Justin Turner and the Oakland Athletes captured their first PGBL World Series title with a 4-games-to-1 championship over the Boston Braves.
Turner hit .364 in the series, delivering a solo homer that helped Oakland notch a 5-4 road win in Game 5. Rhys Hoskins broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth with a single that started a three-run rally, and Edwin Diaz thwarted Boston’s rally by inducing a Ben Zobrist ground out to end the series.
Yasmani Grandal followed Hoskins’ tiebreaking hit with a two-run single that chased Clay Buchholz. Diaz was the sixth reliever Oakland used in the clincher after Stephen Strasburg allowed two runs on five hits in six innings.
The Athletes, who won a league-best 109 games, posted four straight victories after Buchholz and Craig Stammen pitched Boston to a 4-1 win over Strasburg in Game 1.
In Game 2, Jesus Aguilar’s tiebreaking two-run homer off Zack Wheeler in the fourth inning sparked Oakland to a 7-4 win.
When the series shifted to Boston, Turner led off Game 3 with a homer against Trevor Bauer that put the Athletes on the path to a 9-4 triumph. Mike Clevinger pitched into the seventh and Christian Yelich smacked a three-run shot in the eighth.
Hoskins, Enrique Hernandez and Andrew McCutchen homered off Masahiro Tanaka in Game 4 for Oakland, with McCutchen’s three-run blast in the fifth giving the Athletes a 7-1 lead en route to an 8-4 win.
Oakland won the South League pennant with a six-game championship series victory over Dublin after defeating St. Louis in a four-game division series. Boston won the North by sweeping Chicago in the first round and getting past London in the LCS.