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Mookie, J.D. homer off Kershaw in G5 clincher

October 28, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- Mookie Betts was probably due for that one.The Red Sox's leadoff hitter and likely American League Most Valuable Player Award winner took Clayton Kershaw deep in the sixth inning of Boston's 5-1 victory in the Game 5 title-clincher of the World Series on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.• Dress

LOS ANGELES -- Mookie Betts was probably due for that one.
The Red Sox's leadoff hitter and likely American League Most Valuable Player Award winner took Clayton Kershaw deep in the sixth inning of Boston's 5-1 victory in the Game 5 title-clincher of the World Series on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.
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Betts' first career postseason homer snapped an 0-for-13 slide.
J.D. Martinez joined Betts with a leadoff homer off Kershaw in the seventh, giving Boston a 4-1 lead. It was his third home run of the postseason, but just his second extra-base hit of the World Series and first hit since Game 2.
Even with their heavy hitters not producing, the Red Sox found ways to win against the Dodgers, with contributions coming from all over the roster; World Series MVP Steve Pearce hit two home runs in Game 5.
Betts and Martinez deferred credit to their teammates after the game.
"Everything I did is kind of irrelevant," Betts said. "We proved that it's not just one guy. We put everything together and played a great Series."
"It's a family, it really is," Martinez said of his club. "People get more excited when someone else steps up than when they step up. It's so rare to see that, you don't really see that. And it just wasn't in the playoffs. It was all season long."

Prior to Game 5, Betts was slashing .207/.303/.276 with a .579 OPS this postseason. He was hitless in his first two at-bats against Kershaw on Sunday, flying out to center both times. Betts started all 21 Red Sox playoff games since 2016 and had five hits in 23 at-bats in the World Series.
Martinez had fared better in the postseason -- he hit .313/.415/.531 with two home runs and nine RBIs in the AL Division Series and AL Championship Series -- but was just 3-for-14 in first four games of the Fall Classic.

"It's so hard to win a World Series," Martinez said. "So many things have to go right, and to get to this point, you know, it's a blessing. You really gotta stay healthy, you've got to have clutch hits, you've got to have clutch performances.
"Everyone had to step up. I think you saw that this whole postseason. From top to bottom, it was a complete effort. We had 25 guys, we used 25 guys."

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.