INDIANAPOLIS - The 2017 baseball season officially came to a close with the Houston Astros handing the Los Angeles Dodgers a 5-1 defeat in Game 7 of the World Series, locking up Houston's first World Series title in its 56-year existence. Two former Tribe pitchers now with the Astros - Charlie Morton and Francisco Liriano - both kept the Dodgers hitters at bay in the victory.
With the Astros leading 5-0, Liriano entered the game to face 22-year-old slugger Cody Bellinger with two on and one away in the fifth. The southpaw did his job retiring Bellinger on a fielder's choice to second, stymying another potential L.A. rally.
Morton, called upon in relief for the first time since his 2008 rookie campaign with Atlanta, allowed a single and walk to start the bottom of the sixth. After a popout, Andre Ethier grounded a pinch-hit single into right to make it a 5-1 ballgame. Morton limited the damage with a strikeout of Chris Taylor before inducing a broken-bat groundout to short off the bat of Corey Seager, opening a string of 11 consecutive batters retired to finish the game.
Liriano appeared in a Tribe uniform briefly in both 2013 and 2014, posting a 2-0 record and 2.45 ERA in four starts combined.
Morton made a total of 22 starts with Indianapolis over five separate campaigns (2009-10, 2012-13, 2015), going 5-6 with a 3.26 ERA in 127 innings of work. He is one of four Tribe players since the turn of the century to play for Indy in five separate seasons.
Astros assistant hitting coach Alonzo Powell, who today was officially announced as the San Francisco Giants' hitting coach, will also receive a ring. Powell played for the Tribe from 1987-89, each year resulting in an American Association Championship for Indy.
In a clash of 100-plus win titans, the Astros and Dodgers reached Game 7 by way of epic turns and twists through the first six games of the series.
The Dodgers won the series opener 3-1 behind their ace Clayton Kershaw outdueling Dallas Keuchel. Houston then overcame a late 3-1 deficit in Game 2 to force extra innings, ultimately prevailing 7-6 in 11 frames to send the series back to Texas level at 1-1.
The Astros hung on in Game 3 with a 5-3 triumph, only to drop Game 4, 6-2, despite 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball from Morton.
An expected pitcher's duel for Game 5 was the exact opposite as the contest featured 25 runs on 28 hits - seven of which were home runs - as Houston dug out of 4-0, 7-4 and 8-7 deficits to win a thrilling 13-12 game in 10 innings.
Trailing the series 3-2, Los Angeles returned to Dodger Stadium for a hard-fought 3-1 win in Game 6. But thanks to Liriano and Morton, it was the Astros who prevailed in the winner-take-all finale.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.