Washington Nationals have defeated Houston Astros 6-2 in the deciding game 7 of the World Series to secure their maiden title.
Washington stunned Houston 6-2 in a winner-take-all game seven on Wednesday to secure their maiden Major League Baseball World Series title in a Fall Classic unlike any other.
By clinching the title in Houston, the result marked the first time in any American professional sport where all seven games in a best-of-seven series were won on the road.
The Astros got a dominant outing from starting pitcher Zack Greinke and took a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning but that was where the visiting Nationals finally struck back, grabbing a lead they would not relinquish.
When the final out was recorded, Nationals players streamed onto the field from the dugout and bullpen, tossing their gloves into the air with arms raised in celebration while the orange-clad crowd inside Houston’s Minute Maid Park watched in silence.
For the Nationals, who began playing in the US capital in 2005 when the Montreal Expos moved there and changed their name, the win put the finishing touches to a stunning turnaround after they began the season with a miserable record.
“We were 19 and 31 – we didn’t quit then and we weren’t going to quit now,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.
“I believe in these guys and they believe in each other. The biggest thing for us is never quit.”
Anthony Rendon kicked off the Nationals rally in the seventh with a solo shot off Greinke, and Howie Kendrick came up with a go-ahead two-run blast off Astros reliever Will Harris two batters later.
The Nationals, who faced elimination five times during the postseason, added another run in the eighth and then put the game out of reach with a two-run ninth inning before closer Daniel Hudson retired the side.
“We stuck together – I know that. We had nothing left to lose, people had written us off,” said Rendon.
“We just kept fighting and were happy to come out on top.”
The victory set off celebrations in Washington, a city whose last World Series victory came in 1924 when the Senators defeated the New York Giants.
Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who gave up a combined four runs in just over 14 innings during his two starts, was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Series.
“It’s just surreal – and to be able to do it with this group of guys is something special,” said Strasburg.
“Guys went out there and scored some runs for me. It was a big team win.”