Tuesday night. Los Angeles hasn’t announced a starter and may empty the bullpen, with ace Walker Buehler in play on regular rest for Game 7 if necessary.

Thirty of the previous 46 teams to win Game 5 for a 3-2 lead have won the title, but just six of the last 14. Teams that wasted 3-2 leads include last year’s Houston Astros.

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