Houston Astros win first World Series weeks after Hurricane Harvey
Houston pitcher Justin Verlander thinks the Astros' first World Series win has created a "special bond" in the city in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Verlander arrived in Houston only a matter of days after the devastating tropical cyclone made landfall following his waiver trade deadline day switch from Detroit Tigers on August 31.
Hurricane Harvey was the second-costliest natural disaster worldwide, only behind the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and 34-year-old Verlander knows the 5-1 victory in the winner-takes-all game seven will boost the recovering Houston.
"We didn't shy away from the fact that this city resonated with what we were doing," Verlander told MLB.com.
"To give people who are going through a hard time something to really cheer about, and step away from whatever hardships they're going through and rally around, it creates a special bond.
"I saw it way back when and felt it when I got here. And to really kind of follow through and actually win the whole damn thing, it doesn't get any better than that."
The Astros, who entered Major League Baseball in 1962 and previously reached just one World Series, defeated the Dodgers in Los Angeles after the series was forced into a decider.
Houston had arrived in California leading the series 3-2 after a 10-inning thriller in game five before the Dodgers levelled up on Tuesday.
But the Astros shored up a 5-0 lead early in Wednesday's finale that saw Most Valuable Player winner George Springer open the scoring for the visitors.
His first-inning double off Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish was followed by a two-run homer in the second - Springer's fifth of the series that tied a record set by Reggie Jackson and matched by Chase Utley for the Dodgers.
The Astros left the Dodgers scoreless until the sixth inning when Andre Ethier drove in a run.
Victory was secured in the ninth when Jose Altuve, who won plaudits for his incredible batting performance this season, intercepted a ground ball off the bat of Corey Seager and reached baseman Yuli Gurriel.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa celebrated the victory by proposing to his girlfriend, Daniella Rodriguez.
"I took a big step in my life," Correa said. "I just got engaged after winning the World Series."
Meanwhile, Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jansen was heartbroken after the defeat.
"It's going to take a while - we're human, man. It breaks your heart," said Jansen, who pitched the seventh inning trailing by four runs.
"The Houston Astros, a great team, they put a good fight on us, they deserved it. For us, it stinks.
"You feel the disappointment. We let the fans down. But we fought. We can't hang our heads. It's been a great season."