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Dodgers lose World Series to Astros 5-1 in decisive Game 7

The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
The Houston Astros celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Yu Darvish #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts in the first inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Harry How/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates scoring a run during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers breaks his bat and grounds out during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Andre Ethier #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a RBI single to score Joc Pederson #31 (not pictured) during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is hit by a pitch during the third inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers rounds third base on his way to scoring a run during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Harry How/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats during the first inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after lining out during the fifth inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers dives back to first base after hitting a single during the third inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts during the fifth inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Harry How/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he bats during the third inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Cody Bellinger #35 and Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers look on from the dugout during the first inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Harry How/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Harry How/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Dodgers watch the ninth inning from the top step against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 1, 2017.
Los Angeles Dodgers fans take photos on a blue-painted single home roof, painted by South Los Angeles artist and Dodger fan Hector "Tetris" Arias, so the World Series theme house would be visible from the air in South Los Angeles, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.
Damian Dovarganes/AP


From laughingstock to lift off.

George Springer and the Houston Astros rocketed to the top of the baseball galaxy Wednesday night, winning the first World Series championship in franchise history by romping past the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7.

Playing for a city still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, and wearing an H Strong logo on their jerseys, the Astros brought home the prize that had eluded them since they started out in 1962 as the Colt .45s.

"I always believed that we could make it," All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve said. "We did this for them."

For a Series that was shaping up as an October classic, Game 7 quickly became a November clunker as Houston scored five runs in the first two innings off an ineffective Yu Darvish. Hardly the excitement fans felt during the Cubs' 10-inning thriller in Cleveland last fall.

Well, except for everyone wearing bright orange.

"We're coming home a champion, Houston," Springer said after accepting the World Series MVP trophy named this year after Willie Mays for the first time.

Altuve, one of four carry-overs from a club that lost an embarrassing 111 times in 2013 after switching from the NL to the AL, and this collection of young stars silenced Dodger Stadium from the get-go.

Normally a starter, Charlie Morton finished up with four stellar innings of relief for the win.

"We held down a really tough lineup," Morton said. "For my teammates, for the city of Houston, it's just unbelievable."

Springer led off the evening with a double against Darvish, and soon it was 2-0.

Springer hit his fifth homer — tying the Series mark set by Reggie Jackson and matched by Chase Utley — when he connected for a record fourth game in a row, making it 5-0 in the second.

That was plenty for Houston manager A.J. Hinch. He pulled starter Lance McCullers Jr. soon after the curveballer crazily plunked his fourth batter of the game, and began a bullpen parade of four relievers that kept the lead as the Astros overcame a shaky postseason bullpen .

"I knew yesterday I didn't have much," McCullers said. "I knew I didn't have much to give other than to gut it out as long as I could."

Forever known for their space-age Astrodome, outlandish rainbow jerseys and a handful of heartbreaking playoff losses, these Astros will be remembered as champions, finally, in their 56th season.

The club that wears a star on its hat also filled out the Texas trophy case. Teams from the Lone Star State had won most every major crown — Super Bowl, NBA and NHL titles, championships in college football, and men's and women's hoops — except the World Series.

Built on the skills of homegrown All-Stars Carlos Correa, Dallas Keuchel and more, and boosted by the slick trade for Justin Verlander, general manager Jeff Luhnow completed the ascent that some predicted.

Famously, now, there was the Sports Illustrated cover in 2014 — after Houston had lost more than 100 games for three straight years — that proclaimed: "Your 2017 World Series Champs" and featured a picture of Springer in a bright Astros jersey.

Houston won 101 times this year to take the AL West, then won Games 6 and 7 at home in the AL Championship Series. The Astros joined the 1985 Royals as the only clubs to win a pair of Game 7s in the same year.

For the Dodgers, the quest to win a Series for the first time since 1988 fell short. They led the majors with 104 wins and a $240 million payroll, yet it didn't pay off for part-owner Magic Johnson or manager Dave Roberts.

Longtime ace Clayton Kershaw provided four shutout innings of relief for Los Angeles, but it was too late. What the Dodgers really needed was a better starter than Darvish, someone more like the lefty who tossed out a ceremonial first ball: the great Sandy Koufax.

After Springer lined a leadoff double, Alex Bregman hit a bouncer that first baseman Cody Bellinger threw past Darvish for an error, allowing a run to score. Bregman aggressively stole third and scored on Altuve's grounder, and it was 2-0 after eight pitches.

A double by Marwin Gonzalez helped set up perhaps McCullers' biggest contribution, a slow grounder for his first pro RBI. Springer followed with a no-doubt, two-run drive into the left-center field bleachers.

That was the Series-most 25th homer in a Major League Baseball season that set a record for home runs. It was easily enough for the Astros to offset pinch-hitter Andre Ethier's RBI single in the Los Angeles sixth.

Only once have the Dodgers clinched a crown at home, that coming in 1963 when Koufax outpitched Yankees star Whitey Ford to finish a sweep. They've never won Game 7 of the Fall Classic at their own park, dating more than a century ago to their days on the streets of Brooklyn as the Trolley Dodgers.

As pockets of Houston fans got louder and louder in the later innings, the crowd at Dodger Stadium was left to repeat the sad, but hopeful cry that used to echo in Brooklyn: Wait till next year.

Just 106 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

It will now be at least 30 years between World Series titles for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the city that loves them will be feeling blue for a long time.

Ready to paint the town in the team colors awaiting their first World Series victory since 1988 Wednesday, the people of LA were stuck singing a sad song after a 5-1 loss in Game 7 to the Houston Astros.

Fans did their best to stay optimistic but the Dodgers made it hard, falling behind 5-0 in the opening innings and never getting close.

"I smell a comeback!" one person shouted during the fifth inning at Tom's Urban, a sports bar in downtown LA.

But the comeback never came.

Joanne Lopez-Rojas, 71, said she was going to "cry and stop on the way home and have a drink."

She and her husband Delfino Lopez-Rojas, 71, are retired restaurant owners from Ventura who watched the game at Tom's Urban.

Joanne had her face painted. One side was white with colorful flowers painted in celebration of the Day of the Dead — the Mexican holiday where people celebrate loved ones who have died — but her right cheek had the Dodgers logo: the linked blue letters LA.

Now both cheeks were likely to be streaked with tears.

It was a far cry from Wednesday afternoon, when the city was buzzing with excitement and bursting with joy at the thought of a Game 7 in town.

Public relations professional Ross Goldberg of Westlake Village flew his 22-year-old son, Josh, out from the East Coast, where he recently graduated from Georgetown University, to see the game.

In the city's Solano Canyon neighborhood, which leads into Dodger Stadium, houses had shed their Halloween decorations overnight in favor of Dodgers signs, flags and other memorabilia for Tuesday's game.

"Tonight is the biggest game in the history of baseball in Los Angeles," said Goldberg. "It's not just a matter of waiting 29 years. You don't know if this will ever happen again."

On Wednesday night, the city desperately hoped it would, someday, happen again.

This story has been updated.