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Justin Turner flies out against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning of Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday. Turner was removed in the eighth inning because of a positive COVID-19 test. Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas — Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was removed from Los Angeles’ 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night after registering Major League Baseball’s first positive COVID-19 test in 59 days.

Turner wasn’t on the field initially as the Dodgers celebrated their first World Series title since 1988, but he returned to the diamond about an hour after the game, hugging longtime teammate Clayton Kershaw and sitting front-and-center for a team photo next to manager Dave Roberts with his mask pulled down under his bushy beard.

“Thanks to everyone reaching out!” Turner said on Twitter. “I feel great, no symptoms at all. Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine. Can’t believe I couldn’t be out there to celebrate with my guys! So proud of this team & unbelievably happy for the City of LA.”

Major League Baseball insulated postseason teams in neutral-site bubbles after traveling them across the country during a shortened 60-game season. Turner was the first player since the playoffs began to be flagged for COVID-19.

MLB received Turner’s Monday sample from the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Utah in the bottom of the second inning, when lab president Dr. Daniel Eichner called deputy commissioner Dan Halem, who was in New York, a person familiar with the call said, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details were not released.

Eichner told Halem the result was inconclusive. MLB receives many inconclusive results, so Halem told Eichner to run Tuesday’s pregame sample from Turner. That result came back positive in the sixth inning, the person said.

Halem called Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who was in Manfred’s box at Globe Life Field, then called Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. He notified the dugout or clubhouse, and Turner was removed from the game after the seventh inning.

“It was obviously a really unfortunate endpoint of this incredible series and definitely affected some of the joy of winning just because of what JT has meant to us,” Friedman said.

When asked about what happened after the game, Friedman said Turner wanted to take a picture with the trophy. Friedman stated several times that those around Turner had previously been in close contact and said the team would take another round of tests before determining when to leave Texas.

“Now the subsequent tests we’re going to take are really important,” Friedman said.

The 35-year-old Turner has been a staple in the Dodgers’ lineup for seven of their eight consecutive NL West titles. A late-blooming slugger who helped reshape the game by succeeding with an upper-cut swing, Turner is LA’s career leader with 12 postseason home runs, including a pair in this Series, in which he hit .364 and also played stellar defense.

“It’s gut-wrenching,” World Series MVP Corey Seager said. “If I could switch places with him right now, I would. That’s just not right.”

“We’re not excluding him from anything,” teammate Mookie Betts said.

COREY SEAGER hit a rare October double, becoming MVP of the World Series after earning the honor for the National League Championship Series.

Corey Seager was named MVP of the World Series after earning the same honor in the NLCS. Eric Gay/Associated Press

Just as Orel Hershiser did when the Los Angeles Dodgers won their previous World Series title in 1988.

Seager batted .400 with two homers, five RBI and six walks against the Tampa Bay Rays, including a sixth-inning grounder that allowed Mookie Betts to speed home from third base with the go-ahead run Tuesday night in Game 6. The star shortstop jumped into the arms of second baseman Kiké Hernández after Julio Urías struck out Willy Adames to end a 3-1 win that clinched the championship.

Seager hit .310 with five homers and 11 RBI in the seven-game win over Atlanta in the NLCS, including three homers as the Dodgers fought off elimination in Games 5 and 6. He drove in runs in five consecutive plate appearances, starting with his last two at-bats in Game 2, matching a feat that had been accomplished only by Houston’s Carlos Beltrán in 2004.

The previous MVP of both a League Championship Series and the World Series in the same year was San Francisco pitcher Madison Bumgarner in 2014. Only eight players have done it — all National Leaguers.

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Los Angeles Manager Dave Roberts celebrates after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 on Tuesday in Arlington, Texas. Eric Gay/Associated Press

DAVE ROBERTS finally has a World Series title to savor.

The Los Angeles manager guided the Dodgers to their first championship since 1988 on Tuesday night, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win in six games.

Roberts did what his seven predecessors — including Joe Torre and Don Mattingly — failed to do, bring a championship to long-starved Dodgers fans. He joins Hall of Famers Walter Alston and Tom Lasorda as the only managers to do so.

An emotional Roberts shared hugs with his players after the final out.

He’s taken the Dodgers to the playoffs in each of his five seasons, helping extend their streak of eight consecutive NL West titles. But they never reached their ultimate goal and Roberts endured his share of criticism along the way.

Roberts got booed in Game 5 by the few fans allowed at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

The mostly pro-LA crowd didn’t want Clayton Kershaw to leave so soon, but Roberts stuck to his pregame plan. He wanted his veteran ace to face 20 or so batters (he faced 21) and turn it over to the bullpen. Kershaw left after getting the first two outs of the sixth. The Dodgers went on to win 4-2.

The fans’ reaction was ironic. In previous years, they had excoriated Roberts for leaving Kershaw in too long only to watch disaster strike. They would rip the 48-year-old manager for his use of the bullpen, using only one reliever or too many. Roberts routinely got tagged with the blame when failure occurred.

But he rarely changed his disposition. Roberts is known for being a players’ manager, full of trust in his roster. He’s friendly and positive with everyone. Nowhere close to being the yeller that Lasorda was.

Roberts was at the helm for World Series defeats to Houston in 2017 and Boston in 2018; both times the opposition celebrated on the Dodgers’ home field.

CLAYTON KERSHAW cut through the doubters, just like one of his curveballs through the strike zone.

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Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw celebrates with MVP Corey Seagar after Los Angeles beat Tampa Bay in Game 6 to secure its first title since 1988. Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Only took 13 seasons.

One of the most accomplished pitchers in baseball history attained the achievement he had sought most, winning the World Series for the first time when the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game 6 on Tuesday night.

Kershaw went 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA over 11 2/3 innings in two starts, striking out 14 and walking three.

And he earned his title not far from his hometown of Dallas, with family and friends filling a ticket allotment supplemented with “nosebleed seats.”

Watching from the Dodgers bullpen in right-center field, Kershaw raised both arms and pointed fingers toward the sky, a huge smile across his face. His blue Dodgers sweatshirt still on, he ran through the bullpen door and to the infield to join his jumping teammates.

Kershaw’s honors are too numerous to list on his likely Hall of Fame plaque: a five-time major league ERA champion, including four in a row from 2012-14; a three-time strikeout champion; a two-time 20-game winner in an era when innings are diminished; a pitching triple crown winner in 2011.

An eight-time All-Star; NL Cy Young Award winner in 2011, 2013 and 2014; the 2014 NL MVP. Winner of the 2012 Roberto Clemente and 2014 Marvin Miller Awards for off-the-field achievements focusing on his community and charitable work.

But he entered this year just 9-11 in postseason play, with poor outings in a pair of World Series Game 5s that resulted in a 2017 no-decision and a 2018 defeat.


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