Baseball: LA Dodgers star Justin Turner leaves game after positive COVID-19 test

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was pulled late in the World Series decider, after testing positive for COVID-19.

Turner started the game and went 0-for-3 with the bat, before a defensive replacement took over for him at the start of the eighth inning at Arlington, Texas.

The announcement about the positive test was made on the FOX broadcast, after the Dodgers beat Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the championship.

According to ESPN, Turner's COVID-19 test from Tuesday (NZ time) was found to be inconclusive during the second inning on Wednesday. At that point, Turner's Tuesday sample arrived and was checked.

When the positive test was confirmed, Major League Baseball informed the Dodgers to remove Turner from the game.

Turner tweeted afterwards: "Thanks to everyone reaching out! 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 #WorldSeriesChamps."

MLB played the final three rounds of the playoffs in neutral-site 'bubbles' in San Diego, Los Angeles, Houston and Arlington. 

As recently as last Thursday, MLB said it had gone 54 consecutive days without a positive test, dating back into the regular season.

On FOX, commissioner Rob Manfred said: "It's a bittersweet night for us."

The news about Turner didn't even reach his teammates immediately. Dodgers centrefielder Cody Bellinger said: "I found out in the top of the ninth.

"[Edwin] Rios fielded a ground ball [at third base in the eighth] and I didn't even know Rios was in the game. Yeah, that was a shock to me."

Turner went 8-for-25 (.320) with two homers and two runs batted in during the World Series. He had a four-hit night in game four on Monday.