Baseball: Morton stars for Astros once more in Game Seven triumph to net Houston's first MLB title

Charlie Morton of the Houston Astros pitches during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov 1, 2017.
Charlie Morton of the Houston Astros pitches during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Nov 1, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Astros pitcher Charlie Morton played the role of unlikely hero in Game Seven of the World Series on Wednesday, running through the last four innings of a 5-1 win to deliver Houston their first Major League Baseball championship.

The 33-year-old journeyman was called upon to maintain an Astros lead against the vaunted Los Angeles Dodgers line-up and delivered, allowing one run before settling down to retire the final 11 batters he faced in the 4-3 series triumph.

Morton's assured showing was his second in a Game Seven during this post-season for the Astros.

The right-hander, who signed a US$14 million (S$19 million) two-year deal with the Astros 11 months ago, also got the win when Houston beat the New York Yankees in the final game of their American League Championship Series.

"This is the epitome of what you can do in this game," Morton told ESPN after the game. "Beat the Yankees (27 titles) and now the Dodgers (six), it's humbling. Game Seven, are you kidding me?

"I'm so grateful for all the support back in Houston. I'd never done this before. Was a lot of fun. These guys are real dangerous."

Astros ace Justin Verlander, who at one point appeared likely to be called into the game in relief, praised Morton after the win.

"When Charlie came in it was a lock. We were in the bullpen just saying 'let him ride'," he said.